A bread knife is a useful piece of cutlery. Professional chefs and home bakers alike enjoy the neat slices of bread they create. Different elements of design determine what makes a good bread knife, and there are several popular brands to choose from.What is a bread knife?
A bread knife is a knife made with a long blade that is designed specifically for the purpose of cutting slices from a loaf though it can also be used for slicing other foods, like tomatoes. This kind of knife can be bought as part of a kitchen cutlery set or as an individual knife. They are usually made of sharp, serrated steel for a strong blade that can be either straight or offset.What are some blade styles of bread knives?
The blade of a bread knife is what does the slicing and cutting, so this kind of knife is designed for the specific purpose of slicing a loaf. Most of these knives are serrated to allow a slicing or sawing motion that prevents crushing the bread. Some may be scalloped. Stainless steel is the most popular metal used. Some of the variations to this design include the following:
- A straight blade extends directly out of the handle. It allows greater pressure, but knuckles can drag on a cutting surface.
- An offset style puts the height of the handle above the blade to prevent knuckles from dragging. These are popular with chefs to prevent contamination.
- Santoku or gyuto bread knives are more multi-purpose than just a bread knife. Gyuto knives are usually not serrated. Both types are exceptionally sharp.
- A scalloped bread knife has small indents in the blade to release crumbs as it cuts. Scallops are typical in santoku knives or bread knives that might be used to cut foods such as tomatoes.
The handle of a bread knife can be made from a number of different materials, such as the following:
- Wood offers a comfortable grip and is aesthetically pleasing. However, it is known to be vulnerable to bacteria and breaking.
- Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintain. They can be heavy, and when wet, they become difficult to grip.
- Plastic handles are popular due to their excellent gripping characteristics and easy maintenance. Plastic materials include nylon, fibrox, or resin.
- Santoprene is a blend of synthetic rubber and polypropylene that is more durable than normal plastic.
There are many popular knife brands, including the following:
- Victorinox is a Swiss knife company. Victorinox makes numerous styles of bread knife. They make most of their knives in Germany.
- Wusthof also makes their knives in Germany. They are well regarded by professional chefs. Wusthof manufactures a full complement of knives for any kitchen.
A dull bread knife won’t slice efficiently and will crush your bread. A sharpening rod in your kitchen cutlery set may be used to hone the edge of a bread knife, but the serration can make doing this difficult, so a guide or professional should be consulted.