My vorpal blade went snicker-snack

Sometimes it really does feel as if I am in Wonderland, with all the unpredictability and excitement of Lewis Caroll’s seminal poem Jabberwocky.

I’m wondering if there is somewhere out there a book or a blog or a site that anyone has come across just with scoring patterns, showing direction of travel, angles, what letters work as scores and so on.  I do a lot of staring at photos of finished loaves trying to figure out what the start pattern might be.  The distortion of the oven spring is what gives the grace and liveliness to the pattern but it is one of those things that is hard to guess from the finished look and one of the things that potentially frustrates most.

All that work making the dough, nursing it through its long proves, handling, folding and shaping,  and then the  great hurdle of preparing it for the oven and  getting it into the oven is quite a trial too, big high hydration loaves collapsing while you look at them….. many cries of nooooo-oooo… my favourite being when they spread over the side of the stone and descend towards the oven floor.  :o

I want to be a contemplative taoist baker not a wild eyed combatant standing in uffish thought in front of the worktop and waving my vorpal sword.

Anyway it’s Jeffrey Hamelman’s  pizza today, no need for the razor blades to come out :) I’ve got some lovely marinated artichokes, the mozzarella, rocket in the garden – it’s looking good so far…..

What’s your jabberwocky moment in the kitchen, my baking friends?

7 thoughts on “My vorpal blade went snicker-snack

  1. sallybr

    Slashing the dough is just half of my misery… there’s also the enticing adventure of stenciling!

    those two combined can put me in hyperventilation-mode quite nicely… ;-)

  2. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    See, I always think your slashes look mighty fine. I bake an almost 80% hydration loaf, and slashes just turn into wrinkles. Let me ponder the jabberwocky question – there are so many spatially inept things I do in the kitchen that it’s hard to pick just one. Having said that, they usually occur at 4am in the morning, when I can’t sleep, and I’m usually being over-ambitious.. :)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Celia, It’s really about my kitchen fears !! There are others, like the one about cakes sticking to tins as you turn them out (that must be universal!). The moment when the beast appears in the kitchen and ninja like (or chicken like) you just have to launch yourself at the task, at the same time thinking there must be an easier way. Mindful baking is what I am going to work on :) It is so rare I’m up at 4 am unless I am on a mission like the panettone one last December.

      Sally, stencilling has been shelved here for the time being. Awaiting further instructions :)

  3. Pingback: Weekly Sourdough Bread « Zeb Bakes

    1. Joanna Post author

      Sorry Misk I haven’t come across a site devoted to slashing yet. If you need more inspiration visit the Fresh Loaf and look at some of the breads showcased there. Or visit Farine’s blog or some of the other fine blogs that I list on the Links Page. I presume you’ve already checked out Le Petit Boulanger and the videos there, which is one I mention from time to time. :)

      1. Misk Cooks

        Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I’ll check out the links.

        I’ve become quite relaxed with all this slashing stuff but would like to see what patterns people have come up with. The Baker Boys do a very pretty swirl on their sourdough loaves.

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