Ode to Grilled Bread

by on November 7, 2010

(violins & cellos in the air… Masterpiece theatre sets the stage…)

Crusty, charred Lines of Black
Gentle crumb singed Golden. Soft.

Day old.  Resuscitated.

Screetch!!!Stop!  We’re not really going to torture you with our bad food poetry. We’ll let our poetic verse lay in what you see before you, and leave the real deal to those skilled in pen and word. But we have to admit that it is hard not to be inspired when grilled bread is your muse.

It is such heavenly, yet simple and rustic fare.  Taking a beautiful crusty loaf of bread, say a ciabatta or any other spongy-crusty loaf, slicing it thick, then brushed and grilled to consummate perfection.

There is the alluring play in textures between the charred, crunchy crust, the slightly crisped, golden crumb surface, and the soft, chewing interior crumb. And that is just the bread.

Don’t forget about the infinite topping possibilities… Herbed butters, simple sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, grated parmesan, roasted peppers, halved sun gold tomatoes with balsamic, tuna and capers… what ever your appetite desires.

One can even dessert-ify the grilled bread by spreading chocolate, or bananas and caramel or any other creative personal pleasure. Simply put, we love grilled bread. The glory of grilled bread is that versatile.

Or, you can eat it alone, warm off the grill, and dirty yourself with fragrant charred crumbs. Now that alone is an ode to good eating.

What’s your favorite way to have grilled bread?


-Todd and Diane

Grilled Bread Recipe

Yield: 1 loaf sliced

Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe?  There is really no need for a recipe, but here's one for the hell of it. Find a really good bread, something crusty and with a nice spongy crumb.  Keep in mind that the crust will get crispy, so it is nice to have one that has a decent diameter, so there is a good crust to crumb ratio.


  • 1 Loaf Crusty Bread
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, gently smashed - optional
  • Olive Oil or Butter
  • Sea Salt
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper


  1. Slice the bread into 3/4" slices.  Rub slices of bread with garlic cloves. Gently oil or butter each side of the slices.
  2. Heat grill or pan over med-high heat.  When hot, oil grates with a paper towel dipped in a bit of cooking oil, then grill each side until gently golden (@2-3 min on each side depending on heat level.)
  3. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or top with preferred topping and serve.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Quyen - Kitchen Runway November 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm

D & T – your pictures are making my stomach growl. Why are you doing this to me at this hour? Now I have to march into the kitchen and eat some carbs to satiate my hunger. Anyhow – thank you for sharing your beautiful post!!


2 Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary November 8, 2010 at 3:37 am

Yummm. I love mine with Nutella. Are you surprised??? lol


3 Jessica @ How Sweet November 8, 2010 at 3:43 am

I love mine with butter! Warm, toasty, and butter… mmmm.


4 Alanna November 8, 2010 at 3:52 am

Ours is now a dusty toaster, thanks to what we call “fried bread” which is a simpler version of yours, just small slices of good bread (the Whole Foods rolls make four or five slices) fried in a cast iron skillet in a little olive oil, butter or (revive me now) a little bacon grease. What a revelation!


5 White on Rice Couple November 8, 2010 at 8:24 am

We’ll often do “fried bread” too just on the cast iron skillet. Quick and delicious. Using the bacon grease is being economical, right?! ;)


6 Phoo-d November 8, 2010 at 4:16 am

This post has me drooling at 6:15 in the morning! I’m crazy for grilled bread. Our favorite way to eat it is smeared with soft burrata cheese and a touch of cracked pepper and sea salt. I think I need to wake up my sourdough starter this week!


7 TheKitchenWitch November 8, 2010 at 5:05 am

The Salt Whore will be having some of that bread with Proscuitto and Parmesan, please.


8 Liz November 8, 2010 at 5:42 am

A bit of herb butter makes me happy but I could be tempted to smear some goat cheese on there too!


9 Kelly November 8, 2010 at 6:24 am

It is pure poetry in words, photos (yours) and even in concept only. My grandmother used to fry sheepherder’s bread for us–no grill marks because she used a flat bottomed skillet, but oh the flavor.


10 Elizabeth November 8, 2010 at 6:32 am

Pure heaven. I like mine just the way you’ve mentioned here. By far the most simple and unadulterated way to eat good bread. The pictures are amazing and now I must go off and attempt baking of a really good crusty loaf. Thanks!


11 Deeba November 8, 2010 at 7:53 am

Rustic and moorish…beautiful post. Love that knife, and love a garlic overload on my bread. Grilled so beautifully = YUM! I love grilled bread with a slathering of garlic butter & roasted bell peppers!


12 Chris November 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

Funny you should post this now. The last month or so we’ve been making A LOT of grilled bread in our iron skillet to go in or with dishes and salads. Maybe it’s a fall thing? In fact, tonight I’m making open-faced (leftover) roast chicken & gravy sandwiches and decided to build them on very garlicky grilled bread.

Mine won’t be as pretty as YOURS though. That’s for sure.


13 ellie November 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

I am a bit confused……where do the garlic cloves come in?



14 White on Rice Couple November 8, 2010 at 8:18 am

Sorry about that, we missed writing that step in the recipe. You rub the bread slices with the garlic before oiling or buttering.

Fixed now. ;)


15 Cookin' Canuck November 8, 2010 at 8:37 am

So simple and, yet, such a treat! The smell of grilled or toasted bread with some fresh rosemary and a pat of butter is pure heaven.


16 norma November 8, 2010 at 8:44 am

We always rubbed the garlic then tomato and drizzled the olive oil….delicoso


17 SusieBee November 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

I love naan hot off the grill. Great with grilled sausages and onions as a sammy or of course with Indian food or, as we did here, with pork tenderloin:


18 justcooknyc November 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

i love how so many of the greatest things in life are so simple


19 Anne November 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

What’s my favorite way to eat grilled bread? Any possible way you could eat grilled bread! I’m with you- grilled bread topped with number of items makes an instantly satisfying meal. Some of my favorite combos:

Fig jam/Gruyère/proscuitto
Garlicky greens w/ a bit of hot red pepper
Plain yogurt mixed with horseradish/salt/pepper topped with any kind of smoked fish, garnish w/ pickled onions
Slow-roasted tomatoes w/ garlic, thyme and olive oil on a bed of goat cheese
Sliced skirt steak drizzled with chimichurri
Rub raw garlic on the bread and top w/ sautéed mushrooms

I’d be happy sitting down to any of (or all of!) these with a nice bottl……ahem, glass, of wine.


20 Soma November 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

We do this all the time, but never ever could make them look so wonderful as you did. We love them in summer with fresh tomatoes and basil. also with sundried tomato and pepper pesto.. and some wine. Where did you find that beautiful knife with curves?!! I heart it.


21 White on Rice Couple November 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm

hi soma- we found the knife at a vintage antique store!


22 Melissa November 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

I could look at those photos all day. Its amazing how you can turn something as simple as grilled bread into a beautiful photograph. This is one of my favorite ways to eat bread too. I love to have fresh tomato, basil and olive oil on mine.


23 Donna November 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Grilled Bread Haiku:

Crisp Ciabatta Bread
With Gold Oil and White Salt Crown
Food fit for a King!


24 White on Rice Couple November 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Donna- thank you for terrific Haiku!


25 Donna November 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Got hooked on Haiku after winning 1st place in the Washington Post’s May, 2008 “Pie-ku” contest. A Haiku about pizza!

Rising discs of dough
Tossed, twirled, like small planets on
A one arm axis

Best thing about it? Robert Pinsky, former poet laureate, chose the winner! Needless to say, I’m proud :)


26 Matt November 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Where did you guys get that bread knife? It’s beautiful!


27 White on Rice Couple November 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Matt- thanks, it’s one of our favorite knives too. We bought it at a vintage store. We love vintage stores and happened to find it randomly at a store somewhere.


28 Tokyo Terrace November 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Oh yes! Grilled bread is one of the best things in the world. The only thing that comes close? Bread grilled over a campfire. Yep. Had it this past summer and it was fantastic. Great idea to post this simple way to enjoy day-old bread. And the photos are great, of course!


29 Sues November 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

There really is nothing better than grilled bread… Unless it’s grilled bread topped with prosciutto. This post made me SO hungry :)


30 Rona Y November 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Grilled bread with a schmear of roasted bone marrow. mmmmm. . .


31 Shaina November 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

We love grilled bread here. We grill all of our sandwich buns and even sausage buns. We eat it along with pasta or topped with pesto, and I have to say the latter is probably my favorite.


32 Fragolina November 9, 2010 at 12:49 am

Wow!! now I desire a piece of grilled bread, topped with a good olive oil, freshly pressed, or some chopped tomatoes, olive oil & basil. The pictures are extremely beautiful. And as Lisa said, Nutella is great with hot bread, it will warm up the chocolate. Yummiii!!!! Perfect pictures, did I just say that or what??!!! Again..


33 Cynthia November 9, 2010 at 5:54 am

Oh how I miss Ciabatta :(


34 Vicki B November 9, 2010 at 8:55 am

As a very young child, my grandmother lived out in the country. She did not own a toaster. Every morning she made pan fried ie grilled toast for us when we visited. I loved that pan fried toast. It was a sad day when we all went in together and bought her a toaster. I was so excited for her to open her present only to be dismally depressed when I realized there would be no more pan fried toast. “What have we done?” screamed through my young brain. But being a grandmother, she still continued to make us pan fried toast.


35 Joan Nova November 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I was happy with your poetry and those mouth-watering photos. I could (but don’t) eat it every meal, every day!


36 White on Rice Couple November 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

We’re ok for a line or two of poetry, then we start to fall apart ;) We could, but thankfully don’t, eat grilled bread daily too!


37 Jac November 10, 2010 at 8:35 am

Dipping fried/grilled bread into the yolk of a perfectly fried egg is one of the best ways to start a day.


38 Nuna November 10, 2010 at 9:29 am

In Catalonia, we grill the bread, rub some garlic and rub some tomate, a bit olive oil and salt, that´s it.


39 Brooke@foodwoolf November 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

Funny you should write this post. I’m currently having a little love affair with toast, so it’s nice to see your elegant version of my obsession. Gonna get to grilling me some sexy bread!


40 Whitney November 10, 2010 at 2:21 pm

where do you guys get your bread from? it looks really good and now i want to make some :)


41 Maddy November 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Oh gosh, sometimes I just can’t stop by your blog. It makes me incredibly hungry and craves for whatever it is you posted up. I love what you have up, and I think I’m going to bring my kitchen down to bake bread and then grill it tomorrow afternoon.

When I was in college, my go to food is Ciabatta bread with sun-dried tomatoes and prosciutto. I think I’ll modify it a little to go with grilled bread.


42 Sarah November 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Yum! I’ve been silently enjoying reading your site. Such beautiful work!

I have to weigh in on this. Grilled bread with olive oil/butter & leftover butterbeans/favas. And sometimes a little aleppo pepper!


43 marla {family fresh cooking} January 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Ahhh, life’s simple pleasures. Love that you are tempting us with greasy, grilled bread. Think I need to make some of that happen over here right now ;)


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