The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pumpernickel Bread Knife

Ricko's picture
Ricko

Pumpernickel Bread Knife

I've made a couple of loaves of pumpernickel now that employ the 24 hour bake. On first look these loaves do look and feel like they'd make good door stops! Once sliced they are moist and delicious! My problem is my only serrated knife has a thin blade that flexes causing a curved cut. I'm now on a search for a good stiff blade with deep serrations that can handle these tough loaves without trouble. If you can recommend a good brand of a pumpernickel bread knife I'd greatly appreciate it. Otherwise I may have to consider the table saw!

Ricko's picture
Ricko

My search on this site has lead me to seriously considering a coping saw which some of you have mentioned for these very dense loaves. They are cheap enough to buy and considering the frame and adjustment can make for a good stiff thin blade, I'm going to give it a try I think!

HansB's picture
HansB

I agree it's tough to cut! Please post a photo and let us know how it works. 

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Brush the crust generously with boiling water as soon as the bread comes out of the oven.  The few occasions that I've employed this tactic have resulted in a softer crust than the military-grade armored crust that often occurs with these breads.

Also, wrap the nearly-cool loaf in plastic so that moisture from the crumb softens the crust.

Paul

Ricko's picture
Ricko

Paul, I've done both and waited two days before cutting and it's still pretty much armor. As for the coping saw, that didn't work so good, as the cut is on the push, which pretty much would tear through the bread. The blade was a coarse 17pt. blade with a forward rake on the teeth. So I'm back to my Rada bagel knife which has the serrated teeth running vertical. This knife goes through the bread better than the coping saw, but the knife blade does flex. 

pmccool's picture
pmccool

A bit large for most kitchens but that won't be a roadblock for the dedicated rye lover. 

Have you considered a Danish bread slicer?

Paul

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Have you reversed the blade? Coping and fret saws are designed to cut on the pull stroke. If cutting on the push stroke, the harp will flex toward reducing the tension on the blade and allow the blade to bend.

gary

andychrist's picture
andychrist

I recommend the Dexter-Russell 40023 DuoGlide 7 1/2-inch Bread/Slicer Knife. Sharper than my Japanese moulding saw! You don't have to worry about flexing because the deep blade takes no effort to cut through the most obstreperous crusts. 

https://www.amazon.com/HIC-Brands-Dexter-DuoGlide-7-5-Inch/dp/B002OOVB1W/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1518557905&sr=8-5&keywords=dexter+duoglide

They also make a 9" bread knife

https://www.cakedeco.com/cgi-bin/webc.cgi/st_prod.html?p_prodid=4409&p_catid=&page=1

but it is not quite as lovely. Handle on the 7 1/2-inch is perfectly comfortable/ergonomic. 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Borrow and test these two and see which one works better for you:

Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife http://amzn.to/2wq97Sq if you like a conventional knife

Chef'sChoice 610 Food Slicer 6100 if you would like an electric slicer that is rumored to be able to slice anything you can bake http://amzn.to/2DumUw7

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

I have had that food slicer for several years now and will testify under oath that it works like a charm. Everything from hardy crusted hearth breads  to pumpernickel to soft sandwich loaves slice perfectly every time.

gary

Ricko's picture
Ricko

Gary, I did reverse the blade on the saw and it was a no go. As for a slicer, I do own a commercial 12" Globe slicer I use for my meats and cheese. The bread stopped it dead in its tracks! Well I can't be ordering a large number of knives, but I did follow Andy's advice and order the Dexter-Russell knife, which I haven't received yet.  It was cheap enough to do so. The wife informed me that this bread wasn't at the top of her rye list. Which means that in the future should I be making any more I'll be eating it alone! LOL 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

which did you order, the 9" with the hard white handle or the 7-1/2" with the soft black one?

I've sliced through raw rutabagas with both but find the 7-1/2" knife more comfortable/easier to hold, the 9" can be a bit unwieldy (still great for big boules). 

Hope you enjoy your purchase, Ricko!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is not serrated.  I find a sharp sturdy yet thin blade like a French knife or 2"  wide cleaver works best.

The meat and cheese slicer works if you push the loaf slower through the slicer, not forcing the bread to slow down the rotation of the wheel.

Ricko's picture
Ricko

Andy, I received my black handle knife today. Tried it out and was able with much effort to get through the loaf. The blade did flex on each cut I tried. 

Mini, thank you for your advice, as always in the past, your advice has been spot on! 

I'm going to move on to a softer crumb/crust rye which lends itself to a more versatile loaf for sandwiches and general table use. My next venture is going to be from The Rye Baker by Stanley Ginsberg, Frisian Black Bread, following that with the Gotland Rye. The orange peel in the Gotland Rye sounded interesting to the wife.Gotta keep mama happy!

 

gerryp123's picture
gerryp123

I recommend Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife.  Highly rated by Cooks Illustrated.  Stiff blade; realy digs in and holds the thickest of crusts.  Best of all -- can find this on Amazon for under $13