Beautify Your Bread

In addition to the practical necessity of scoring bread before baking, which controls the direction the dough expands and prevents air pockets. leaving a mark on a loaf of bread is a practice that dates bake to ancient civilizations. In ancient Rome, stamping bread was a way of identifying bread that was baked in community ovens, and also served to identify fraudulent bakers who weren’t following legal guidelines. Today, the art of leaving an extra special mark on your bread is more of an aesthetic choice, and there are a few ways to approach this. 

Stencils

 

This is probably the easiest way to produce a stunning design on your bread. When scoring your bread, leave a nice open space for a stencil, and simply dust flour over it before baking.  For inspiration, check out La Baghet’s recipe for sourdough bread. Etsy has a range of stencils, or if you are interested in designing your own, you could make one by hand or order a custom stencil through stencilsonline.com.  Just make sure to size it appropriately.

Stamps​

 

Hearkening back to ancient tradition, bread stamps produce a deeper-set design, and in my opinion, work particularly well on flatbreads or individual buns, but you can use them on any bread or pastry.  I love these chekich, or traditional Uzkbek bread stamps, which are available for sale through ArtsyUzbek's Etsy shop.

Scoring

 

This requires the most finesse and skill, but the results can truly be stunning, and it gives you the most flexibility. There are a range of YouTube tutorials available to get you started. You can make your own lame, which is a scoring tool, at home with a thin razor blade or purchase one. I particularly love the UFO Bread Journey design by Wire Monkey, available for purchase through their site. You can also pick up a stylish leather holster to tuck your blade away when not in use.

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Getting back to the basics and staying grounded through food, community, and life.

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