Slicing Bread

  laurie53 09:54 15 Mar 2009

This is for those who remember the days before sliced bread (What was the “Best thing since…..” before sliced bread?).

I was talking the other day about how, when I was a child in Wales, the local mothers would use a massive knife to slice a loaf of bread clasped to their (usually ample) bosoms without ever even cutting a thread of their aprons.

My wife, who was brought up in a Welsh “enclave” in Kent, commented that all her Welsh neighbours used to do the same.

Up until then it had never occurred to me that this could possibly be just a local practice, so, how did your Mum cut the bread?

This is surely not Wales only? I can understand it not being common practice in Harrow, but I would have thought Lancashire mill lasses and the like would have used a similar method.

(Is this a suitable subject for "the worldwide number one technology magazine website"? lol. We'll be having a discussion on tinned tomatoes next!)

  newman35 10:20 15 Mar 2009

I remember being sent for a tinned loaf, and always asking for a 'well-done' on, and proceeding to pick bits of the dark crust off, on the way home. Can still taste it!!
As far as I remember we did have a big knife, but also a table (and chairs too, I think) to put the bread on for cutting. Happy? days. (;-))

  WhiteTruckMan 10:35 15 Mar 2009

is my grandfather -a drawer in, if you know what that was- cutting half way down the loaf, then in at the end for half a slice, leaving a stepped loaf!


  Pamy 10:45 15 Mar 2009

My mother cut it the same as you describe laurie53, but she would butter it first if we were having bread and butter that is. The knife would be saw edged and she would use the plain back edge to spreed the butter.

  Simsy 10:49 15 Mar 2009

but a do remember a friend of my aunt's doing it, and I remember thinkin git was strange... She used to butter the loaf before cutting of the buttered slice.

This was in south London in the early 60s. I have a very vivid picture of it in my mind.



  newman35 11:01 15 Mar 2009

The 'buttering first' was because the bread was so fresh and crumbly that, when cut it, would break up when butter applied.
Or, in the case of Yorkshire folk, it meant mother had the hands on how much butter you actually got!! (Never guess I was from Lancs).

  Proclaimer 11:48 15 Mar 2009

I took to baking my own bread a few years ago and I rarely go near sliced bread.

  jack 12:11 15 Mar 2009

I make my own now.
Both in the Breadmaker and in the Combi Microwave on Convection
Bread Knife I have two.

  sunnystaines 12:17 15 Mar 2009

bread knife and wooden bread board is all I can remember.

  MAJ 12:32 15 Mar 2009

I remember very well the stepped loaf, I also remember the red knuckles I got when toasting it, held with a fork, in front of the range. I can still taste the piping-hot, doorstep-sized, toast covered in real butter, ahh the good ol' days....... why do grannies have to die?

  Forum Editor 12:41 15 Mar 2009

used to slice bread with the loaf clutched to her chest. She could turn out perfect slices that way, but it was a little disconcerting the first time you saw her do it. She was also adept at the stepped loaf.

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