Bread is one of the first foods that humans began preparing for themselves eons ago. It is a staple for tons of meals and recipes, and knowing how to bake is an invaluable skill. Knowing how to bake bread is helpful when preparing all kinds of baked goods, including cookies, pastries, and cakes. This list of different kinds of bread will teach you about how many varieties of bread exist, and how they differ from one another.
Arepa – Arepa is a bread produced in South America. It has a similar texture to a soft tortilla, but is thicker, where tortillas are flat. It is made from maize flour, and frequently used for sandwiches with meat and cheese.
Baguette – Baguettes are a very popular type of French bread, characterized by their long tube-like shape, as well as their crunchy crust and soft interior. Baguettes can be up to two feet long, and are used for a variety of purposes outside of sandwiches.
Báhn Mì – Báhn Mì is like the Vietnamese version of a baguette. It is made with a combination of rice flour and wheat, and used almost exclusively for traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. Like a baguette, its crust is very crunchy while its inside is softer.
Bagel – Perhaps one of the most popularly consumed kinds of bread, bagels are made with yeast dough. They are rolled, boiled, and baked in an oven, and they have a denser texture than other types of bread. There are countless varieties and flavors of bagel available, including blueberry, everything, onion, whole wheat, and many more.
Bialy – A bialy is a round chewy roll, somewhat like a bagel, originally made in Bialystok, Poland. Bialys have a small indent in the center, which are commonly filled with onions and poppy seeds to provide flavor before they are baked. Like bagels, bialys are made with yeast, but they are prepared differently.
Breadstick – Breadsticks are available in nearly every restaurant in nearly every country of the world. They are long, thin pieces of bread that are baked for a long time, usually until they become crisp. The extra baking time lengthens the amount of time that the bread can be kept before being eaten.
Brioche – A brioche is a glazed roll with a sweet and rich flavor. It is often served with breakfast foods because of its sweetness. It is made by combining yeast with butter and eggs, and glazing with an egg wash after baking. Brioche is sometimes flavored, particularly with almonds.
Challah – Challah is a traditionally Jewish bread. It is braided before it is baked, giving it a very unique appearance. It has a sweet flavor, and is typically baked with yeast, eggs, honey, and flour.
Ciabatta – Ciabatta is an Italian loaf bread, with dense crumbs and a very hard and crisp crust. It is baked with wheat and often flavored with olive oil, rosemary or other spices, and dusted with flour when it comes out of the oven. Ciabatta is very frequently used for sandwiches, especially Panini, as it toasts particularly well,
Cornbread – Cornbread is made by baking corn that has been ground down into meal. Egg and buttermilk are often combined with the cornmeal before baking, making cornbread very cake-like in texture and taste. Cornbread can be very dense and crumby.
Croissant – Croissants are flaky, buttery, and very rich, and shaped like crescent moons. They are French rolls, made by baking puff pastry and yeast dough together in layers. Croissants are traditionally considered a breakfast pastry, and are often served with coffee in European countries, particularly France. Chocolate croissants are very popular as well; they are baked the same way, but a piece of dark chocolate is placed in the dough first.
Cracker – Crackers are like small segments of very crispy bread, originally made by combining flour, salt and water and baking the mixture. Crackers are distinguished from bread because they are not prepared with leavening. There are countless brands and flavors of crackers available today.
Crouton – A crouton is a small piece of very crunchy bread that has been baked twice, usually after bread has gone stale. Croutons are cut into small cubes, seasoned, and used to garnish foods like soups and salads.
Date Nut – Date nut bread is made by combining dates, walnuts, and sometimes pecans, with egg, baking soda and a dough-like batter. It is rather rich and sweet, and is often topped with cream cheese.
Dough – Dough is used to make almost all bread. It is made by grinding grains down into a fine flour, and adding water. It is often seasoned, and leavening is added in order to allow the bread to rise when it is baked.
Dosa – Dosa is native to the southern regions of India. It is a very thin and flat bread, and is used to wrap fillings such as spiced vegetables and nuts.
English Muffin – The English muffin is a round yeast roll, often prepared by cooking dough on a griddle. Like a crumpet, an English muffin can be very dense and filled with air pockets. They are most often used as a breakfast roll, particularly as a base for breakfast sandwiches.
Focaccia – Focaccia bread was originally made in Italy. It tends to be relatively flat, as it is not kneaded before it is baked. It is not an entirely flat bread, because yeast is still one its ingredients, which causes it to rise slightly. Focaccia has a very rich flavor, and retains a lot of moisture, since it is brushed with olive oil before it is baked.
Fruit Bread – Fruit bread comes in almost countless varieties, consisting of dried fruit, and sometimes nuts. One of the most popular fruit breads is banana bread. Fruit bread is prepared very much like a cake, usually in a pan rather than as a freestanding loaf, and the mixture does not rise.
Hot Cross Bun – Hot cross buns are very sweet round rolls, made with yeast and raisins, and often with a cross shape cut into the dough before baking. They are frequently garnished with icing and served on the Christian holiday Good Friday.
Leavening – Leavening refers to the process by which bread is made to rise; this produces a lighter and chewier texture to bread. Leavening is accomplished by adding either chemical agents (such as baking powder or baking soda) or yeast to the dough prior to baking bread.
Marble Bread – Marble bread is made by combining pumpernickel and rye dough, and twisting the two together to create a swirl pattern in the finished product. Marble bread is baked in dense loaves and often used for deli sandwiches.
Matzo – Matzo is an unleavened flatbread, with a crisp and crunchy consistency similar to crackers, traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday known as Passover.
M’smen – M’smen is traditionally made in Morocco. It is a flatbread, usually eaten as a breakfast food, with a flaky texture and a buttery flavor.
Naan – Naan is a Middle Eastern bread. It is a flatbread, similar to pita bread without a pocket. It is made by combining dough and leavening, and baking the mixture in a clay oven. Naan is sometimes served topped with butter, cheese, garlic, or spiced vegetables.
Panettone – A traditional Italian bread served at Christmas, panettone is prepared by curing dough for many days, then adding a variety of candied fruits, raisins, and sometimes lemon zest. The finished product is a tall loaf with an airy and light interior, and a sweet flavor.
Paratha – Paratha is an Indian flatbread similar to naan. It is prepared with whole wheat flour, which is then fried in oil. Paratha is frequently served stuff with cheese or vegetables.
Poori – Poori is another Indian bread made with whole wheat flour, combined with salt and water. The mixture is fried in oil, and the finished product looks like a puffy pillow.
Popover- A popover is a roll made by cooking egg batter in muffin tins. The rolls are crispy and light, with a hollow interior. Their name comes from the cooking method, which allows the batter to pop over the edge of the muffin cups.
Potato Bread – Potato bread was originally baked in Ireland, when a large amount of flour was replaced with mashed potatoes before baking bread. Potato bread has a denser texture than other breads, and a unique flavor.
Puff Pastry – Puff pastry is made by combining wheat dough with butter or fat, then rolling the mixture out many times over. Puff pastry is very flaky in texture and buttery in flavor.
Pretzel – Pretzels are made by rolling yeast bread into a long tube, and twisting and knotting the tube into a specific pretzel shape.
Pumpernickel – Pumpernickel bread is with a combination of sour dough and crushed rye grains, covered and baked at a low temperature for a long time. Pumpernickel can range from brown to black in color, and is frequently used to make deli sandwiches.
Rye – Rye bread is made from rye flour, which can range from light to dark based on the density and amount of fiber. Rye’s flavor is much stronger than that of traditional wheat bread, and its texture is much more dense.
Scone – A scone is classified as a quick bread. They are prepared by combining flour, baking soda, sugar, eggs, milk and butter and baking the mixture. The texture of a scone is very dense and dry, with a very hard crust. They are traditionally eaten as a breakfast food, with butter, clotted cream, or honey, and are often flavored with fruit in the dough, such as blueberries or raisins.
Soda Bread – Soda bread is prepared by substituting baking soda for yeast in a traditional bread recipe. Soda bread is very sweet with a light texture, and is frequently flavored by adding nuts or raisins to the dough.
Sourdough – Sourdough bread is baked with certain bacteria that produce lactic acid and create a sour taste. Sourdough typically has a crispy outer crust and a softer, crumbier interior.
White bread – Classic white bread has actually been around for a relatively short time, compared to other breads. It is made with bleached, chemically refined white flour, resulting in its white color. Similarly, whole wheat bread is made with whole wheat flour, which is not refined.
Now that you know more about different kinds of bread, you can try to bake some of these varieties on your own, in order to improve your baking skills. With a little practice, you’ll be able to bake all kinds of bread and other baked treats in no time.