A good bread knife is an essential part of any kitchen and a sensible investment for bakers in particular. It doesn’t have to be mega expensive; however, cheap bread knives can be a poor long term choice. Choosing the right bread knife can make a real difference.
What makes a good bread knife
- Sharp – to prevent shredding the bread
- Long blade – a 9″ – 11” / 22 – 28 cm knife blade is best for large homemade loaves (and cakes) to avoid the knife getting lost in the loaf i.e. the longer the blade, the cleaner, smoother and more even the slice. Ideally, the blade should also be slightly flexible.
- Serrated or scalloped – for the necessary grip and bite to cut through the crust of a loaf without squashing the crumb; the serrations should be uniformly spaced and moderate in length.
- Balanced weight – the weight between the blade and the handle should be well balanced, with not too much weight on either side.
- Comfortable to hold – Cutting into a freshly baked loaf of your own homemade bread feels great; make sure your bread knife does too.
Some of best bread knives available in the UK
Here is a review of some of the best bread knives available in the UK. The brands listed here are Wüsthof (manufactured in Germany), Global (made in Japan), Victorinox (based in Switzerland) and Robert Welch (British designer-manufacturers).
First of all, my personal bread knife of choice – Wüsthof Xline bread knife (23 cm blade). It cuts bread brilliantly, with very little crumb ‘lost’ in the process.
Global Bread Knife
Global bread knife (22 cm blade, made from one single piece of steel although not fit for the dishwasher)
This Classic Wüsthof bread knife (26 cm blade) is also excellent; very sharp and great for clean slices of large loaves.
Victorinox Fully Forged Rosewood Bread Knife
In terms of style, this Victorinox bread knife (23 cm blade) with ergonomic rosewood handles can’t be beaten.
Robert Welch Signature
Bread knives also double up well as carving knives and are generally an excellent choice for many other foods with a hard exterior and soft centre such as tomatoes.
For a handmade knives of outstanding quality, look no further than these beautifully crafted bread knives by Robert Herder, based in Solingen in Germany. A combination of fine grinding and glazing gives each of these Windmühle knives an exceptionally thin, sharp and long-lasting blade.