A grignette or lame (pronounced ‘laam’) is what is commonly used to score dough just before it is baked to allow the expanding dough to rise and escape in a controlled manner, thereby creating beautiful patterns or ‘ears’ on the finished loaf. Now I know that strictly speaking I should probably call it a lame (French for ‘blade’) as a grignette is just the handle which holds the blade in place. But somehow it feels a bit poncey saying ‘laam’…
Either way, this post is about reviewing a blade on a stick. Ironically, that is what many bakers use and there is essentially nothing wrong with that having done so myself for many years.
However, using a proper grignette has its advantages. The main one being that the blade is held in place firmly with no chance of escaping and getting accidentally lost in the dough. Major lawsuit averted! Secondly, it comes with a lid or cover, so those 10 digits that are every baker’s most precious tools are safe from accidental cuts once the grignette is put down or packed away.
Ok, so what puts one type of grignette apart from the other you ask? Too be honest, the answer is ‘not much’. It basically boils down to personal preference and the type of dough that you want to score, and sometimes the type of score you want to make.
So here is my take on the 5 different grignettes on offer in our shop, all manufactured in France by Mure & Peyrot. We choose to sell only their grignettes because of their reputation and emphasis on quality and safety:
Currently my favourite. The ultra-sharp, retractable blade, the narrow handle and sleek design make this one a joy to work with. What really makes this one stand apart from the rest is the pointed tip which allows greater scope for making circular cuts, as well as allowing deeper cuts. The retraction of the blade into the handle also makes this the safest one of the lot
Another popular choice. Its twisted handle sits comfortably in the palm of your hand and therefore enables you to make creative slashes in the dough with simple wrist movements. The top two corners of the blade can be used. Once blunt, the blade can be turned around with a simple push-and-click movement so that the other two sharp corners can be utilised. The Longuet also comes with a protective cap that houses a magnet, so it can be stored upright against a metal surface.
The Campinox has similar characteristics to the Fassonette in that it has a pointed edge which is very sharp and allows quick slashes of the dough. It is available in serrated or straight blades dependent on the type of dough required to cut. Customers that have bought the Campinox appear to favour the serrated blade. This is the only grignette that is not supplied with a protective cover.
The Bordelaise’s main feature is that its blade can be bent thereby enabling curved scoring. The curved blade makes it easier to score baguettes as your hand is automatically kept further away from the dough, resulting in less chance of dragging into it by accident. The blade is also easily bent back into a straight shape and can be replaced or changed around swiftly.
This is the basic, no-frills grignette. Its handle is somewhat shorter than the rest but if you do not have particularly large hands then this is not a problem. The top two corners of the blade are well exposed so deep slashes can be made with ease. This is a great grignette for the new bread baker.
So there you have it, a brief review of our current range of grignettes.
Nifty little tools that make scoring easier and safer.