Skip to main content

How To Cut Boule-Style Round Bread Loaf

Cutting a fresh baked loaf of bread can actually be a bit of a challenge. I have the cuts on my fingers to prove it. They are a little too wide for most bread knives and laying them flat leaves a thick crust on the cutting board that can be difficult to cut through.

After watching the MasterClass segment with Apollonia Poilane, I learned a much simpler and safer way to cut a round boule-style loaf. The first step is to cut it in half. This is the trickiest part because if you lay it flat, it can be difficult to get through. You can stand it up on its side but then it is unstable.

The real trick to this first part is to ensure you have a sharp serrated bread knife. American's Test Kitchen's top serrated knife is the Mercer 10" Serrated Knife. The best part is it's also very affordable at less than $30 and available on Amazon. I had a lousy bread knife before I had this one and I can honestly say it's definitely worth getting. It cuts through the crust like a dream making it much safer to stand the loaf on its side to cut in half.

After making this cut, you now have two halves of the loaf. The next step is to stand up one of the halves with the cut side down. This exposes the entire crust surface which means you do the hardest part first with each next cut rather than last. It also provides a really stable surface with the flat cut side down. All you have to do is pick your desired thickness of slices and work your way from one side to the other. Then repeat with the second half of the loaf.

Now you should have your bread all sliced and ready for toast or sandwiches or just eating as is maybe with a bit of butter or olive oil. It's so much more pleasant to eat after cutting the bread safely and efficiently than struggling and ending up with torn or uneven slices (or even worst, a cut finger). Give this technique a try the next time you try My Best Sourdough Bread or your own recipe.