What is a bread knife, and what is it used for? Is this knife a necessity in your home? The truth is that every household should own one of these knives because they do much more than just slice bread.
Bread knives come with a serrated edge that makes your job of cutting bread much more effortless. It’s also long enough for you to cut a variety of fruit, vegetables and will do a lot to help you in the kitchen. If you were wondering what is a bread knife used for and why you need to own one, this article is here to answer all your questions.
Why You Need a Bread Knife
Bread knives have a serrated blade that helps you cut the perfect slice of bread. Although many people don’t see the importance of owning one of these knives, we’re here to change your mind. Here are the reasons why you need a special knife to cut bread:
- Bread knife cuts thin slices without a problem;
- This knife will cut the bread without pressing on it and squishing it;
- It’s not only used for cutting bread but also pastry, fruits, vegetables;
- You can cut through thick crust without squishing the bread because of the serrated blade.
Types of Bread Knives
Like all other types of kitchen knives, the ones meant for bread come in many sizes, shapes, materials. Below you can see some of the factors that come into play when choosing one of these knives.
The knife size or length that you’ll choose mainly depends on the size of your hands and your preference. The optimal size is somewhere between 8” and 10”. These knives usually come in sizes between 6” and 14”. If you have small hands, you should opt for the smaller sizes. Home cooks should avoid the longest knives because they can bend and break or be a reason for an accident. Also, the width of the blade should be narrower.
Serrated knives can either come with a straight edge and blade or a curved blade. Both shapes will do a great job and will cut cleanly as long as the knife is longer than the loaf. Curved blades will make things easier for the user and will prevent injuries.
A knife can have many or just a few serrations. If a knife has bigger gullets, it will glide smoother through the bread. This means that you should opt for deeper but fewer serrations.
If you hate cutting bread with a regular knife, you can get an electric knife. These days there are so many cordless electric knives to choose from that will be easier to use for some people.
Bread Knife Uses
If you want to cut the perfect slice of bread with your serrated bread knife, follow these steps:
- Place the loaf of bread on a cutting board.
- Start moving the knife back and forth without applying too much pressure.
- When you’re past the middle part of the loaf, you can add more pressure to finish cutting the slice.
- If the bread you’re cutting has a thick crust, you will need to use more pressure.
Fruits And Vegetables
Some of the fruits and vegetables that you can use bread knives for are: tomatoes, melons, pineapple, citrus fruits, and more.
For soft fruits and tomatoes, you need to use a cutting board and use the proper pressure downwards. These knives are serrated, which gives them enough strength to go through soft fruits and vegetables without squishing them.
For melons, it’s best if you use this knife to remove the stem, then the rind. Once you’re done with that part, you can continue slicing the fruit into cubes or whichever shape you prefer.
Pastries And Sweets
Cakes and pastries can be pretty tricky to cut through. Thankfully, these knives are long enough to be able to cut a perfect slice. The serrated blade allows the knife to go through the surface of pastries and sweets without leaving too many crumbs.
Another pro tip is to start cutting chocolate with one of these knives. It will be a life-changing decision.
How to Maintain and Sharpen a Bread Knife
The care for these knives is simple, but still, there are some tips you should use to prolong the life:
- Wash the knives right after you’re done using them with water and soap;
- Use a soft cloth or a sponge without a color
- Colored sponges can damage the surface of the knife
- Avoid abrasive sponges that can cause damage to the surface of the knife and blade
- Dry the knife entirely before storing them in the kitchen.
These might be fundamental tips, but they will keep your serrated knives healthy for a very long time. Now, let’s see how you should sharpen these knives.
You’ll need a special sharpening stone specifically meant for a serrated knife when you want to sharpen your bread knife. A regular knife sharpener won’t do the job. Once you start searching for a stone, make sure that its size fits with the serration size of your knife.
- When you have the stone, place the knife with the bevel of the serrated edge on it.
- Don’t forget to angle the bevel before you move it back and forth.
- Next, when you notice a burr on one side of the edge, over the entire surface.
- Switch the blade to the other side and work to remove the burr.
- You should sharpen one serration before you move to the next one.
- When you’re done, the knife will be super sharp and ready for use.
‘What is a bread knife’ is a common question that people have in mind because they’re under the impression they can cut a loaf with any knife they own. Well, that’s not quite the case, because each household should own a special knife for cutting bread. These knives come with a serrated edge that goes through the loaf with easiness, barely leaving any crumbs. Bread knives can be also used for various fruits, vegetables, pastry, cakes, cheese, and much more. These knives are not hard to maintain and don’t need sharpening frequently. Now that you know how you can use them, it’s time for you to start searching for the perfect choice.
Gary Portman is the founder and main author of Knivesadvice.com. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he is committed to assisting people in choosing the perfect knife for their needs. Through his articles, Gary shares valuable insights on various aspects of knives. With his expertise, readers can make informed decisions and find a knife that is tailored to their preferences and requirements. You can find more info about Gary here.