Baking warm fresh loaves can be very therapeutic. And scoring a sourdough before baking it, makes the end result a hundred times more rewarding.
But the problem arose while choosing the tools. On one hand, you have a bread lame and on the other, there are your regular knives.
So, when it comes to bread lame vs knife, which one should you get?
Bread lame will give you a better score than a regular knife. Its razor-sharp blades will give you precise cuts. But as a beginner, precise cuts won’t matter much if you aren’t looking for perfection. For casual usage, a regular knife will work just fine.
Well, now you know the basic difference between the two. But to really make a decision you should go through the article we prepared.
So, let’s get started!
A Brief Comparison
Baking sourdough bread is indeed a very satisfying process. And it is also a form of art that bakers do by scoring sharp cuts on top of the bread.
After you use your yeast and malt, the rising bread takes beautiful shapes due to scoring. Sidenote, store your diastatic malt carefully if you want your bread to rise with all its glory.
Flowers, geometric patterns, and a lot more beautiful designs can be seen in them. You’ll see most professional bakers use a bread lame.
Bread lame is a sharp blade attached to a thin handle. Used to score precise cuts on top of the bread.
But you as a home cook might ask if a bread lame is really worth the price point. Or just an ordinary knife will do.
To clear your confusion once and for all we prepared a quick comparison between the two. Let’s check it out:
|Blade||Has a very thin razor-sharp curved blade||Has a straight sharp edge but eventually thickens|
|Handle||Has a thin pen-like handle||Generally has a thick handle|
|Cut||Leaves a thin cut without sticking to the blade||Leaves a deep cut and bread sometimes sticks to the knife while stroking|
These are the basic differences that you will notice when you compare a bread lame and knife side by side.
Having seen the quick comparison I’m sure you would want to know more. So let’s dive into a more detailed discussion of the differences.
A Detailed Comparison
If you ask which is the best knife for slicing bread or scoring bread, chances are you’ll get bread lame as the answer.
But as bread lames have a quite big price tag to their names. You must ask if it is really worth the hype. Because everyone has a standard 9 or 8 inch size kitchen knife lying around in their house.
To know for sure, let’s discuss the differences between an ordinary knife and a professional bread lame.
Bread lames designs are made for cutting the bread with a very light touch. So that the cut becomes very thin and also very precise.
The blades attached to the bread lames are very sharp razor blades. And they are curved a little. This allows the lame to make very sharp cuts as well as make roundish cuts easily.
On the other hand, regular knives have a straight sharp blade. The blades are thinner at the start and eventually, they get thicker.
The main purpose of knives is to cut things in half. So this design aids in that. But that doesn’t really help much in bread scoring.
But if the knife is sharp enough it does a pretty good job of scoring if your hands are steady enough. Here are some good quality knives that can help you to achieve perfect scoring:
Winner: Bread Lame
Bread lame has a razor-sharp blade attached to a very thin handle. Because of that, the bread lame can be handled much like how you handle a pen.
Having a thin handle gives you more control over how you want to move the bread lame. This gives you more range of motion so that you can get complicated and very delicate cuts easily.
That’s why bread lame designs look perfect after being baked.
If you want to invest in some good quality bread lames then here are some of our suggestions:
On the other hand, a regular knife will have a thick handle. That you have to grab with your whole wrist. As it is meant to be used with downward force to cut something.
This gives a little bit of disadvantage when you want to twist and turn while scoring the bread.
Making complicated cuts can be hard while handling a regular knife with its fat handle.
Winner: Bread Lame
The end result after scoring the bread is all that matters. And there could be some differences between using a bread lame and a knife.
The main reason that causes the difference is the sharpness and thickness of the blade. Obviously, a round bread lame blade has much greater sharpness than an ordinary knife.
And the thin curved blade gives more range of motion and makes precise cuts.
So after baking the bread lame scored one gets baked into perfectly beautiful designs.
Cutting with a normal kitchen knife, on the other hand, shows some problems. Firstly as the blade has a sharp edge but eventually gets thicker, the cut isn’t as precise and even as you’d want.
Also, the blade being thick, when you score the dough, the dough sticks to the knife and makes uneven textures.
So as you can see, the difference between using a professional bread lame and an ordinary knife is quite visible.
Now, the question remains, is it worth the price tag?
Winner: Bread Lame
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Get?
From the discussion, it is quite evident that the best way to score your bread is using a professional bread lame. Still take a look at this table for a complete summary:
You have to keep in mind that bread lame comes with a pretty formidable price tag, whereas everyone has a knife at home.
Sure, a bread lame will give you the perfect score each time. But using a knife won’t give you a very bad result either.
If you are a home cook, who wants to experiment with sourdough baking and making designs on them. Then starting with a knife is fine. You don’t have to rush to the store to get a bread lame as soon as you want to try baking.
But if perfection matters to you. Then getting a bread lame won’t disappoint you. If you run a bakery or want to perfect your craft, then a bread lame could be a very good investment.
Because most bread lames come with interchangeable blades nowadays.
So, our advice would be, if you’re just a beginner and want to try out baking, then using a knife will do just fine. But if you’re a veteran looking to go to the next level. Or someone who does this professionally, then getting a french bread lame would be a smart choice.
Can You Use A Skillet To Bake Bread?
Yes, you can use a skillet to bake bread. You can use it as a baking stone. You just have to preheat the skillet in the oven first to get the best results.
Can X-acto Knives Be Used Instead Of Bread Lame?
Yes, you can as x-acto knives are very sharp too. But x-acto knives have a very short blade to cut with, so you can’t make very deep cuts. But for small precise cuts, it will work perfectly.
Can You Make Sourdough Bread Without Scoring?
Yes, you can bake sourdough without scoring. Not scoring the dough will trap the gas inside when baking and eventually they will burst out but in uneven shapes.
Well, the bread lame vs knife debate has been sorted out. The main takeaway is that you don’t always have to pay a hefty price on premium things to start a new hobby.
You can start with whatever you have around you. When you get better eventually you can explore other tools.
Wish you all the best in your baking journey!