Unique Bread for Grilled Cheese
As well loved as American pie, choosing a unique bread for grilled cheese can help reinvent the classic lunch.
If there is one food that screams all-American lunch it's the grilled cheese. Toasty buttered bread, edges just slightly burnt, crust crumbly and crunchy, with that all important melty, oozing cheese. That is the basic, the stable of countless families, from the young child, to the busy young adult to the independent grandpa.
The grilled cheese is a trusted standby, like an old friend who you have no problem calling at 2 AM, or that old pair of sneakers that simply fit you perfectly. The grilled cheese is to home culinary what the carrot is to the rabbit; Always a hit, accessible, attainable and fulfilling. While it might not be a gourmet dinner, or eye-catching lunch, what this fabled, American staple sandwich lacks in curb appeal, it more than makes up for in pragmatism; it simply gets the job done.
So why would you mess with such a successful formula? Why play with something that's been proven time and time again to work? Well if no one ever added food like ham, bacon, tomatoes, spinach, mayo and countless other toppings to the perfect bread-cheese pair, they would've never found their way onto the canvas of flavor known as the grilled cheese. Indeed experimentation can, and does, make everything better, even something as successful as the grilled cheese.
Today we will discuss not the toppings, but the bedrock of this toasty snack. The pillars on which the whole thing is built; yup, that's right, today we will talk about the bread.
Sure white toast is an easy, safe bet and certainly very good, but let's think outside the bread for a minute. Let's conjure up some alternative choices that very well may challenge the old standby for bread supremacy on your or your kids next grilled cheese sandwich.
If white bread is baseball, an old familiar comfortable affair, pullman bread is softball. Similar and familiar enough to be comfortable but just different enough to know it brings something unique to the table.
A slightly sturdier and stronger bread, pullman still gives the airy and soft feeling that makes white bread so popular. This similar, yet different, ratio makes it a great gateway bread to other breads on this list.
If you're skeptical and apprehensive about changing the bread on your beloved grilled cheese sandwich, it's time to try pullman, it might just 'pull you' into the bread dating game again for your beloved grilled cheese.
Admittedly this bread is likely to feel at first like a distraction from the glory that is grilled cheese. Like using skim milk in a sugary cereal, just doesn't seem right. But as the old saying goes, don't knock it before you try it. If you're health conscious, or simply adventurous and open to mixing ying with yang, this oddball pairing might just surprise you. Given multigrain's sturdy grain-speckled makeup, it lends itself to a lot of intense flavors without getting lost in the process.
Probably my favorite on this list, sourdough with it's tangy crusty exterior and soft fluffy interior make for a great bread even for something as delicate as a grilled cheese. The added stability and strength of this bread mean adding extras like bacon in a proportion befitting a man (or woman) of a healthy appetite is a breeze. After all when it comes to bacon if some is good, more is always better.
The ultimate quick breakfast, meets the ultimate quick lunch, a match made in, well, quick eatin' heaven. The salty crunchy nature of this famous bread does more justice to the traditional crunch of a white bread grilled cheese than any other bread on this list. Add in the unique nook & cranny texture of an english muffin, which so wonderfully augments the oozing cheese and you have yourself a winner. For an extra bonus in creativity and novelty, swap out the tried and true of American cheese for something even more melty; Brie.
Another dense bread with a spongy and firm crust. The interesting thing about the crust of ciabatta is, while it's firm, it is also somehow forgiving as well. Of Italian origination, this is the old world's take on white bread. Generally cut into thick slices, this bread produces a hearty, filling sandwich, the effectiveness of likely being lost and or useless with your kids. This is an adult bread, there to produce an adult grilled cheese sandwich.
Dark, malty and dense, pumpernickel is to sandwiches what stout's are to beer. If you want deep, dark, intense flavor this is the only way to go. Consider adding bright flavors on top of this bread to really bring out the best in both the bread and the toppings. Culinary 101, contrasting flavors and textures wins the day.