Why Do You Slash Bread?

Image by Arnold GatilaoImage by Arnold GatilaoWhen risen bread goes into the oven, the crust begins forming immediately. Soon thereafter, liquids in the bread begin turning into steam. If there's a crust in the way, the steam gets trapped and you can get big air-pockets in your bread.

Slashing the bread just before baking it allows the steam to escape. It also gives us a chance to be decorative.



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But is that a good thing? If you are going for something like French Bread with a soft inside and crusty outside should you avoid slashing it to purposely trap that steam? Likewise, do you have to worry about over slashing (like in the picture) leading to very dense bread?

Stuart Broz's picture

I'm no master baker, but I think it really depends on what you're going for. Sometimes you want air pockets. Sometimes you want your bread to have a more uniform internal texture. Air pockets can relieve bread density, but they aren't the only thing that will. I'll do some research and follow up on this.

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