From quick breads to yeasted rolls, something baked and sliced is always our favorite side, be it a Thanksgiving buffet or ordinary Wednesday supper. Breads can be intimidating for the novice cook, but really, once you get the timing down and (in the case of yeasted breads) a feel for properly risen dough, breads are a snap to make. Here are 10 we couldn’t live without.
We started making zucchini bread to help deal with a bumper crop from our garden. Now, we make it anytime we’re in the mood for something tender, moist, spiced, and moderately sweet. Serve it with a simple soup for a perfect lunch or light dinner, or toast and butter slices for breakfast. Get our Zucchini Bread recipe.
What would a bowl of chili or a rich gumbo be without a side of cornbread? This one is super easy to put together and bake—a mix of yellow cornmeal and flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, moistened with milk, eggs, and melted butter. Added bonus: make it ahead of time for a delicious Thanksgiving stuffing. Get our Moist Cornbread recipe.
One taste of this moist, dark bread lets you know the holiday celebrations are on. This is a classic, easier to make than cookies or a fruitcake, and far more versatile. Serve it for breakfast with some good, strong coffee, for dessert after a light dinner (don’t forget the whipped cream!), and even as part of a holiday dinner basket of mixed breads. Get our Gingerbread Loaf recipe.
This is a quick bread (a baking powder– or baking soda–raised dough) in muffin form, ideal for buffets where everybody can pick one up, and you haven’t had to fuss with slicing a whole pan of cornbread. Corn kernels (frozen is just fine) and chopped pickled jalapeños give this recipe texture and a bit of a bite. Get our Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins recipe.
Brown ‘n’ Serve rolls—the factory-made kind—have nothing on these soft, tender homemade beauties. (If you’re going to put several days into making the best turkey you’ve ever had, you shouldn’t skimp on the rolls, right?) This is a classic yeast dough, enriched with milk, butter, and egg. Get our Classic Soft Dinner Rolls recipe.
Perfectly charming brunch companions or the ideal accompaniment for a rich cream of mushroom soup, these golden-brown muffins are easy to mix and bake. A basic muffin batter (flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and soda, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg) enriched with vegetable oil, and flecked with grated fresh zucchini. Get our Spiced Zucchini Muffins recipe.
Nothing says comfort food quite like a cast iron skillet of golden-yellow cornbread, set out on the counter buffet or directly on the table for guests to help themselves. This recipe has the distinction of a buttermilk moistening, which adds the faintest tangy suggestion but, more importantly, keeps the cornbread moist and tender. Get our Basic Skillet Cornbread recipe.
Streusel topping—a crumbly, crunchy blend of brown sugar, butter, flour, and, in this case, chopped pecans—is a lovely grace note for a spiced, lightly sweetened quick bread, punctuated with chunks of tart Granny Smith apples. This is an ideal accompaniment for afternoon tea, brunch, or even a holiday dinner buffet. Get our Apple Quick Bread with Pecan Streusel recipe.
Soft, lightly golden-brown, and nutty with whole grains, these are the rolls you want on your Thanksgiving or other holiday table. They’re neutral but distinctive, and, if you’ve roasted a turkey or ham, they’re even better split for to make leftover sandwiches. Kids love them, so make sure you bake plenty. Get our Honey–Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls recipe.
Pumpkin puree yields a moist, golden-amber loaf that just says the holidays. It also keeps this standard quick bread moist and tender, and is a willing backdrop for the seasonal spicing we can’t get enough of when the temperature takes a dive: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Get our Pumpkin Bread recipe.