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Bread Slicers


fooey
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I don't have room in my kitchen for this bread slicer, so help me find a solution.

It can be anything from a manual solution (something with a bread knife guide, for example) all the way up.

Bonus cookies awarded for solutions that have safety features.

If you don't use a machine, any unique ideas to safely get uniform slices are welcomed.

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Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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If you don't use a machine, any unique ideas to safely get uniform slices are welcomed.

What's your tolerance to decide what is or is not uniform? What sort of breads are you slicing? How many loaves at a time?

I can freehand 1/4-3/8" slices of a pretty crusty loaf (your basic Fahey no-knead) that are damn near what you'd get out of a machine. I probably wouldn't want to do that on a commercial scale.

 

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All bread types, but particularly artisan boules.

I interested in uniform thickness of the bread.

I can freehand as well and do a good job, but a loaf or two, I need help. I usually make anywhere between 4 and 10 loaves at a time.

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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wouldn't any meat slicer work for this? I don't own one, my parents have one for decades and mostly use it for bread. Might use a special blade but I think they just have on there what ever the unit was shipped with. Small and sits in the corner. And can be used for other things too :-)

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I've considered that. I just don't know if it would work.

Anyone else use a meat slicer to slice bread?

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I've used my manual meat slicer (Porkert, cast iron with wooden base & various blades) to slice bread. I'm generally only doing one loaf at a time, and I reverted to using my bread knife. Slice low down on the far side while watching the thickness, then draw down on the nearside to equal it - that's my method. I'm not very good, but I'm past cutting things that the toaster can use as an excuse for an impromptu bonfire night.

I have a dream that involves a woodworking friend building a bread-cutting-form that has a base, and two slotted sides like a toast rack, so I can hold a loaf in there and slice away. It's that sort of fantasy that keeps me going.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I have a dream that involves a woodworking friend building a bread-cutting-form that has a base, and two slotted sides like a toast rack, so I can hold a loaf in there and slice away. It's that sort of fantasy that keeps me going.

That's my fantasy, you give that back now.

This has potential, but so does this.

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I just bought a 10" Forschner serrated bread knife, and I can get very thin slices using it. I have a sort-of solution for you: I hand-cut even slices using my cooling rack's spaces as a cutting guide. The wires are about 3/4" apart, so you can align your knife with the spaces and get nice, even slices. It's not high speed, but it does work.

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I have a dream that involves a woodworking friend building a bread-cutting-form that has a base, and two slotted sides like a toast rack, so I can hold a loaf in there and slice away. It's that sort of fantasy that keeps me going.

There are a number of manual bread slicing guides; take a look at eBay for ideas.

When slicing freehand (I don't have the above), I find that that getting good results are similar to driving: look *where you want to go* :biggrin: and let your body take care of the rest.

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That's fine for a few slicer, but I'm thinking for multiple loaves.

Something tells me I'll probably end up with one a used commercial one off of Craigslist. I'll store it in the trunk of my car. There's enough space in the boot and it's weight should keep the car from skidding on the ice. :laugh:

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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When slicing freehand (I don't have the above), I find that that getting good results are similar to driving: look *where you want to go* :biggrin: and let your body take care of the rest.

I can get good freehand slices the first loaf, but by the tenth, I have muffins or worse.

By the tenth, I'm doing my best Jack Nicholson "Herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre's Johnnnnny" and slicing with a wood axe.

I mean, really, who has the time for a bread knife?

I want the toast and I want it now.

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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An inexpensive solution might be a fiddle bow knife http://www.thefind.com/kitchen/info-original-fiddle-bow-knife, or

the adjustable fiddle bow bread knife http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Woods-Adjustable-Fiddle-Handed/dp/B0010L607A

While the blade is not long enough to cut across larger boules when laid flat, they can easily be cut with the boule turned up onto a side.

Most bread cutting guides now available are only sized for regular-sized loaves, baguettes and etc., like this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004UE6T/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=2951609875&ref=pd_sl_36bj3ekvdu_e

I have seen a cutting board with adjustable guides in the past but I can't find the link at this time. It was one of the bread cutting boards with a slotted base, through which the crumbs would fall and the slotted side guides folded down into the base. It is possible I saw it on ebay, however I think it was on an artisan woodworker's site.

"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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That's my fantasy, you give that back now.

This has potential, but so does this.

:smile: It's worth telling the woodworking guys that thickness is important. But yes, number 1, and particularly with a breadmaker, where the width of the loaf - if not it's height - is the thing, right ?

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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An inexpensive solution might be a fiddle bow knife http://www.thefind.com/kitchen/info-original-fiddle-bow-knife, or

the adjustable fiddle bow bread knife http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Woods-Adjustable-Fiddle-Handed/dp/B0010L607A

While the blade is not long enough to cut across larger boules when laid flat, they can easily be cut with the boule turned up onto a side.

Most bread cutting guides now available are only sized for regular-sized loaves, baguettes and etc., like this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004UE6T/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=2951609875&ref=pd_sl_36bj3ekvdu_e

I have seen a cutting board with adjustable guides in the past but I can't find the link at this time. It was one of the bread cutting boards with a slotted base, through which the crumbs would fall and the slotted side guides folded down into the base. It is possible I saw it on ebay, however I think it was on an artisan woodworker's site.

Many Christmases ago, I gave a friend who had just begun playing with a bread machine a similar bread cutting guide that was built into a storage box, so the bread could be stored in the box and cut using the guide. She LOVED it!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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:smile: It's worth telling the woodworking guys that thickness is important.

I just assumed that was implicit. I need to speak up for myself. :laugh:

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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I can get good freehand slices the first loaf, but by the tenth, I have muffins or worse.

By the tenth, I'm doing my best Jack Nicholson "Herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre's Johnnnnny" and slicing with a wood axe.

I mean, really, who has the time for a bread knife?

I want the toast and I want it now.

I'm confused. Why do you have to slice ten loaves at a time? You toast them all at a time? You slice them and then freeze them?

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There are manual European style rotary slicers for bread--resembles a meat slicer but with a circular serrated blade. BUT you still have to turn the crank....

Do NOT use a meat slicer. Beleive it or not, the crust on bread is very hard on knife edges and dulls them quickly, and once you cut throught the crust, the blade grabs the soft sticky interior and mushes it up. Serrated blades are the best for bread.

If you don't want to bite the bullet and get a slicer, a bread knife and elbow grease are about your only option.

There are cheap bread slicers (Taiwan, China) and expensive ones (European, American i.e "Oliver"). I used to keep mine( a cheapy) on a trolley and would wheel it into a closet when I didn't need it.

These are mechanical devices and rely on mechanical movement and lots of bearings and bushings. The cheap ones wear out quickly. If you buy used, buy it from a Bakery Supplier, NOT a Restaurant supplier or auction house. Restaurant suppliers don't/won't fix them or stock parts to fix them, Bakery Suppliers will.

Hope this helps

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Don't forget ... the mildly expensive commercial bread slicers are not adjustable ... what you see is what you get width-wise. Adjustable ones are $$$$.

If you find a woodworker who does fiddle-bow knives, you can probably get a custom width ... my husband was making them for awhile and he could do them various widths, He also did them for lefties or a two-bladed version for the dual-handed household.

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There is a used Berkel on ebay for $449.00, runs on household current. Both Berkel and Oliver have easily replaceable blades and the blades are not too expensive and do last a long time.

There is also an Oliver 1/2 inch slicer now on ebay for $895. (or best offer - one offer so far). Plus shipping costs.

None of these machines are "compact" but this is one of the smaller ones and it also runs on household current.

I would put something like this on a cart and roll it out of the way when not in use. I wouldn't put it in the trunk of a car and subject it to any prolonged or repeated driving over rough roads. There are things that can come loose........

Check your local newspapers for bakery equipment - businesses that are moving or closing, bankruptcy sales, etc., and check with Platte company - they carry new and used restaurant and bakery equipment and for cash may be willing to sell a used item even if you don't have a business license. (I got the name from one of my cousins who used to live in Lakewood and owned a restaurant until he retired a few years ago.)

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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