We make bread for sandwiches a few times a week, but slicing them is always a pain. The pieces just don't come out uniform. I end up with angled pieces as the knife doesn't end up going straight down.

Is there a trick to getting uniform pieces from a loaf?

  • Normally I'd guess that your trouble is from not having a sharp enough knife, but you seem like you know what you're doing. – Cascabel Feb 21 '12 at 17:55
  • Definitely not a sharp knife issue, and thanks! – rfusca Feb 21 '12 at 17:57

Try using a bow style bread knife. It works well because it allows you to put pressure on the opposite side of the loaf. Also, the bow helps you visually line up the slice.

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  • Yes! My spouse made one of these and I always have an easier time cutting with it. – justkt Feb 22 '12 at 16:12

Try an electric knife if you have one hanging around for carving meat. The small stroke of the two blades causes far less squashing/skewing of the loaf than the conventional serrated bread knife and leaves only one dimension to focus on, down.

When I really need accuracy, I'll cut the loaf in half lengthwise and with the cut faces placed against the countertop, cut slices horizontally off from the bottom of each.

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A serrated blade, sharpened bevel on one side only.

Use the flat non-beveled edge against the loaf, the beveled side on the slice being cut.

Use a bread board. Keep the knife for bread only, so that it stays sharp, hand wash & dry.

Take your time starting through the crust, so you don't crush the loaf.

If you start near the loaf center, the two halfs can be slid back together for freshness.

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A variety of bread slicers are available - it's just a box that you put the bread in, where the sides have pre-cut slots that guide your knife so you get the uniformity you desire.

I don't use one of these for two main reasons:

  • You can't adjust the thickness of the slice - whatever the manufacturer decides is what you are stuck with.
  • Some breads just don't fit in them. Most of the bread slicers I've seen are designed for a sandwich-loaf-shaped bread: very rectangular. If I make a loaf of no-knead bread in my cast iron dutch oven, it ends up as a round loaf with too big a diameter to fit in any bread slicer I've seen.

But if you're making a rectangular sandwich loaf, getting a bread slicer is probably the way to go.

However, I've found that I can get straighter slices by experimenting with the angle at which I am holding and cutting the bread. It will vary by the size and shape of your loaf, but with the big round loaves I was talking about earlier (which usually are not very tall), I find that I can cut straighter if I turn the loaf on its side so that I have a much narrower piece of bread to deal with. That reduces the likeliness of my knife getting stuck.

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    I would add a third reason- they take up space. I agree with your cutting process. I cut rectangular sandwich loaves often and get perfectly straight cuts just with a very sharp, unserrated knife. – Sobachatina Feb 21 '12 at 17:45
  • That last paragraph is definitely the most helpful part of this answer. – justkt Feb 22 '12 at 16:12

I often encounter this problem when using a serrated one-sided blade. Having the bevel on one side of the knife seems to make the knife angle toward the opposite edge.

I haven't successfully been able to compensate for this while cutting, so I threw away that (cheap) knife. Maybe this is part of your problem?

To be honest, I've had no problem whatsoever when using a blade with both sides sharpened (unless cutting a very wide or otherwise difficult loaf).

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