Slicing bread gets turned on its head
IT SEEMS that as humans we struggle with numerous basic life skills.
First we discovered we were stacking our dishwasher wrong, then it was our sheets that we were washing incorrectly. Now? Now it turns out we can’t slice bread.
Website Food 52 delivered the bad news about our misguided bread-cutting skills last week. Prepare to have your mind blown – we should be cutting the loaf on the side, not from the top.
Despite the fact that her boyfriend tells her this method is “just plain wrong,” restaurant worker, writer and food stylist Sarah Jampel insists this method will give you thinner, more consistent sizes that won’t be squashed.
“Yes, it takes a bit more co-ordination and care: rather than resting the flat, stable side against the cutting board, you’ll have to hold the bread in place with the hand that isn’t knife-wielding,” she says.
“But it’s not as scary as it looks, and I’ve seen the technique at bakeries, in the latest issue of King Arthur Flour’s Sift Magazine, and on the cutting board of (Food 52 creative director) Kristen Miglore.”
Jampel says this method is the most important for two types of bread in particular – airy, delicate and/or filled loaves (like chocolate swirl brioche) and tough, crusty bread where it takes a lot of pressure to cut through the top layer.
For delicate loaves there is less wear and tear.
“Since loaves are typically shorter than they are wide, by turning the loaf on its side you’ll have less distance to cover with the sawing motion. That means you’ll preserve the integrity of your bread’s crumb structure. Too much sawing can mar your slices,” Jampel says.
For tough, crusty bread this method makes it easier to penetrate both of the toughest parts of the bread – the upper and bottom crusts – right from the start.
“That makes it easier to get thin slices, and it means you won’t struggle with detaching the sometimes tough bottom.”
SLICED BREAD WAS FIRST SOLD IN MISSOURI IN JULY, 1928