An Ode to Thanksgiving Bread: The Unsung Hero of the Holiday Table

The holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s time for some serious feasting. When we think about Thanksgiving, our minds immediately turn towards the traditionally star-studded lineup – a succulent roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, tart cranberry sauce, and decadent pumpkin pie. But there’s one humble dish that all too often gets overlooked amidst this feast: Thanksgiving bread.

It may not be as flashy as other dishes but make no mistake – a good loaf of bread is an absolute must-have on any Thanksgiving spread. After all, what else are you supposed to use for sopping up every last drop of delicious gravy? In this blog post, we’re going to give Thanksgiving bread its much-deserved moment in the spotlight.

The History Behind Bread at Thanksgiving

Before we dive into all things crusty and delicious, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich history behind serving bread at Thanksgiving.

Bread has been a staple food since ancient times. It plays such an important role in human civilization that it’s often known as “the staff of life”. During the first-ever recorded thanksgiving feast between Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians back in 1621, cornbread was probably served due to its importance in Native American cuisine.

Over centuries, families have put their own twist on thanksgiving bread by incorporating different grains or additional ingredients like fruits and nuts into recipes. Today, options range from classic dinner rolls and cornbread to more elaborate creations like cranberry walnut loaves or pumpkin brioche.

Why We Love Bread (and You Should Too!)

Let’s face it; we all love bread! Its warm comforting smell wafts through our homes during special occasions or lazy Sundays alike. It’s an essential part of many meals – from breakfast toast slathered with butter and jam to the perfect sandwich for lunch, or a crusty roll with your dinner soup.

In the context of Thanksgiving, bread serves many purposes. Its soft texture balances out the crispness of salads and roasted vegetables. It complements both sweet and savory dishes. Plus, it’s fantastic for mopping up all those delectable sauces that you don’t want going to waste!

Types of Thanksgiving Bread

Now that we’ve covered why bread is such an integral part of our Thanksgiving feast let’s explore some popular types.

Dinner Rolls: These are probably what first comes to mind when you think about Thanksgiving bread. They’re soft, fluffy, and perfect for buttering up or using as a mini sandwich post-feast with leftover turkey.

Cornbread: A southern staple during Thanksgiving, cornbread has a distinct sweet-savory flavor that pairs perfectly with almost any dish on your table.

Brioche: This French bread is rich in eggs and butter giving it a tender crumb and slightly sweet taste. It can be made plain or infused with flavors like pumpkin for a festive touch.

Focaccia: If you fancy something a bit different this year, why not try serving focaccia? You can top this Italian flatbread with herbs, olives or onions.

Making Your Own Thanksgiving Bread

Making your own bread might seem daunting if you’re new to baking but trust me; nothing beats homemade! Plus, it’s easier than you might think (especially if you have a stand mixer). Here are some basic steps:

  1. Choose Your Recipe: Decide what type of bread you want to make based on your personal preference and what will pair best with other items on your menu.
  2. Gather Ingredients: Most yeast bread recipes will require flour, yeast, water/milk, salt and sometimes sugar.
  3. Mix & Knead the Dough: Combine all ingredients and knead until smooth. This develops gluten, which gives bread its structure.
  4. Let it Rise: Allow your dough to rise until it doubles in size.
  5. Shape and Bake: Once risen, shape your dough according to your recipe and bake.

Remember, practice makes perfect! So, don’t worry if your first loaf isn’t picture-perfect.


We hope this blog post has given you a new appreciation for Thanksgiving bread. Not only does it hold historical significance but it’s also a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit any palate or dietary need (hello gluten-free friends!). Plus, making your own bread can be a fun and rewarding experience. So why not give it a try this year? We guarantee that once you do, no Thanksgiving feast will ever feel complete without it!