Bruschetta, a classic Italian recipe is a simple and delicious toasted bread with countless toppings ideas to pair with it. The toppings are what make a perfect bruschetta, along with choosing the correct bread and then toasting it up. I will show you the best bread for bruschetta and some delicious toppings that you will love so you can make this delicious appetizer at home.
Bruschetta is a toasted bread that has been part of Italian cuisine for a long time. The word bruschetta actually refers to the bread part of a recipe and not the toppings.
We make lots of bruschetta in our house whether it is on the grill or under the broiler, it is on constant rotation here. Both methods by the way are great ways to make this bread.
After grilling or toasting the bread, a good drizzle of olive oil is added to the bread before any toppings go on it.
You can choose to rub the bruschetta with a clove of fresh garlic (which we love to do) or just sprinkle a bit of salt over the top and eat it as is.
Origins of Bruschetta
The origins of bruschetta go all the way back to ancient Rome where the Romans used to toast their bread over hot coals. It is said that the Romans would rub garlic on the toasted bread before adding olive oil or toppings.
This simple way of cooking is very in sync with Italian cooking.
For those who are not familiar with the Italian language, the word bruschetta (which is pronounced "broo-sket-ta") comes from the Italian word bruscare which literally means "to toast".
Toasting bread is the key to a good bruschetta whether you toast it over hot coals like the Romans did, on a grill or under a broiler. A nice crusty bread is a good bruschetta bread.
In our house, we fight over who will get the bruschetta with the most burnt edges 🙂
Choosing the perfect bread for bruschetta
Choosing the right bread for bruschetta is simple. You want to make sure you are using hearty and good quality bread. Here are some ideas:
- Baguette Bread: Baguette is a classic for bruschetta. It is also used to make crostini. Baguette bread toasts up nicely and stays crisp making it ideal for for holding toppings
- Ciabatta Bread: Ciabatta bread is a great choice because it is sturdy, the holes in the crumb allow a place for the olive oil to sit and it toasts up well. Ciabatta can toast up unevenly since it has a somewhat curved shape when it is sliced so make sure you give it a nice pressing down before toasting.
- Sourdough Bread: Sourdough bread is a favorite of mine. We always have it on hand, it toasts up beautifully under the broiler and on the grill and it has a nice background flavor of sourdough which I love.
- Focaccia Bread: You may not think of focaccia as a choice for bruschetta bread but it can toast up really beautifully while staying somewhat soft on the inside. If you like the contrast of a slightly crusty outside and soft inside then this is a great choice.
- Whole Wheat Bread: If you are watching calories or you like the flavor of whole wheat, this is a great choice for bruschetta bread. Just make sure the whole wheat bread you use is good quality bakery bread, not sandwich bread.
Can you use stale bread for bruschetta
Another great thing about bruschetta is it is a great way to make sure you are not wasting bread that may be slightly past its shelf life.
If you buy good quality all natural bread, which is the best bread for making bruschetta, it will have a shorter shelf life and need to be used up quickly.
Making bruschetta with slightly stale bread is perfect. Just make sure the bread you use it not hard. Stale bread will be tough but not hard.
Toppings for bruschetta
While tomato bruschetta is the most well know bruschetta recipe, there are so many more ways to enjoy bruschetta. Remember, bruschetta refers to the bread and how it is made, not the toppings.
Anything can go on top of this delicious bruschetta bread. You can also use this delicious bread to dip into your favorite dips. Bruschetta bread doesn't always need a topping to go with it.
We love dipping bruschetta bread into whipped lemon ricotta. It is really delicious and the contrast of the sweet ricotta and the crunchy bread are perfect together.
How to serve
Bruschetta bread is perfect as an appetizer, as part of a light meal like our lemon garlic shrimp or as a side to rigatoni Amatriciana, Italian tuna pasta and so many other pasta recipes . It is great served warm or at room temperature.
Bruschetta is best made right before you are ready to eat it so plan for that. I like to make bruschetta no more than 30 minutes before I am ready to eat it.
This ensures the bruschetta stays nice and crisp and doesn't dry out.
Any good quality thick sliced bread that is toasted or grilled and drizzled with olive oil is a bruschetta. You can add any toppings to the bruschetta that you like.
Bruschetta is best served warm or at room temperature and best made shortly before you are ready to eat it.
More like this
If you love learning about the best bread for bruschetta, you may also like these:
Here are some great pairings to go with this bruschetta bread recipe:
Best Bread for Bruschetta (+ Recipe!)
- 6 large slices of Good Italian bread Like boule or ciabatta
- olive oil for drizzling over the bread
- 1 clove of garlic
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Marinara warmed. Use your favorite marinara or use the recipe below in the notes.
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Take your good quality Italian bread slices and drizzle it with olive oil. Place under the broiler and toast both sides until they brown (about 1 minute per side).6 large slices of Good Italian bread, olive oil
- When the bread is done toasting, rub the garlic clove over the bread to release the garlic flavor on to the bruschetta. Sprinkle with a little salt.1 clove of garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Add parmesan cheese evenly to the bruschetta slices right when it comes out of the oven and after you rubbed the garlic over the top.½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Now evenly distribute the marinara to the bread.1 cup Marinara
- Serve immediately.