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Jan 2, 2011 06:52 PM

What bread[s] do you make for dinner? Is there a pattern to what you make or do you make your bread component according to what's for dinner? Recipes if you have winners please.

The way my husband was raised, there was always a bread of sorts on the dinner table.
My family hardly ever had a bread of any sort for dinner. When we got together, I was perplexed at how often he asked, "is there bread?" I got used to it and more often than not, there's bread with dinner. Either dinner rolls or muffins or toast or quick bread or buns or ''raised something'' that goes well with butter. He also thinks that butter is almost more important than the bread itself. "May I have bread with my butter please" I hear him thinking.

Since I made a glazed oven roasted pork roast for dinner tonight along with au gratin baked potatoes, fresh steamed carrots, baked apple slices in butter and cinnamon...the texture of the bread I wanted for dinner was to have a bit of a crunch factor. Scoured my head for what would work. I came up with one that never disappoints.

"Adapted" from a favorite old time cookbook.
The American Woman's Cookbook circa/published 1946
Although I've made the Sally Lunns in this cookbook a hundred times over the years, I've also changed it up just a bit a few times in different ways to be a better fit for what's for dinner.
Tonight was a way of doing that.

"Corny Sally Lunns"
scant 2 c flour
3 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
scant 1/4 c yellow corn meal
put all in large bowl and whisk to combine.
set aside
1 c buttermilk
1 egg
stick softened butter
scant 1/4 c raw sugar
put butter and sugar in bowl and using electric mixer, mix until creamy.
add the egg and combine then slowly the buttermilk.
alternately blend both the dry and wet.
don't overmix.
use spray coating in muffin tins, this made me 8.
preheated my convection oven to 333*.
put the mix in silicone muffin baker and baked 13 minutes.
the result is so light and tender moist and good crisp/crunch on the edges of the top of muffins.
no butter needed for mine nor his, surprise surprise...

Care to share your dinner bread recipes? Ideas in general or how important a dinner bread is for you and your family....

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  1. Maybe my family was the norm not doing a bread at dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: iL Divo

      I think the bread at dinner has to do with where you are regionally.....and if there is specialty of the region involved. In the New York Area, crusty bread is available reasonably priced and easily accessible in all the markets by the top bakeries in the area.......It's easy to purchase instead of making at home. In the South or Midwest, this is not the maybe Dinner rolls, Biscuits or Corn Bread are more traditional.

    2. When I was growing up, bread was always part of the meal - every meal. I've concluded that it was a way to fill all those little tummies when there wasn't enough of the main course to satisfy the hunger of all those kids. I remember my grandfather pouring coffee from his cup into the saucer to cool it down, then sipping coffee from the saucer and often dipping toasted bread into the coffee (especially buttered cinnamon toast) as a way to enjoy his breakfast. As a toddler, our son didn't like toast unless it was burnt. He preferred to dip the burnt toast into orange juice. Thankfully he's outgrown that phase of his life.
      These days, our meals include bread with most meals. Biscuits, scones, muffins, etc. for breakfast; sometimes just plain toast or toasted raisin/cinnamon bread. Lunch breads include sourdough or hoagie rolls or sometimes just plain sliced white sandwich bread for sandwiches or perhaps a foccacia. Dinner breads are selected according to what works best with the dinner menu. Dutch crust, sourdough, dumplings, spaetzle, crescent rolls, corn bread, etc.
      For special occasions we will offer something like challah, Artos, or something like that.
      I make most of the bread in our house so there is rarely a slack moment on our kitchen.

      1. B usually want's bread with dinner. A lot of the times he asks it is with a pasta or rice meal. He's one of those skinny types who eats a ton of protein and I think he asks when I serve carb heavy, meat light meals in order to make sure he is full. I usually only think of having bread with dinner if it is something where I want to sop up broth or gravy, or if there is no other starch on the table.

        I usually buy a loaf of sourdough, but when I have time I make whatever yeast bread floats my boat.

        4 Replies
        1. re: corneygirl

          sourdough's always been our favorite. but since reading the health benefits to high fiber breads, I try to include them much more than white kind of anything.
          but if on a desserted island, I'd grab a loaf of sourdough, extra sour to be honest.

          1. re: iL Divo

            Yeah, I've found I like sandwich style whole grain loafs, but artisan style when it's mainly a white flour. Sourdough has a good flavor, crust, crumb AND doesn't go stale immediately (important with only 2 people in the house). The desert island might is a tough call between sourdough and semolina.

          2. re: corneygirl

            Try this one. It's always a winner:
            Click on the image for a full view .....

            1. re: todao

              Challah? It's beautiful. I love challah, easy dough to work with and so impressive.

          3. I make bread for many meals and it depends upon the specific cuisine that I am cooking. Therefore if we are doing Italian it could be anything from an Italian loaf to Focaccia, French could be French bread, baguettes (however I usually have these for lunch so they are rarely served at dinner), French rolls, even croissants. Indian - naan, parantha, chapati, etc.

            I think you get the idea, there are also many cuisines that don't get any bread such as most Asian cuisines. So for our family the bread has to match the meal and yes there are some times that I am lazy or too busy and stop by a local bakery to pick some up.

            3 Replies
            1. re: RetiredChef

              This thread is very interesting to me for another reason, how differently the "food plate" is set up in different cultures.

              From the perspective of Indian food, it's not that bread is served "with" dinner, but every food plate (in a middle class family) has to have certain elements:
              1. Staple - rice, OR bread (e..g chapati, poori, naan, etc.). Rice and bread are never eaten together, btw, so it's very odd for me to read people writing that they used their naan to sop up the curry and rice :) But I digress. This staple occupies the 6 o'clock position front and center of the plate, it's that important.
              2. Protein or main dishes: these occupy radial positions around the top rim of the plate. A simple daily home meal would have daal of some kind, or meat (for non vegetarians). You can't eat the dal or meat by itself, you eat each bite by scooping it up with a torn piece of chapati or eat each bite by mixing it with rice. For parties etc you would have more main dishes.
              3. Veggie sides: again around the rim, and a simple home meal would have one or two veggie sides. Again, not eaten by themselves, but scooped up with chapati or mixed with rice. You could also have shredded vegetable salads.
              4. You could start with chapatis, and end with a serving or two or rice, and the daal/veggies keep coming as needed.
              5. Yogurt or raita, either on the side, or for most vegetarian meals, to end the meal, e.g. yogurt rice, to cool off your mouth and digest your food (probiotics).

              So, an Indian meal is incomplete without a staple of bread or rice or its equivalent. Unless you are on some kind of diet. You don't eat bread "with" your food, you eat other food "with" bread, but all components of the meal are essential.

              Even the simplest peasant poverty food revolves around the roti/chapati/rice, with the accompaniments as available (could be as basic as an onion or a green chili - this is real poverty).....

              So, the idea that you could have a full meal without that staple component is a very different idea for me.......

              1. re: Rasam

                Just my 2 cents, but I loved reading this. Do you blog?

              2. re: RetiredChef

                "some times that I am lazy or too busy and stop by a local bakery to pick some up."
                I'm busy too and often times forget to buy it. for me however, I far enjoy making it from scratch, not because it's necessarily better, but because it relaxes me and I enjoy the steps to fruition

              3. Normally we don't have bread with dinner unless we are having homemade soup (from leftover chicken or turkey...yum!) Then we'll either whip-up a quick cornbread.

                Sometimes my dad will get the baking itch and make an amazing loaf of whole wheat bread using the recipe from the back of the King Arthur Whole-Wheat Flour bag. He uses molasses and olive oil, and it makes an insanely delicious loaf with a wonderful crumb. This doesn't happen often, however, because we'll eat way too much!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ApprenticeGourmet

                  found this one and wonder if it's the one your dad uses?
                  if not, can you post a link for me please, love whole wheat bread, and home made, even all the better