Is a bread knife necessary if you already have a chef’s knife known to be the most versatile?
Yes! A bread knife is essential regardless of the others you own.
It can slice soft and hard ingredients, be useful as a cake decoration tool, replace an egg slicer, and much more.
You are probably shocked, but that is a secret most people don’t know about.
Grab and run with it if you are a minimalist chap who loathes clutter and tons of cutlery, and you are better off owning two or three different types of versatile knives.
Have a chef’s knife to use when you need a straight-edge blade and a bread knife when you need a toothy, scalloped, and serrated edge.
But if you are the collecting type or the sophisticated buddy who prefers a bread knife for loaves, here’s why you should explore its uses.
Do You Really Need a Bread Knife?
Absolutely Yes! You need a bread life because some of your cutting needs depend on it.
Or did you think it was only meant for bread because of its name?
We are past that era, friend!
Slicing bread is its most typical task, whether it is an English loaf, a brioche, biscuit, bagel, or baguette, but it does more than that.
As bakers and cake decorators, you know if a bread knife has ever come in handy when their little champs are learning how to play hide their cake knives under the couch (it is a toddlers’ thing, IYDK).
Well, keep reading to know what else you can do with a bread knife.
The Obvious – A Bread Knife for Bread!
Whoever was naming these tools was quite straightforward in matching their uses.
A bread knife is definitely for bread, and its versatility with loaf handling is unspeakable.
Different countries and communities pride themselves in their various bread types, ranging from massive crusty artisan types to the softest and most delicate loaves.
One bread knife is enough to handle any type of loaf from specialty bread like olive and raising bakes.
Such additions change the loaf’s texture, and a chef’s knife would snag the bread and tear it.
A bread knife does the job perfectly and works on sandwiches too.
There’s a secret to slicing bread perfectly: position the knife vertically to ensure you get the same slice thickness all through.
It will need a little bit of practice to ace this skill.
Overall, a sharp bread knife is necessary, and luckily, its serrated edges keep it sharp for longer.
You can discard a dull one or take it to a cutler if you don’t have a versatile knife sharpener.
A Cake Decoration Tool
Is a bread knife necessary for cake decoration?
If you don’t have the special serrated cake scrapper, get your bread knife to do the job, and it wouldn’t fail.
You can now bid goodbye to lopsided cakes.
A bread knife can level cake layers because the teeth catch on the cake, something a chef’s knife can’t do.
Don’t worry, as it can’t squish if you apply little pressure.
Its length also allows you to take longer and even strokes, reducing the number of times you’ll need to hack it.
Handy for the Meat Lover
Meat lovers gather here.
I know you love to cut and carve cooked meat, but the tools might be a challenge.
Here’s me telling you that you can use your bread knife’s long serrated blade to slice through steaks and thick-crusted meats without draining their flavorful juices.
The cuts will be thin and juicy.
Try it on crusted prime cuts of rib roasts or briskets.
I also recently learned that it carves whole chicken and turkey pretty well, so remember this when next you host or during Thanksgiving.
No Egg Slicer? Bread Knife Will Do!
Boiled eggs are delicate, and if you love them sliced for aesthetics, you’ll need a good egg slicer.
What if you have none?
Go in with a bread knife, especially if it is hard-boiled.
The knife goes through the egg without pressing it down to ruin its shape or break it down.
Your yolks will remain attractive and not squished like when using a chef’s knife.
Now that you know this, do you really need a bread knife that can handle multiple tasks or an egg slicer that sticks to one job?
Hello Sweet Tooth Gang and Confectioners
Home and DIY confectioners understand the importance of a bread knife in their ‘sweet’ lives.
A sharp one can go through cakes while maintaining the layers and steadiness.
It slices through delicate sponges of cakes, thanks to the knife’s length – one pass and you are at the bottom!
These can be used to shape and create patterns on pastries.
If you are often caking, get a bread knife whose handle is more rounded for comfortability when handling it.
You will hold it horizontally while leveling cakes, and comfort is key – arm fatigue and muscle cramps can abruptly end what was to be a good decorating day.
A bread knife can come in handy when preparing some accompanying ingredients.
Use it to break baking chocolate blocks into small pieces.
These are brittle and can snap if you exert a lot of pressure using a chef’s knife.
Vegetarians Will Love Its Uses
Some vegetables are tough with thick skin – I am talking melons, squashes, and pumpkins.
Did you know it can be dangerous to try cutting such with a knife with a straight edge?
Foods with tough skin can trap your blade, needing you to be more forceful as you push it downward.
In whatever motion it is, you risk cutting yourself if the vegetable slides off the surface.
I don’t want to imagine that scene, but for the safe of life and the next meal, a bread knife is far much safer.
Here’s how you can cut a rounded melon or squash: cut the blossom end or stem to remain with a flat surface.
The flat surface prevents it from rolling and moving all over.
With dry hands, use the bread knife to remove its rind, then halve it or cut it into slices or wedges.
Some could be irregular, so halve the squash before using a small or paring knife to score or remove the flesh.
Use a spoon to get the squash off the rind in sizeable cubes, like when working on an avocado.
Note: Some squashes and tough veggies and fruits can be tougher to cut regardless of the knife you are using (the notorious spaghetti squash).
You might want to bake or microwave such before slicing to your desired shape and size.
Overall, is a bread knife necessary in your household after these discoveries?
Can You Sharpen a Bread Knife?
Yes, you can sharpen a bread knife using a specialty sharpener or a rod meant for such kinds of blades.
Blades of bread knives aren’t flat – they are serrated – and can’t be sharpened with regular whetstones.
The special sharpener or rod doesn’t sharpen the blade, but it hones its cutting edge to make them appear sharper.
Here’s the secret: The rod’s diameter must fit well in the serrated tips of the blade; otherwise, it mightn’t be easy to hone the edge.
Instead, you will destroy it.
Bread knives with scalloped edges need sharpening on one side.
Get the sharpening action and angle right for this one, and you must repeat it for each serration along the edge (quite time-consuming).
Are Bread Knives Better?
Bread knives boast superior performance and versatility for certain cutting tasks.
It is tough to say bread knives are better, except when specifying the task.
When cutting bread, a sharp bread knife outperforms any straight-edged one.
Fluffier loaves of bread work best with these knives.
Still, when cutting soft fruits, some bread knives outperform regular knives, but it highly depends on your cutting technique.
For instance, the tomato-cutting experience with a bread knife is impeccable.
Sharpening these knives alone is where most people have different opinions.
It is easier to sharpen knives with straight edges (ask around, even bottles and stones do this job on these knives), unlike bread knives which need special tools, more time, or a cutler’s service.
Don’t mention what type of bread your household enjoys, but I’d love to know, is a bread knife necessary in your home?
I know you are wondering why you didn’t come across this earlier; however, it isn’t late.
You can start exploring the uses of a bread knife today by cutting tomatoes for a salad, baguettes to have with some pumpkin soup for dinner, and carving that chicken to enjoy a full meal with the family.
There is so much you can do with your bread knife, but you must take proper care of it, clean it, and store it well for it to serve you longer.
If you are up on a discovery journey with your kitchen tools, think about it – do you really need a bread knife?