Different Kinds of Breads from Around the World + Recipes

Words: Jess Spiro

Bread, possibly the hardest working food out there. In any of its forms it’s delicious and loved. Fresh, toasted, crisp, unleavened, sandwiched, buttered, you name it, bread can go there and make a meal of it. And any country you visit is bound to have their own specialty bread. So, in honour of our favourite yeasty food, we’re taking a trip around the world to discover different kinds of breads.

Different Kinds of Breads around the World

France

French bakers are considered the best in the world, preparing some of the best bread around and we’re inclined to agree. The French are probably best known for the baguette but a personal favourite of ours is the pain d’epi, which is made to resemble a stalk of wheat. The best thing about this bread is how easy it is to tear apart, as well as the maximum crust factor. Try this recipe from Paul Creamer of Woodstock Bakery.

Another French classic is the pain de campagne, this country bread is similar to taste to a sourdough. Try this Onion Campagne to bring some French country charm to your kitchen.

Different Kinds of Breads
Different Kinds of Breads

Italy

Italy, with all its pizza and pasta is the land of all the best carbohydrates; but somehow there’s always space for some bread, often dunked in olive oil. These breadsticks are a cinch to make and are best served the Italian way, as part of antipasti board.

If you looking for a recipe to feed the whole family try this Focaccia recipe. Focaccia are oven baked and similar in taste and texture to pizza.

Different Kinds of Breads
Different Kinds of Breads

India

Moving a little further east, is the very important naan bread. Although the naan is technically seen in many forms in West, Central and South Asia, it has a special place in our hearts when served alongside a creamy, hearty curry. With it’s pillowy texture, it is the perfect utensil for scooping and wiping up any dregs of sauce left in the bowl.

Another staple bread recipe in India (as well as Pakistan and Myanmar) is the Parathas. It is an unleavened flat bread that is thinner than a naan but thicker than a roti.

Different Kinds of Breads
Different Kinds of Breads

Armenia

Lavash, or flatbread, is seen all over the world in varying forms and textures with wildly different names. Wherever in the world that you’re eating it, it’s the best vehicle for smears, pastes and spreads, whether you’re dipping or spreading.


Turkey

Keeping with the flatbread theme, the Turks have a bread called gozleme – take dough, brush it butter and eggs and stuff it with all sorts of delicious things, seal it and crisp it up over a griddle. The fillings vary, depending on where in the country you are and can be anything from beef mince, smoked seafood, potatoes, cheese and various vegetables.

Try your hand at this simple recipe for gozleme, filled with spinach, lamb and feta.

Different Kinds of Breads


Germany

Is there anything more German than a pretzel? Well, maybe lederhosen, but you get the idea. Pretzels are the ultimate pick-up-and-go bread when in knotted form, but also make a wonderful, sturdy roll that will keep even the sloppiest of sandwiches together.

Try our recipe, perfect for any pesky Sunday roast leftovers.

Different Kinds of Breads


Portugal

Bread features heavily all over Europe, but this Portuguese Easter bread is special for its slightly sweetened taste and simple serving suggestions, just fresh with butter. With Easter coming up soon, why not try your hand at this simple recipe.

Different Kinds of Breads


South Africa

Here in SA, we’re known for throwing a thing or two on the fire and bread is no different. Potbrood is exactly what it says in the name, bread in a pot. Specifically, bread cooked in a pot over hot coals on the braai such as this sweet potato and pumpkin ale bread cooked in cast iron.

If you looking for something a little more decadent then this vetkoek recipe should get the heart rate pumping.

Different Kinds of Breads
Different Kinds of Breads

Loved discovering different kinds of breads around the world? Click here for more inspired bread recipes. Also, find out where to get the best bread in Cape Town.

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