Frankly, we could say that the best bread for bruschetta is whatever bread we prefer or whatever we have in the house.
It’s quite easy to say that we can use whatever loaf we have in our bread keeper. Or whatever we usually bake. Or what is sold in the bakery close to us.
Of course, we can make bruschetta with bread made in a bread machine, including gluten free bread made in a bread machine.
My favorite breads for making bruschetta are:
- boule (crusty country-style bread)
- gluten-free Italian bread
- rye bread
- whole grain
If none of these work for you, just use whatever loaf you have.
I would say that the characteristics for a bruschetta bread are: sturdy crust, crumb firm enough to hold the toppings, and the crumb doesn’t have huge holes that allow the toppings to fall right through.
All of these breads for making bruschetta can also be used to make panini. Or to make sandwiches. Or to dip in oil, etc.
If the slices are too big, like the ones from a boule or artisan loaf, and you want to make delicate two-bite slices of bruschetta, just cut them to match the size you want. It’s easier when we use baguettes and ciabatta because they’re already shaped and sized perfectly.
8 Best Bread for Bruschetta
All of these breads for bruschetta can be made at home. Or you can buy them from bakeries or supermarkets.
Most of them are available in supermarkets around the world. But if you can’t find a type that you’re interested in, maybe you’ll want to bake it at home, using a dough kneading machine or simply your hands and an oven.
1. Ciabatta: the classic bruschetta bread
There’s no doubt about it. If you’re looking for the best bread for bruschetta, you should start with ciabatta. It’s always good to start with the classics and then see what you think.
Ciabatta has the right texture, the perfect crust, the perfect size and shape.
This is an artisan Italian bread that has irregular holes but if the holes are too big the toppings will fall through. That’s the only potential downside about using it for making bruschetta.
It has a tangy flavor, almost sourdough-like in its taste.
Overall, the flavor of ciabatta pairs perfectly with olive oil, tomatoes (San Marzano or Roma are my favorites), garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar, and any other toppings you want to use.
2. French baguette: my favorite
While bruschetta is an Italian recipe and I love ciabatta as much as I love focaccia, I still find that I make the most delicious recipes when I use French baguettes.
Of course, we can buy some or we can grab some baguette pans and experiment in the kitchen until we can make the most delicious, crusty baguettes at home.
What I love about French baguettes is their crust. Baguettes are more crusty than ciabatta. If you prefer a slightly softer feel, ciabatta would be so much better.
French baguettes are just the best when grilled for bruschetta. Or when toasted in the oven.
There’s no better balance of crispy crust and moist crumb.
The texture and flavor are light.
Some people might think that baguettes can be a bit bland tasting. In that case, I recommend using ciabatta or sourdough.
For even more interesting alternatives, we have rye and whole grain breads for bruschetta.
If you enjoy that hint of tanginess that sourdough loaves have, then you’ll want to experiment with a few different toppings to make delicious bruschetta as perfect appetizers.
However, some people might think that the combination of tangy slices of bread with balsamic vinegar and tomatoes might be a bit too much.
You can totally skip on the balsamic vinegar. Add some mozzarella if you want something sweet to balance the tangy flavors. And definitely fresh basil.
If you want a more neutral taste, try baguettes or boule.
4. Boule (crusty country-style bread)
If you have a Dutch oven you can easily make your own crusty country-style bread at home.
It’s easy to make and there’s no single recipe for it.
All that matters is that you have the 4 basic ingredients: all purpose flour (or bread flour), yeast, salt, and water.
You can also find no knead recipes if you don’t want to use your hands or you don’t have a stand mixer or bread machine to do the kneading for you.
5. Gluten-free Italian bread
You shouldn’t miss out on delicious bruschetta recipes if you’re on a gluten-free diet. Basically, the internet is full of GF bread recipes, including baguettes and Italian breads.
What I like is introducing recipes that I find in bread machines user manuals.
For example, the Zojirushi Virtuoso recipe guide includes a recipe for gluten free Italian bread.
It’s made with: 360ml milk, 3 large eggs, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 3 tbsp honey, 2 cups potato starch, 1-¾ cups brown rice flour, 1 tbsp xanthan gum, 1 tsp dried basil. 1-½ tsp salt, and 3 tsp active dry yeast.
But there are so many recipes that you can also find online.
This is another French bread that I totally recommend as the best bread for bruschetta.
If you don’t want to make baguettes because you don’t have the pan for them, you can try making batard bread.
It is shaped like a football and we can shape it by hand.
In order to make batard we need: yeast, water, all purpose flour and salt.
It’s an artisan bread that is a joy to make but I don’t think beginners will be interested in it. I see it as a challenge for more experienced amateur bakers.
7. Rye bread
Rye bread is synonymous with the Reuben sandwich. However, we can use our rye loaves for so much more.
I know that not many people love this dense loaf. But if you pair it with light ingredients, then I think that we can turn that dense crumb into an advantage.
The earthy taste or rye can be a totally delicious component for a bruschetta, if that’s what you prefer.
8. Whole grain
This is the perfect option for those who don’t eat white loaves.
We can even make whole wheat baguettes or whole wheat ciabatta. If that’s your preference, then that’s the best bread for bruschetta for you.
What is bruschetta?
We can simply call it Italian toast.
If we make bruschetta con aglio, it means we’re making toast with garlic.
It’s also called oiled slice. It can be the perfect harmony of olive oil, garlic, and salt on toasted bread. That’s the most basic recipe, the one that takes us to its roots.
We can serve it as an antipasto or appetizer.
Or it can be a meal in itself if we add a variety of toppings.
It can be served with cheese, salami, prosciutto or so many other cured meats. Or it can be accompanied with a salad or grapes.
We can make it a meaty dish or a vegan, healthy, light dish.
It’s unbelievable how easy it can be to make bruschetta if we have the best bread and the right toppings. But we need the right ingredients if we want it to be a culinary and visual experience.
It can make people forget about pizza and pasta.
How to make simple bruschetta
Let’s assume that you’ve decided on the best bread for bruschetta. And that you used a sharp knife to cut perfect slices.
Now, we have to grill the slices.
The original method is done over charcoal. At home, we can use a skillet if we don’t have anything else.
Grill it on both sides.
Next, rub fresh garlic around the edges and over the entire crumb while the slices are piping hot.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top.
Sprinkle the slices with sea salt as the last step.
This is the basic, classic recipe.
You can eat bruschetta hot or cold. You can prepare it in advance as an appetizer for the meal or you can eat it still hot from the grill or pan.
The things get more complex as we use a variety of toppings for bruschetta.
The simple, delicious combination is diced fresh plum tomatoes with fresh basil. Although, I love arugula more than fresh basil in this case.
We can add some parmesan shavings or some mozzarella.
Most recipes will focus on vegetables. Grilled, raw, tossed with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Other recipes will contain fish. Sardines, salmon and anchovies all work as bruschetta toppings.
Cured meats are a delight.
Chicken and chicken liver can also serve as more hearty toppings. And eggs since we’re in the poultry range.
Bone marrow is a topping for those who enjoy decadent flavors.
Pine nuts can be combined with bacon or roasted vegetables.
Basically, we can use whatever we want and whatever we enjoy the most.
Everything from all sorts of vegetables, olives, chicken liver pate, shredded chicken, fish, cheeses, chestnuts, cured meats to whatever else we want to add on top.
What is the difference between crostini and bruschetta?
Bruschetta is made by grilling the slices of bread. As I’ve mentioned, the original recipe is made over coals. Actually, bruscare means to roast over coals.
At home, we can simply use an indoor grill or a skillet.
Bruschetta can be small slices of bread or they can be bigger sized.
Crostini is usually done in smaller, one-bite or two-bite sizes. Which also works for bruschetta.
We can make crostini in the oven or we can grill the slices of bread.
They even share the same toppings.
Is there a fundamental difference between bruschetta and crostini? I don’t see any.
Can we use whatever bread we want for bruschetta?
I don’t want people to believe that we are limited in our choices when we want to make a recipe. If you don’t have the type of bread that I’m talking about in this article, just use whatever loaf you make or purchase and it’s going to be fine.
Well, I would say that the classic, sliced sandwich bread is at the bottom at the list of options because we need slices that will hold the toppings. Sandwich bread has a thin crust and a pillowy crumb. It’s delicious.
It can be strong enough for bruschetta if you toast it. That can work. See, there are always solutions. Even though bruschetta is usually done with grilled bread, we can adapt that to match our ingredients and circumstances.
On the other hand, bruschetta is an Italian dish.
That automatically means that most recipes will be made with slices of Italian bread. Ciabatta will come to mind when we’re talking about the best bread for bruschetta.
Still, my opinion remains that basically any loaf can be turned into a bed for whatever toppings we want to add on our slices.
We’re quite free in our choice of bread. And we’re also quite free in our choice for toppings. This is a fun dish. A quick delicious entrée or a meal by itself that seems deceptively simple but can be so complex if we throw the right toppings on our slices.
Also, bruschetta is the topping, not the bread. It is pronounced “brew-sketta” and not “brew-shetta”. If it’s delicious, I really don’t care what it’s called, I’ll be too busy eating slice after slice of the best bread for bruschetta.