What Is A Bread Knife Used For?

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Bread knives are used to slice bread. Measuring 7 to 10 inches in length and about an inch or so in height, the edge of the blade is usually serrated or scalloped. These features ensure that it can go through the hard crust of the ingredient without squishing it and slice through the softer interior without causing it to crumb too badly.

There are over a hundred different kinds of knives but there are just four or five types that are considered to be must-haves in the kitchen.

One of these is the serrated bread knife.

Long, thin, and serrated (or with tiny saw-like teeth) at the edge, this is used specifically for bread or ingredients which have a hard or thick exterior and soft or mushy interior.

As aforementioned, this is an essential piece in the kitchen so you should get one ASAP.
Still thinking about it? Do read on…

What is a bread knife?

One of the major features that set it apart from the other knives, is the presence of the serrations.

The serrations are the small edges that prevent the bread from damaging and keep it aligned and well-cut.

The length is anywhere between 12-25 cm, which means that bread knives are never longer than 6 to 10 inches.

The main role of this bread is to cut the edges without crushing the loaf and keeping it as neat and clean as possible.

You may have noticed many times that the sandwiches that the professional cooks make are often extremely well-aligned, and leave us with amazing feelings.

The reason behind the glamorous touch found in the bread sandwiches and other bread dishes is the use of knives with serrated cuts.

Why do the serrated cuts play in it?

This knife first gained recognition in 1893, when the Friedrich Dick company placed this knife in the exhibition, World’s Columbian Exhibition.

This event took place in Chicago and he became the first person to construct the knife that had serrations or grooves.

The serrations were basically the small edges that were perpendicular to the blade and thus help you in proceeding with the cutting process without tearing the bread.

With the help of these cuts, you can get the final cuts without the need for horizontal force.

The cuts or the serrations have the potential to dig inside just like the wood saw.

As we know that the edges are harder as compared to the bread itself.

In this case, the knife with serrations may not work best.

So, we suggest you go with the knife with micro-serrations.

The micro-serrations are the extremely small cuts that make it possible to cut the corners without crushing them.

From the above lines, you can clearly get an idea that it must have serrations and micro-serrations.

Any knife without this feature cannot be a bread knife.

Why do you need one?

Although, these knives can carry out limited cutting tasks and are mainly designed to cut the edges and other bakery stuff like the buns.

Still, these knives are the essential components of the kitchen, and cooks cannot imagine cutting the fine bread sandwiches without them.

Thus, we can say that the limited tasks that these knives carry out are the ones that are the most essential in the kitchen.

You badly need this knife if you are a vegetarian and have to eat sandwiches once or twice a day.

The serrations make it possible for you to cut the toughest materials with more efficiency.

When you have it in your kitchen, it shows that you know the cutting etiquettes.

How to use it in the kitchen?

To understand the in-depth usage of a bread knife, you should know how to use it in the kitchen.

Consider the following points if you want to learn the right usage in the kitchen.

  • Choose the sharp one with micro-serrated edges.
  • Moreover, when you proceed with the cutting, make sure to flatten the loaf first.
  • While choosing the blade, keep in mind that the blade should be large enough to cover the width of the loaf.
  • The idea length of the blade should be anywhere between 8 to 10 inches.
  • Usually, knives with less than 8 inch long blades cannot perform the cutting tasks efficiently.
  • These ones are often cheap and you can easily replace them when needed.
  • So whenever the blades get old or do not perform the cutting function efficiently, we recommend you to change the knife instead of sharpening the blades.
  • The costs of sharpening the serrations often exceed $30, while you can easily purchase a new knife at $20-$30.
  • Even if you have bought a very expensive bread knife, you should change it every five years.
  • Because, no matter how sharp your knife is, the blades often lose their spark and sharpness with time.
  • The efficiency of the blades also depends on the surface that you use.
  • Wooden surfaces work best with bread knives.
  • If you use bamboo or any other dull and rough surface, the blade will quickly.
  • During the cutting process, make sure to support the loaf with your less dominant hand.
  • For this purpose, you can position the hand directly on the top of the loaf.
  • Keep your hand away from the blade of the knife.

How to cut the bread using it?

  • Put the loaf of the knife on the wooden table.
  • Cut the loaf by pushing the knife in the backward direction towards yourself.
  • First, you have to press down slightly on the knife, and then initiate the backward pulling process.
  • You should not be pushing down so hard.
  • The serrations of the knife will do the slicing process on their own if you keep the sawing motion slow.
  • It is also crucial to focus more on the horizontal movement, instead of pushing the knife vertically.
  • Try to be as gentle as possible.
  • Do you remember that you have considered the long blade length at the time of purchase? Great! Now it is time to use this feature.
  • For this purpose, you should utilize the entire length of the blade.
  • Keep on pushing the knife forward and back until you reach the wooden surface.
  • Congrats! You have sliced the first piece of bread.
  • Now, use the same method to slice the whole loaf.
  • Sliced the whole loaf? Well, stop the cutting process after you have reached the opposite end of the loaf.

By following the above steps, you can easily learn to cut the loaf on your own.


Why does the loaf get torn or mashed in the process, even if I have followed all the instructions and used the knife with micro-serration?

Basically, many people try to slice the freshly-made bread or the warm bread.

Remember that the bread should be cool while cutting, or even at least allow it to attain room temperature.

Otherwise, it will get torn and crushed.

Can I use a bread knife to slice the other soft foods?

Yes, you can use it to cut other soft foods as well such as freshly-baked meat loves, boiled potatoes, and ripe tomatoes.

How much does it cost?

It is one of the cheap knives, so anyone can buy them.

Most bread knives are available at $20-$30.

What are the serrations?

These are the sharp cutting edges that are perpendicular to the blade and help in the clean and torn-less cutting loaves.

The serrated edges of the knives help you to keep the shape while cutting.

Why should I opt for the longer blade length?

The longer blades help you to slice the loaf more efficiently because, with a long blade, you can make backward and forward movements easily.

How are modern bread knives different from traditional knives?

Modern knives have longer blades and well-defined wooden handles.

Moreover, they are equipped with modern serrations that make the cutting task fast.

The bottom line

It is one of the kitchen knives that cooks use so often.

Its use is becoming more and more common with time.

People love to buy bread knives with micro-serrations that make the knife able to cut the soft bread without tearing or crushing it.

If you have not considered buying this knife and is absent in your kitchen, then you are missing a necessary tool that can help you with writing tasks.

Well, do you like using it?

Have you ever cut the bread loaf with the butter knife?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.

Last Updated on September 1, 2021

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.