Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and possibly more ingredients. wheat flour and yeast can raise a quarter of its weight in other ingredients without preventing the bread rising properly. [1] The healthiest types of bread use wholemeal flour.

Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed, fried, or baked on an unoiled skillet. It may be leavened or unleavened. Salt, fat and leavening agents such as yeast and baking soda are common ingredients, though bread may contain other ingredients, such as milk, egg, sugar, spice, fruit (such as raisins), vegetables (such as onion), nuts (such as walnuts) or seeds (such as poppy seeds). Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, dating back to the Neolithic era. The development of leavened bread can probably also be traced to prehistoric times.

Fresh bread is prized for its taste, aroma, quality and texture. Retaining its freshness is important to keep it appetizing. Bread that has stiffened or dried past its prime is said to be stale. [2] Modern bread is sometimes wrapped in paper or plastic film, or stored in a container such as a breadbox or fridge to reduce drying. Bread that is kept in warm, moist environments is prone to the growth of mold. Bread kept at low temperatures, in a refrigerator for example, will develop mold growth more slowly than bread kept at room temperature, but will turn stale quickly due to retrogradation.

The soft, inner part of bread is known to bakers and other culinary professionals as the crumb, which is not to be confused with small bits of bread that often fall off, called crumbs. The outer hard portion of bread is called the crust.

You can bake your own bread, if you're inexperienced and bread doesn't come out well you don't need to throw it away. You can research how to make bread pudding or other ways of using bread in the Internet. If you don't feel like baking your won bread there are plenty of speciality breads available in shops today.

French bread Edit

Baguette Edit

A baguette, also known in English as French stick or French bread, is "a long thin loaf of French bread" that is commonly made from basic lean dough (the dough, though not the shape, is defined by French law). It is distinguishable by its length, crisp crust, and slits that enable the proper expansion of gases.

A standard baguette has a diameter of about 5 or 6 cm (2 or 2⅓") and a usual length of about 60 cm (24"), although a baguette can be up to a meter (39") long. A Parisian baguette typically weighs 250 grams (8.8 oz) but 200-gram (7 oz) baguettes are also very common in France; the weight is not legally regulated and varies by region

Italian breadEdit

Every country makes its own version of bread, and the Italians make many different torpedo-shaped loaves with a crusty exterior. Sometimes you'll find round bread or long oval bread made in the typical Italian style. Italian bread is similar in many ways to french bread, though the crust is usually not quite as hard. The interior of the bread tends to have fewer holes, exhibiting a nice smooth crumb throughout. Having bread with fewer holes is highly desirable, since Italian bread is often used to sop up sauces on plates.

Ciabatta Edit

Ciabatta (literally "carpet slipper") is an Italian white bread made with wheat flour and yeast, which was invented in 1982. The loaf is somewhat elongated, broad and flattish and, like a slipper, should be somewhat collapsed in the middle. Since the late 1990s it has been popular across Europe and in the United States, and is widely used as a sandwich bread.

Ciabatta was first produced in Liguria, although at least one type of ciabatta can be found in nearly every region of Italy nowadays. The ciabatta from the area encompassing Lake Como has a crisp crust, a somewhat soft, porous texture, and is light to the touch. The ciabatta found in Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche varies from bread that has a firm crust and dense crumb, to bread that has a crisper crust and more open texture. The more open-crumbed form, which is usual in the United States, is made from a very wet dough, often requiring machine-kneading, and a biga or sourdough starter.

There are many variations of ciabatta. When made with whole wheat flour, it is known as ciabatta integrale. In Rome, it is often seasoned with olive oil, salt, and marjoram. When milk is added to the dough, it becomes ciabatta al latte.

A toasted sandwich made from small loaves of ciabatta is known as a panino (plural panini).

Focaccia Edit

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread, which may be topped with herbs or other ingredients. It is related to pizza, but not considered to be the same.

Focaccia is quite popular in Italy and is usually seasoned with olive oil and sometimes herbs, and may be topped with onion, cheese and meat, or flavored with a number of vegetables. However, by far the most typical focaccia is simply baked dough topped with olive oil and a simple herb like rosemary or sage, and salted with coarse salt. It is very popular as a snack in Italy and school children will often purchase a slice from a baker on the way to school, to enjoy at break time.

In the late 1800's an Italian immigrant to the United Kingdom created a version of foccacia with a unique English twist. The local baker to Kings Clipstone, Nottinghamshire developed his version, known locally as Italian Lard Bread, using that staple ingredient of every Englishman's diet at that time in history, lard.

Flatbread Edit

A flatbread is a simple bread made with flour, water, and salt and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened — made without yeast or sourdough culture — although some flatbread is made with yeast, such as flatbread made with whole wheat flour. There are many other optional ingredients that flatbreads may contain, such as curry powder, diced jalapeños, chili powder or black pepper. Olive oil or sesame oil may be added as well. Flatbreads can range from one millimeter to a few centimeters thick. Flatbread was already known in Ancient Egypt and Sumer.

Types of flatbread Edit

  • Aish Mehahra (Egypt)
  • Arepa (Colombia, Venezuela)
  • Bammy (Jamaica)
  • Barbari bread (Persian)
  • Bazlama (Turkey)
  • Bhakri (India)
  • Bhatura (India)
  • Bindaeddeok (Korea)
  • Bing (China)
  • Bolanee (Afghanistan)
  • Casava (Haiti)
  • Casabe (South America, Caribbean)
  • Cachapa (Venezuela, Caribbean)
  • Chapati (India, Pakistan)
  • Dosa or dosai (southern India)
  • Flammkuchen (north east France)
  • Flatbrød (Norway)
  • Flatkaka (Iceland)
  • Focaccia (Italy)
  • Gözleme (Turkey)
  • Green onion pancake (China)
  • Harsha (Morocco)
  • Hoggan (Cornwall)
  • Injera (Ethiopia, Eritrea)
  • Khanom buang (Thailand)
  • Khubz (Arabian Peninsula)
  • Laobing (China)
  • Lavash (Armenia)
  • Laxoox (Somalia)
  • Lefse (Nordic)
  • Luchi (East India and Bangladesh)
  • Malooga (Yemeni)
  • Mandezi (Africa)
  • Markook (Levant)


  1. Experienced bread bakers can get flour to raise its own weight in other ingredients but it takes a long time torise and doesn't rise very well. I don't think it's worth the extra trouble.
  2. Stale bread can be used to make bread pudding or in many different ways, one example is Invalid's bread pudding.

External LinksEdit

[1] Learn to Make your Own Homemade Bread

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