Home Bread-Bakers v006.n013.9

Slicing tips

"Coop, Carolyn A." <CCOOP@genicom.com>
Thu, 23 Mar 95 11:01:00 PST
Okay, here are some suggestions IMHO for easier, neater slicing of homemade 

 Bread slices best when it's cool.  A serrated blade is neater than a plain 
knife and, finally, a *montana* knife works best of all.  (Refer to a 
Williams-Sonoma or Chef's catalog to see what one looks like -- It's 
basically a "hacksaw" shape with the serrated blade turned to the *side* of 
the hacksaw.)

Now, having said that I'm sure that there are people out there saying to 
themselves "I didn't make homemade bread just so I could wait till it was 
cold to slice!"  and I agree with you.  At our house we only eat bread that 
we've baked.  (If it ain't made at home, it ain't eaten there!) For this 
reason I make several different types of bread each week:  I have a rather 
plain recipe that I like to use for everyday sandwiches, another dough I use 
for pecan cinnamon rolls and many other recipes for specialty breads that I 
use for *hot* breads and special menus.  When serving hot bread I still let 
it cool slightly unless it's something that will be attractive served in 
torn hunks. It also seems easier to me to slice the loaf down the middle 
lengthwise first.  Then I'm only slicing through half as much doughy middle 
and the pieces look nicer.

The plain recipe follows.  I'm sure you all have a similar recipe but this 
one works *great* for us and allows variation when we want a little 
something different for our sandwiches.

                    *  Exported from  MasterCook II  *

                              Sandwich Bread

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 20   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Breads

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
   1 1/2  teaspoons     active dry yeast
   2 1/4  cups          bread flour -- divided
   1      tablespoon    nonfat dry milk powder
   2      tablespoons   gluten
   2      tablespoons   powdered whey -- optional
   1      teaspoon      salt
   1      tablespoon    butter, margarine or shortening
   1                    egg
     3/4  cup           warm water

Place ingredients in ABM in order given (or reverse if necessary so liquids 
are added first).  I put the egg in the bottom of a measuring cup and add 
warm water to equal 3/4 cup.  I add more water, if necessary, by tablespoon 
as the machine starts to mix.  Set machine for Normal or Manual setting.  I 
confess that since this is used primarily for sandwiches and my machine 
makes round loaves, I generally use the Manual setting. To do this, take the 
dough from the machine when it beeps and quickly form into a log shape. 
 This goes into a large loaf pan covered with a towel and doubles in size in 
about 45-60 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool on rack.

This makes excellent plain bread for sandwiches.  I vary the recipe  by 
substituting whole wheat flour for up to 1 cup of the bread flour and have 
also tried using oat flour or finely ground oatmeal in place of 1/2 cup of 
bread flour.  1/4 cup of wheat germ in lieu of same amount bread flour is 
another additive that works well.
                   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
If making this bread in my Welbilt ABM I remove it immediately, place on 
rack and cover with a towel to let cool.  (Covering with a towel while still 
hot helps the crust stay chewy instead of making it crispy.  IMHO, this is 
desirable for sandwich bread.) Then, when completely cool, I slice the loaf 
in half, lengthwise, and store in a plastic container.  I have more success 
slicing halfmoon slices than I do with full circles.  Use a montana knife to 
slice when ready to eat.  For the traditional loaf, I cool the same way 
after removing from oven. Store in plasticware until ready to serve and then 
slice by placing the loaf on its *side* on the cutting board and using the 
montana knife.  I find it easier to slice even, measured slices using the 
flat side of the loaf as the "top".  Of course, when done I *turn* the slice 
around and it looks normal again ;-)).