If whenever you go to a restaurant, what you look forward to the most is the bread, you’ve come to the right place.
For many, bread is the best part of any meal, especially at Italian restaurants where it may be served with a delicious serving of high-quality oil. You may go home every time wanting to recreate this magical combo in your kitchen. But exactly do you need to do so successfully? What is the best bread-dipping oil?
In this article, we’ll explain the best bread to dip in oil and the best oil to dip bread in so you can indulge in this pre-dinner treat at home.
Why Dip Your Bread in Oil?
People have dipped their bread in oil for as long as both ingredients have existed, especially in the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Dipping your bread in oil is a healthier alternative to using butter, depending on the type of oil. However, you can’t simply dip your white bread in vegetable oil and expect to reap the same enjoyable experience you get at your favorite Italian restaurant.
The key is to have the right type of bread and the right type of oil. Luckily, you have a variety of options for both. Let’s check them out.
Breads That Are Perfect for Dipping
The first part of the bread and oil dipping experience is to find the best bread.
Several different types of bread are suitable for dipping in oil. Italian bread is a classic go-to, and this bread is specifically made to be dipped in oil. However, there are a variety of other breads to consider, including:
- French baguette
- Ciabatta bread
- Olive bread
If you want the oil to do all the talking, you’ll want to stick to a more straightforward crusty bread such as Italian bread or a French baguette. However, if you want your bread to provide additional flavor, you should try focaccia or another flavored bread.
Virtually any artisan bread you can get your hands on makes the perfect dipping bread. Now we move on to an equally important element: the oil.
Best Oil for Dipping Bread
Choosing the right oil for dipping bread is essential to get the flavors right. In general, the best oil for dipping bread is olive oil. However, even within the olive oil category, you should narrow it down to certain oils – or mixes of oils.
To give you an idea, here are the best oils for dipping bread.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is, without a doubt, the best oil for dipping bread. A good quality EVOO is first cold-pressed and unrefined, meaning all the flavor is extracted during the initial round of processing.
Of course, EVOO also provides various proven health benefits as well, such as:
- Has strong anti-inflammatory properties
- Is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
- Contains large amounts of antioxidants
What’s more, a moderate intake of EVOO has been proven to affect weight gain much less than a moderate amount of other types of oils. Remember, these benefits apply to unrefined EVOO.
Within the category of EVOO, there are a variety of types of oil that you can choose from for your olive oil bread dip. Some of these additional oils include:
- Intense extra virgin olive oil
- Medium extra virgin olive oil
- Light extra virgin olive oil
While adding sea salt to your olive oil for dipping isn’t strictly traditional, it can be an excellent way to enhance the flavor of this snack.
Want to take your olive oil one step further? Why not infuse it?
Infused dipping oils
While olive oil is the best oil for dipping bread, there are ways that you can make it even better. One of those ways is by infusing your oil.
Infusing oil involves adding aromatics to your oil to add flavor and enhance the overall taste. You have a wide range of choices regarding infusing your dipping oil. Here are some ingredients that are commonly used in a bread dipping oil recipe:
- Roasted garlic
- Fresh herbs (fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, etc.)
- Dried herbs
- Red pepper flakes
- Chili and spices
You can purchase infused olive oil or make some yourself by adding your chosen ingredients to a glass jar and then filling it with olive oil.
Heat the olive oil before pouring it over your ingredients to ensure that the flavors are properly infused for ingredients such as chili and fresh garlic.
You don’t have to let your oil infuse for very long to get a lot of flavor from it. Letting it steep for a day may be long enough to extract enough flavor. Once ready, strain the aromatics from your olive oil and keep it refrigerated.
Olive oil and balsamic dipping sauce
You can crank up your bread and olive oil experience by creating an olive oil dipping sauce. There are many different ingredients that you can combine with olive oil to form a flavorful dipping sauce. One classic ingredient that always goes well with olive oil is balsamic vinegar.
Combine one part balsamic vinegar with two parts oil to make this delicious dipping sauce. You can also add herbs such as rosemary or even roasted garlic to the sauce for additional flavor. Grated parmesan cheese also makes a great addition to an olive oil dipping sauce.
Recap: The Best Oil for Dipping Bread
To recap, extra virgin olive oil is the best oil for dipping bread. However, there are several different types of EVOO to choose from, and it can even act as a base for a more flavorful dipping sauce.
No matter how you dip your warm bread in good olive oil, always seek high-quality ingredients.