Tips For Slicing Homemade Bread (Our Seven Favorite)
The phrase, “it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!” has been uttered by many people for many different reasons. Nowadays, the term doesn’t seem to have the same gravity as it has been a very long time since the era before pre-processed food. And I never really thought twice about sliced bread growing up until I started baking my own.
Why? Well, because the sliced bread you see in the supermarket is always evenly sliced and just waiting for me to make it into a sandwich. But when you start making your bread at home, things get a little more complicated. Further, it didn’t take me long to realize that slicing my bread (especially evenly) would be a difficult task.
So, in this article, I’ll share with you my top seven tips for slicing homemade bread that I've found after a lot of trial and error.
1. Use The Right Knife!
Using the right knife is arguably the most crucial tip for slicing homemade bread evenly. As you can probably tell, the best knife for bread is a serrated bread knife. These tools will have a blade with a serrated edge and will typically measure at around 8’’-9’’ in length.
The longer the blade, the better, as it will allow you to slice through your bread much more effortlessly and result in a much more even slice.
While it may be tempting to use a serrated steak knife, it’s best to avoid using smaller knives that may result in an unsatisfactory slice that might ruin the bread you worked very hard to make.
Also, non-serrated knives, no matter how sharp they are, might end up crushing the bread, which isn’t something you want, especially if you plan on making a sandwich after slicing.
2. Be Gentle With Your Bread
According to professional chef Andy Wang from Knives-Sensei.com, this is the next most important thing you have to keep in mind when slicing and cutting. Adding more pressure when slicing homemade bread will result in you crushing your bread.
If you have a proper bread knife with a steady weight, you will be able to slice through without adding any pressure at all. Simply use a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion, as this is how to cut through bread without damaging it.
However, towards the bottom of the loaf, you may have to apply a bit more downward pressure as the homemade bread base tends to be denser than the rest.
3. Knead Your Dough Properly
Developing the right amount of gluten in your bread is essential to getting the right texture and firmness that you need when cutting. Composition happens during the kneading process, so if you don’t knead properly, you will end up with soft bread that will crumble when sliced.
Gluten is a protein that gives bread its structure, so if you knead correctly and develop the right amount of gluten, your bread will be firm, easy to slice, and hold its shape very well.
4. Cool Your Bread
While it might be tempting to slice your bread fresh from the oven, you will risk ruining the entire loaf. Cooled bread is much easier to portion than warm bread, so make sure to give your loaf some time to cool down before you go ahead and cut it.
However, there will be times where you can’t avoid slicing a warm loaf, so if that's the case, make sure that you turn the loaf on its side when you cut to avoid crushing it.
5. Consider Using an Electric Knife
You can also make sure that you don’t end up crushing your loaf by putting too much pressure on using an electric knife. These are handy kitchen tools that you can use for various tasks, such as slicing cooked meat, carving a turkey, or even slicing a loaf of bread evenly.
An electric knife won’t cost you too much money, as these knives have come down in price over the years, especially when you find a suitable model for your needs.
And if you already have one in your kitchen arsenal, this can be a helpful tool that you can use to evenly slice homemade bread perfect for breakfast toast or a lunch sandwich!
6. Thaw Your Bread Properly
One of the best ways to extend your bread’s shelf life is to freeze it, which is what many home cooks do so that their loaves can last them much longer. That being said, many people tend to thaw their bread wrong, which ends up in a very soft loaf that is almost impossible to slice evenly.
To avoid this happening to you, if you have a frozen loaf that you plan to thaw before slicing, it’s best to keep it tightly wrapped, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Gradually unthawing your bread will prevent too much moisture from entering your loaf, which is why bread gets soft after being thawed.
7. Get A Bread Slicer
All the tips mentioned above will be handy in slicing your loaves evenly, but one of the best tools you can get in your kitchen to make sure that you will always get even slices is a bread slicer. This tool can be used as a guide when cutting your loaf to ensure that all the slices are the same size.
On top of that, you can even get a slicer that does all the work for you. All you’d have to do is place the loaf on the slicer and slowly press it down to get even slices all the time.
Note: The only downside to using one of these tools is that you can’t adjust the slices’ size on many of these models, but if that issue doesn’t bug you, this is arguably the best tool you can have for slicing homemade loaves.
So there you have it. Using the above tips for slicing homemade bread into even slices for sandwiches that you and the whole family can enjoy!
And now that you know the proper ways to slice homemade bread, all that’s left for you to do is slice your own loaves and enjoy your very own homemade and sliced bread!