The humble loaf of bread. So few ingredients (flour + water + salt), so many variations, so much goodness!
I can’t remember the last day I didn’t eat bread at least once, whether as a pre-run bagel with peanut butter and banana slices, an open-faced egg and avocado sandwich for lunch, or a crusty slice of sourdough to dip into a bowl of soup at dinner.
I appreciate a good loaf from a bakery or cafe, especially those that take their bread seriously. But my favorite bread of all is the homemade type. I’ve been baking sourdough for over three years now, yet I find myself both relieved and giddy every time I remove the lid to my dutch oven and register that oven spring. After dozens of batches, it’s still hard to imagine that a dull and lifeless ball of dough will morph into such a beautiful, nuanced loaf with a little time and a blast of heat. Yet it always does! (though admittedly some batches turn out better than others)
Despite my efforts to demystify the bread baking process (yes, I keep a bread log as I also do a training log), I love that each batch is still slightly unpredictable and distinct in its flavor, texture, and appearance. I also love that, over the course of the coming week (or more, if I make extra to freeze and don’t give it all away), I know that Will and I will find a handful of ways to put it to good use.
Though far from exhaustive, here are some of our favorite ways to eat sourdough (all of the photos below feature my loaves but can be made with any type of bread):
- Toast with fried egg + salt + pepper: our go-to when in a rush; quick, simple, consistently delicious
- Toast with poached egg + smashed avocado + red pepper flakes: close to a perfect meal, if you ask me
- Toast with sous vide egg + smashed avocado + roasted cherry tomatoes + feta: best for a slow weekend morning; worth the extra time and effort (bonus points for a pretty latte!)
- French onion soup: incomplete without a crusty lid topped with cheese and broiled
- Grilled cheese: especially tasty when paired with Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tomato and Sourdough Soup
- Toast with jam, preserves, or butter: that’s pumpkin butter above, but any kind of good spread will do (especially if homemade); for butter, we go Kerry Gold
- Pretzel bun burger: this one is a beef patty with mushrooms, onions, gouda, and pesto, sandwiched between a salty pretzel knot bun
- Sourdough pizza: made from the same dough I use for my loaves, but shaped and baked differently; can’t go wrong with tomato sauce, mozzarella, roasted vegetables, and fresh basil
Other favorites (not pictured) include:
- Toast with peanut butter + banana slices + cinnamon + honey: my trusted pre-workout / pre-race meal for over a decade
- Toast with smashed avocado + honey + cracked black pepper: embarrassingly easy, insanely good
- Panini of any kind: my favorite is grilled chicken, goat cheese, pesto, roasted onions, red peppers, and mushrooms
- Toast with scrambled eggs + cheddar or goat cheese: probably the lunch that I make most often
How do you do bread (sourdough or otherwise)? Drop me a comment—I’m always looking to add to my repertoire!