Much like riding a bike or tying shoelaces, cutting bread is one of those fundamental skills that everybody should have mastered by the time they reach adulthood. It should be second nature to us – especially to anyone who calls themselves a foodie. And yet, for many people, it’s still a struggle.
If the bread is too soft, it’s easy to end up crushing it while slicing your sarnie. If it’s too hard, on the other hand, the delicious loaf often ends up crumbling to pieces before your very eyes. And let’s not even get into the biggest bread-related crime of all time: the slanted slice.
Now these sound like minor issues, but they can ruin an entire meal. How are you supposed to get even proportions of bread and filling with each bite of your sandwich if both slices have been cut diagonally? How would you explain to your significant other that the breakfast you’d lovingly prepared for them was ruined by an unsightly piece of toast?
Just what, exactly, would you have to say for yourself if your dinner party bruschetta starter came out looking like a child’s attempt at making dinner?
Come on people, this is important stuff.
Why we’ve allowed this mistreatment of bread to go on for so long is a mystery. I mean, it’s such a core part of most of our diets – it seems insane that we’ve been doing it wrong all this time. So what’s the secret? How can we avoid haphazardly-cut rolls and unappealingly-squashed sandwiches? Well, the internet has the answer – and it’s annoyingly simple.
Instead of cutting bread from the top, just slice it from the side. That’s literally it. The side is usually much sturdier than the top, and can take a little more pressure – meaning that a sawing motion from a knife is unlikely to crush it or result in an uneven slice.
As chef Sarah Jampel explains:
“The best way to get consistent slices and preserve the shape of the loaf, which has a tendency to crumble, is to turn the bread on its side, score it using a ruler, and then slice away—clean motions, just a few back-and-forth saws, and as little downward pressure as possible.”
Scoring it with a ruler may seem a little overkill – but if you’re committed to making your grub look good, it’s the only way to go. Plus, for only a little extra effort, you can have perfectly sliced sandwiches every time.
Now you have this information, your culinary adventures in the land of bread will be limitless. You could make a geometrically-perfect club sandwich. Or an aesthetically-pleasing cheese toastie. Or – now here’s a wild idea – you could make a whole tower of flawless French toast. If that doesn’t impress someone, I don’t know what will.
Whatever you do, though, don’t slice your sandwiches into rectangles. We all know triangles taste way better.