The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slicing homemade bread

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Tom Lasley's picture
Tom Lasley

Slicing homemade bread

What workable methods do you folks use to slice homemade bread that has a great but really crunchy crust, and a really soft moist insides?  Would love to use my bread for sandwiches but it tears apart when slicing with serrated bread knife.


Thanks


Tom

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The small back and forth movement really does a nice job but take a little getting used to to get even slices.


 

slharder's picture
slharder

Or the Chef's Choice Meat Slicer that HSN sells.  It works well enuf that my wife forgave me for buying from HSN.

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I bought a cheap electric slicer at a garage sale a few years ago and it has been working very well for me.  When I slice very crunchy crust, I stretch my fingers out as much as I can to cup the the loaf (stabilize the shape of the loaf) then push firmly toward the blade.  Once the blade gets inside the crumb I move the loaf as slowly as I can to prevent tearing.  If you use a knife you may want to start cutting the hardest part (i.e. top or side) first.  The rest of it only requires even pressure and short slicing motions.  A bread saw like these may be helpful as well.


http://www.hangfivewoodworks.com/breadsaws.html


Best of luck!


Al




gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

All you really need to slice any homemade bread successfully is a good, sharp bread knife. Don't skimp here. If you can find it at Target or Wal-Mart, it's not going to work. Look for Wusthof, Henckels, Shun -- something along those lines. With a quality knife, gentle hand, and sawing motion (letting the knife do the work), you will make perfect slices.

Caltrain's picture
Caltrain

I have several Kai Shun and JA Henkel knives and while I do prize them dearly, they're also  a luxury item and far beyond what's necessary for slicing bread or day-to-day kitchen work.


A solid Victorinox knife is "all you really need" for a fraction of the price, and it's the one I use over my more expensive ones. For smaller, softer loafs, I've found that the Pure Komanchi sandwich knife (which is part of Kai's inexpensive knife lineup) to work amazingly well, which can be found for no more than $10.


But yes, in the end it doesn't matter if you spend 20 or 120 bucks on a knife, as silly as it sounds it still takes a little practice to slice a loaf. Just remember it's a sawing action, not a downwards action. Past the crust, gravity should be doing most of the downwards push.

joem6112's picture
joem6112

I use a Presto Bread Slicing Guide  and an electric knife. Works well. Looks like the slcicng guide is no longer avaiable new but see many used ones  at EBAY.

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Well that might be an exaggeration, but I've never found one yet. All the cheap ones I've had in the past had lower grade steel blades that won't hold an edge and handles that broke up in time. My current knives are mostly Henkles and they are standing up well.


For bread I use the Japanese Global brand bread knife which I believe is available worldwide. It's got a sharp scalloped-edged blade, and I think that this will probably cut most bread successfully.


The only downside to this type of blade is that it is very difficult to sharpen, but I've had mine for many years and it still cuts OK.

themightytwix's picture
themightytwix

I am of the belief that a good knife is essential, but for 80% of my bread cutting (especially for sandwiches) I use an electric knife. The electric knife in question is a 10 dollar deal from the great canadian superstore, it is some no name knife.


It is brillant though!! My girlfriend wants really thin slices I can do it. I cut up an entire loaf without smushing it, I can do that.


Man I sound like an infomercial. But I say cheepo electric all the way!!!

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I have a Pure Komanchi bread knife. 10 bucks shipped from amazon. I have been using it for about a year now and it works great. That said. For really soft sandwich type loaf you just cant beat an electric knife. I got my current one from Wal-Mart for 9.99. I got a bread slicing guide at a local thrift store for a dollar.


I find also, with pan loaves, where the top crust is substantially harder then the side and bottom crust. Turn it over, Start your cut on what would be the bottom where its soft. It requires very little pressure and a sawing motion. Then you can apply a little more force getting through the crusty part without squishing the loaf.

mimifix's picture
mimifix

Greetings Tom!


 


When my husband and I owned a bakery and sandwich shop we tried many different cutting methods and knives. We found that a (cheap) electric knife, using a gentle sawing motion, and with the loaf on its side, was the best method. Yes, fresh crusty bread with a soft interior can be very difficult to slice. (Day-old bread slices better but then, you know...)


 


Good luck, Mimi

GloriouslyHomemade's picture
GloriouslyHomemade

Others have spoken about knives...my contribution to this conversation is a good guide that helps with even thickness of each slice.


I bought mine from the company below. Note they have 3 different sizes available (thin, regular, thick slices).


http://www.smithswood.com/proddetail.asp?prod=328B

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I bought the victorinox knife suggested in this thread.


I highly recommend it. It even slices the 'it's still warm' loaf :)

CaperBakers's picture
CaperBakers

To quote Linda from SourdoughBreads.com (where we got our knife) . . .


"The Fabulous Aluminum-Handled Bread Knife


One of the great things about making your own bread is the option to slice it any way you want it.  But to cut through the tough outer crust of sourdough can be a challenge, as can be making a very thin slice.  Here's your solution!

I received this knife as a gift and couldn't believe it the first time I sliced some of my sourdough bread with it--no knife in my kitchen--and I have lots of them--had ever cut through the tough outer crust with such ease.  Now this is the best part...just try slicing some of your warm bread just out of the oven!  Yeah, we know we're supposed to wait and let it cool to allow the flavor to develop more, but it smells so good and when it's warm, the butter melts...and it just tastes so good when it's just come from the oven.  But the inside crumb gets smooshed, right?  Wrong!!   Not with this knife.  If you're a baker, or even an avid consumer of rustic breads, you will fall in love with this knife.


This fabulous knife has a blade made of high carbon steel and fashioned with incredibly sharp serrations.  Overall length of this lovely kitchen tool is 13.75" and it feels really good in my hand.  All this for the incredibly reasonable price of $11 plus only $2 for shipping."


Linda also has a lot of other cool bread-baking accessories http://www.sourdoughbreads.com/ 


Or you can order direct from


http://myknifestore.net/rada-cutlery-r112-bread-knife-p-40.html?osCsid=59bbc2a119b9b3014ca2406f7c406f9e


This knife is amazing!


D & J

rhomp2002's picture
rhomp2002

I got mine from Breadtopia although flourgirl51 also carries the Rada knife.  Cheap, works well.  Why spend literally hundreds for a bread knife when this works just as well.