Is it just me or are these high hydration loafs incredibly tricky to slice? And yes I'm waiting several hours prior to slicing...
Hey! What do you mean by tricky to slice? Are your loaves gummy/sticking to your bread knife when you slice them? If you have a photo of the crumb that will probably help us to see what's up!
A good bread knife helps, https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PS1HS6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 if you are going to make lots of bread and slice it for sandwiches, a slicer is even better this is a higher end than the model I have https://smile.amazon.com/ChefsChoice-615A-Precision-Thickness-Efficient/dp/B078YYDF8N/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=chef%27schoice+slicer&qid=160025389... though you should be able to find one of the cheaper versions like the 610 model I have, on Craigslist or ebay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chef-s-Choice-Premium-Electric-Food-Slicer-610-w-Extra-Blade-FREE-Shipping/233706669180?hash=item366a00c47c:g:N5IAAOSw3WZfVtR5
Try to use a very sharp knife. I find it easier to keep straight edged knives sharper.
I also try to keep most of the motion back and forth, like sawing, with very little downward pressure when cutting bread.
I have these sharpeners. Totally worth the price:
After that a decent serrated knife will do the job
Numerous types available, some <$100USD. The advantages include speed, precision, clean cut and ability to make thin slices.
The bread slicer I'm contemplating is essentially a "mitre box for bread.". It has a knife groove to make true cuts, and is adjustable so you can slice 1.5-in down to 1/8-in.
It's strictly an idea in my head at this time.
when your crust softens due to the humidity in the air and when your loaf is super light and airy.
What I do is to make the first slice halfway through with a good bread knife. With reference to a batard shape, I take the left half of the loaf, place it cut side down and slice it horizontally in a zig-zag notion. The first cut is usually the trickiest if the loaf is airy and light, so I stabilize my supporting hand by holding on to the ear.
I've sliced my supporting hand many a times when not being mindful of the first slice in, you want to saw it in one direction. I use a Global knife, which can be deadly sharp.
I always slice from the centre to the heel, as I find I have better support at the heel when it comes to the horizontal sawing motion.
I always thought I knew how to slice bread until I saw a sourdough baker on youtube explain how to do it and create even slices. First of all, you need a very good bread knife. That is a must. I have two bread knives that I use. One is the Wusthof bread knife (rather pricey, but well worth it) that is double serrated. I use it for very crusty breads and most any other breads too. The other is a Victrinox bread knife (great for the price) that I use for sandwich breads. But you can use it for your hard crust breads also. I prefer the Wusthof because it cuts through the hardest of crusts with little effort. The other way to get a great slice is technique. Place your knife across the top of the bread, and make sure you have it straight up and down, and as evenly across the top as possible to create a proper and even thickness. Apply a bit of pressure and make your first partial cut into the top of the bread so as to give your knife a place to seat itself. Then apply no more pressure to the blade at all. If it is a good blade you will not need to add pressure. Just start sawing back and forth and let the blade do all the work. Don't guide it any more, just let it cut. If it is a good blade it is designed to keep on track. The only time you may need to add pressure is to cut through the bottom crust. If you have a good blade, trust it. You will get even slices. It still may take a bit of practice, but it does work. It will probably help with your high hydration breads as well, because it is may be the tugging and the pushing of the knife through your bread that is causing the bread to get away from you. If your bread is rather wet inside, you may have to rinse and dry your blade between cuts.
Mind posting a link to the YT video? I don't mind paying for an expensive bread knife except all the reviews say the Mercer / Victorinox are equally good for a 5th of the price. That said, I really hope I can do be better, because I own the Victorinox right now and it's terrible...