If you are all about comfort foods, then this creative wedding bread buffet might be an idea you can consider for your next event. The bride and groom treated their guests to a smorgasbord of delicious artisan breads, complete with a variety of spreads.
Unless you are one of those folks who has an irrational fear of carbs, this delightful bread buffet was a feast for the eyes and for the palate. Grandma Joyce prepared about a dozen types of bread–everything from the soft butterflake rolls that are a family favorite to pepperoni pizza party bread. Joyce also crafted several flavored butters by combining flavorful add-ins like chives, bacon and pecans to softened butter.
Creating Your Bread Buffet Display
Since many breads are similar in color, the challenge with this display was to make everything look appetizing even though the basic loaves were very similar in color. By adding texture (choosing unusual shapes and toppings on different bread loaves) and varying the heights of the displayed foods, Joyce is able to create a buffet that is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. For example, in the display below, you’ll notice that one variety of bread was baked in a bundt pan, the dinner rolls were shaped into crescents, and the artisan breads were sprinkled with a variety of seeds and spices to add texture.
Bread boards, baskets and rustic log slabs gave some varying height. If you need additional height, a simple cardboard box base hidden underneath the display cloth is a quick and inexpensive solution. A few greens and accents of lavender tucked in among the loaves added a critical splash of color.
Flavored Butters – Mouthwatering Add-ins
Flavored butters are so easy, you really don’t need a recipe, although you’ll find plenty of them with a quick Internet search. Essentially, you just think of great combinations of flavors, and add a few mix-ins to pre-softened creamery butter. We served the following varieties:
- Pecan brown sugar
- Parmesan garlic pesto
- Cheddar, bacon, and chive
- Cranberry orange
- Lemon and Thyme
It’s hard to make a mistake, but if you need a little bit of guidance, here’s a link to a “Taste of Home” video that will help get you started.
Rounding Out the Buffet: Variety Without Exceptional Expense
One of the risks you run when you feature a single “showcase” food is making the buffet boring. Joyce resolves this problem by adding in some additional foods to create options for guests who may have food sensitivities. But ultimately, it’s about giving every guest some options that are flavorful, colorful, and delicious without breaking the bank. For this bread buffet, she added three simple finger-food-style meats. Marinated sweet and sour meatballs, delicious coconut shrimp on mini skewers, and teriyaki chicken in bite-sized portions created the “body” that the meal needed to be satisfying and filling. A huge, colorful fruit tray, and her signature what-a-veggie relish tray rounded out the meal.
Joyce’s signature “what-a-veggie tray” goes beyond the average relish tray by adding some items you wouldn’t typically expect. The old standbys are there (cherry tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery), but you’ll also see chunks of cheddar, jack, and mozzarella cheese, sweet pickles, and prosciutto-wrapped cream cheese. Try steaming the broccoli lightly to make it a little more tender and give it additional color. Choose the largest green olives you can find at the grocery store. Make ham, olive and cream cheese roll-ups and spear them with a decorative toothpick. Pile everything on the biggest tray you can find atop a bed of dark green, leafy lettuce, being careful to separate similarly-colored items with contrasting colors.
The Cookie Cake
In a refreshing change from the standby, this bride and groom continued the carb-a-licious theme with a unique spin on the wedding cake. If these cookies haven’t come to a college campus near you yet, just wait. Chip Cookies is based on a unique business model crafted entirely around the idea that college students crave warm cookies with cold milk–usually at midnight when warm cookies with cold milk aren’t available. Chip cookies created the solution to the problem, albeit one that rates a D- on the Nutrition Facts scale for protecting your waistline. And we won’t talk about what the real serving size is. Hint: A single cookie may contain more than one “serving.”
But if you only plan to cut the wedding cake once in your life, you might as well dig into this one. And no, we didn’t forget the milk.