The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Woah... what a difference!!

Yumarama's picture

Woah... what a difference!!

I'd been trying to "make do" for a while with whatever seemed like an acceptable tool for slashing the dough loaves and using a small, very sharp but flat-bladed paring knife acceptable, though not exactly great. 

I knew that a "tomato knife" was a great tool to use because it has the large scallops in the blade which , as seen on Mark' Back Home Bakery videos, did a very neat, clean cut in one go. But when I went out looking for such a knife, I was rather put off by the cost, about $20 - $25 at the local department stores' kitchen/cutlery sections. Several stores in fact. I'll save the $25 and buy flour.

However, I came across a display in our local grocery emporium (in my case, that's Fortino's, a part of the Loblaws/Superstore/President's Choice conglomeration here in Canada) and there in the kitchen stuff section next to candles and pillows displays, was a box full of paring knives with flat blades... But my eye caught a knife in the corner that looked like... yes!! A serrated tomato knife! And they were an astounding $1.90!! Stuck in the back of the box (I dug) were a handful of these little beauties, with black or pale blue handles.

Figuring if it was a dud, I'd at least have a new paring knife for general use, I bought one and today tried it out on a couple of loaves.

Oh! My! Goodness!! 

Whodda knowed a proper style blade could make such a difference??! Easy slashing, no "catching", smooth as silk. Now, I didn't happen to make the slashes quite deep enough - I still seriously suck at slashing - so the loaves still blew out on the side (I'll eat the evidence). But even so, now I know I have a great tool for scoring my loaves and at a very affordable price that didn't bust the bank any. I had been willing to pop out $10 or so but I'd seen nothing for that price that didn't have tose micro-serrations which I've never seen or heard anyone mention or say they work well. 

I am happy with my super-cheap find and when I go back to the store will pick up an extra or two as back ups. Less than $2, can't complain!!

My awesome and CHEAP new tomato knife!!

I'd never have thought I'd be so thrilled to buy a $2 knife. But I am. 

SylviaH's picture

I like this knife because it comes to a very small point at its tip...I think this would help a great deal aside from all the other good factors...when Im slicing with my blades knifes 'KT' thats my main complaint...they don't come to a small point at the end!  Great find!!


Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I don't know if I'm cheating or what, but I found something nice.

An open pair of scissors.

Figured this out last night. My scoring was the best it's ever been.

Paddyscake's picture

can also be used as they were can get some great slash patterns by snipping at your loaf or rolls.


Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I've snipped, too, but I seem to get better results with them open.

We'll see after I bake my sourdough tomorrow how my slashing has improved. :)

niagaragirl's picture

What is the brand name/manufacturer on the knife? I may look around for it even if I have to mail order it.

I think there is still Loblaws etc across the border from me here. But it looks like you got an incredible closeout deal of some sort. Congrats.

Yumarama's picture

They've had these little paring knives for ages, I've looked in every now and again to see if there were serrated ones too. So it's not a "one shot deal", they should be around for a while and at most of this chain's stores.

I just happen to see these tucked in the corner (I'm assuming whoever's stocking the shelves has no idea or cares that there's a difference between tomato knives and paring knives and just shoves them together). The plastic case has a red label/card for tomato knives (clever!) and a brown one for the flat paring knives.

If you're near the border (Niagara), there may well be a Fortinos on the other side. Fortinos are the Hamilton/Golden Horseshoe brand stores, Loblaws is more Toronto and east. It may be a rather long trip for a $2 knife but if you happen to be there, pop into one and see if they have any.

The knives are branded (see the pic) as PC (President's Choice), the chain brand.

niagaragirl's picture

If they are PC brand then there is a warehouse place across the border in Port Colbourne that has PC stuff. I go there for PC cookies and a few other things. And there is a greasy spoon restaurant near there I like for breakfast. When the weather is better, like springtime, I make the trip about once a month anyway. Thanks so much!

jembola's picture

Thanks for the great tip! It took some looking but thanks to your photo, I knew what I was looking for and persisted; found the tomato knives, for $3. Looking forward to a proper slash on my next loaf. I'll see how it works on tomatoes in a few months...