Some things don’t really deserve a second thought, and a bread knife is the type of tool you would imagine working on, well, bread. So their utility might seem quite limited, even when talking about bread enthusiasts.
Sure, there are many types of bread, but would that justify buying a different knife? Luckily, like with many other kitchen tools, there are some excellent bread knife uses that you might not have thought about.
The unique design of this blade allows for perfectly slicing very soft, squishy ingredients, as well as tougher or brittle foods.
Let’s talk about how a bread knife can be helpful in any kitchen and decide whether carrying one in your store is worth it.
What’s a bread knife?
There are several types of specialty knives out there, each with its reserved purpose. For example, one would use a paring knife for all delicate tasks, including peeling, and a cheese knife for creating visually pleasing charcuterie boards.
So, a bread knife is pretty much what you expect. This knife’s design makes it easy to cut through tough crust without pressing onto the soft inside of the bread.
This allows the user to cut perfect slices instead of ripping through the bread or flattening it as you would if you were using a chef’s knife.
These knives come in many sizes and designs, but you’ll see most of them featuring a lengthy, rectangular blade and a serrated edge.
The blade of a bread knife sits somewhere between 8 and 10 inches, with the 8-inch version being a common choice for most households.
Why do bread knives have serrated edges?
The most important feature of a bread knife is its distinctive cutting edge. The edge is generally sharp, with saw-like notches or teeth. These teeth can be close together or set further apart, and they are sometimes curved to create a wavy pattern.
This type of edge is commonly called serrated.
These serrations give the edge less contact area than the smooth blade on a chef’s knife, for example. Hence, the cook can use increased pressure on each point of contact, points sitting at a sharper angle to the cut ingredient.
This allows for a sawing motion that creates many tiny splits in the surface of the bread and slices it without the user having to compress the insides.
Moreover, the teeth can give more structural integrity to the blade, which is often pretty thin. The zig-zag pattern also decreases the flexibility of the blade, which is very useful for cutting straight slices or leveling cakes.
The many bread knife uses
Speaking of cake, you’ve already got a glimpse into the various other uses of a bread knife. Splurging on a kitchen tool that can only cut bread might seem excessive.
But don’t let its restricting name fool you; this kind of knife can lend itself exceptionally well to many tasks around the kitchen. Due to its unique design and properties, a bread knife will save a cook a lot of time and effort when working with many different ingredients.
Let’s explore some of the most common uses for this specialty tool.
This should go without saying, but a bread knife has no rival in cutting bread. We can all agree that sliced bread was a turning point in human evolution, but there are moments when skipping the pre-sliced loaves can be a great idea.
Buying bread whole and cutting your own slices will keep it fresh for longer, and there’s something quite hearty about cutting a chuck out of warm bread to go with your meal.
Many people picked up breadmaking as a hobby recently. For those, a good bread knife became a necessity.
Sourdough, brioche, baguettes, and even bagels can be easily cut with a serrated blade to create delicate slices for toast or appetizing sandwiches.
The thin blade and the serrated edge become extremely useful all throughout the baking process since they allow the baker to separate and score the dough before it even enters the oven.
Baking bread goes hand in hand with baking other types of goodies, and a bread knife will quickly elevate the quality of cupcakes and cakes.
Due to its serrated edge and thin, lengthy blade, a bread knife can be easily used to carve and level cakes or give shape to any delicate pastry. And since bread knives generally come in bigger sizes, they can be used to cut a whole cake layer in one pass.
Moreover, once the cake is done and nicely decorated, there are few other better tools for cutting the perfect slice without ruining the icing.
And, speaking of decoration, many cooks use their bread knives for cutting blocks of baking chocolate, which can often snap under the pressure of a regular kitchen knife.
Cutting vegetables and fruit
The main selling point of a bread knife is its ability to cut without putting pressure on the ingredient. This makes it suitable for both delicate foods as well as firm, brittle ingredients.
There are few knives out there that can cut better tomato slices or citrus. Many users report their bread knife cuts through soft tomatoes as if they were butter, without covering their cutting board in juices.
Grapes can also be cut into smaller pieces without squishing them with a smaller bread knife.
Other excellent uses for a bread knife include slicing tofu, preparing sweet potato fries, or cutting avocados without squishing them.
This one will depend a lot on the level of serration and the thickness of the blade, but wavier edges, as opposed to the sharp-angled teeth, can be used on beef or pot roasts to create clean slices.
This is where the long blade also comes in handy since it allows the user to slice the meat in one quick motion instead of sawing away at the roast.
Slicing deli meats and salami is also an option, allowing just about everyone to create impressive artisan sandwiches with little effort.
And since those sandwiches will have to be shared, there are no other knives out there that can cut through a sandwich without compressing its insides.
If you were wondering how professional chefs cut perfectly through a generous burger to display the appetizing inside, you found your answer right here. After all, they are still cutting bread at the end of the day.
Should you sell bread knives in your store?
The name we’ve given this kitchen tool seems to have decided its destiny, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Serrated knives are commonly called bread knives because that’s what most people will use them for.
Yet, knives with serrated edges are valuable in just about any kitchen, and a chef’s imagination only decides how they can be used.
With a broad range of sizes, shapes, and levels of serration, it’s safe to assume that you can find a serrated knife to fit just about any purpose.
And if you need anything else to speak on a bread knife’s utility, you should remember that knife sets rarely go without them.
A bread knife will be a lovely addition if you sell your custom knife sets in your store. Even beginner cooks looking to stock up their kitchen would appreciate the choice. Sure, they might not cut a lot of bread, but anniversary cake-cutting will be enhanced tenfold by the presence of a bread knife in someone’s home.
A quick look over online reviews will tell you that bread knives across a wide price range are cherished by many customers. To their surprise, the overall sentiment is always related to the buyer finding many other uses for their bread knife.
Bread knife maintenance
As opposed to high-maintenance kitchen tools that require a high level of attention and care, a bread knife is not that fussy.
When not in use, they can be stored safely in a drawer or attached to a magnetic strip on the wall, and users should pay some attention when handling them, as they can be quite sharp.
Sharpening these is where the story gets a bit more complicated. The unique cutting edge makes sharpening them at home pretty tricky, so it’s common for people to completely replaced a bread knife after it becomes dull instead of sharpening the blade.
Of course, sharpening services are available for higher-end knives, and some people might take advantage of that if their blade is more costly.
Language is often deceiving, and we’ve seen that first hand with this versatile kitchen tool. Although nothing cuts better slices of bread than a bread knife, there are several other ways in which someone might use this blade to make their life easier in the kitchen.
These tools can be perfectly applied to softer veggies and fruit and cut through melon or squash like no other blade. Delicate cutting tasks like creating the perfect charcuterie board or putting together an artisan sandwich can make this knife shine even brighter.
Lastly, a bread knife becomes a necessity for homes where a lot of baking is done since they are unrivaled in shaping pastries or cutting the perfect cakes.
If you’re ready to add this knife to your roster, you can check our bread knife sample. We ship wholesale blades with private label services directly to your storefront so that you can sell one of these tools as your customized product. Jumpstart the process as quickly as requesting a quote if you’ve decided.