If You're Not Making Grilled Cheese With Sourdough Bread, You're Seriously Missing Out

Whether it's a midnight snack or a mid-day lunch, a grilled cheese sandwich always hits the spot. While some are convinced they taste better from a restaurant, there really aren't many ways to mess them up at home. There are, on the other hand, plenty of ways to make them better — and if you're not making your homemade grilled cheese with sourdough bread, you're seriously missing out. There are a few reasons why Tasting Table's ultimate grilled cheese recipe uses sourdough. It's an essential ingredient for making the best grilled cheese because of its size, flavor, and texture. Another crusty bread might do the job, but it simply won't be as good.

Sourdough is unique to other breads because of its slightly tangy flavor. The fermentation adds another element to your homemade grilled cheese while complementing the rich saltiness of the cheese. Fermentation, however, also goes hand in hand with this bread's texture, helping it rise and giving it a soft, airy quality. The size of it, in turn, only makes for more surface area on the pan — helping you achieve that beautiful browned color on both sides. With all that being said, sourdough gives everything you look for in a good grilled cheese: flavor, color, and a combination of crispy and soft textures. But, it's not the only ingredient in a great grilled cheese.

The best grilled cheese is more than just the bread

No matter if you're making grilled cheese in your air fryer or on a cast iron pan, bread alone won't make it great. You'll want to grab a few other items with the sourdough bread, the cheese being the most obvious. Surprisingly, the kind you use is up to your own preference. A combination of sharp cheddar and mozzarella or gruyère are the usual go-tos. Shredding or grinding them will help ensure your cheese melts more evenly and quickly. But there's another ingredient that can help with that.

You'll notice mayonnaise is included in most of Tasting Table's grilled cheese recipes, even the pimento grilled cheese. That's because it helps the bread toast without burning, meaning you have more time for the cheese to fully melt. The technique also plays a role here, with one method for a perfectly melted grilled cheese being putting a lid over the pan. Butter is another obvious ingredient, but it's all in how you use it. It's often said that butter should be reserved for the pan. Used in conjunction with the mayo, not only will it help the bread brown, but it will coat the outside of your sandwich so that the buttery flavor hits your tongue first. Those, however, are just the classic ingredients. There are many additions you can make to elevate your grilled cheese — but it's best to master the basics first.