There is something so beautiful about a perfectly made sandwich, especially when the bread and the toppings are a match made in heaven!
Some thought goes into making a good sandwich, and possibly the most important decision to make when creating a sandwich is which bread to use.
Now, there are many, many different types of bread out there, and all are great for different purposes, but some are much better when used to make a sandwich.
Sandwiches are probably the most common lunch food eaten in the United States, so it makes sense that quite a bit of emphasis has been put on making the perfect sandwich, and using the best bread.
So, what are the best sandwich breads? Some of the best and most popular options include sourdough, whole wheat, multigrain, ciabatta, and rye bread. The best bread will also largely depend on your toppings, if you are grilling the bread or not, and what the actual sandwich recipe is.
To help you perfect your sandwich-making skills, we have listed the 9 best sandwich breads for you to try out, as well as what toppings they work best with!
Choosing The Best Sandwich Bread
You can’t just pair any sandwich filling with any bread. There is a bit of an art that goes into matching fillings with certain breads, and knowing how to pair them can help you make the best sandwiches around.
Here are some tips on how to choose the right bread to pair with a certain filling:
- Simple filling combinations, such as cucumber and butter, are best served on thinly sliced breads, so that the bread does not overwhelm the fillings and not overshadow the taste. It can also lead to the sandwich being quite dry if the bread is too thick.
- Saucier fillings need a bread that has a hard crust. This is to stop the bread from becoming too soggy from the saucy filling and to prevent the bread from falling to bits and not actually keeping the filling in.
- Stronger, sturdier fillings such as ham, salami, or cheese, are good on a harder bread such as a baguette. These won’t pop out the other end of the crusty bread when you bite down on it.
- Soft fillings, such as chicken salad, egg salad, or tuna salad, need to be in a softer bread. If the bread is too hard, the soft filling will squish out of the other side when you take a bite, and you will land up with filling everywhere other than on your bread.
- For traditional sandwich toppings, such as peanut butter or jelly, a good old-fashioned white bread is best. It is soft and thick enough to hold the filling, and still let you enjoy the flavor of the spreads!
- For picnics, sourdough breads are best, as they are not too hard and not too soft, and will fare well when packed away in a picnic basket for a while.
The Absolute 9 Best Sandwich Breads
Here are our picks for the best sandwich breads. Each one is unique and will have a filling type it is best suited to, but you cannot go wrong with using any of these breads to make a great sandwich!
1. Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread has been around for centuries. It needs to be made using the traditional methods, which leave it with that tangy, sour taste that really just does taste good as a sandwich.
There are some shortcuts to making sourdough, but it doesn’t always taste the same!
Sourdough is traditionally made from a sourdough starter, although there are certain ways to get around this if you are wanting to make sourdough bread on a shorter timeline.
The outside of a sourdough loaf has a crunchy crust that is usually a beautiful light brown color. The inside of the bread is soft and tangy, with more of a savory taste.
Some recipes call for sugar to be added to the sourdough, but to make a sandwich, the traditional savory sourdough loaf is best.
The rich flavor of sourdough bread pairs well with savory fillings, and it can be enjoyed as a breakfast toast or as a sandwich later on in the day.
These are some of the best fillings to pair with sourdough bread:
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese
- Avocado and tomato
- Smoked ham and cheese
- Bacon, tomato, and mayonnaise
It is best to pair savory toppings or fillings with sourdough bread. It is also amazing served plain, straight out of the oven topped with some butter!
2. Ciabatta Bread
Ciabatta bread is an oil bread, as it is made with wheat flour, water, olive oil, yeast, and salt. The oil content of the bread helps to give it a rich, flavorful taste that is great with savory toppings.
It also helps it be one of the best bread to make a Mediterranean-inspired sandwich with!
It is a relatively new bread, only being created in 1982 in Verona, Italy, but it has fast become one of the most popular breads used to make sandwiches in cafés and restaurants worldwide.
The outside of ciabatta bread has a beautiful, crispy savory crust, which holds a light, fluffy and airy center, which is still strong enough to hold a range of different fillings.
While ciabatta is best served with savory fillings, especially items such as pickles, capers, or feta, it can also be incredible when served with a sweet ingredient as well, such as a brie and cranberry topping.
These are some of the best fillings to pair with ciabatta bread:
- Italian ham, basil, cucumber, and lettuce
- Turkey slices, mayonnaise, and cheese
- Sliced brie and cranberry jam
You can serve ciabatta toasted or untoasted, with it faring well either way. Ciabatta is wonderful when used to make toasted cheese and served alongside a tomato soup!
Otherwise, the bread is strong enough, but still light and fluffy, to be enjoyed as an untoasted sandwich as well.
3. Rye Bread
Rye bread can vary in darkness, depending on the proportions of flour to rye grain used. The color can be light brown, or very dark.
It is a considerably healthy bread, containing more fiber and micronutrients than most other bread types. It is also very tasty!
Rye bread has quite a distinctive taste. Rye flour used to make rye bread is heavier and darker than the flour used to make other breads, which results in the rye bread being darker and denser too.
This heavier bread can hold lots of different fillings and doesn’t necessarily need to be toasted.
Flavored with caraway seeds, rye bread has a very distinctive taste, which is earthy and vibrant, and quite similar to a herbal tea. Some rye breads are made with a sourdough base, and this could give them a sour, tangy flavor too.
Some of the best fillings to pair with rye bread include:
- Honey and ricotta
- Cream cheese and smoked salmon
- Goats cheese and jam
- Pear, nuts, and cinnamon butter
- Egg salad and spinach
The herbal notes of rye bread make it compatible with both sweet and savory fillings, and it is even better when served with bits of both!
4. French Baguette
French baguette rolls are made from a basic lean dough and are a longer bread that is often sliced lengthways and turned into a roll sandwich.
Baguettes are quite versatile, and you can either slice it to serve the baguette as a sandwich or turn it into a sub.
It is a great option if you are serving more than one person, as you can fill the baguette with your choice of ingredients, and then slice off a section for each person.
You can either serve a fresh baguette with fillings, either closed or as an open sandwich, or toast the baguette for a warmer lunch option.
Whatever you prefer, a baguette is definitely a versatile option, and will taste great done both ways!
It is best to avoid using soft fillings in a baguette, as the outer crust of a baguette can be quite hard, so when you take a bite from the sandwich, the fillings might pop out the other end.
These are the best filling options for baguettes:
- Butter, French-style ham, and Emmental cheese
- Goat cheese and tomato
- Tuna, hardboiled egg, black olives, and vinaigrette
While it is not advised to add soft fillings into a baguette, oily ingredients are fine, such as olives, vinaigrettes, or roasted peppers, as the bread soaks up this oil and it is given a whole new flavor.
5. Focaccia Bread
Focaccia bread might not be what pops into mind when it comes to sandwich bread, but done right, it can make for a delicious lunch!
Focaccia is technically a flatbread and isn’t something you would usually slice to make a sandwich. However, it can be used to make an open sandwich, and the flavor of the focaccia helps to complement a whole range of toppings.
It is a good idea to use focaccia to make a sandwich if you are wanting to cut down the amount of bread you eat, but still want some carbs to enjoy with lunch!
Some of the best toppings for a focaccia bread sandwich include:
- Roasted tomatoes and olive oil
- Olives, roasted peppers, and caramelized onions
- Pastrami, cheese, onion, and tomato
Focaccia, being an oil bread, is great served with vinaigrettes and olive oil, as it soaks it all up into the bread, which holds the oil and the flavor well.
6. Multigrain Bread
Multigrain bread is a wonderfully healthy bread, and it has many different nutritional benefits that regular bread does not.
The added grains are rich in vitamins, protein, and fiber, and the complex carbohydrates help to make you feel full for longer.
As healthy as multigrain bread is, it is also very tasty. The added seeds and grains give the bread a nutty, earthy flavor, which pairs well with both sweet and savory fillings.
Served mostly in sliced or unsliced loaves, it is easy enough to make a sandwich from multigrain bread.
Here are some filling combinations that work best with multigrain bread:
- Turkey slices, lettuce, radish, cucumber, tomato, and mayonnaise
- Bacon, avocado, and tomato
- Peanut butter and jelly (with shaved toasted coconut for some extra flavor and crunchiness)
- Egg salad with bacon and lettuce
7. Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is made using flour that is either partly or entirely milled from whole wheat grains. It is considered a brown bread and is a healthier option than white bread.
Whole wheat bread has a soft texture, with a slightly chewy crust. It is great at holding many different fillings, both sweet and savory, and is also delicious when toasted.
It can be toasted by the slice and topped with peanut butter and jelly, or toasted together as a whole sandwich to make a delicious grilled cheese.
The traditional toppings of a sandwich are all great on whole wheat bread, but you can also get quite creative with your toppings too. Here are some to try:
- Mayonnaise, sliced avocado, rocket, and tomato
- Ham, cheese, and mustard
- Roast beef and pickles
- Chopped egg, avocado, and lettuce
- Chicken salad
There are so many different sandwiches you can make with whole wheat bread, toasted or served soft and fresh!
8. White Bread
White bread may not be the healthiest option, but it is definitely a winner bread that can make just about any sandwich you could want! It is also so readily available and is a go-to for many families.
Whether you are making a delicious sandwich, a grilled cheese, or a slice of toast to enjoy on your way out of the house in the morning, white bread can definitely see to it!
When using white bread to make a sandwich, here are some great fillings to try:
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Cheese, ham, and tomato
- Tuna salad
- Egg salad
- Bacon and egg
As white bread isn’t the healthiest, you should only have it now and then, and enjoy some whole wheat bread on occasion as well!
9. Potato Bread
Potato bread is a unique bread, but it is great to use for sandwiches. It is a bread that is packed with flavor, and a special spongy texture that creates a great sandwich.
The best bit about potato bread is that it can be made with either sweet or savory fillings, and it can hold just about any filling too.
The bread is quite dense, but also spongy and chewy, so it is able to hold both dry and soft fillings. It can also be toasted, which actually brings out a lot of the flavor of the bread!
These are some of the best fillings to use to make a potato bread sandwich:
- Grilled ham and blue cheese
- Grilled cheese with peppers
- Peanut butter and sliced banana
The versatility of potato bread, and the unique texture, make for a very special, filling sandwich!
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best breads to use for your next sandwich, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Why is it important to choose the right bread when making a sandwich?
The bread you choose for a sandwich is important, as it needs to match the filling you are using.
It should not be too soft so that a saucy filling runs through, or too hard or dry that your slice of ham is lost in the crunchiness or overwhelming taste of bread.
What is the healthiest bread for sandwiches?
If you are looking for healthy bread to keep at home to make sandwiches during the day, you should opt for a sprouted whole grain bread.
This bread is made from grains that have begun to sprout, and which have great nutrients and vitamins.