Bread bakers, recommend a good slicer

Been looking at a whole mess of various bread slicing devices after Googling. Most of the electric ones got pretty bad reviews. The cheap contraptions that just have speces you can use with a knife are not adjustable.

I’ve been using a knife, but don’t get evenly sliced pieces. Our electric slicer is quicker and more even, yet still does not do that good a job, and it is very difficult to clean out the crumbs afterward.

Any recommendations?

A good bread knife and a steady hand are all that is needed. Every other contraption short of those found in a professional megabakery are junk.

IMO the best bread knives have a wavy edge. They can be sharpened with a steel and tend to track better than a serrated edge.

I think that with such a knife and a bit of practice you’ll soon be pleased with your bread slices. But then I tend to feel that machine-sliced bread is too even and perfect - looks artificial and uninviting.

I use an electric knife. I wouldn’t buy a uni-tasker (can you tell I’m an Alton Brown fan?).

That’s interesting, Xema, have not heard of those. I use a serrated one. Is there a name for these (other than “Wavy Knife”)? Or the manufacturer?

We use this Bread slicer :slight_smile: and a few other models at work… :wink:

…but at home i use a JA Henckel 8" offset slicer …/minor hi-jack…DANG their site us NOT user friendly or very readable :dubious: …sorry, great knives though.//end mhj

tsfr

Practice makes perfect with hand-slicing. At first your slices are anywhere from a millimeter to an inch, but soon you get the hang of it. I cool my bread on a wire rack and when it’s warm I turn it on it’s side and use the indentations left by the rack to guide my slice.

StG

Oh, great, that is exactly what I need. Now, if I can only come up with the $5760 price! Can I send you my bread and have you slice it there? :smiley:

I like the idea of the offset handle, so may try the Henckel, but there seem to be hordes of bread knives.

Xema, I Googled “wavy edge bread knives” and sure enough, got thousands of hits.

I have an old one of unknown make. They indeed seem to be readily available. Here’s one by Victorinox - a good name (they make the best Swiss Army knives) but I’d want to hold it and inspect the edge before buying.

I realize it’s OT, but have you used the no-knead bread recipe that’s so popular these days? I’ve been playing with it and have got to where it’s producing great results.

I have the Henckels 4-star non-offset bread knife. Like this http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?item=455 but from 20 years ago. After 20 years of daily use it’s still as good as new.

If you can’t make a nice slice with a nice knfe, the problem is the operator not the tool. It isn’t that hard to cut parallel slices of uniform thickness if you pay attention

Or maybe you just need more practice. Yeah, thats the ticket. Bake lots of good bread & practice slicing away until they’re perfect. Then send the imperfect slices to the cooks here at the SDMB; we’d love some homemade bread, wacky slices or not. :slight_smile:

I agree with those who say “practice makes perfect”. When I first started baking all of our bread at home about 9 mos ago, my slices were really off. Now I can slice up a whole loaf of bread in very short time with near uniform slices…all with my cheap Farberware bread knife. I can’t imagine how it would be if I had a quality knife.

Part of the trick to slicing up a loaf of homemade bread for sandwiches is to leave it until it is 100% room temp. I leave mine out covered by a towel over night and slice in the morning. Works great for me.

A cheap electric knife does pretty good. Like something you’d use to cut the Thanksgiving turkey.

Never heard of such a thing. I’m interested. Do you have a link?
Kneading developes the texture in the finished loaf, and also forms the crust.
I’m afraid that Julia Child might reach down from the Happy Cooking Grounds and smack me upside the head for such an abomination. :wink:
I also have an old 8" Henckles, and it works great. If I want really even slices, I put the loaf against a (cornmeal) box and use the edge of the box as a guide.
Peace,
mangeorge

They make bread knives, like this one, with a guide bar on the side that allows uniform slices. Left-handed and adjustable versions are available.

Not if she could see the result. It’s counter-intuitive, but with just a bit of practice it makes the best homemade bread ever - crust and crumb way ahead of other techniques. The hands-on labor is under 10 minutes per loaf, but you must let it rise 12 to 18 hours. It is baked inside a cast iron dutch oven at high temperature.

Here’s the original recipe. Here’s a video that’s helpful; here’s another. Googling “no-knead bread” produces all sorts of links, many with useful comments.

Note that most people let the dough rise in a bowl, rather than using the cotton towels that are part of the original recipe.

Thanks, Xema. I wanted to hear from someone who’s actually done it.
I shall give it a try.
Sorry, Julia. Mangeorge loves you anyway. C’mon over and have a slab, slathered with imported french butter. In moderation. :slight_smile:

Best of luck with this. It took me a couple of loaves before I was getting the kind of results people are raving about (though even the first ones were pretty good).

Some of my notes and refinements:
I use more salt than the recipe calls for.
I sometimes add a small amount of brown sugar.
I use up to one cup of whole wheat flour.
I often put in some steel-cut oats.
Rising temperature matters; 70 degrees is about right.
For the second rise, the bowl should either be lightly buttered or dusted with a fair quantity of cornmeal. The goal is for the risen dough to drop into the hot dutch oven without sticking to the bowl.
I turn the temperature down to 400 after uncovering the dutch oven.
I let the loaf bake until it is fairly brown - about when it looks as if a few more minutes might be too much.

Mmmm!
Not only is this excellent bread, which it most certainly is, but I finally had a good excuse to buy that $100 dutch oven (enameled cast iron) I’ve been wanting.
I’m getting a starter, uh, started so I can try sourdough.
Thanks for the help.

Sounds a bit pricey (my plain cast iron version was $35) - no doubt the quality is excellent. Take care that the handle for the lid is capable of dealing with high temperatures for long periods (some aren’t).

I borrowed some sourdough starter for my 2 most recent loaves, and they have been the best yet. I finished one this morning (using about half whole wheat flour) and for appearance, crust, crumb and taste would rate it better than the best bread I’m able to buy locally.

As I see it, this technique has revolutionized home bread-baking.