It is all too tempting to pull a loaf of bread out of the oven, the smell permeating
through your house, and want to immediately slice into it, lap some butter on it and call it a day in paradise. Unfortunately, this is probably the worst thing to do. While it is not written in stone, there are some serious dos and dont's for cutting bread, including when to cut, what type of knife to use and even how to properly slice the bread. Let’s take a look at some of these tips.
When to Cut
Cutting fresh homemade bread is always exciting, until you figure out it is either too hot to hold, or not firm enough to catch any of the teeth of the knife. Either way, trying to cut bread fresh out of the oven is a lose-lose situation and never comes out as planned. So as tempting as it is to dive into that fresh baked bread, let it rest a few minutes.
Letting the bread cool for at least fifteen minutes will make a huge difference in how the bread can be handled and how well it stands up to the knife. Did you know the warmer the bread, the harder the crust is, therefore more crumbs. When the bread cools down, the crust becomes softer and produces fewer crumbs. Even I learned something new. ;-)
What Knife to Use
Some people like to hand carve their homemade bread while others are partial to using an electric knife. So which is for you? Whichever you feel more comfortable using, here are a couple tips on bread knifes.
Every bread knife should meet two main criteria. The knife should be thin and sharp. Some knives advertise their special abilities to cut bread effortlessly and without crushing the bread, but if you keep the knife thin and sharp, you will avoid all of those problems anyway.
A thin knife will help reduce friction between the slices and keeping it sharp will allow the knife to slice through without putting too much pressure on the loaf. Both of these attributes will help to keep your homemade loaf looking more like the machine-cut loaves in the store.
How to Slice Your Bread in Even Slices
Even some of the best chefs in the world cannot cut bread consistently into same-sized pieces. Ah but there are a few tools to help out when slicing your bread and many of them make the process faster also. One of the tools is a multi-blade device, called a bread-slicing saw, with at least four blades spaced a half inch apart. This allows the bread to be cut into equal slices, four pieces at a time.
Another nice tool is a bread-slicing guide. This is a box-like device with numerous slits. The slits are sometimes movable, thus allowing the thickness of slices to be adjusted to your desire. The bread guides allow for uniformity, just like the bread saw does, but can help keep the bread in a standard shape while holding it steady.
Do you have any handy bread slicing tips you’d like to share?