Bread sites in general merrily advise you to cut slits into the top of a loaf before baking. These loaf cuts are said to allow for expansion as the loaf rises, and of course they can be used as a visual bonus.
I battled for ages to get the cuts to slice smoothly and correctly.
Razor blades, bakers’ lames, – I tried everything I could think of. *Staying true to my spanish heritage, I even tried a jamon knife!
I wet the blades, oiled them, floured them . . nothing seemed to work. All I managed to do was drag the dough sideways, and end up with a few scraggly lines that did nothing for the rise or the appearance.
Then I invested in two things:
º A Le Creuset knife.
º A high quality knife sharpener.
End of problems.