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Bread Knife Help Wanted


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Shel_B

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:32 PM

This afternoon was the last straw - my old, weak bread knife is going into retirement, but before that can happen, I need a new one.  The old one had trouble cutting the heavy crust on a pain levain, and I'm tired of fighting that hard-to-handle blade.

 

I need a knife that will easily cut bagels, hard crusts on artisan breads, soft rolls and pastries, like brioche or croissant.  What do you recommend?

 

I've seen knives with similar shapes to this one:  http://www.amazon.co...rds=bread knife What are the advantages / disadvantages to such a shape?

 

What knife might you recommend?  Thanks!

 

Oh, I should mention that I'd like to keep the cost around $50.00 or so, and certainly not more than $75.00.

 

Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays

 


Edited by Shel_B, 24 December 2013 - 04:45 AM.

.... Shel


#2 weinoo

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:40 PM

The Ginsu bread knife. Under $9.


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#3 heidih

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:51 PM

The Ginsu bread knife. Under $9.

 

Yup - I have several - often found at garage sales and "knock-offs" from the $1 store. Great for tomatoes as well. The trick is setting the loaf on its side and getting an edge in versus pushing down from the top and smashing the crumb.


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#4 DerekW

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:52 PM


I've seen knives with similar shapes to this one:  http://www.amazon.co...rds=bread knife What are the advantages / disadvantages to such a shape?

That Forschner [Victorinox] you linked to is our current very satisfactory breadknife. The offset blade does a couple of things - it keeps your knuckles up off the board, and it gives you an effect similar to the depth of blade your 'chef' knife allows. That's to say that you can pinch grip, and have better control over direction of cut.  Bread knives are saws of an altogether cruder nature than honed stropped razor-sharp wonders, but [IMO] a thick blade doesn't help much when you are trying for a clean slice through crust and crumb.

 

When Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" came out he wrote that many chefs had taken to carrying an offset blade as a go-to general purpose knife, using them [I paraphrase here] for just about everything, sawing up frozen materials, cutting bread etc. I always pictured one of these.


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#5 David Hensley

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:55 PM

I appreciate your sentiment, and I appreciate your price point, but you can do way better than that! A good smooth-bladed knife will set you back quite a few bucks, and last the better part of a lifetime, but for a serrated blade, I prefer to buy cheap and replace often. There's no easy way to sharpen one, so with bread knives, I look for cheap and easy...


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#6 andiesenji

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:01 AM

As you probably know, I bake a lot of artisan breads, most with lots of crust.  I have tried numerous "bread" knives  and have discarded most because they don't deal well with crusty loaves OR they are simply TOO SHORT.

 

I have two of these Dexter-Russell "roast slicers" that have 12 inch BLADES.  They slice through anything, cleanly and with less effort than other knives.

 

I also use them for slicing horizontally through cake layers and other tasks that require a long blade (big watermelons, for instance.)

 

They are also INEXPENSIVE.  But they last plenty long enough for me - I have bought them at Smart & Final for a bit less than the Amazon price but that was a while back.

 

Compared to knives that i have paid three or four times as much for and gotten less satisfaction, these are exceptional.

 

HPIM5550.JPG   

 

I used one just a short time ago to slice a large round "sourdough" loaf - too wide for the "normal" bread knives.  And it had a thick, crisp crust.


Edited by andiesenji, 24 December 2013 - 12:04 AM.

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#7 Shel_B

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:49 AM

 


I've seen knives with similar shapes to this one:  http://www.amazon.co...rds=bread knife What are the advantages / disadvantages to such a shape?

That Forschner [Victorinox] you linked to is our current very satisfactory breadknife. The offset blade does a couple of things - it keeps your knuckles up off the board, and it gives you an effect similar to the depth of blade your 'chef' knife allows. That's to say that you can pinch grip, and have better control over direction of cut.  Bread knives are saws of an altogether cruder nature than honed stropped razor-sharp wonders, but [IMO] a thick blade doesn't help much when you are trying for a clean slice through crust and crumb.

 

When Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" came out he wrote that many chefs had taken to carrying an offset blade as a go-to general purpose knife, using them [I paraphrase here] for just about everything, sawing up frozen materials, cutting bread etc. I always pictured one of these.

 

 

Great info about the knife shape.  Thanks!  Good to know you're satisfied with the Victorinox.


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.... Shel


#8 Shel_B

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:53 AM

As you probably know, I bake a lot of artisan breads, most with lots of crust.  I have tried numerous "bread" knives  and have discarded most because they don't deal well with crusty loaves OR they are simply TOO SHORT.

 

I have two of these Dexter-Russell "roast slicers" that have 12 inch BLADES.  They slice through anything, cleanly and with less effort than other knives.

 

I also use them for slicing horizontally through cake layers and other tasks that require a long blade (big watermelons, for instance.)

 

They are also INEXPENSIVE.  But they last plenty long enough for me - I have bought them at Smart & Final for a bit less than the Amazon price but that was a while back.

 

Compared to knives that i have paid three or four times as much for and gotten less satisfaction, these are exceptional.

 

attachicon.gifHPIM5550.JPG  

 

I used one just a short time ago to slice a large round "sourdough" loaf - too wide for the "normal" bread knives.  And it had a thick, crisp crust.

 

Good point about the length of the blade.  I recall reading that many bread knife blades are too short, so I'll be sure to pay attention to the length of the blade.  Thanks!


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.... Shel


#9 andiesenji

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 05:24 AM

 

As you probably know, I bake a lot of artisan breads, most with lots of crust.  I have tried numerous "bread" knives  and have discarded most because they don't deal well with crusty loaves OR they are simply TOO SHORT.

 

I have two of these Dexter-Russell "roast slicers" that have 12 inch BLADES.  They slice through anything, cleanly and with less effort than other knives.

 

I also use them for slicing horizontally through cake layers and other tasks that require a long blade (big watermelons, for instance.)

 

They are also INEXPENSIVE.  But they last plenty long enough for me - I have bought them at Smart & Final for a bit less than the Amazon price but that was a while back.

 

Compared to knives that i have paid three or four times as much for and gotten less satisfaction, these are exceptional.

 

attachicon.gifHPIM5550.JPG  

 

I used one just a short time ago to slice a large round "sourdough" loaf - too wide for the "normal" bread knives.  And it had a thick, crisp crust.

 

Good point about the length of the blade.  I recall reading that many bread knife blades are too short, so I'll be sure to pay attention to the length of the blade.  Thanks!

 

Also, if you use a slicing guide, as I do, none of the regular bread knives are long enough to make a long, even stroke.  I have a Bread Pal which has both thick and thin slice guides  and the width is 7 1/2 inches so one can only use short strokes with a 9" blade, that makes for a rather ragged slice if you have bread with a soft crumb.

 

You mentioned bagels.  This knife cuts bagels perfectly - I use a bagel holder, since slicing into my left thumb many years ago. 


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#10 rotuts

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 06:21 AM

after the holidays go to BB&B and look at these:

 

http://www.bedbathan...ord=bread knife

 

take your coupon.

 

longer = better.

 

Im lucky and have one from Granton in england.   but there are nice ones im sure at BB&B

 

if not to your liking, the dexter )mentioned above ) would be the way to go.


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#11 andiesenji

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:25 AM

after the holidays go to BB&B and look at these:

 

http://www.bedbathan...ord=bread knife

 

take your coupon.

 

longer = better.

 

Im lucky and have one from Granton in england.   but there are nice ones im sure at BB&B

 

if not to your liking, the dexter )mentioned above ) would be the way to go.

I have a Wushof, the Global (both too short) and a 30-year-old Robinson, that used to be my choice before I found the Dexter about 20 years ago.  None of those pictured are really long enough to cut straight through a large boule, unless you turn it up on its side, which makes for uneven cutting. 

 

You also have to note that some include the handle in the length description.  One that says "12 inch" has a blade that is less than 8" long. 

Schmidt bros used to offer a "wavy-edge" bread knife with a 12" blade - it was reverse serrated, with the rounded "scallops" on the cutting edge.  I intended to get one but by the time I made up my mind, they were no longer available. We have an excellent knife shop in Palmdale that carried that line, as well as most others and the shop owner, who used to take care of all my knives when I was catering, was the one who put me onto the Dexter-Russell - the first one I bought was less than $15.00 and saw heavy duty and lasted for more than 5 years with no attention.  I would probably still have it but managed to bend the blade when I did something with it that are not intended for such knives. (Prying up the lid of a can.)


Edited by andiesenji, 24 December 2013 - 10:26 AM.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#12 rotuts

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

I just got the Knife Merchant catalog

 

they have this knife:

 

http://www.knifemerc...?productID=1615

 

with more variants in the catalog

 

the 10 "  ( blade length I think  best ask ) is identical to my Granton which I love   ( no granton type edge  bread wavy )

 

but # 40640 is 10 " and 28. 65   If is the same as the G I have you will love it.  

 

not so many knives on their web page.

 

here is my Granton looking very much like  # 40640  check actual blade lenght  mine is 10 " :

 

BreadKnife.jpg

 

i very much like these Fibrox handles   Red is of course best     :biggrin:


Edited by rotuts, 24 December 2013 - 10:58 AM.

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