If you're looking for the best bread knife for sourdough bread, you've come to the right place. A good bread knife is an essential part of any sourdough baker's toolkit.
You don't want to spend a few days baking the perfect loaf of sourdough, only to tear it to shreds when it comes time to slice it.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right bread knife, but this guide will ensure you purchase one that is perfect for the job.
I've written this guide and review using real life experience. The bread knife I recommend is one I own and use everyday in my own kitchen.
If you're in a hurry - here's the knife I recommend for cutting sourdough:
and if you're after the left handed version, here's the one you need:
What Makes A Good Sourdough Bread Knife?
A bread knife is made specifically for the purpose of slicing and cutting bread.
It works particularly well for crusty artisan bread such as sourdough.
So what makes a good bread knife?
- An extra long blade (10" is perfect).
- Pointed serrations that are not too close together.
- A thin, but inflexible blade made from durable material like high carbon stainless steel.
- A slight curve to the blade is not essential but makes it easier to cut through the base of bread.
- An ergonomic handle made from non slip material.
If your bread knife ticks all of these boxes, it will be best suited to cutting up a loaf of sourdough bread.
If you don't already have a bread knife - this Mercer Bread Knife is the one I recommend and the one you can see in all the photos on this page.
The perfect bread knife will take all the downwards pressure away from the sourdough bread, allowing the blade to do all the hard work.
You might like my guide to slicing sourdough bread perfectly for all the best tips to getting neat, even slices.
Blade Length for Sourdough Bread Knife
The length of the blade matters when it comes to bread knives.
The longer blade allows you to "saw" the bread horizontally without putting pressure on the loaf and squashing it.
A 10" blade is ideal. It means you won't run out of knife when slicing wider boules and batards.
The long blade allows the bread knife to do all the work and minimise the pressure on your wrists and hands.
Longer blades also ensure that you don't need to use the tip of the blade to pierce the bread.
Long, gently sawing motions from the top of the bread are all that is needed to yield perfect slices.
Why Pointed Serrations Matter For Sourdough Bread Knife
Pointed serrations are the best choice for a sourdough bread knife.
This is because they are best able to grip the bread and saw through the crust without damaging it.
Ideally, you want to make sure that the serrations aren't too close together and are deeper rather than shallow.
Space between the serrations reduces the friction created by the knife, further decreasing damage to your sourdough bread.
If the knife you use creates too much friction, you'll find that it will tear your bread to shreds and create a lot of crumbs.
Best Blade Material for Bread Knives
Ideally, you want a bread knife made from high carbon stainless steel.
This will make the knife light weight, but strong and able to saw through the crustiest of sourdough breads.
The blade should be quite thin but inflexible. You want it to be sturdy, despite it's thinness, so that it doesn't bend when sawing through your loaf.
If the blade is flexible, it will not be able to cut even, steady slices of bread.
High carbon stainless steel will also stay sharper longer.
Best Bread Knife for Slicing Sourdough Bread
The best bread knife for slicing sourdough bread effectively is the Mercer 10" Bread Knife.
It has all the features discussed in this post and is a great price point at just over $20 (standard black handle).
Features of Mercer 10" Bread Knife
- 10" blade for cutting wide boules or batards
- High quality carbon steel blade that stays sharp
- Made from a single piece of steel for durability and longer lasting knife
- Slightly curved blade for easier cutting
- Ergonomic handle for comfort and durability
- Textured finger points provide slip resistance, grip, and safety.
The Mercer 10" Bread Knife is a best seller and comes with a tonne of 5 star reviews - you can check them out here.
This bread knife is also highly recommended in my Facebook Group for Sourdough Bakers.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on the purpose of the knife. If you want to slash or score sourdough before baking, you would use a "lame". If you want to slice baked sourdough bread, you would use a bread knife.
A bread knife with a long blade, pointed serrations that aren't too close together and a thin, inflexible blade. It can also be good to have a slightly curved blade to ensure you can cut through the base of really crusty bread.
Yes, you can use the same serrated bread knife for all types of sourdough - whether it be sandwich loaves or something more crusty like a boule.
Yes you can use a 7" bread knife. Ideally, a serrated bread knife with a 10" blade will be better, but 7" will still give you enough blade to saw the bread for even slices. Basically you want the blade to be longer than the width of your loaf of bread. So if you are only slicing smaller loaves, then 7" will suffice.
Sticky sourdough that sticks to your bread knife is generally a result of cutting into the loaf too soon. Ideally, you need to let it cool for around 4 to 6 hours before you slice into it. I've written a full guide to slicing sourdough bread here.
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