While some people are crazy about low-carb diets, many still eat a lot of bread. This type of food is versatile, inexpensive and it can make you feel full.
Whether you eat it with butter, pair it with stew or curry or make an entirely new recipe with it, it’s undeniable that you can do many things with a simple bread. But do you know that there are also many types of bread?
There are different types of bread from various parts of the world. And they greatly differ in flavor and texture.
If you are curious to know what these breads are, we have rounded up 15 different types that are worth trying.
Different Types of bread
1. Banana Bread
Who doesn’t know banana bread? This type is popular in many countries around the world. It is a dense and moist bread and more cake-like, and can easily pass as a sweet treat.
Banana bread is considered quick bread. Quick bread uses baking soda or baking powder as leavening instead of yeast.
Obviously, this type uses mashed ripe bananas. Since ripe bananas are naturally sweet, most recipes no longer add sugar. Other ingredients to make this bread include flour, baking soda, all-purpose flour, vegetable oil and eggs. You can also add nuts, raisins or chocolate chips to elevate the flavor of this sweet bread.
This bread is slightly sweet and is perfect for snacks or even for breakfast. It goes well with a hot cup of coffee.
In the US, banana bread is so popular it even got its own holiday. February 23 is National Banana Bread Day.
This white bread hails from Italy. The word “ciabatta” means slipper in the local language. It is flavorful but not overpowering, making it perfect for sandwiches and paninis. Traditional loaves of Ciabatta are a staple food in Italian meals.
The common ingredients used to make this bread include wheat flour, yeast, olive oil, salt and water. Although its texture and crust vary, the main ingredients remain the same throughout the years.
Ciabatta is a current discovery and was only created in 1982 by a baker who was challenged by the popularity of French baguettes.
Generally, this Italian bread is somewhat flat and elongated. While there are many variations in their appearance, what’s unique about them is their alveolar holes. The crumb has wide pores and is wooly.
When it comes to flavor, it is somewhat savory and aromatic while the crust is crisp. Compared to the traditional French bread, ciabatta uses a much wetter dough.
3. Whole Wheat Bread
The word “whole” is what makes this it different from white bread. This bread is made using whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat means that the wheat germ, bran and endosperm of the wheat grains are still intact as opposed to being processed or mixed with other grains.
Compared to white bread, whole-grain breads are healthier because they contain more fiber and nutrients per slice. It also has a richer aroma.
It’s easy to recognize whole wheat bread because of its darker color, coarser texture and slightly better taste compared to wheat bread. It is great for making healthy sandwiches. Moreover, you can also eat it with jam, peanut butter or butter.
4. Rye Bread
Rye bread is made by combining bread flour with rye flour. The mixture gives you that tight crumb and that recognizable rye flavor. This bread is what gives corned beef, pastrami and other deli sandwiches that unique taste.
There are several variations to the color of rye used for this type of brown bread, from light, medium to dark brown. The color depends on which part of the rye berries is used for making the rye flour. So a dark rye flour makes dark-crusted rye bread.
Rye grain has a deep and rich flavor that is very unique and distinguishable from other types of flour. The resulting bread inherits that characteristic.
Generally, caraway or dill seeds are added to the dough, and these seeds give the bread that vibrant and earthy flavor. Some rye bread uses sourdough bases so they have a hint of tart flavor too. Other rye breads though have a sweeter taste.
5. French Baguette
Of all the bread types, nothing else conjures images of all things French than this one. Also called French bread, it is widely popular not just in its country of origin but also in many countries around the world.
Baguettes are made by combining flour, water, yeast and salt. Four simple ingredients yet they make an iconic bread that is feather-light in weight and with a slightly chewy texture. You can also recognize its topside slashes that allow for expansion during baking.
When it comes to taste, baguettes have a nutty flavor which is more like chestnut, with a unique vegetal taste. It is neither sweet nor salty.
Sourdough bread is one of the oldest types of bread believed to have originated in Egypt in 1500 B.C. Unlike typical bread that uses commercial yeast to rise, sourdough uses wild yeast and lactobacillus bacteria that occur naturally.
This bread is created through a long natural fermentation process that creates lactic acid. The acid gives sourdough its signature tangy and sour flavor. The natural fermentation also makes it light and airy and with lots of large air bubbles. Generally, the longer the fermentation process is, the better the flavor the bread will have.
In the US, the San Francisco Bay area is popular for its sourdough bread. It is prized not just for being nutritious but also for its health benefits. It can help with blood sugar control as well as indigestion.
Sourdough is perfect for making bomb-grilled cheese!
7. Multigrain Bread
Multigrain bread is exactly what its name suggests. It is traditionally baked using two or more grains such as flax, oats, whole wheat flour and wheat kernel among others.
Some varieties of multigrain bread also contain edible seeds such as quinoa, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and poppy or sesame seeds. The addition of seeds gives this bread that nutty and rich earthy flavor.
If you are making French toast or avocado toast, this bread is a great choice.
Brioche is a French bread that is more like a combination of bread and pastry. That is because it is loaded with eggs and butter. It is a type of viennoisseries. It is the same family as the Danish pastries, dinner rolls and croissants.
The addition of butter to the dough gives this brioche its soft and buttery taste. Typically, it can be made into a savory brioche or sweet brioche.
Brioche is commonly used for hamburgers, or eaten as dinner rolls. it is also perfect for making French toast.
Another popular bread that originates in Italy is focaccia bread. It is a flatbread that looks more like pizza dough.
Traditionally baked at high temperatures using sheet pans, it often has savory toppings which may be composed of olive oil, tomatoes, olives and rosemary and seasoned with coarse salt.
The name focaccia is from the Roman phrase “panis focacius,” which means “hearth bread.” So although it is a classic Italian bread, its early origin can be traced back to Roman times.
Focaccia has a crispy crust while the middle part is a bit chewy, soft and airy. Generally, it has a nutty, chewy and savory taste.
10. Pita Bread
Pita is a thin flatbread similar to naan bread and corn tortilla. The bead is cooked at a high temperature, causing the dough to puff and have an interior pocket.
Although many people think that pita bread is a kind of unleavened bread, more often it contains yeast as a leavening agent.
You can eat this bread plain, or stuff the pocket with mashed potatoes or falafel. It can also be topped with ground beef or other meat and vegetables and folded over or eaten as a sandwich. Others also use pita as a scooper for hummus or salsa.
Pita bread is not only popular in Mediterranean cuisines. It is also well-known in the US and it is often called a pocket bread or pocket pita.
Also known as corn bread, cornbread originates from the native Americans. It is beautifully light with a dense crumb and can either be sweet or plain. You’ll also easily recognize this bread for its grainy texture.
Cornbread is moist and buttery with a fluffy center and golden edges. It is normally served as a side dish.
This bread uses cornmeal or corn flour and wheat flour, along with other ingredients such as butter, milk and eggs. Some types of cornbread are unleavened while other types are leavened using baking powder. As this bread doesn’t store well, it should be consumed quickly after baking.
12. Soda Bread
Soda bread is an Irish bread that uses baking soda instead of yeast, hence its name. Traditional soda bread has soft wheat flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda. Although in the US, there are many varieties of soda bread available.
This quick bread traditionally has a mild flavor but in the US, there are varieties that are slightly sweet because bakers add raisins.
The flavor of this bread is similar to a biscuit which is a bit mild. So this is not the type that you would like to eat on its own. You can pair it with jam, butter or peanut butter for a better taste.
13. Potato Bread
Another type of bread worth tasting is potato bread. This one uses potato flour and regular wheat flour. It can be leavened or unleavened and it can also be cooked on a griddle or baked in the oven.
This bread has a light and firm structure with tiny holes. It is a perfect choice for making fantastic toasts.
It is worth mentioning that potato bread comes with many regional names including potato cake, fadge, tatie bread and potato farls. But regardless of the name it is called, this bread is definitely worth trying.
- Can I use baking powder as leavening instead of yeast?
Yes, baking powder can be used as an alternative to yeast since it also produces gas. However, if you have tried using both baking powder and yeast in your recipes, you can easily tell the difference in the results. Of course, you get better results when you use yeast when a recipe calls for yeast.
- Are there any other types of bread aside from those listed above?
Yes, there are dozens of different types of bread from various countries and cuisines. What we have on the list are some of the most popular ones.
- What's the best bread for healthy eating?
There is no single best bread for healthy eating. With the different types of bread available, many of them are considered healthy.
As a rule of thumb, bread that uses whole wheat, multi-grains and edible seeds are a better option than bread that uses white flour.
White flour and other refined white foods cause obesity so as much as possible avoid them or consume them in moderation.
There are many types of bread available, you can either buy them or bake them at home. These types of breads greatly vary in their attributes. If you are familiar with the flavor and texture of the different types of bread, you can easily decide which type best complements your preferences.
The best thing about the breads we just listed here is that many of them can be easily prepared at home as long as you have the right ingredients. And if you decide to bake, there are also many easy recipes that you can follow.