The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bottom crust hard to cut

floureverywhere's picture

Bottom crust hard to cut

My sourdough bread has been consistently good -- good enough that I've started to sell it!  I bake in a dutch oven at 450 degrees -- 30 minutes with a lid, 15 minute without.  I use parchment paper on the bottom.  I am happy with the crumb, the crust, the ear, and most importantly the taste, but the bottom crust is always a little tough to cut.  I bought a new serrated knife that does a much better job, but even so it is still hard to cut.  And most people don't have such a high quality bread knife.  Often I have to tip the bread on its' side, and saw through the crust.

I read somewhere that putting a sheet pan on the bottom of the oven could help, but when I tried that there was no discernible difference.  

Anyone have any ideas?  I am wondering if maybe I should try baking at 425?  I've used a thermometer, and my oven seems fairly true to its temperature.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!

SrtaBe's picture

No words of wisdom, but I share your pain. I just started this, have made 3 sets of loaves and each time the bottom crust is saw-worthy! But so good. So, looking forward to answers as well. 

GlennM's picture

I have the same problem. I usually get it done with some extra effort and a serrated knife. I have recently tried an electric knife and it works better than a regular serrated knife 

Benito's picture

I’ve read that some people will use a good kitchen scissors to cut through the bottom crust.

I’ve always wonders if softening it by letting it cool on a solid surface instead of a wire rack would make it easier to cut, but I’ve never tried this.


gerhard's picture

Can you bite through without more issue than the top crust? Maybe it is that the knife attack angle is too shallow, try rotating the bread up a bit.