The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need some bread ideas for a party

txfarmer's picture

Need some bread ideas for a party

I am hoping the collective wisdom of TFL would give me some good and creative ideas for a party this coming Sun.

- It's a potluck party hosted by my boss. She lives in a fancy house with huge kitchen and all the nice euqipments so I can do some light baking there if necessary. Other people will bring foods or cook dishes there, so I wouldn't want to hog the whole kitchen.

- She's a fan of my breads, so she has requested me to bring one or two kinds of breads.

- It's a lunch thing, so I won't have a whole lot of time beforehand to get ready

- I need to take the breads and drive for 30 to 60min to her house

- Some people (including the boss) there are from Europe, they would appreciate European style breads, maybe even sourdough, but the majority of them are TX born and raised, I think they will appreciate "American breads" more, like pizza bites etc.

- There will be about 10 to 20 people.


Any ideas? I am currently considering focaccia (any good recipe? I've baked BBA version and liked it, just wondering whether there are others.), baguettes (it would be difficult to produce enough for so many people though), rolls (what kind??!!)... Many thanks!

SallyBR's picture

Txfarmer, one kind of bread that I think would please the American crowd and might make some European converts... is one of those big "pull-apart" concoctions.  I think they are called monkey bread, but I'm sure "real" Americans will know what I'm talking about


I imagine that many of your recipes for soft rolls can be adapted for this kind of bread - if I remember correctly King Arthur blog featured one of those in the past.  To me, they seem perfect for a crowd, because you can bake two or even three round pans with a bunch of rolls inside and it's quite informal, folks pull the bread apart and munch away


I would definitely bake a couple of Vermont sourdoughs - but just because they are so simple and easy to make - you can make those with two hands tied on your back and blindfolded... :-)


Sounds like such a fun party! 


(by the way, my favorite focaccia is from no need to knead, and I have it in my blog - I made a variation with grapes and blue cheese that was absolutely incredible!)

punainenkettu's picture

I know it's not fancy but Pita bread is so good and a great party food. It's also quick and you could make a few different batches, some plain and some using different herbs and spices. Another plus, for those that don't bake it's always impressive to find that someone just whipped up some Pita bread! There is already a great recipe on TFL too.



wally's picture

and an easy one to do in a large sheet pan.  Then you have the option of adding flavorings to the dough, or, infusing olive oil with them and drizzling that all over the top.

To me, it's pizza without the mess.  Which reminds me - people would love your fougasse!  It's so distinctive and while the Europeans might be familiar with it, I'm pretty sure the Texans would love it for the novelty of its look and the pleasing taste of all that good flavored crust.

Two ideas for ya'.


Daisy_A's picture

Hi txfarmer,

Sounds like a interesting party. I'd go for focaccia too I think.

If you are making a couple of breads already and want something that's thought of a typically European but easier to do for up to 20 people than baguettes, why not croissants? They add an air of luxury but are not so strong tasting that those with milder palates would balk at them. They could also be fitted into the schedule. Andy has a recipe that can be retarded overnight, with the last fold done in the morning. Then you could bake them quickly and just heat them up at your host's house, or even cook them there if you could transport them safely and there was oven space! Would be trickier though. Link to Andy's blog is here Just a thought.

Another though is that if you are doing two savoury breads then maybe a chocolate sourdough? If I remember rightly you have done some lovely ones in the past.

Another thing that springs to mind is lemon bread done as dinner rolls. I've used Jan Hedh's recipe but assume it can be done with Dan Lepard's also. I can get up to 4 medium or 6 small rolls in one firing making this type of bread as a roll. I've found that lemon bread is a lovely accompaniment to other dishes so might go well with a buffet?

Kind regards, Daisy_A

ehanner's picture


If I were you I would show off with your beautiful Fougasse. Maybe a couple different varieties of additions. They are great party breads as every one can pull off what they want. You might make a Pain au Levain for more "American" tastes. This is a drooling experience, really.


SylviaH's picture

maybe adding a lovely large tray of assorted cheeses, grapes, dips, to accompany the lovely Fougasse's,  all will go nicely with wine that most likely will be served.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

You might consider a ciabatta that could stand up to cheese spreads or used in a sandwich with brisket.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and line it with a most beautiful yet simple cloth or napkins.  Then take two or three baguettes, a darker bread (baked the day before, sliced & wrapped) with lots of seeds and mixed grains and then something decorative like mini fougasse.  Putt them into the basket and cover them lightly for transportation.  Cut the baguettes and into individual portions when there and arrange in the basket.  By Pot Luck, each person has only one hand free and should be made easy to just pick up a piece of bread. 


Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I would take the breads you most like to bake - one from the softer end (for me that would be a sandwhich bread or rolls) and an artisan bread (for me, bacon-ciabatta loaf). 

DRKGH's picture

I recently attended a party this weekend and had a similar situation.  Many of the guests had very refined tastes and I wanted to bring a variety of breads.  I decided to offer a bread basket with a mix of shapes and flavors including mini-batards of Sourdough with Gorgonzola and Walnut, Anise and Golden Raisin Boules and a Prosciutto Ring in the center.  It made a nice presentation and the guests were thrilled with the blend of savory and sweet and they held up well throughout the day.   Hope this helps.  Best of luck!



txfarmer's picture

Some great ideas here. So far Fougasse & a soft prosciutto ring are winning out, might throw in a sweet nut&dried fruit sourdough in there just for some sweetness, but may not have enough time.

BettyR's picture

A little something sweet. This is always a great hit at parties and it's super easy to make.


Cinnamon Bun Babka



2 heaping tablespoons white sugar

1/3-cup honey

1/2 stick butter  (chopped)

1-teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups scalded milk

2/3-cup cool water

2 large eggs beaten

5-1/2 cups bread flour

2-1/2 teaspoons or 1 packet of yeast 


***Put the first 5 ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed. Stir with a rubber spatula until the butter is melted.

***Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and select the dough cycle. When the machine first starts you will need to use the rubber spatula to help mix the flour and the liquid or it won't mix well. Just stir with the rubber spatula until all the flour is moistened.

***While you wait for the dough cycle to finish, make your filling and preheat the oven to 325°. Spray a sheet pan with spray-oil, cover with wax paper or parchment paper and spray again.



3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2-cup flour

1-tablespoon cinnamon

1/2-cup butter (I use real butter here-I've never tried margarine)

***Mix dry ingredients together, cut in butter. Place in refrigerator until needed.


***Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface. Coat with flour so it doesn't stick to your hands or the counter. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, 12x24 inches. Spread the filling evenly over the dough and roll up jelly roll style so that you end up with a 24-inch long roll. Pinch the edges to seal.

***Starting at one end and working your way down the dough a little at a time, twist the dough as though you were wringing out a dishtowel; the roll will get longer as you twist it. Do this gently as not to tear the dough but well enough that it is well twisted and almost doubled in length.

***Then coil the dough around like a pinwheel creating a super large cinnamon roll, tucking the loose end of the dough under so it doesn't unravel. Brush dough very well with melted butter to prevent a skin from forming and let dough rest for 10 minutes, then bake at 325° for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the Babka is golden brown.

***Make a glaze out of powdered sugar, water and a little vanilla. Drizzle this over the Babka and let it cool.


SylviaH's picture

Sounds like a winning combination, have fun and everyone will be delighted with your lovely bakes!