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The Most Popular Bread Recipe from Every Decade

See what was baking in everyday kitchens from the 1900s on.

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1900s: White Bread

The dawn of the 20th century saw the invention of white bread, thanks to the introduction of bleached white flour. Bleached flour also helped promote the widespread production of white bread, because it made the dough easier for machines to work. See the most popular sandwich in the 1900s.
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1910s: Brown Bread

During World War I, Americans were called upon to sacrifice their wheat flour so it could be sent to the troops. Substitutes like rye, oats, potato, barley, buckwheat and rice flour became commonplace in the wartime kitchen. Homemakers would bake up a batch of old-fashioned brown bread instead of white bread to help the boys on the front line.
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1920s: Sliced Bread

Sliced bread was born in Missouri in 1928, and the world has never been the same since. Wonder Bread was one of the first brands to sell sliced bread across the States. The convenient presentation led to people increasing their bread consumption in a big way. Check out more iconic American foods from the 1920s.
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1930s: Basic Homemade Loaves

The Great Depression saw many households forced to cut back in many aspects of their lives, including food. Simple loaves were baked at home using the absolute basics: flour, water and yeast. See the classic recipes that got cooks through the Depression.
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1940s: Monkey Bread

Monkey bread as we know first cropped up in the mid-’40s. Whether made sweet or savory, this tear-and-share bread is still a perfect side when you’re hosting large groups. (This iconic bread saw a massive resurgence in popularity in the ’80s, thanks in part to Nancy Reagan.)
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1950s: French Bread

Crusty delicious French bread became the must-have loaf of this decade. It was an essential part of the dinner spread when entertaining. Find more vintage recipes from the ’50s.
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Breakfast with flowerpot bread and redcurrant jellyHeike Rau/Shutterstock

1960s: Flowerpot Bread

The craze of baking bread in clay flowerpots was the way to go in the 1960s. Airy and light, these charming rolls were the height of popularity in the latter part of the decade. You’d have to season that flowerpot, though, so we’d recommend making rolls in a cast-iron skillet instead.

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1970s: Bagels

The bagel arrived on American shores with Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 1880s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that they went mainstream and breakfast is all the better for it. This how to make perfect bagels at home.
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Ciabatta Bread

This bread is Italy’s take on the French baguette. It was first produced in 1982 by a baker who wanted an Italian bread that would work for making sandwiches. The recipe spread to the United States, and by the late ’80s, ciabatta bread sandwiches and apps could be found in dining rooms and delis across the US. Learn how to make ciabatta bread, step by step.
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1990s: European Bread

The ’90s saw American bread lovers turn to our European cousins. Italian focaccia and handmade French baguettes (following Julia Child’s recipe) became mainstays on many a dinner table.
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2000s: Artisan Bread

From a new wave of artisan bakeries cropping up across the country to home bakers nurturing their very own sourdough starters, the 2000s saw artisan bread skyrocket in popularity. People fell in love with the complex flavors found in these tasty loaves.
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2010s: Ancient Grain Bread

A continuation of the artisan bread trend of the early ’00s, today’s bakers are all about ancient grain breads and returning to bread’s roots. Many of these whole grains like rye, kamut, amaranth and spelt are healthy and incredibly nutrient-dense, so if you’re looking to boost your bread, they’re worth exploring.

Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.

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