Using Your Loaf

The humble and unassuming loaf of bread is the basis for many taste experiences. From a poached egg and smoked salmon topped ciabatta, to the cheese toastie, bread has been a staple in almost every culture’s cuisine.

According to the history books, bread was being made as early as 8000BC, with countries developing their own versions using many different types of grain.

The Romans considered breadmaking to be an artform, with white bread being a symbol of education and wealth. They invented the water mill in 450BC, followed by the Persians inventing the windmill for grinding grain in around 100BC.

Nowadays, the variety of bread available is astounding. But how many of these have you heard of, or better yet, tasted?

Brioche Bread

Originating in France, Brioche has a subtle sweetness to it and is extremely light. It is made with butter and eggs, giving it a golden-yellow shade. It is perfect for French toast, and has become a popular option for burger buns and dinner rolls.

Baguette Bread

Staying in France, the long oblong shape of this bread allows for slits to run through it which provide for the expansion of gas. Usually made with flour, water, yeast, and salt, this ‘French Stick’ is popular and available in most grocery stores worldwide.

Ciabatta Bread

This Italian bread translates as ‘slipper’. Consisting of wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast, Ciabatta is usually flat and partially collapsed in the middle. The texture of its crusts can vary depending on where in Italy you find yourself. As it was invented in 1982, this is the youngest bread on our list.

Focaccia Bread

Another Italian offering, Focaccia is similar to a pizza dough, baked in a baking pan, and usually coated with olive oil. It has a crunchy yet delicate crust, which is delicious by itself or as an accompaniment. Often topped with coarse salt and rosemary, Focaccia gets its name from the Latin panis facacius meaning ‘fireplace bread’.

Sourdough Bread

It is believed that sourdough originated in Egypt in 1500 B.C. Making this dough requires a long fermenting process, using yeasts to create natural lactic acid which gives this bread its distinct, slightly sour flavour. Sourdough is better for blood sugar and digestion than many other types of bread, and is becoming more available in mainstream supermarkets.

Soda Bread

Heading over to Ireland now, this traditional bread is made with buttermilk, salt, baking soda, and flour. Unlike many other breads, Soda Bread needs no time to rise, so can be made quickly and easily – perfect for St Patrick’s day celebrations! This dense robust bread has a thick crust and mild flavour, although recipes vary between Ireland and the USA.

Whole-Wheat Bread

Made by using the entire grain, whole-wheat bread is one of the better breads for your body. Unlike traditional white bread, which only uses part of the wheat grain, this bread is more nutritious and has much more fibre. It has a rich flavour, and can be used for anything you’d normally use white bread for.

Rye Bread

Rye bread can be light, medium, or dark depending on which part of the rye berry is used to make the flour. It has a strong signature flavour and is often used in delis to create the perfect sandwich. European bakers tend to use 100% rye flour, sometimes adding caraway or dill to provide an earthy flavour.

Pita Bread

Pita bread is mostly made of wheat flour and cooked over very high temperatures. The dough’s liquid escapes, leaving the air bubble ‘pocket’ to fill with all sorts of delicious flavours. This versatile bread can be dipped into sauces, filled with all sorts, or used as a base for a variety of toppings.

Naan Bread

No curry would be complete without one! This flatbread is made with yoghurt as its main ingredient, and is traditionally cooked in a hot clay oven known as a Tandor. It is stuck to the sides of the oven, and this is what creates the air pockets. The Tandor oven also gives many curries their name.

White Bread

Made from wheat flour, yeast, and water this popular bread is usually baked in square tins, as it is commonly used for sandwiches. Most white bread has a fluffy centre with a medium to soft crust. You will find it in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as hotdog rolls and burger buns. White bread has fewer nutrients and is not as healthy for you as whole-wheat bread.

Other notable mentions are the tortilla, the bagel, the muffin, and my personal favourite – the crumpet!

Bread comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are filling it, dipping it, topping it, or just eating it, there is no denying this staple food always has a place at the table.

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