I Love This Wacky-Looking $17 Knife with All My Heart
A few months ago, I took a bread-baking class at a local bakery that’s famous for their freshly milled, whole-grain loaves. Luckily I left that class with lots of knowledge (and some of the bakery’s starter!) and began baking sourdough bread right before staying at home for quarantine became mandatory. Talk about impeccable timing.
With a few loaves flying out of my kitchen each week as I hone my bread-baking skills, a bread knife has become a near-permanent extension of my right hand. And not just any bread knife — this wacky-looking bread knife, which I love with all of my heart.
Buy: Mercer Culinary Millennia 9-Inch Offset Bread Knife, $17
The best tool for cutting bread is a serrated knife, which means one with teeth or a sawtooth blade. The serrations poke and cut through crusty bread with ease, and can also tackle smooth-skinned fruits and vegetables with tender flesh inside like tomatoes and stone fruit. This 9-inch bread knife from Mercer Culinary (a favorite brand among culinary instructors and students) is different from most other bread knives, in that the handle is offset. That, alone, is enough to make me love it (of course, there are other reasons, too). With the offset handle, my knuckles are up and out of the way, and don’t graze the cutting board when I’m sawing through the bottom crust of a loaf of bread.
Besides my chef’s knife, this bread knife is the one I use most frequently in the kitchen. The tricky thing about bread knives, though, is that they’re impossible to sharpen at home, and not all professional knife sharpeners tackle serrated knives. Which brings me to another wonderful point about the Mercer knife: its low price point. Ringing in at only $17, it’s a knife that’s easily replaceable when dulling inevitably happens. The nine-inch length also means it can tackle big loaves of bread with ease, something shorter knives have a harder time doing.
Even if you’re not churning out loaves of sourdough bread constantly like I am, I highly recommend this inexpensive knife. It can handle any of your bread-related tasks and then some.