Scoring, the why and the how

There a debate in the sourdough world…a knife fight to be exact. Scoring, should you or should you not? Sometimes I do and sometimes I do not. Just depends how I feel. What it is and how to do it? Let us talk about it.

If you are just joining us here, first off welcome. Secondly we are talking about using a knife or a blade to slice the top of the dough just before putting the dough in the oven. Why do we do it?

Well right when the cold, wet dough is put in the oven, there is rapid yeast action. Yeast become more active when in a warm  environment. Being put in the hot oven causes the little buggers to become very active before they die in the extreme heat.

As the dough is rising in the oven the moisture in the dough will expand and help your dough grow in size. Some of the air will expand so much it will burst through the dough. This is a good thing. The burnt bits on top of a loaf are called ears. They are unique to each loaf.

Air will expand and escape in the area of least resistance. Sometimes that least resistant area may be the side of your loaf. It is not the worst thing in the world but I do not want a loaf that has a gaping hole in its side.

With scoring we slice the dough just a little bit to create the areas of resistance that we want. How do I score? Come back next week and I will tell you.