When it comes to eating, Thanksgiving has always been a two-day affair: first, the sit-down feast itself on Thursday, and second, the bounty of residuals waiting for you come Friday. Leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy waiting patiently in the fridge for you to construct the perfect sandwich. But what about the bread? While out and about this week preparing for the year’s most important culinary day, pick up some of the best loaves of bread Orange County has to offer, from batards and challahs to dinner rolls and milk breads.
85°C Bakery (multiple locations): Here you will find Japanese shokupan (milk bread), a pillowy white bread with a hint of milky flavor, which achieves its plushness care of tangzhong, a warm flour-and-milk paste used in the dough before kneading. The result is a uniformly soft, squishy and flavorful bread. 18637 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley; 9892 Westminster Ave., suite 312, Garden Grove; 915 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine; 3533 E Chapman Ave, Orange; 1100 Irvine Blvd., Tustin.
Blackmarket Bakery (Costa Mesa): Although much of this bakery focuses on sandwiches and custom cakes, it’s also a choice spot to pick up a loaf of housemade sandwich bread. Highlights at this Costa Mesa bakery include classic sourdough, lemon-rosemary, sesame-seed, brioche or Dutch crunch. Located inside the Camp, 2937 Bristol St., Costa Mesa
The Blessed Braid (Irvine): Kosher bakery prepares challah — which comes in traditional, sesame or poppy seed — which, when toasted, makes an ideal bread for leftover sandwiches. 16277 Laguna Canyon Road, suite G, Irvine
Bread Artisan Bakery (Santa Ana): Visit the brick-and-mortar bakery or order online to get your hands on sweet potato pumpkin thyme pull-apart bread or brioche pull-apart bread (ideal for sliders!), organic whole loaf, seeded grain, sourdough batard, multigrain pan loaf and more. 1920 E. Edinger Ave, Santa Ana
Cream Pan Bakery (Fountain Valley, Tustin): Influenced by French and Japanese baking methods, this bakery bakes such tasty loaves as shokupan, baguette, whole wheat, white, sesame, challah and ciabatta. While you’re there, pick up some an man (red bean buns), choco horns and cheese boules.15945 Harbor Blvd., Fountain Valley; 602 El Camino Real, Tustin
Crema Artisan Bakers (Seal Beach): You can find Tarit Tanjasiri’s expertly baked good inside Cream Cafe where they sell whole loaves of brioche, honey wheat, marbled rye, potato bread, sourdough, country and multigrain. 322 Main St., Seal Beach
FKN Bread (San Juan Capistrano): While this bakery offers sandwiches, pastries and other baked goods, the highlight at this San Juan Capistrano spot is the 16-hour-long-fermented sourdough bread. Grab a couple of loaves for the perfect turkey sandwich. 31760 Camino Capistrano B, San Juan Capistrano
Giana Bakery and Provisions (Dana Point): Chef Danielle Kuhn’s rustic sourdough loaves are as gorgeous as they are tasty. The housemade buttermilk biscuits and focaccia are also ideal for leftover sandwiches. 34146 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point
SEE ALSO: Best of Orange County 2023: Best bakery
Hamada Ya Bakery (Costa Mesa): The boloniya, a Danish-inspired Japanese bread that uses dough laminated with butter, tastes like sliced croissant bread. Toast it for delicate crunch and flakiness. 665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa
Katella Bakery Deli Restaurant (Los Alamitos): Here you will find whole loaves of pumpernickel, seedless rye and challah. The onion rolls, which comes six per pack, are ideal for an added savory bite. 4470 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos
Porto’s Bakery (Buena Park): Multigrain loaves, sourdough batards, braided challahs and other breads can be found at this Buena Park bakery. 7640 Beach Blvd, Buena Park
Rye Goods (Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Tustin): Chef Sara Lezama — who started baking and selling bread out of her garage many years ago, which led to a food truck, which resulted in her first brick-and-mortar space on Newport Beach — bakes a popular loaf of old-fashioned sourdough made with heritage grains and a 20-year-old wild-yeast starter affectionately named “Winona Ryeder.” 384 Forest Ave. #4, Laguna Beach; 3418 Via Lido, Newport Beach; 15771 Red Hill Ave., suite 110, Tustin
Scratch Bakery Cafe (Laguna Hills, Newport Beach): Handmade breads made fresh daily include sourdough, marble rye and wheat and rosemary loaves. Also check out the gluten-free loaf for those with dietary restriction. 24321 Avenida De La Carlota, Laguna Hills; Fashion Island, 561 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.