Slic­ing bread gets turned on its head

The Gympie Times - - TASTE - — Si­mone Mitchell,

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.”


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