? Focaccia with braised or grilled meats; pasta with tomato sauce; sauteed seasoned vegetables; panini, and Mediterranean foods.
? French bread with meats, soups and salads; cheese and fruit courses, and bruschetta.
? Rye with flavored meats (braised, roasted, smoked or cured) and sandwiches (especially Reubens).
? Sourdough with grilled and roasted meats; vegetables and fresh greens with flavorful dressings, and hearty meals.
? Sweet/fruit breads for toasting at breakfast, bread pudding or French toast.
? Whole-grain breads as breakfast toast with egg dishes or for sandwiches.
Layers of Asiago Bread in Savory Custard
Serves: 6-8 people
2 tablespoons butter (soft)
½ cup milk
1 cup cream
2 whole eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of cracked black pepper
1 loaf (18 ounces) Asiago bread
1 cup Asiago, shredded (or other cheese)
Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Brush sides and bottom of dish with softened butter.
Custard: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, cream, eggs, salt and pepper, set aside.
· Cut Asiago bread across the loaf in thin, even slices, approximately ¼" thick.
· Start assembly of the strata by placing one slice of bread on the bottom of the dish.
· Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of shredded Asiago cheese on the bread slice.
· Cover with another slice of bread and sprinkle the same amount of cheese on top.
· Continue this pattern for two more slices then pour about one third of the custard on top.
· Return to building the strata for four more layers, then pour another third of the custard on.
· Build the strata until you have reached ¼" from the top of the dish and finish off with remaining custard.
· Cover the strata and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Baking: Place the strata dish on a cookie sheet to catch any drips. Bake for about 45 minutes on the center rack of oven. The custard should gain a rich dark color and rise slightly from the pan. It will settle back after removal from the oven. Carefully remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes before unmolding.
Service: Carefully invert the strata by placing a 10" plate over the top of the dish and slowly flip the plate and dish over together. Place on the counter and allow the strata to fall from the dish onto the plate. If the strata does not release from the dish, cut around the sides of the dish and try to invert again. Serve hot or warm as an accompaniment with meat and vegetables to fill out the meal.
Panera's version of the famous Tuscan bread salad
Serves 8 liberal appetizer portions
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
1 ½ cups chopped coarse button mushrooms
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1 cup whole yellow pear tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh mesclun greens
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup finely sliced red onions
pinch of course sea salt to taste
pinch of cracked black pepper to taste
¼ cup melted butter
4 cups 1" cubed Asiago or three cheese bread
Croutons: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the bread cubes. Stir occasionally on low heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
· In a large sauté pan, melt the butter, add the onions and cook until they turn lightly brown.
· Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook for about 15 minutes on moderate heat.
· Add the whole tomatoes and thyme and continue to cook for about two minutes.
· Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Assembly: In a large bowl combine the croutons, mushrooms and tomato mixture. Add the greens, vinegar and olive oil.
Service: Place the salad on a large decorative serving platter. Garnish with red onion slices and top with sea salt and pepper as desired.
Wine-friendly bites begin with bread 1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)
1 loaf sourdough French, rye or three-cheese bread, sliced 1-inch thick
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, halved lengthwise
1 heaping tablespoon Artichoke Crostini Topping
Place all topping ingredients in food processor; pulse until combined. Place large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush both sides of bread slices with olive oil; place a few in hot skillet. Toast for 2 minutes, turning often, until browned and firm. Rub cut side of garlic on bread toasts to infuse a subtle flavor. Top each piece of toast with heaping tablespoon of stopping; serve immediately.
Cranberry Butternut Bruschetta
Serves 32 small tastes
1 whole-grain baguette loaf, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 small butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup finely minced shallots or onions
1 clove finely minced garlic
Pinch sage leaves (optional)
Pinch cracked black pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup walnut pieces, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place slices of bread on cookie sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake until bread is lightly toasted. Cut squash from blossom end to stem. Remove seeds from half the squash (save rest for another meal). Spread 1 tablespoon butter over surface of cut portion of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash into baking dish, cut side down, with about 2 tablespoons water; tightly cover pan with aluminum foil. Cook for 1 hour or until fork-tender and skin is evenly wrinkled. After cooling slightly, separate meat of squash from skin; set aside.
Saute remaining 1 tablespoon of butter with shallots or onions and garlic until translucent, but not caramelized. Add squash to pan and slowly cook mixture for about 10 minutes. Season mixture with cinnamon, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Blend squash mixture until smooth and thick. Remove from blender; set spread aside.
For garnish: Combine dried cranberries, orange juice and walnuts in bowl. Allow to stand 30 minutes.
To serve: Spread about ½ teaspoon of squash mixture onto each slice of bread. Top with cranberry garnish, and place on serving platter. Serve immediately.
About Panera Bread www.panerabread.com
· Panera Bread is rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread.
· Panera Bread bakes each and every loaf served in the café's.
· We bake fresh bread every evening to assure our customers have the freshest bread available.
· Panera Bread is committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust.
· The menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites, complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices.
· There are over 83 Panera Bread café's in the Chicagoland area.
· In Chicago, Panera Bread is dedicated to its corporate citizenship, supporting many local charities and organizations and leading its own Operation Dough-Nation® program as well.
· For the past 13 years, the program has ensured that every purchase at Panera Bread feeds back into the community.