Things to Go With Your Bread

Reader Contribution by Sue Van Slooten
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I’ve written about all kinds of breads, be they yeast, sweet or sourdough. But we haven’t discussed all the wonderful things that can go with bread.

Butters, dipping oils, jams, all the flavourful little things that can make your bread truly sing, albeit, the bread by itself is pretty good.

Below I will give you two recipes, one for a butter, the other a dipping oil that I devised.

As for jams, I prefer to make freezer jams, especially strawberry, when they are in season. There’s also a very tasty cranberry one, technically a jelly, that you can make from the bottled juice. Another interesting one is Tomato Jam, unusual but very tasty, for those times when there are just too many tomatoes! Stay tuned for Tomato Jam and Cranberry Jelly, in the meantime: 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butter

Back when I had a B&B, I used to make this for my clients. I start with about 1/2 cup butter, softened. From there I add about 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and about 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Mix this well, and serve on toast, etc. It’s sort of like cinnamon sugar in butter. Yummy.   

Olive Oil Dipper

You may call me cheap, but when I saw the outrageous prices being charged for bottles of “dipping oil” in the stores, the New Englander in me revolted. My mind started thinking, “Can’t I make this myself, and save oodles of money?”

The answer is yes. Just by purchasing one bottle of good olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and adding some herbs, you will have lots of dipping oil, at a fraction of the cost.  

1 cup good quality olive oil (virgin would be good)

1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar, either red or white (you don’t have to go too crazy on expensive vinegars here)

Dried (only use dried in this case) basil, oregano, marjoram, parsley, about 1/2 teaspoon each. If you want it a little spicy, feel free to add ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste. Garlic flakes or bits are good too.

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a cruet or small pitcher. Let sit a few hours for the flavours to develop. Pour on a small plate, dip your bread, and enjoy. As usual with any of my recipes, feel free on this one to add or delete whichever herbs to get the taste you want. This will keep for a month or so, but I doubt it will last that long, if you know what I mean. 

Variation on Olive Oil Dipper

Sundried Tomato:Finely chop oil packed sun dried tomatoes, and add them to the oil.For extra flavour you may wish to add a tablespoon or two of the oil they are packed in. The oil from the tomatoes also works wonders drizzled over stuffed peppers before baking.