The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Favorite Way To Eat Artisan Bread

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Favorite Way To Eat Artisan Bread

Hello Fraternity of the Floured Counter

I was reading miniovens post and it made me want to ask all of you:  What is your favorite way to eat the bread you make?  I make a Hammelman like Miche weekly that I like to lightly toast.  I then apply a small amount of salted butter I then let it get to room temp and eat.  If it's too hot you can't taste the mild tang.  I have been on a ciabatta kick lately and am not sure what to do with these.  I make sandwhiches and have heard of people dipping them in olive oil.  Whatever you do with these you have to go fast as they stale at light speed.  I have also found I don't like to bake stuff in the bread.  If I want to eat stuff, cheese for example, I like to put it on top of a slice.  Seems like you lose the bread flaver when it's baked in.  I know it's kind of a basic question but I am curious and looking for new ideas.  Thanks 

Da Crumb Bum

bwraith's picture

I like the Miche same way as you, i.e. lightly toasted, buttered. Sometimes I drop a very small amount of honey on it too, especially for breakfast. I also like miche style bread with ham, salami, or other similar meat and sometimes melt a little cheese on top.

Old miche - cube and toast to dry and use for stuffing in a turkey. Actually, I usually make a more dense, sour miche specially for stuffing.

Ciabatta is great with left over steaks, lamb, etc., basically with any salted grilled meat. I think it would also be great w/bbq pork, as mentioned in another thread.

Very fresh ciabatta with olive oil is great.

Sourdough focaccias - I do them as breakfast breads baked with raisins and sometimes with cubed pieces of pear in them. I like to have them with olive oil. Sometimes I cut lengthwise to make very thin pieces with crust on one side and crumb on the other. Then, I toast them and put a touch of honey on them.

Baguettes - cheese fondue.

Basic sourdough batards - table bread with dinner.

Panettone - sliced, toasted, buttered, for holidays.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The nice thing about ciabatta bread, or any firm full of big holes bread, is it's ability to soak up sauce and be dunked without falling apart.  I usually cut diagonally up to an inch wide slice and serve with chile, gulosh, potato soup, garlic soup or any soup for that mater.  Crackers?  forget 'em when you ciabatta or french baguettes.   Also sliced to make little open sandwiches with tomato, slice cheese, slice ham or cold cuts.  A favorite is to do a boneless pork cut smeared in mustard and rolled in coarse black pepper, whole caraway, crushed garlic, fried in olive oil and simmered on a blanket of sliced onions and grated carrot until done. Cool and slice thin on the bread with  mustard, pickles (any of a large not sweet assortment including onions, pumkin, olives, vegetable) salt and pepper, mayo, vegetables or jellied juice from meat.  
I smear my bread with un-salted butter, mayo, mustard or meat drippings.  "potato cheese" is a classic.  That is basically creamy potato salad (fine) with more onions and additional yogurt and sour cream.   Grated cheese can also be in it but keep it moist and spread on buttered (to keep the spread on top and not soak in) dark bread (1 cm thick) and can be decorated with olive slices, bell pepper slices, paprika dust, or snipped chives.  Cut 2 to 6 pieces.  Little people get smaller bite size pieces.    Also like creamed cheese with thin cucumber slices, salt/pepper.
Hope that gives a few ideas.   Mini Oven

gianfornaio's picture

are my favorite accompaniments to a good artisan loaf (or even a less-than sublime one, really) -- just a little oil in the bottom of a bowl, a saucer or other small vessel, into which you dip torn or cut pieces. I can't tell you how much I love this. Simple, and astoundingly good.  

My wife likes to add parmesan, too-- just the powdery freeze-dried stuff that comes in the plastic jars, not shredded Reggiano or anything fancy like that, which is generally too coarse for the bread to pick up well without a bit of pinching.

Toasted with salted butter is a close second for me.

leemid's picture

There are astounding vinegars out there. Either real or 'fake' balsamic, or I recently picked up a bottle of Chardonnay vinegar when in San Fransisco at Boudin's on the wharf. Puddle a little of that in the olive oil and dip...

Oh, man!

tigressbakes's picture

Plain toasted with thin slices of artisan cheese on the side - for breakfast especially.

Dipped in olive oil with salt and pepper is my other favorite way - and adding a few drops of balsamic vinegar in the middle of the oil is also delicious!

tattooedtonka's picture

Baguettes - Sliced down the side with Chilled Roasted Tomatoes and Olive Oil filled in the slice. I usually have this at least once a week.  I buy the roasted tomatoes with oil from my grocery store, made fresh in the salad bar area (Wegmans).  Its great..

Ciabatta- Cut in Half , then put slice in end making a sort of pita pocket.  Then fill with Lettuce, Roasted Peppers, Cucumber, Feta, Pop in a couple halves of Cherry Tomatoes, then Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled on top.

Or my basic pleasure.  Warm Bread-Butter-Eat...


lisak's picture

Same as all the others! I also like to cut the bread in thin diagonal slices and and top with a combo of olives, green and black/parm and jack cheese and toast. Yum!

tony's picture

All of the above sound wonderful. I don't toast the first slices from a freshly-baked loaf (once it has cooled, etc.). Partly that's because I want to see how it tastes and feels in my mouth. Usually, each batch is different (or I've forgotten how I did that combination of components previously) so I want to get a sense of what connection there may be between what I did and what came out of the oven.


After that, it's toast in the morning, possibly with peanut butter from the health food store (nothing but peanuts) with or without jam, or with brown rice miso or with some really good local hummus for beakfast. Lunch could be untoasted any of the above. When I make bread with fruit and nuts that's a free-standing breakfast toasted. Pretty much, I like whatever's in the bread box with whatever's in the refrigerator or on the kitchen shelf.



audra36274's picture

   We were camping out, and had grilled Ribeyes over charcoal with a little bit of Dale's Steak sauce. Instead of fixing a bunch of stuff to go with them and having a lot to clean up, we just cut the ribeyes in half and put them between the slices of bread. It was  messy, but GOOD! the steak juice and sauce ran down your arm and the bread was grilled with a bit of olive oil so it held up pretty well. YUMMY! Hhum...the weather is getting warmer out....Pardon the interuption, but I think I'll go drag out the grill!

edh's picture

Everything here sounds so good! Something I've read about, but haven't tried yet (mostly because I haven't tried making ciabatta yet), was a mufalletta sandwich. The writer liked to take a ciabatta, split it longways, fill it with lunch meat like ham and turkey, and cheese, slather it with mufalletta (a New Orleans olive spread sort of stuff--yummy), then weight the whole thing down with a couple of plates for an hour or so. The oil soaked into the bread, the flavours blended... I'm really going to have to try making this soon.

Future plans aside, a favorite in our house is sourdough boule, lightly toasted, spread with honey and cappings (the leftovers from when we harvest honey from our hives), then popped back in the toaster oven briefly, and removed before the wax catches fire... very yum.


ehanner's picture

I started the day last night by launching a batch of Poolish for a 5 cup batch of French bread intended to be baked off into Baguettes. This morning I completed the dough by adding the remaining 3 cups of AP and a little salt. My French bread has become a combination of formula's and methods that I like to arrive at a dough that looks like Danielle Foresters without the 850 slaps of the dough. I fold more now and every batch starts with a good Frishage before kneading. Mountaindog, thank you for pointing me to the benefit of repeated folding. That one change has made a big differance in my results.

Anyway, The Baguettes turned out wonderful if I do say so. Every bit as crispy and chewy and flavorful as any I have had in Europe. Once the bread is on the racks, time for the main course, Linguine and Clams. My college age son and daughter love this dish especially with Baguettes to dunk in the sauce. I have been fine tuning the clam sauce for a number of years and it is truly wonderful.

College boy had requested some take home bread a few days ago so I had made and frozen a batch of Floyd's 10 minute banana bread (big fav here) and some WW that jmonkey had helped me understand last week that also is killer good. He was smiling all the way down the drive with his bread score for home.

The Fresh Loaf has made a big impact on our family's dinner table. Just a few Months ago I was struggling with getting consistent results and no way could I make a decent Baguette or Sourdough loaf. Today I would match my French bread against any. All the knowledge came from these pages. Thanks everyone, I am appreciative and hope to continue to contribute and give back as I learn.



Dutchbaker's picture

The other weekend I made Craig Ponford's Ciabatta from Glezer's AB.  We sliced the ciabatta, brushed a little olive oil on each side, and grilled both sides for a couple minutes.  We topped the grilled bread with a mixture of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, & basil.   This is one of our family favorites.  Of course, we did this last week when it was 70 degrees in Cleveland, and today it's snowing.


Paddyscake's picture

As above, bruschetta..lightly toasted, rubbed with roasted garlic and topped with tomato, basil & olive tapenade. Panzanella, bread salad with fresh summer tomatoes, peppers, basil, oil & vinegar. Cheese fondue. Bread pudding.Garlic bread and just plain old toasted with butter!

edh's picture


I just read your post about making baguettes, and wondered if I could impose for some advice.

I made my first baguettes yesterday (all boules or foccacia 'til now), and they were ok, but only ok. My husband and son loved them, but I was sort of disappointed. Taste was nice, but the crumb was pretty small, only a few holes, and not nearly as chewy as one would hope.

The recipe was just one I took off the King Arthur site and I have to confess, after all the slack dought I've gotten used to playing with, it seemed pretty dry. Do you use a fairly wet dough? I don't want to go too far, as I'm sure I'd run into problems with spreading out, but I'd happily trade perfect form (yesterday's try looked nice) for better taste and texture!