I’ll admit; I used to use any old knife to slice my sourdough bread. And truthfully, I thought the mess I was making was purely down to my terrible slicing skills! I never knew that using the right knife was so important until I found an actual bread knife down the back of my kitchen drawer and tried it out. Wow. What a difference!
The challenge with cutting into sourdough bread is that although the crust can be quite thick and hard, the inside can be soft, airy and fluffy, giving a unique challenge to the knife it is cut with. It has to be able to slice through both hard and soft simultaneously without damaging either.
If you were to use a regular chef’s knife to slice your hard crusted sourdough bread (like I used to!), you’ll find at least some of these issues come up: 1. The interior crumb would get squashed and compressed, which would ruin the texture of the bread. 2. Slices would be uneven, or worse, won’t even resemble slices!