If you have a special occasion coming up and are planning on making some delicious starters, definitely opt for Bruschetta. This snack is very easy to make, and extremely versatile, not to mention light on the wallet!
But, which bread can be used to make Bruschetta with? Some of the best options for Bruschetta that are similar in texture and flavor include ciabatta, sourdough, filone, and baguette. Other great options that will work equally well, even though they are a little different, are brioche, focaccia, white bread, and Criola (a type of hard roll).
In this jam-packed article, we will look at the ultimate list of bread for Bruschetta. These will vary in texture, flavor, price, and availability.
All to ensure that you find the best option for you! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get right to it!
What Is Bruschetta?
Some people are very familiar with Bruschetta while others have never heard of this amazing dish before. However, if you are a foodie you have likely made Bruschetta without even knowing it!
Bruschetta is a popular Italian antipasto (also known as a starter dish) that is packed with flavor, but incredibly simplistic in concept.
This dish is made up of grilled bread slices that have been rubbed with some garlic, brushed with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. There are many variations, but this is the most basic example of a good Bruschetta dish.
The area where most Bruschetta dishes vary is in the toppings used to make them. Bruschetta can be topped with tomatoes, beans, cured meats, a variety of cheeses, or vegetables.
You can be extremely creative when it comes to this dish, as long as the bread element (with garlic and olive oil) remains the same.
Choosing The Right Elements For Bruschetta
There are a few key factors to consider when making Bruschetta! These include:
The type of bread that you choose to make Bruschetta with is arguably the most important element to consider. Otherwise, you may as well be making fancy toast!
If you choose a slice that is too thick, it won’t crisp up nicely. But, if you choose a slice that is too thin, it will turn out like a cracker.
Furthermore, you don’t want to use bread with a too open a crumb (bread that has a lot of holes in it). This will cause the toppings to fall through and will provide less crunch in every bite.
Traditionally, Bruschetta is made using Italian bread called Pagnotta. This is a loaf that is made with durum wheat flour.
Another unique key feature of these loaves of bread is that they are leavened using a Sourdough starter. And finally, they should traditionally be baked in a wood-burned oven.
Unfortunately, outside of Italy, this bread is extremely hard to find. You can make your own at home, but honestly, who has the time for that?! So, there are a couple of alternative options which we will naturally discuss today.
The seasonings used for Bruschetta include olive oil, garlic, and salt. Easy enough, right? Well, if you choose cheap ingredients, the flavor will also be lacking.
We highly recommend sticking with olive oil. Even though it is more expensive than oil blends, it adds a fantastic golden brown color, gives the slice an amazing crisp, and provides an authentic appealing olive flavor.
When it comes to garlic, it is also best to use fresh garlic. You can grate it with a fine-edged grater and spread it over the slice of bread. But, a better option is to finely chop the garlic (coarser than grating).
By chopping it, you can have pieces of garlic spread throughout, making the flavorless overwhelming. It gives the topping flavors a chance to peek through.
And finally, we always recommend using sea salt flakes or Maldon salt for toppings. It is very salty, a little bit expensive, but far better than fine salt.
Choosing an appropriate topping for Bruschetta is secondary to the bread, but still pretty important. When choosing a topping there are two main things to consider.
The first is the flavors of the ingredients used and how they pair together. The second is if the texture compliments that of the toasted bread.
Let’s say for example that you choose to add raw vegetables to the toasted bread. Each bite will be painfully hard and crunchy!
Who would’ve ever thought that there is something like too crunchy? But the types of textures don’t work together well.
Instead, something like grilled aubergine slices, cucumber ribbons, or julienne carrots will work much better.
And, in terms of the flavor of the overall dish, you cannot go wrong. The bread itself is delicious, but in reality, it is only meant to be a savory serving platter for other ingredients.
So, you don’t have to worry about anything overpowering the flavor of the slice.
Simply choose toppings that traditionally work well together. Sliced tomato, basil, cream cheese, and balsamic vinegar are always a winner! So are smoked salmon ribbons, cream cheese, and chopped chives.
Once you become more confident with your flavor pairings, you can start experimenting at home.
The 9 Best Kinds Of Bread For Bruschetta
Without further or do, here are our top choices for bread for Bruschetta.
We have included a very wide variety of options that range in flavor, texture, availability, and price. This way, we can assure you that you will find an option that works for you!
As we have mentioned above, traditionally pagnotta bread is used to make Bruschetta. So naturally, it easily takes the number one spot!
This bread is very unique. It is made using durum wheat flour and some sourdough starter. This gives the loaf a very tangy flavor accompanied by a soft and almost sponge-like texture.
The reason that this particular bread is so popular is also because of the crumb. It doesn’t have particularly large open holes but isn’t in any way a dense loaf.
This makes it easy to crisp up, hold the toppings, and create an overall amazing flavor profile.
This loaf is also the perfect diameter for making good-sized topped slices. Traditionally, the heavier loaves are made using 4.5 to 6.6 pounds (2-3 kilograms) of dough.
However, they are often adapted, like in this case, to create smaller breads for toasting.
If you are looking at any other options, the best alternatives will be anything close to Pagnotta.
At first glance, ciabatta may not sound very similar to pagnotta. Heck, why not just use sourdough?
Well, simply because sourdough tends to have much larger air pockets (holes) than ciabatta. This could mean that you cannot use some of the slices.
Thus, ciabatta made the list in a higher position. This loaf is elongated and will give you more evenly-width slices. This means that all your portions will be more or less equal in size.
The crumb is still pretty open and the ciabatta boasts many medium-sized air pockets. This helps make the bread light and spongy, perfect for toasting!
And, the flavor is also pretty neutral. So, you don’t have to worry about what ingredients will pair well with it, and which won’t.
As we said, the only reason sourdough didn’t get a higher rating is because some of the slices will be unusable.
While sourdough has many other fantastic functions, making a perfect slice of toasted bread for toppings isn’t its strongest feature.
But, if you do end up with some good pieces with medium-sized holes, then this option is incredibly well-suited.
Sourdough naturally has a tangy and yeasty flavor. This flavor almost exactly matches that of pagnotta seeing as both use a yeast starter. Its texture is also chewy while the crust is crisp.
Another downside to sourdough, or rather a factor to consider, is that you will have to make Bruschetta in a large oven. The slices will be quite large, making it less than ideal to toast individually. But, if you’re willing to put in the work, it makes a great option.
You may find this bread to be a strange choice to toast, but focaccia is already flavored with garlic and olive oil., Then, when simply toasting the slices, you have a quick and easy Bruschetta dish.
The biggest obstacle that you will run into when it comes to using focaccia is pairing flavors. This mostly applies when you choose flavored focaccia bread. You get loads of pre-flavored options with tomatoes, herbs, and olives.
While these pre-added toppings aren’t very hard to pair, they will restrict you slightly from using any new topping. For example, you won’t add salmon ribbons to a tomato-flavored bread. It just doesn’t pair that well.
So, choose wisely before simply grabbing this option. It only works if the flavor pairings work!
We all know and love baguettes! They make the perfect bite-sized appetizers for any event. And similarly, they will make perfect mini-Bruschetta treats too.
Baguettes are relatively soft and airy loaves with a chewy texture. Their flavor is extremely neutral, hence their popularity.
Their downside in this instance is that they won’t work well as regular Bruschetta-sized snacks. You will need to make a bunch of bites which will cost you more and give you lots of added labor.
But, as we have said, they make perfect bite-sized options. And, baguette slices toast incredibly well! Just don’t make the slices as thick as you normally would for appetizers. You don’t want to just be eating bread!
6. White Bread
Now, even though this may not be the most exciting option for bread, it is very effective. Regular loaves of white bread are not only extremely budget-friendly, but they are very easy to find.
They have a very neutral flavor, make excellent toast slices, and are a good-sized slice for Bruschetta. One or two slices with toppings will fill you up!
And better yet, you can even use slightly old and stale bread! This is a great way to finish any leftover slices without tossing them away. Because you are toasting them, the stale texture will quickly disappear.
If you have never had brioche before, do yourself a favor and go buy some right now! Brioche is a type of enriched bread, meaning it contains a lot of sugar and fat. It has a very definitive sweet flavor, albeit not like candy.
Furthermore, this bread has a very soft and fluffy texture and no crispness. When it is toasted, however, the sweet flavors further develop and enhance.
This option is great for making Bruschetta because of how well it goes with many toppings. You wouldn’t think pairing ingredients with sweet bread is easy, but the garlic and salt on the surface create a fantastic sweet and salty flavor profile.
Now, you may not have heard of this bread before, especially if you aren’t familiar with Italian cuisine. It can be quite tricky to find and is also not priced on the lower end. But, it is a great option!
Filone is a yeast bread that is also made with durum flour, specifically semolina (a fine grind). It is also a bread that is made with less salt, but sprinkling some on with garlic makes up for the sometimes lacking taste.
Furthermore, it has a very similar shape to a ciabatta (more rectangular or oval). This means that you can create beautiful equally-sized slices with minimal effort.
These loaves are very similar to ciabatta, but they are much smaller. They are mostly considered to be a type of roll, not loaf. Now, you may be wondering then why we would include it on our list?
When these rolls are sliced in half and toasted, they make a fantastic base for Bruschetta. As we said, they are very similar to ciabatta. They have a medium-open crumb that is chewy and soft with a crunchy crust.
And, their flavor is very neutral, making them another great option for virtually all toppings. Other options to ciriola include hard rolls, kaiser rolls, or coney rolls.
How To Make Bruschetta
Making Bruschetta is incredibly easy, regardless of the type of bread you are using! The difficulty comes in how you are going to crisp it up.
If you are using small slices of bread, then you may be able to toast it in your regular toaster. But, this could pose some challenges on its own, like how to get the garlic flavor infused.
Your best option will always be to use a convection oven, toaster oven, or conventional oven (no fan circulation).
Step 1: Slice The Bread
Slice your bread into roughly 1-inch slices (at the most). Anything bigger will overwhelm the toppings, and anything thinner will be insignificant.
If you are using rolls, you can simply slice them in half. If you are using focaccia, slice the flatbread into squares or rectangles.
Step 2: Brush The Slices With Olive Oil
Using a pastry brush, coat the entire surface of your slice in olive oil. Make sure to coat both sides so that the bread evenly crisps and browns.
Once you have finished brushing a slice with oil, place it on a lined baking tray.
Step 3: Season With Garlic And Salt
Finally, sprinkle the slices with chopped garlic and sea salt flakes. Make sure to distribute the seasoning ingredients evenly.
And, don’t overdo it! Especially if you want to still add other toppings.
Step 4: Toast
Place the slices inside a preheated oven at 320ºF. The bread will take roughly 15 minutes to toast and you only turn it once halfway through the timer.
Larger slices will naturally take a little longer to properly toast.
Step 5: Garnish
Once your slices have beautifully toasted, allow them to cool completely before adding any heat-sensitive toppings.
Serve your homemade Bruschetta immediately while they are still fresh.
If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a great video on how to make Bruschetta 3 different ways!
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