The Right Tool For Slashing Bread Dough — II

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here. It seems I revisit this “problem” periodically.

For reference, the last attempt:

I took the picture on the floor because that was the best light at that hour. Naturally, it drew some interest.
I took the picture on the floor because that was the best light at that hour. Naturally, it drew some interest.

And today’s:

140609 bread

The Differences:

1.  Fewer slashes on this attempt. The slashes were more “lengthwise” and less “across”.

2.  The slashes were at a slight angle to the dough. Maybe 30-45 degrees or so. Last time they were perpendicular to the countertop.

3.  Prior to this attempt I reread an earlier CSE post. In that post I noted that I’d read that it was best to keep the slashes in the middle 3rd of the dough. (In other words, I tried to not slash all the way to the edges of the dough this time.) The real advantage of documenting this stuff is the searchable notes.

4.  The breads received less steam on this attempt, resulting in darker loaves and a thicker crust — they got steam for 5 minutes rather than 10 minutes. The steam was in the form of a small amount of water in a roasting pan underneath the loaves. [For reference:  450 degrees. 5 minutes with steam, 10 minutes without steam, then turn the loaves around and bake for another 10 minutes. 25 minutes total.]

In any event, I think that this time they were way closer to what I have in mind as “correct”.

2 thoughts on “The Right Tool For Slashing Bread Dough — II

  1. Found an adapted (modern) recipe on as “Monticello Muffins”. Peter Hemings was the head cook/chef.

    “The muffins will look like biscuits on the outside and English muffins on the inside.”

    The old version:

    The “Receipt for Monticello Muffins” was recorded in the manuscript cookbook of Jefferson’s granddaughter Septimia Randolph Meikleham:

    To a quart of flour put two table spoonsfull of yeast. Mix . . . the flour up with water so thin that the dough will stick to the table. Our cook takes it up and throws it down until it will no longer stick [to the table?] she puts it to rise until morning. In the morning she works the dough over . . . the first thing and makes it into little cakes like biscuit and sets them aside until it is time to back them. You know muffins are backed in a gridle [before?] in the [fire?] hearth of the stove not inside. They bake very quickly. The second plate full is put on the fire when breakfast is sent in and they are ready by the time the first are eaten.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s