Bread or Dough Lames
Dough scoring lames are used to control the way the dough expands when it bakes in the oven. The scoring can be a simple as one line cut across the bread dough, or a cross to make an elaborate pattern. The lames vary from simple fixed-blade versions, those with replaceable razor blades to handmade wooden lames or bread scoring knives.
Bread Scoring Knife
All bread lames are used to make slices in the skin of the proofed dough just before it is baked in order to encourage the dough to split along the cut as it goes through its fast rising or oven spring while baking. The result can be a simple crusty "ear" where the dough has risen up and crisped like in a baguette or an elaborate pattern if desired. For this, a curved lame to make an undercut is ideal. If all you are looking for is a straight line then you could choose a very sharp bread knife. All bread knives are straight though so don't lend themselves to anything more than a basic slit.
Which Lame Should I Choose?
Dough lames or scoring knives come in lots of shapes and sizes. Simple scoring knives or scalpels allow for detailed work. The more conventional lames hold a razor blade. The simplest have a fixed, permanent blade, some may be replaced and some can be curved. There are lames made for both aesthetics and practicality and make a lovely gift.