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.
Focaccia is rustic, all-purpose bread from Italy; it can be used as sandwich bread or served on the side. It’s often heavily herbed and its texture can absorb copious amounts of olive oil.
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.
Kulich is a traditional Russian Easter bread that’s baked in a cylindrical tin, topped with thin white icing and decorated with flowers. Though the process is lengthy, the final product is worth the effort!
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.
Julekake or julekage is a rich, sweet bread packed with dried fruit and spices, specifically cardamom. It’s a staple in Scandinavian households during the winter holidays.
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.
While the true origin of the pretzel is unknown, many stories exist. Regardless of where they were created, we’re glad they were—the salty twisted treats are an amazing snack.
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.
If the more well-known panettone isn’t your thing, try this version of Italian sweet bread. Ciambella is basic but quite satisfying… especially when dunked in white wine or coffee!
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.
Despite its name, the English muffin was actually created on American soil (albeit by an Englishman). Gotta love those nooks and crannies.
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.
Cornbread is a staple in the American South and it’s perfect for absorbing butter. While the traditional version has little to no sweetener, more modern versions add honey, sugar or even agave.
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.
Another Russian holiday bread is Krendl, usually reserved for Christmas. This pretzel-shaped sweet bread is stuffed with dried fruits and makes a stunning centerpiece for any celebration.
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!
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.