27 Breads from Around the World
Nearly every nation in the world has some form of bread that they claim as their own. Whether yeasted or unleavened, elegant or unadorned, these breads are significant and delicious.
Americans are no strangers to Mexican and Central American tortillas, which are very thin breads made from either corn or flour. They’re key components in everything from tacos to enchiladas to Americanized pinwheel sandwiches.
Naan is a flatbread from the Indian subcontinent that has many applications. It can be simply brushed with ghee, used as a dipper or stuffed with various mixtures of meats, cheeses and vegetables.
Pulla is Finnish sweet bread that’s often braided and always scented with the enticing aroma of cardamom, making it perfect for a teatime treat.
Bagels are distinctive breads in that they’re boiled before they’re baked. They hail from the Jewish communities in Poland, and while they’re perfectly delicious plain, it’s hard to pass up a schmear of cream cheese.
The variations of Swedish tea rings are endless, and each is as delicious as the next. Whether they’re filled with dried fruit, spices, jam or cream cheese, they’re the perfect brunch treat.
As the name suggests, fry bread is a flat disc of dough fried in oil or lard and served with various toppings. Its creation is attributed to Native Americans and to this day, it remains an important part of their history.
Challah is an important type of bread for Jewish people. It can be made in many different sizes and shapes and each has its own significance. It also makes an incredible batch of French toast!
France is known for its delicious bread, and baguettes are a specialty! The process of making the long loaves is a bit fiddly and some recipes require specific tools, but the satisfaction that comes with tearing off a hunk and sinking your teeth into it is well worth it.
In Hungary, kolache is a sweet roll filled with either nuts or seeds. The stuffed brioche-like dough is a traditional Christmas treat for many folks with Central European heritage.
Irish soda bread is unique in that it is leavened only with baking soda; traditionally, no yeast was used and it was as basic as could be. These days, you can find Irish soda bread made with additions like cheese, dried fruits, herbs and seeds.
Limpa bread is a Swedish rye bread flavored with orange and fennel or anise (or both). It’s wonderful simply toasted with butter but can also be used as sandwich bread.
Poteca is an Eastern European yeast-based pastry filled and layered with a sweet nut mixture. It can be round, shaped or in a loaf, but any way you slice it, it’s delicious.
Matzo bread is a Jewish staple, as it’s completely unleavened in accordance with certain commandments of the religion. The thin crisp can also be transformed into a fine meal, which can be used to make matzo balls for soup or as a binder for casseroles and the like.
This Christmas bread from Germany is positively packed with nuts, candied fruit and spices. Add on a glaze or a sprinkling of powdered sugar and it’s practically dessert!
The shapes, textures and flavors of breadsticks vary wildly, but this Italian creation is a necessity at many meals. It can be an appetizer, dinner accompaniment or even dessert.
Chapati is an Indian flatbread very similar to naan except that it’s rolled out much more thinly and baked on a flat griddle instead of in a tandoor.
Countries around the world have their own versions of rye bread, which has been around since the Middle Ages thanks to the ability of rye to grow in poor soils and through drought. It’s a wonderful sandwich bread. After all, a Reuben isn’t a Reuben without rye bread!
Pane di Pasqua (or Italian Easter bread) is as beautiful as it is delicious. Its unique shape and decorations combined with its flavors of orange and anise make it perfectly suited for such a special holiday.
Sourdough bread is unique because it makes use of naturally occurring yeast from the air to achieve its rise. Varieties exist in many countries, but San Francisco has proven itself as the source of some of the best tangy-flavored bread in the world.