How To Slice Homemade Bread

Do you want to hear something embarrasing? When I first started baking our own bread, I’d still buy a loaf of regular sliced bread at the store each week. I loved the way the homemade bread tastes, but couldn’t manage to slice it in any way that would allow us to make something even remotely resembling a regular sandwich. it was great cut in thick slices, or just torn into chunks and I’d serve it with various soups, stews and dips.

I kept trying though and eventually came up with some simple tricks that make slicing homemade bread easy-breezy. Here they are:

  • Let the bread cool completely before you try to slice it. It will work much better than trying to slice warm bread.
  • Use a large, sharp knife with a serrated edge. Don’t push down while you’re cutting the slices, instead use a sawing motion. This will keep the bread from being squished down and you usually avoid tearing it this way.
  • For thin, even slices, use a bread slicing guide. I picked up a large serrated knife a while back that had one built in, but you can also pick up some that will work with any knife. Just check for them at a houseware store, or in the houseware department of your local superstore.

Update – Several HBHW readers also suggested using an electric knife to cut bread. I haven’t had a chance to try it myself, but it sounds like a great idea and I think you should give it a try, especially if you already have an electric knife.

Use those tips and then just keep at it. Don’t worry if the slices aren’t all that even or thin at first. You’ll get better with practice. On the upside, your homemade bread will beat out the store brand in flavor and freshness any day of the week.

080401 bread and cheese (1)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dan4th

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13 Responses to “How To Slice Homemade Bread”

  1. Erika Says:

    I was just thinking this morning (while slicing my homemade bread very, very quickly to get lunches made) how thankful I am for my bread-slicing setup–it makes such a difference. I have an electric knife (Christmas present-one of the best gifts ever) that makes slicing without crushing or crumbling a breeze (this also makes *thin* slicing of meat, etc., much easier–goes further at dinner & works well in sandwiches) and this fancy slicing guide gizmo that fits my standard loaf exactly. It is plastic and has slice-spaced upright slats on each side of the bread; you just slice along the guides. This of course is a remnant of those long-gone days when I’d BUY such things, but one could surely get a woodworking husband (or self) to make one up for next-to-nothing.

  2. Amiyrah Says:

    oh! so wonderful! thank you for posting this! I started making our bread over a month ago and I just can’t manage to make those thin slices like the ones we love from the store bread. I never knew there was such a thing as a slicing guide. I’ll have to keep a lookout for it when I go back to bed bath and beyond.

  3. Maven Says:

    This couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve just gotten back into baking my own bread and ran into the slicing challenge this weekend as I like to pre slice my bread and then freeze it for sandwiches. Thankyou – I really like your blog and suspect I will spend a lot of time here :-)

  4. Mindyleigh Says:

    Awesome! Thank you for posting this. I have avoided bread-making for our many sandwiches specifically for this reason, even though we love to snack on it or have it with dinner. I’m excited to find a slicing guide.

  5. Tracy in NC Says:

    What is that interesting-looking black bread in your picture?! It looks yummy and fun.

    Tracy in NC

  6. Sandy Says:

    Speaking of Bread….does anyone have a recipe for the Panera Cherry Chocolate bread? It is my weakness during the holidays and would greatly appreciate it if anyone could help.

  7. katkhan Says:

    love ur blog, i make sm loaves of raisin cinnamon nut bread in my crockpot, i use a 1 lb. coffee can and a small bread pan, it is good and gives good quality bread, it takes between 3 hrs to 21/2, if anyone interested, i can send it. i t is all done with a mixer, no kneading. love the site, thanks. kat
    ps, great toasted

  8. Jenny Beasley Says:

    I would love the recipe for the cinnamon raisin bread.
    Thanks jnb

  9. Zelda Says:

    The best way to slice homemade bread is to lay it on its side and slice, doing a lot of sawing and just a little pressure. I use a serrated tooth knife.

  10. Kell Says:

    After losing yet again another Ebay auction trying to get a slicing guide, I figured out a way to use what I had on hand instead. Get a couple of old-fashioned (or maybe new-fashioned would work, too?) book ends. Like these: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=205800255&listingid=32117380. If you put the uprights on each side of the loaf, snugly, you can then inch out the bread on one side and use the side of the uprights to guide the knife! This is probably much cheaper than buying a guide (i.e. $5 versus $20 bucks), and they’re a little easier to find, i.e. in Staples or other office supply stores.

  11. Sean Says:

    We received an electric meat slicer as a gift, many years ago, and I have been using that to slice the bread. It does a pretty decent job, and you can set it for regular sized bread slices. We are still buying ‘store bought’ bread, but working our way to 100% homemade. I figure that its about 45cents of flour in a big homemade loaf of bread. Couple that with home grown sourdough yeast, and its almost free!

  12. Tammy @ Skinny Mom's Kitchen Says:

    In addition to the tricks you mentioned I also freeze my loaf of bread for 20 – 25 minutes. This works wonderfully!

  13. Sandy Schirmer Says:

    Once you have bread sliced, we have redesigned the old slice-a-slice and have it on the web as ‘the nicer slicer’. Take a look!

    It allows you to very thin slice bread, bagels and other breads. 20 gauge stainless, dishwasher safe, made in America.

    Thanks,

    Sandy

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