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The Ultimate Guide to All Types of Bread

If you've ever been curious about the difference between a French boule and an Italian loaf, you're in the right spot. Bread is an important part of diets all over the world, so it's helpful to know a little bit about the baked staple. Here's our guide to different types of bread.

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Most people think of plain white bread when they envision a loaf. This bread is made with all-purpose or bread flour (or a combination of the two) and is usually soft, fluffy and perfect for sandwiches.

This basic homemade bread couldn’t be easier to make.

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Whole Wheat BreadTaste of Home

Whole Wheat Bread

Since whole wheat flour still contains the nutritious components of the wheat kernel, whole wheat bread is better for your body. Plus, it’s more sturdy than a bread made with white flour.

This is the secret to keeping bread fresh.

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Whole Grain BreadTaste of Home

Whole Grain Bread

Whole grain bread shares many of the same qualities as whole wheat bread, but it can also contain whole grains other than wheat—like oats or rice. These give the bread more texture as well as added flavor.

Read more about the differences between whole wheat and whole grain bread here.

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Gluten-Free BreadTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Bread

This type of bread not only requires special gluten-free flour, but it also incorporates gums and binders that help perform the functions that gluten usually accomplishes. When made correctly, it can be difficult to distinguish gluten-free bread from a regular loaf!

Learn what happens to your body when you abstain from gluten.

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Egg BreadTaste of Home

Egg Bread

Breads like challah and brioche are extra rich thanks to a high proportion of eggs in the dough. These breads are certainly delicious on their own (no toppings required!) but they also make a wonderful batch of French toast.

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Potato BreadTaste of Home

Potato Bread

In a loaf of potato bread, some of the regular flour is replaced with potato flour, flakes or plain mashed potatoes. Its texture is a bit thicker than typical sandwich breads, and be warned—it does have a hint of potato flavor.

If you’re curious about various flours and when to use them, be sure to check out our flour guide.

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French BreadTaste of Home

French Bread

French breads like baguettes and boules have an extremely crusty exterior and a chewy crumb, making them perfect for tearing, dipping or slathering with butter. It’s not uncommon for these breads to require a lengthy preparation process.

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Italian BreadTaste of Home

Italian Bread

As a rule, Italian breads seem to have a thin crust (not as thick as that of French bread) and a very moist, absorbent interior. They’re usually made with olive oil and yeast and are ideal for sopping up rich pasta sauces.

These recipes pair perfectly with a fresh loaf of Italian bread.

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Fruited Yeast BreadTaste of Home

Fruited Yeast Bread

Many cultures have special breads that they make for holidays. These loaves are packed with dried fruits, zests and nuts and are definitely worthy of a meaningful occasion.

This twisted star bread is another impressive holiday bread to try.

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Quick BreadTaste of Home

Quick Bread

As their name implies, quick breads don’t require any yeast, and they use baking soda, baking powder or a combination of the two to rise.

Banana bread and pumpkin bread are two good examples, but if neither of those entice you, here are 50 more to try!

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Soda BreadTaste of Home

Soda Bread

Soda bread is commonly associated with Ireland. It’s a quick bread that uses only baking soda to rise. The resulting loaf is dense, moist and quite hearty; if you want to lighten it up a little, add some baking powder (but don’t let your Irish ancestors catch you!)

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BiscuitsTaste of Home

Biscuits

Biscuits are small round breads with a fluffy interior and a browned exterior. They’re raised using baking powder or baking soda and often incorporate buttermilk. The flaky texture of this breakfast delight makes a biscuit perfect for applying butter, jellies and jams.

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CornbreadTaste of Home

Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple on tables in the South, but it has found its way to other parts of the country, too. The bread is unique thanks to its reliance on cornmeal, giving it an almost gritty and super-absorbent texture.

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Sourdough BreadTaste of Home

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough doesn’t use packaged yeast but instead relies on wild yeasts that occur naturally. To make sourdough you’ll need a starter, but the added effort is worth it when you rip off a bite of that tangy, chewy bread.

Learn more about sourdough bread here.

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FlatbreadTaste of Home

Flatbread

Every nation under the sun seems to have some sort of flatbread, whether it’s the tortilla in Mexico, naan in India or injera in Ethiopia. These breads can be cooked on a number of different surfaces and have endless uses.

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.