Bread is a favourite among the young and old and it comes in different shapes, sizes and taste. Bread has been a staple food for humans since the Neolithic period, about 10,000 years ago.
What makes bread special? It’s inexpensive, filling and super versatile. You can make delicious recipes with it or you just eat it on its own. It can be made with different kinds of flour and ingredients that add unique flavours to it. It can even be made in a variety of ways that don’t require an oven. It can be leavened or unleavened, depending on whether or not yeast is added.
The wonderful world of bread goes beyond the basic white loaf, so why not add a little variety to your table with these delicious breads? Let’s take a look at some of the bread varieties found around the world.
An Italian bread made with wheat flour, salt, yeast and water. Though the texture and crust may vary a little throughout Italy, the main ingredients remain the same. Ciabatta is best eaten as a sandwich or paninis.
Currently the ‘in’ thing with bread lovers, it is a yeasted bread made from a starter which is a fermented mixture of flour and water. This starter can be kept a long time and the result is a crusty loaf with a soft, chewy center and large air bubbles. Sourdough makes delicious grilled cheese or can be eaten dipped in balsamic vinegar.
Hailing from the Middle East, pita is leavened flatbread made with wheat flour. It is then baked at high temperatures, causing the liquid in the dough to be released. This forms a large air bubble in the center that becomes a pocket when it is cut in half. Perfect for a hand-held falafel sandwich. It is also commonly paired with hummus or tzatziki sauce.
Similar to pizza dough, focaccia originated from Italy. It is usually baked in a baking tray so that it comes out flat. Before baking, it is drenched with olive oil and topped with herbs and garlic. Crunchy yet delicate, it can be eaten on its own, dipped in soup or salad dressings and other dips.
A French bread made with butter and eggs; it is light with a subtle sweetness to it. Soft with a golden-yellow crust due to the egg wash applied before baking, Brioche is best eaten as a French toast.
A special braided bread from Israel, Challah is typically eaten during Sabbath and other major Jewish holidays. The braids are meant to resemble intertwined arms symbolizing love. It is made from eggs and topped with poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
A type of rye bread, the Pumpernickel hails from Germany. Made with coarsely ground whole rye berries, Pumpernickel’s dark hue comes from adding molasses or coffee. The unique flavour and texture of this bread goes well with both sweet and savoury spreads.
Which of these breads have you tried before and which is your favourite?