By Emily King

Ahhhhtumn….The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing color, and the sweater collection holds center stage in the closet. Time to pair them up with those elastic waistband-pants and enjoy the family, friends, and feasting that go along with the season!

Holiday gatherings offer the best noshing. That is, as long as the turkey doesn’t turn out like the one in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Take-away lesson: Cousins who show up in an ugly, old RV probably don’t have the equipment necessary to produce an award-winningly succulent bird. Those are the cousins who are better suited to provide that “beloved” can-shaped cranberry mold.

The spread at these gatherings is always incredible: vegetable casseroles, stuffing, gravy, meat, mashed potatoes, and, arguably the most important part of the meal, the dinner roll. Now this may seem like an outrageous claim, but just stop and remember the best dinner roll you ever had. Did it have a slightly chewy golden crust? Was the white crumb inside soft, light and airy, almost like biting into a cloud? Did a wisp of steam escape as you pulled it apart to slather on the butter? See what I mean?

The turkey or ham might be the A-List celebrity of the dinner table, but a delicious dinner roll is the loveable supporting actor that never makes it to the big leagues, but seems never to be out of work either. This is because they remain under the radar during clean up, shielded by the linen napkin lining the breadbasket. Then, four hours later as the feasters are waking from their food-induced comas, the dinner rolls are still hangin’ around ready to play their next part as the external component to the infamous sandwich. Choose your favorite meat color and whatever accoutrements and condiments tickle your fancy, grab a big glass of milk and roll yourself back in front of the TV.

Fast-forward a few days. Now, those yummy dinner rolls are ready for another transformation. It’s time to make bread pudding, croutons, or breadcrumbs to make a crispy coating for chicken cutlets. And remember, bread puddings are not just for dessert anymore. You can add salt, pepper, herbs and cheese to make a weeknight entrée that goes great with a tossed salad. (Pudding Ratio: ~2 Large Eggs per 1 Cup of Cream)

Of course, none of this is possible unless you start with a really fantastic roll. That’s when all of us here at Into the Soup turn to Capistrano’s Wholesale Bakery because waiting for dough to rise is like… well… waiting for dough to rise. Plus, that strange little dough-boy character who reps those “biscuits in a can” creeps me out.

Visit Capistrano’s Wholesale Bakery online by clicking here.

Click Here to read more Breakin’ Bread Features

Or, in Arizona, Capistrano’s artisan breads are available at Vincent’s Saturday Market on Camelback when it is open, at Holsum Outlets, and now at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace. Here are the locations.

  • Apache Junction – 10107 E. Apache Trail
  • Casa Grande – 823 N. Pinal
  • Chandler – 7275 W. Detroit
  • Peoria – 9210 W. Peoria
  • Tucson – 2801 S. 4th Avenue
  • Luci’s Healthy Marketplace -1590 East Bethany Home Road, Phoenix