The Ultimate Guide to Different 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.
Many 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.
Check out our ultimate bread baking guide for more tips and tricks!
Sourdough doesn’t use packaged yeast but instead relies on wild yeasts that occur naturally. To make sourdough you’ll need a sourdough starter, but the added effort is worth it when you take a bite of that tangy, chewy slice.
Since whole wheat flour still contains the nutritious components of the wheat kernel, whole wheat bread is thought to be better for your body than white bread. Plus, it’s more sturdy than a bread made with just white flour. Whichever one you go with, you’re going to want to know how to keep bread fresh.
Multigrain bread shares many of the same qualities as wheat bread, but it can also contain whole grains other than wheat, such as oats, rice or even cereal. These whole grains give the bread more texture, as well as additional flavor. Learn more about the differences between whole wheat and whole grain 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.
Rye bread relies on rye flour for that signature earthy taste. It can be found in both dark and light varieties, or a marbled mixture of the two. One great use for rye bread is a classic Reuben sandwich.
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.
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, check out our flour guide.
Not in the mood for an arm workout? No-knead bread requires less work than traditional loaves. Simply mix the dough together and then let it rise. It’s an easy bread for beginner bakers.
When it comes to baking bread, you have more options than a standard loaf pan. Oven-safe dutch ovens are a great vessel for bread, as are cast-iron skillets. We also love this pan designed for bread bakers, by bread bakers.
While there are many types of French bread, some of the most popular kinds—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.
Super soft with a light, chewy crust, Italian breads are an absolute delight—especially fresh out of the oven. There are many different types of Italian bread, but this Italian loaf pairs great with your favorite Italian pasta recipes or just a pat of butter.
Focaccia has a thin crust and a moist, absorbent interior. It’s made with olive oil and yeast and is ideal for eating as an appetizer or sopping up rich pasta sauces. This bread is also super versatile. You can add olives, peppers, cheese, sausage slices—whatever toppings you’d like! Focaccia bread is practically edible art.
Fruited Yeast Bread
Many cultures have special-occasion breads they make for holidays. The loaves might be packed with dried fruits, citrus zests and nuts and are definitely worthy of a celebration. This twisted star bread is another impressive holiday bread to try.
As their name implies, quick breads don’t require any yeast. Instead, they use baking soda, baking powder or a combination of the two to rise. Banana bread and pumpkin bread are two popular examples, but there are so many types of quick breads to try!
Whether they’re soft and pillowy or thin and crunchy, breadsticks are a divine side dish to an Italian meal. Or, pair them with your favorite marinara sauce for an easy appetizer.
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. Seriously, a biscuit goes with anything!
Similar to dinner rolls, crescent rolls are designed to accompany your favorite meal. They’re made from a soft, fluffy dough which is cut and rolled into that signature accordion shape.
Pass the cream cheese, please! Bagels are a morning staple characterized by a dense, chewy bite. They’re ideal for making sandwiches or slathering with spreads.
An important part of some Asian cuisines (particularly Indian), naan bread is a soft, slightly chewy flatbread. It’s traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven, but a hot cast-iron skillet works well, too. As the flatbread cooks it puffs full of air and then deflates, creating bubbles. Naan is perfect for pairing with your favorite curry.
A staple in Mexico, tortillas are a thin, chewy flatbread. They’re traditionally made with masa harina (a flour made from dried corn kernels) or all-purpose flour. Tortillas are the perfect vessel for tacos, burritos and so many other Mexican recipes.