A beautiful food presentation is one of the aspects of something delicious, and that does not exclude bread. A plain sandwich with perfectly-sliced bread can offer one of the best sandwiches; and in order to produce that perfect food, you need to flawlessly slice the bread first. If you’ve worked in artisan bakeries, you most likely have inherited the art of bread-slicing and how expert pastry chefs cut and slice bread into perfection. But if you haven’t, allow me to share some of their secrets.
Don’t try to cut fresh from the oven bread as much as possible. Allow it to cool completely or it will mash. If you’re eating the bread warm, always use a very sharp bread knife. The outer crust of homemade bread is usually tougher than store-bought loaf breads, so you need a sharp blade for a smooth slice without the inside bread lumping up.
Although you can slice fresh bread with any sharp kitchen knife, certain knife qualities can better render clean bread slices. Cutting the bread using an offset serrated knife and in a sawing motion is your best bet. A serrated knife is proven to deliver the cleanest and effortless slice. Try using a 9″ or longer bread knife blade if you’re slicing large homemade loaves. When cutting, turn the bread on its side. The crusty bottom is much easier to cut through. Do not push down while you’re cutting the slices, instead use a sawing motion. This way you will keep the bread from being squished down.
To get thin and even slices, use a bread slicing guide. A slicing guide is basically a box-shaped wood with series of slots along both sides. For years, I had been using a large serrated bread knife that had one built in, but these days you can already pick up some that will work with any knife.The bread is simply placed inside of the guide and the slicing knife is run through the guide slits to slice the bread perfectly. Using a guide is important as this gives the slicer more control of the size of the slices.
Take these tips and have your own slice of bread that doesn’t look like a machine sliced it. You will be able to slice bread according to its use. Whether you want thinner or fatter slices, all depends on your mood. If you try to find, there are premium-quality bread knives at affordable prices. All it takes is to find the most suitable one you need before attempting to use the bread slicing guides. As long as it’s serrated, and the blade is set well in the handle, you’re good to go. Just see to it that the slits are wide enough to allow the bread knife to glide through with ease.
Photo. The Culinary Geek, Chicago