If you're planning a luncheon, then you should make sure you have a good variety of bread on hand. This is especially important if you're serving different types of foods (deli, falafel, or bruschetta). Here are four breads to pick up before your event.
The Kaiser roll is a staple of the deli world. It is perfect for meat and cheese sandwiches. It's a crusty, yeasty roll that has a softer interior. The roll originated in Austria, hence the name. It became incredibly popular as a breakfast item. In the United States, you are more likely to find these rolls at lunchtime. You can get the rolls with toppings, such as poppy seeds or coarse salt, or plain. If you're serving deli meats and cheeses, then you should definitely have an assortment of Kaiser rolls on hand.
Cuban bread is different than the Kaiser bun in both shape and ingredients. It is longish, instead of round, and it does not have as much yeast in the mix. It is similar to a French or Italian loaf, but it is a bit denser. These small loafs are used in the famous Cuban sandwiches. Cheese, ham, mustard and a pickle spread are placed in the bread and then the sandwich is pressed and heated. The outside toasts and the inside stay soft. So, if you're looking to have warm sandwiches on hand, then this bread is perfect.
Pita breads are flat breads from the Middle East. They are baked in super hot ovens where the temperature causes the bread to puff up and create an internal "pocket". When they are finished baking, they can be slit open and filled with foods. They are most commonly used with falafel or gyros. This would be a great bread to have on hand if you're serving a vegetarian dish such as falafel and hummus. Place the pita bread, falafel, hummus, and salad makings on a platter and your guests can build their own sandwich.
Ciabata is an Italian style bread that was created due to the demand in Italy for imported French bread. Italian bakers decided to mimic the style of the crusty, long French loafs. It is different then French style bread in that the interior is dense, whereas French bread will have a fluffier texture. The yeasting technique also creates large, Swiss cheese like air pockets in the Ciabata. This bread is ideal for serving bruschetta. Simply brush a little olive oil on the sliced bread, toast it and cover it with your favorite toppings. You could use Gorgonzola and pear, fresh mozzarella and roasted pepper, a kalamata olive tapaneade, or anything else you like for toppings.