February 5, 2023

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Eat Your Food

Wire Monkey UFO Bread Lame Review

Straight to the Point

The Wire Monkey UFO Bread Journey is an superb pick for scoring bread. Its round condition can make it feel like a normal extension of the hand, featuring far more control than some adhere lames.

When the doorbell rang one particular April afternoon and 14 kilos (31 lbs) of assorted flours have been delivered to our compact condominium, my husband politely questioned what I was performing.

“Nothing!” I chirped, getting spent the final several weeks wrist-deep in bread dough. 

Absolutely everyone and their neighbor’s canine may possibly have dabbled in sourdough for the duration of the pandemic, but in a natural way leavened bread is much from a trend. Gurus feel that sourdough has been a detail considering that 3000 BC, when the concept likely originated in historic Egypt and then little by little spread throughout the world like a blob of around-proofed dough on a way too-heat working day. And considering that no a single alive nowadays can rightfully declare that they were being into sourdough “before it was amazing,” I can share with no smugness that my personal sourdough attempts began someday in 2017, when I entered into a whirlwind romance with a bag of rye flour and starry-eyed ambitions for luscious loaves. Let’s just say things didn’t function out between us.

Someday in 2019, emotionally recovered and owning borrowed a duplicate of Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread from a friend, I acquired back again in the sourdough saddle for another lackluster calendar year. Anfang is a single of many German words and phrases for “beginning” or “start” and—I thought—a intelligent identify for a starter, but our union was never what I’d imagined. “It’s not you, it’s me,” I whispered as I fifty percent-poured, 50 percent-scraped the contents of a jar into the trash. That was the conclusion of Anfang and yet another pause on my sourdough pursuits. 

I turned in its place to fresh new yeast and it did not get extensive before I was reliably churning out bakes that did not prompt a quizzical, “Is that meant to be bread?” adhere to-up from the aforementioned partner whenever he’d wander into the kitchen area and eye the hottest detail on the counter. 

My upcoming shift was to buy an cheap baguette tray—a perforated pan with ridges to accommodate four lengths of dough—which I was fired up to see came with a lame a new-to-me resource that produced me feel more like a right baker. A French term for “blade,” a bread lame (pronounced “lahm”) is intent-developed for slashing dough right before it’s place into the oven.

“Scoring bread was a way for individuals to identify their personal loaves when bread was baked in large, communal ovens,” states Natalie Sanseverino, an Australian-born sourdough baker and teacher primarily based in Nuremberg, Germany. “Today, scoring generally serves as a functionality to guideline oven spring as a baker desires.” (You can go through a lot more about the features of scoring listed here.)

A lame lets you to make exact slashes devoid of tearing or ripping the dough. And although my lame was just a curved sliver of semi-boring steel attached to a piece of eco-friendly plastic, it however felt like a stage up from the paring knife I’d been working with to score my industrially-aided dough. 

All instructed, I thought I was really great until finally I secured myself a place in one particular of Sanseverino’s sourdough rookie workshops in early February. Established to finally figure out the place I’d been likely mistaken, I listened attentively as she coated critical themes like starter well being, baker’s math, and dough shaping—then her bread lame produced an visual appeal.  

Wire Monkey Bread Lame against a white background

Sanseverino did not just roll up to course with a razor blade and a deft wrist, she experienced a Wire Monkey UFO Bread Journey—a black walnut natural beauty with a slick, in-depth layout that kept the blade safely and securely tucked absent although enabling for final management. 

Severe Eats / Summer Brons Rylander


The way this baker-beloved lame operates is really uncomplicated: Two wooden discs spin with each other, sandwiching a slender, versatile razor blade in in between. While in use, the discs serve an ambidextrous grip, maintaining fingers out of harm’s way although making it possible for for exact dough slashing. When scoring is entire, the discs spin apart to allow the comprehensive size of the blade to slip inside of for safe storage. 

“I’ve normally felt more cozy with Wire Monkey’s quick UFO lame simply because I sense in full control from the instant I select it up,” Sanseverino says. “I’m in these kinds of close proximity to the dough that I can look at the UFO an extension of my hand—I sense extremely lost when I’m scoring without it.”

Held in my very own hand, it took all of about two seconds to discern that the Wire Monkey lame would also be a much better in shape for me than the, uh, lame blade-on-a-adhere circumstance I’d been doing the job with. I questioned in which I could obtain just one locally—Bio-Mühle Eiling if you’re in Germany!—and instantly purchased the UFO Zero. (I did briefly consider Wire Monkey’s swanky edition of a stick lame, but by then I was so starry-eyed about the UFO there was no way I was shifting my brain.)

Serious Eats / Summer months Brons Rylander


I’m not going to say that this lame has created me a far better baker—for that I’ll credit Sanseverino’s expert assistance and the 25 grams of strong, keen-to-make sure you starter I took house that day—but I do delight in utilizing my Wire Monkey UFO so a great deal that it serves as additional incentive to bake. It’s a actual address to spin individuals discs, shake out the blade, and pierce the surface area of a fridge-chilly boule before sliding the mass into a steaming oven and hoping for the best.

And I’m satisfied to report that soon after a multi-year on-and-off dalliance, sourdough and I are finally in a very good area. 

(Superior ample to warrant purchasing 14 kilos of flour, anyway.)