The best bread for grilled cheese will take your sandwich from good to epic.
Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Biting into the buttery bread and gooey cheese will make you do your happy dance.
But don’t let the simple ingredients fool you. Not all grilled cheese sandwiches are equal.
If you’re looking to build the best grilled cheese ever, then you need the right bread.
From sourdough to pumpernickel, this guide will show you what bread you need for grilled cheese.
Why the Bread Matters
When it comes to grilled cheese, bread matters.
At its core, grilled cheese consists of only two ingredients: bread and cheese. So the quality of bread is a key component.
Use subpar bread, and your grilled cheese will turn out mediocre. And nobody wants that!
You want to consider the thickness, texture, and flavor of the bread.
Too thick and your bread will likely burn while the cheese doesn’t properly melt. Too thin and your ratios will be off.
Also, consider your preference for texture. You want bread sturdy enough that the cheese doesn’t turn it into a soggy mess.
Then there are the fillings to consider.
The flavor of the bread should complement all ingredients for the perfect pairing.
Now that we have that all squared away, let’s get into the best bread for grilled cheese.
Best Bread for Grilled Cheese
Not to toot my own horn, but I have a reputation for crafting swoon-worthy grilled cheese sandwiches.
So believe me when I say, sourdough is the ultimate bread for a legendary grilled cheese.
Any way you slice it, it has the perfect crumb and flavor.
Yeasty and sour, it pairs well with pretty much any cheese.
It’s great with cheddar, goat cheese, American, seriously anything.
Not only that, but you can load it up with toppings. It’s sturdy enough that it won’t crumble.
For a classic food pairing, omit the fillings entirely. Instead, dip it in a scrumptious tomato soup.
Ciabatta is an Italian bread sort of like a softer baguette. The outside is semi-hard while the inside is soft.
It has a higher water content than some types of bread. This gives it a nice airy crumb.
It’s hardy enough for toppings, yet soft enough that it won’t scrape the roof of your mouth.
Needless to say, ciabatta bread is a prime choice for grilled cheese.
Add mozzarella, tomato, basil, and balsamic glaze for a classic Caprese. I sometimes like to add prosciutto, too.
If heaven were bread, it would be brioche. Brioche is so buttery and soft, it’s pure bliss.
It has a sweetness that comes from the enriched dough. Use it for grilled cheese and you’ll be in for a real treat.
This bread is best for your most indulgent creations.
Think of using cheeses like gouda, havarti, or brie. Other ingredients that work well are fruit, caramelized onions, and jams.
Pumpernickel has a very distinct flavor. It’s malty, nutty, and sweet.
As for the texture, it’s some of the densest bread around. For this reason, you don’t want thick slices.
Rather, slice it thin and butter the outsides to get a crisp texture.
When choosing ingredients, bright flavors work best. Chutney, orange marmalade, and apples play well with the sweetness.
For a nice contrast, use aged cheeses, mustard, and deli meats.
Next to sourdough, multigrain is another popular option for grilled cheese. It’s healthier than white bread and more flavorful.
The texture and thickness are hardy enough for all kinds of fillings.
You can add spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and bacon. It even holds up with butternut squash.
The flavor works with different varieties of cheese too. Manchego, mozzarella, blue cheese, swiss, the sky’s the limit.
Just be sure to butter the bread. That’s how you get a texture that’s not too crispy or too soft.
6. Pullman Loaf
Pullman is a classic sandwich bread.
Its defining feature is the squared edges. This is a result of the lidded pan used to bake it.
Out of all the types of bread, this long rectangular loaf is just begging to be sliced for sandwiches.
So by all means, cut two slices and make grilled cheese!
It’s soft and light like white bread, yet a touch more crusty.
Sandwich it with American cheese for a classic homestyle grilled cheese sandwich.
You can also make it more substantial with Monterey Jack and turkey. Ham also works nicely.
Sliced sandwich bread isn’t the only thing that’s good for grilled cheese. Baguettes are, too.
Whether it’s French, seeded, or sourdough, baguettes are super crusty.
This makes them hardy enough to hold up to a mound of melted cheese.
Cut the baguette into thin slices, then pile on your fillings.
These smaller portions are an excellent appetizer. They’re also great for a light dinner.
You can also slice them down the middle as you would for any other sandwich.
Then, place cheese on each slice and pop it under the broiler until melted.
If you use this method, watch your filling ratios.
Too many fillings and more will end up on your plate than your sandwich when you bite in.
8. Deli Rye
Like pumpernickel, deli rye bread also has a distinct flavor. Much of which comes from the flour and caraway seeds.
Along with the flavor, the sturdy texture and even crumb are fantastic for grilled cheese.
Savory and bold ingredients pair particularly well.
Think of combos like mustard and muenster or turkey and provolone. Or slap some Swiss and pastrami on for a Rueben grilled cheese.
You can also skip the butter and use mayo. It’s a fun spin that still gives you that gorgeous crust.
9. English Muffins
Breakfast grilled cheese anyone? If your stomach says yes, bust out the English muffins.
English muffins aren’t the first grilled cheese bread to come to mind.
Yet, if they’ve ever saved you in a pinch, you know just how good they can be.
For a breakfast grilled cheese, add cheddar, bacon, spinach, and a fried egg. You can also use sausage patties and scrambled eggs.
Their handheld size makes them great for a breakfast on the go.
The little nooks and crannies also do wonders to capture melted cheese. In particular, creamy cheeses.
Focaccia is another popular Italian bread. It’s thick, airy, and moist.
By itself, it’s divine. The flavor and the texture require nothing else.
So you can imagine how incredible it is when turned into grilled cheese, especially when you use herby or garlicky focaccia.
When it comes to slicing, you have two options.
Depending on the bread’s thickness, you can cut it wide down the middle or slice it like a loaf.
As for ideas, there are too many focaccia sandwich recipes that would make for great grilled cheese.
Roasted veggies with mozzarella and pesto, provolone and Italian meats, or a Caprese.
I say, pick your favorite and let’s make grilled cheese!
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