7 Best Bread Slicers | May 2017
- works with cheese and veggies too
- has an anti-skid base
- somewhat flimsy plastic
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- cool-running motor
- fuse for power surge protection
- hard to achieve an even thickness
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- unique housewarming gift
- never needs to be sharpened
- only for left-handed use
|Brand||Out of the Woods of Ore|
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- for righties and lefties
- stainless steel screws
- doesn't help with slice uniformity
|Brand||Bread Slicer Depot|
|Model||Maple Slicer Classic|
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- exceptionally thin blade
- feels light in the hand
- reasonably priced option
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- beautiful matte finish
- works with tall loaves
- solid and durable
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- from an american family-run company
- polyethylene cutting surface
- offers two different slice sizes
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
Choosing A Great Bread Slicer
There is really no food quite as delicious as fresh bread. Whether made at home in your very own oven or bread maker or whether brought home from a beloved bakery, bread has long been, is now, and ever shall be an exquisite and celebrated food.
Perhaps it is the elegant simplicity of bread that allows it to bring so much pleasure to the diner; indeed bread need only be made using three ingredients: flour, water, and yeast. Yet breads can also be fabulously complex, boasting flavor profiles ranging from the sour to the sweet to the savory and on. Bread is delicious whether made with dried fruits, nuts, herbs, cheeses, and even with cured meats and more. The favorite food of peasant and royalty alike in antiquity, bread remains the staple food of billions around the world today.
And while having a great loaf of bread is always welcome, having an easy way to cut that loaf into slices is even better. For nothing makes bread better than enjoying it shortly after it is cut. Pre-sliced bread may have been a wonder of its time and might remain a convenience in the modern era, but it can't match fresh sliced loaves for flavor.
You can certainly grab a knife and start slicing away at bread, no purpose-built bread slicer required. But what you almost surely can't do freehand is cut yourself uniform pieces of bread suitable for sandwiches or for serving in baskets or beside handsomely plated settings.
A bread slicer is really nothing more than a frame with one or more -- and often many -- slots carved into it through which you can guide a knife as you cut downward through a loaf of bread. So in terms of basic functionality, most bread slicers are one in the same. When choosing which suits your needs, you must decide based on how many bread slices you will likely want to make at once and on the aesthetics of the unit itself.
Taking quantity as the first metric, if you want to essentially create a pre-sliced loaf of bread sized for sandwiches or toast, then consider one of the bread slicers with a half dozen or more slots for cutting. These units allow you to slice many pieces of bread without having to reposition the loaf, maximizing your efficiency. However they tend not to allow much discretion in slice thickness.
For the chef looking to cut extra thick pieces of bread suitable for serving with a soup, salad, or other dish, a bread slicer that offers a single guide might be best -- this design allows for steady, easy slicing, yet does not limit the thickness of each slice carved from the loaf.
As for looks, some bread slicers work just fine but are made from plastic and were designed with little concern for aesthetics, while others are carved from wood or boast stainless steel guides. If you plan to leave your bread slicer out on the counter, spend the extra money on a great looking unit.
Cutting And Saving Bread
Anyone who has ever tried to slice a loaf of bread using the wrong knife for the job has experienced a fleeting but profound frustration. A superlative bread knife can be had for around a hundred dollars and will keep its razor sharp serrated edge for thousands of slices. But don't worry, many perfectly fine bread knives are available for a quarter of that cost and, if used only for bread, even an affordable bread knife should last for years with minimal sharpening and maintenance needed. Look for a knife with a blade that is at least eight inches long so it will be longer than most loaves are wide, and stick with small, rounded serrations for the best cuts.
Once you have cut away as much bread as you plan to eat or serve at a given time, it's important you properly preserve your bread; if left out in the ambient air, most bread will grow hard and stale within a matter of hours and will grow mold within a day or so. However, putting bread in the fridge is actually not a good way to keep it fresher. If you're going to finish the bread within a matter of days, place it in a container or bag that can be fully sealed, trying to remove as much air as possible before closing the packaging.
For longer term bread storage, wrap the bread snugly in plastic or foil or place it in an airtight bag. Then freeze the bread, knowing it should stay safe and tasty for as long as three months. Just be ready to have to toast the bread or warm it in the oven (after letting it thaw) before enjoying it.
How Long Has It Been Since Sliced Bread, Anyway?
Sliced bread such as we take it for granted today was not around until well into the last century. In fact, it was first sold at a bakery in Chillicothe, Missouri on the 7th of July, 1928. And while advertisements of the day hailed the new pre-sliced loaves of bread as "The Greatest Forward Step in the Baking Industry Since Bread Was Wrapped," customer reception was, in fact, rather chilly.
Many people thought the new pre-sliced loaves of bread looked sloppy and unappealing, lacking the lovely cohesive appearance of a whole loaf. Eventually convenience won out -- new approaches to packaging, which held the sliced loaves in more uniform shape, certainly helped as well -- and sliced bread caught on, soon becoming the standard for bread sold in many parts of the world.
In recent years, however, the general trend toward locally sourced and prepared foods and the elevated profile of foods and culinary concerns in general have ushered in a renewed appreciation for whole loaves of bread sliced only just prior to consumption. While for much of the 20th century, so many things were referred to as "the best thing since sliced bread," in the 21st century, many people have come to question that premise, wondering, effectively, how great is sliced bread, anyway?