Breads

Breads

In its simplest form, bread is made by combining flour, liquid, fat, salt, and a leavening agent (often yeast or baking soda) into a dough and baking it.


Bread will stay fresher longer if it's wrapped in an airtight bag and kept at room temperature. Don't store it in the refrigerator, but feel free to freeze any bread you can't eat within a couple of days.


To get substitutions for bread in general, click here.


Varieties:

bagel
bagel
A Jewish specialty, these ring-shaped rolls have a dense, chewy texture. They're usually served for breakfast after being sliced open, toasted, and smeared with cream cheese. The dough is sometimes studded with raisins, blueberries, onions, seeds, or herbs.
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bialy
bialy
These chewy Jewish rolls have indentations on top which are filled with onions. Look for them in bagel shops.
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bolillo
bolillo
These are crusty Mexican sandwich rolls.
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bread
bread
To learn more about different varieties of bread, click here.
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breadsticks
breadsticks
Italians serve these crunchy breadsticks before Italian meals, to keep their guests occupied without filling them up too much. You can buy them plain, or flavored with sesame seeds, garlic, onion, or herbs.
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brioche
brioche
This rich, slightly sweet yeast bread is made with eggs and butter, and sometimes with fruit or nuts.
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challah
challah
This Jewish yeast bread is made with eggs and butter. It's wonderfully soft and rich, and usually comes as a braided loaf.
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ciabatta
ciabatta
Ciabatta ("slipper" in Italian) is a rustic bread with a heavy crust and a dense crumb.
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corn rye bread
corn rye bread
A staple of Jewish delicatessens, this rye bread is coated with cornmeal. It's often paired with corned beef.
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croissant
croissant
These French crescent-shaped rolls are made with puff pastry, so they're wonderfully rich and tender. They're great for dunking into coffee, or for making sandwiches.
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crumpet
crumpet
These are moist yeast muffins that the British like to slather with butter or clotted cream and serve at teatime. You can buy them ready-made in larger supermarkets, or make them yourself with the help of a crumpet ring and griddle. Toast them before eating.
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dreikornbrot
dreikornbrot
This German bread is made with rye flour.
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English muffin
English muffin
When split and toasted, these muffins have an uncanny ability to trap and hold butter and jam. They're often served at breakfast as an alternative to toast.
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French bread
French bread
This is the traditional French bread that has a hard, dark brown crust and many large air pockets. The baguette = baguet (bah-GET) is the standard tube-shaped French bread, about two feet long. The bâtarde = batarde (buh-TARD) is a bit larger than a baguette, while the baton (bah-TOH), is a bit smaller, and the ficelle (fee-SELL) is much narrower.
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Italian bread
Italian bread
Like French bread, Italian bread has a dark, hard crust and a slightly chewy interior.
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kommisbrot
kommisbrot
This German rye bread has a fine texture and is often thinly sliced.
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kugelhopf
kugelhopf
This German specialty is a sweetened yeast bread with currants and almonds baked inside. It's usually shaped in a ring and served at breakfast.
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kulich
kulich
Russians serve this rich, sweetened yeast bread at Easter. It typically has raisins in it and icing on top.
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limpa bread
limpa bread
This delicious and fragrant rye bread is usually flavored with molasses, anise seed, and orange peel. Despite its exquisite flavor, it's hard to find in the United States.
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Portuguese sweet bread
Portuguese sweet bread
This sweet and tender bread is great for making French toast or for nibbling.
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Pugliese bread
Pugliese bread
This simple, crusty bread hails from Puglia, Italy, and is great for making sandwiches or dipping into olive oil. Some producers flavor it with olives or cheese.
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pumpernickel bread
pumpernickel bread
This heavy and slightly sour bread is made with molasses and a blend of rye and wheat flours. It's often cut into thin slices and used for appetizers.
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raisin bread
raisin bread
This bread is studded with raisins and often flavored with cinnamon. It's usually served as toast for breakfast.
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rye bread
rye bread
This is a favorite of Northern Europeans, who use it to make hearty sandwiches. Most of it is made with both rye and wheat flours. There are dozens of varieties, ranging from light tan to almost black.
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sourdough bread
sourdough bread
A San Francisco specialty, this is French bread made with a special starter of yeast and bacteria that imparts a pleasant, sour taste to the bread. It's especially good with seafood.
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starter breads
starter breads
These are breads that are made with a starter instead of fresh yeast. A starter is a mixture of flour, water, and baker's yeast that been set out so that it can be colonized by airborne yeast and friendly bacteria. Starters lend a special character to the bread--sourdough bread, for example, needs to be made with a starter to acquire a sour flavor.
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