While slicing bread may appear simple, we’ve seen many a lovely homemade loaf destroyed by an ill-chosen or carelessly used a knife, even in the test kitchen. There are a few techniques to mastering the art of slicing bread.
This article will demonstrate many techniques for slicing bread. Additionally, it will show how to cut bread bowls and provide you with methods for cutting freshly baked bread and utilizing electric bread knives, all of which are covered in detail.
Some tips for slicing bread evenly.
To ensure that your sliced bread looks and tastes great, try these tips.
Allowing bread to cool is essential.
It is critical to allow the bread to cool for at least two hours before slicing. While the crust of warm bread may be invitingly crisp, the interior crumb is likely to be soft and gummy, making it impossible to slice that warm loaf cleanly.
Therefore, if you want bread-worthy slices, exercise patience and wait until your bread has cooled completely before cutting into it because cooling allows the starches to set.
Select an appropriate bread knife.
If you’re going to be regularly slicing homemade bread, you need to invest in a good bread knife. A dull blade with shallow serrations will not do.
The best bread knives for the job will have a deep, serrated edge at least 9 inches long. The blade should be long enough to reach into the handle. If the blade only extends partially into the handle, your knife will not provide adequate support.
Some people find that wavy-edged bread knives are more accessible to cut with than jagged-edged bread knives.
**SAW CAREFULLY: ** Take your time and make a gentle horizontal sawing motion using the entire length of the blade. Allow the knife’s weight to do the work for you and apply minimal downward pressure.
And on to technique now. If you apply a lot of downward pressure when slicing bread, you will tear the bread instead of cutting it. Rather, devote your effort to sawing back and forth lightly. When your knife is sharp, serrated, and relatively light, you can cut your loaf with minimal exertion.
The only time you’ll want to exert significant pressure is when you’re nearly finished with the loaf, as the bottom crust is slightly more difficult to slice.
Due to the soft nature of homemade bread, applying excessive downward pressure will squish the bread rather than cut it.
Arrange your loaf of bread on a large cutting board made of wood.
The board should be slightly longer than the length of the loaf of bread. This way, there will be sufficient space for the slices as they are cut. Place the loaf near one of the board’s ends. You’ll begin cutting from the side with the most available board space.
Slicing large, round loaves in half might be an option.
With a loaf of bread as large as this, it’s easier to work with if you slice it in half. You’ll end up with two half-circles in this way. When cutting these halves, arrange them cut-side down on the cutting board.
Gently place your hand over the crust and grasp the loaf by the sides.
This prevents it from sliding around on the cutting board. Avoid pressing down on the loaf’s top. This will only mush the bread inside.
Incline your knife at a slight angle when you go into the crust
Place your knife near the heel of the loaf. Saw into the bread by angling it slightly.
Once the knife has pierced the crust, saw downward.
Set the knife blade parallel to the cutting board once the knife has entered the bread. As you cut below, use a back and forth sawing motion. When using a good knife, you will only have to apply light pressure to the product to get the best results.
Slice thickness is your choice. Use ½ to 1 inch (1.27 to 2.54 centimeters) as a rule of thumb. To assist in cutting, you can use the width of your finger.
How to slice Rolls, Buns, and Bagels
Position your bread roll so that it is completely flat on a cutting board.
Keep in mind that the bread roll must fit entirely on the cutting board. This is fine for items like flatbreads, English muffins, croissants, and baguettes.
If you want to keep the bread roll steady, place your free hand on top of it.
You can use your fingertips when working with smaller bread, such as an English muffin or a bagel.
Put your knife against the roll’s side.
The serrated edge should be in contact with the roll’s side. The blade’s flat side should be parallel to the cutting board. Make an effort to place the knife precisely in the center.
Saw the bread roll back and forth.
You can flip the roll on it’s side and continue sawing downward once you reach the end of it. If you’re slicing a baguette for a sandwich, consider stopping just short of the long end. You can then open it up like a hot dog bun and stuff it with sandwich fixings.
How to slice Baguettes
Arrange your baguette in a flat position on a cutting board.
If your cutting board is insufficiently long, place a portion of the baguette on it. As you continue slicing, scoop the cut portions to the side and push the baguette up onto the board.
Thinly slice the baguette.
Begin by entering the baguette at a slight angle, close to the heel. Place the knife so that the jagged blade is parallel to the cutting board once the knife pierces the crust.
To make thin slices, cut them ¼ to ½ inch thick (0.65 to 1.27 centimeters). A 1- to 2-inch (2.54 to 5.08 centimeters) cut yields thicker slices.
Consider halving the thickness of thicker slices.
Place a cut-side-down slice on the cutting board. Cut the slice straight down the middle, resulting in two half-circles. Repeat with the remaining thick slices.
If the bread is very sturdy, place it on the cutting board and cut horizontally through it, keeping the flat side of the blade parallel to the cutting board. This method can also be used to make ciabatta bread.
Place your bread slices on a serving tray
Put the ham, salami, or cheese on top of the thinly sliced ham, salami, or cheese. These thicker, half-circle slices can be served with dips or drizzled with olive oil.
In addition to using olive oil to drizzle on your bread, you might want to experiment with adding balsamic vinegar and dried herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, or basil.
How to slice sourdough for bread bowls
Get around, 6-inch (15.24-inch)-wide bread roll to start with. Typically, sourdough bread is used to make bread bowls, but French bread can also make a delicious choice.
Use a serrated bread knife, cut the top third off, and set it aside. Turn the bread roll on its side, slice the top with your bread knife, and put it to the side. Later on, this will be the lid for your bread bowl.
Within the bread bowl, cut a circle about 14 to 12 inches (0.64 to 1.27 centimeters) from the edge. Make sure you don’t cut through the bread’s bottom. This can be done with a bread knife or a paring knife.
Extend the circle. It should start at the bottom and peel away. You can hollow out the sides with a spoon or your fingers if you want. However, take care not to make the inner walls too thin.
You can consider cutting the bread circle you just pulled out into cubes. These cubes are ideal for dipping into soup or sauce.
Fill the bread bowl with soup or dip. You can place the lid on top to keep the soup or dip warm if desired. Serve the bread bowl alongside cubes of bread for dipping.
How to use electric slicer to slice bread
To obtain thin slices or to cut warm bread, use an electric knife. Bear in mind that if you’re cutting warm bread, you’ll need to go for thicker slices. This will aid in preventing the bread from becoming mushy.
Gently grasp the bread by the sides. Hold it firmly enough to secure it, but not so firmly that it becomes squashed.
Turn the knife on and make a slight cut into the bread from the side. Maintain a slight angle on the blade.
After piercing the crust, cut straight down. Place the knife parallel to the cutting. Put it down carefully on the board.
Slice the bread as thinly or as thickly as desired. If the bread is still warm, you may find that thicker pieces work better.
What features should you look for in a bread knife?
The length of a good serrated bread knife should be at least 10 inches.
A blade with fewer, broader, and deeper pointed serrations is preferable. Their preferred blade had 30 serrations, while the worst had 54. Also, rounded serrations are ineffective.
Serrated blades with narrower blades of 16 degrees or less perform better.
Instead of a smooth handle, your bread knife should have a comfortable, grippy handle that feels secure in your hand.
When slicing these halves, place them cut-side down on the cutting board. Place your hand gently over the crust and grip the loaf’s sides. This will ensure that it does not slide around on the cutting board. Avoid pressing too hard on the loaf’s top
We usually wait 1-2 hours before slicing bread like a larger crusty sourdough loaf or a pan loaf. Before slicing whole grain and rye bread, allow them to cool completely. If you intend to freeze the bread, we recommend waiting until the loaves are completely cool before freezing.
Yes, a meat slicer can cut everything from lettuce to bread and cheese.
If you have a good knife and are slicing correctly but still have difficulty producing good slices, the issue may be with the bread itself.
Breads with little gluten will be prone to crumbling, and bread with a lot of gluten will be more bouncy and resilient. If you do not properly develop the gluten in your bread (this is accomplished through mixing and kneading), your bread will be unable to hold itself together when cut into thin slices.
We should probably add that slicing homemade bread, like making bread, takes practice, so don’t despair if you’re not immediately able to turn out skinny slices.
That should address any concerns! However, if we missed something or if you’re having a bread/slicing issue that we didn’t address here, feel free to ask, and we’ll do our best to assist.