The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Do you pair?

UnConundrum's picture

Do you pair?

Since it seems that most of us are home bakers, I was wondering if you guys pair a bread with the meal your cooking that day?  My wife laughs at me as I try to pick a bread that goes well with what I'm cooking, sort of like choosing a wine I guess.  I love a sour rye with beef, a Vienna with Italian cooking, a slightly sweet bread with smoked turkey, a baguette with most non-beef meals, etc.   Am I the only one?

mangaholik's picture

Now that you mention it I, myself, don't go to such lenghts when I'm making bread.  I'll usually end up finding an interesting recipe, bake the bread and usually just end up eating it as is or with butter of some other topping. 
However I think bread is a very large part of a meal that people don't really think about.  These days in resturauts it seems that bread has become something of a filler or distracter; something to get your mind off your hunger and hopefully keep you from complaining about how long your meal is taking.  Unfortunately I think this might be something that has carried over into our home settings.  
I believe you're right to compare the art of bread to the art of wine so I think next time I'll take your notes above into consideration and hope to enhance my meals with a great bread. 

Thank you very much UnConundrum!!
May your bread always rise!!
mangaholik :o)     

venezuelanbaker's picture

I'm been wondering for a while why there is no such a thing as pairing bread with food and making tastings as you do with wines, cheeses, chocolate and even olive oil.
I know when you go to a restaurant - at least here in Venezuela - people remember when the bread is good. Bread is most important in a meal than people has realized. I like a rustic bread with pasta more than a soft one and if you have a pasta with oregano and can match it with a bread with a soft garlic flavor! And so on, let your imagination take control..

breadnerd's picture

I think I do have "set" bread for certain meals, and I'll go as far as bake it even if I have other bread in the house :) I never thought of it as pairing, but I suppose it is.


And I do shape meals around what I have--if this week I have a loaf of multigrain, I'll plan on some sandwiches or grilled cheese with soup. If it's sourdough or french bread, maybe I'll make pasta with a sauce for dipping.


One of our favorites "pairings" is spicy grilled shrimp (from epicurious):


I love to make fresh baguettes and dip in the spicy butter. It's a summer staple!

Paddyscake's picture

Father's DaySubmitted by Paddyscake on June 18, 2006 - 4:56pm.

I needed to bake up a good crusty loaf to be an accompaniment for Cajun Shrimp.
The shrimp is baked in a sauce that needs a good bread to sop up all the
yummies. This loaf looked so good, but I was hesitant to try it because of
everyone's description of working with slack dough. I used 8 oz of water and
even though the dough was slack it was easily managed. My only error was
that I made it into one gigantic loaf! I didn't print off the recipe
and I guess I thought since there was a picture of one loaf that was supposed to be
the end result. Even though I don't have stone yet..the loaf looks pretty good.
I will post a pic later. Don't be intimidated by the talk of wet dough as I was,
just try cutting back on the water to begin with. Next time I will try it a bit
wetter and see the difference.
I also baked a German Chocolate cake for dessert..just a few calories tonight!
The gangs all here ..time for dinner..
Happy Father's Day to all our Dads!!

Floydm's picture

Definitely I pair. Actually, there are three or four factors:

- what I want to eat
- what I want to drink
- what I want to bake
- what is in season

Depending on the meal or time of year, any one of them can determine the others. For example, on a hot day this summer I got the hankering for Margaritas. That led to Mexican food for dinner which led to homemade tortillas. Other days I've decided I wanted to try baking a Ciabatta or Italian Bread, which meant I needed a meal with plenty of sauce to mop up, which led to pasta with a Chianti or Montepulciano. Without question, what I bake is a major factor in what I eat.