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Peiying Yang

Editorial Assistant at Kitchen Stories

No bread, no life. Since we’ve been consuming bread for 4000 years, we now have a bewildering array of delicious breads with all different textures and shapes from all around the world. Sweet or savory, it always compliments other ingredients, as well as being a fantastic base for other dishes. But don’t forget, bread can be just as delicious on its own, and homemade bread tastes even better.

Fun bread facts and why you should make it at home

What does ancient bread look like? Is all bread baked? How would a bread expert call different bread parts when “analyzing” it? We did a bit of research to find out some fun bread facts: 

Among all the existing types of breads, flatbread is the closest to its ancient form. 

Bread can be made in a number of ways: in a pan(like pancakes), in a waffle iron(yes, waffles are also bread), and even in a steam basket (like all the Asian steamed buns). 

An expert connoisseur of bread, like in this video, would call the air holes in a bread “alveoli.” By looking at the “crumb structure” revealed by a sectional view, they can learn a ton about the bread’s hydration, baking method and whether it is industrially manufactured. 

Since many of us are pretty satisfied with store-or-bakery-bought bread, why opt for homemade? No matter what role bread plays in your life—as a quick meal or a part of the shared food memories with friends and family—there are three obvious reasons for baking homemade bread: First, it is simply heartier and much more delicious than its mass-produced counterparts. All of us should relish at least once, a warm loaf of fresh-from-the-oven bread, just to know how good it tastes. Secondly, you want to avoid additives and preservatives. A healthy diet isn’t all about the calories: It also means consuming fresher food and taking in less chemicals that your body doesn’t need. And last but not least, it’s really easy to make bread at home! The preparation can be so simple, especially if it’s quick bread or no-knead bread, but if you’re still experiencing baking difficulties, check out more tips here.

Bread for savory lovers

Savory bread is all about letting the “fantastic four” do their work: water, flour, yeast and salt. Of course, you can always give your dough the simplest touch-up with add-ins (garlic, herbs, potatoes, corn or onions) and toppings. From very basic breads to exotic and festive loaves, let’s make your humble and indispensable bread shine with seasonal or regional flavors:

Flatbread:

From oven to the stovetop, try these global-inspired renditions of the humble flatbread:

Focaccia with onions

Focaccia with onions

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Turkish flatbread

Turkish flatbread

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Spicy cheese-stuffed naan

Spicy cheese-stuffed naan

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Scallion pancakes

Scallion pancakes

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Schiacciata di zucchine (Italian zucchini flatbread with rosemary)

Schiacciata di zucchine (Italian zucchini flatbread with rosemary)

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5-ingredient manakish (Lebanese flatbreads)

5-ingredient manakish (Lebanese flatbreads)

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For meat lovers:

Go German or go Swiss? The slight saltiness and dry texture of the following breads make them wonderful companions to meat:

Soft pretzels and veal sausages

Soft pretzels and veal sausages

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Schinken im Brotteig (Swiss-style ham in bread)

Schinken im Brotteig (Swiss-style ham in bread)

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For a table showstopper:

Transform your simple bread with a flavorful and elegant twist:

Braided Italian bread

Braided Italian bread

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Sunchoke pain d’epi (Wheat stalk bread)

Sunchoke pain d’epi (Wheat stalk bread)

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Bread for those with a sweet tooth

While it’s difficult to enhance or reduce the saltiness in savory recipes, you have more freedom with sweet bread, since the add-ins, toppings or glaze can all be easily swapped to tailor your taste. When sweetness meets the dough, a mismatch is really rare.

Fruity bread:

Good things always come in pairs. Fruit plus bread equals a win-win of contrasting textures on your palate. Even fruits we don’t particularly like might play a compliant supporting role when rendered soft or creamy in a leavened dough. You can use fresh fruit to bring out the natural fragrance or bake with a homemade jam for rich jelly fillings. Happy fruity baking!

Fudgy cardamom banana bread

Fudgy cardamom banana bread

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Sweet plum bread

Sweet plum bread

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Mini apple croissants

Mini apple croissants

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Panettone French toast

Panettone French toast

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Banana bread

Banana bread

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Babka with Orange Peel Jam

Babka with Orange Peel Jam

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Buns and rolls:

Which mini bread snack is for you? A mouthful of fluffy, buttery rolls or a bite into a crunchy bun—or both? We also have a non-bake recipe for you.

German sweet rolls with vanilla sauce

German sweet rolls with vanilla sauce

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Swedish cardamom buns

Swedish cardamom buns

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Buchteln (Austrian sweet rolls)

Buchteln (Austrian sweet rolls)

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Chocolatey bread:

It would be sacrilegious if this list of sweet breads didn’t include the all-time favorite: chocolate! But to be completely honest, sometimes a few bites of chocolate are just enough to carry me over, and I just can’t eat much at once. Baking with chocolate is one of the best ways to enjoy its sumptuous richness, which is counterbalanced by the bread.

Nutella and cream cheese monkey bread

Nutella and cream cheese  monkey bread

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Chocolate babka

Chocolate babka

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Nutty bread:

Why roast nuts separately when you can bake them in a bread?

Fig-walnut bread

Fig-walnut bread

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German sweet braided nut bread

German sweet braided nut bread

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Chestnut brioche knots

Chestnut brioche knots

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Bread for everyone

Looking for a recipe that’s low in carbs and sugar? Here are some of our healthiest bread recipes, including light dessert and low-carb options. And if you are looking for vegan and gluten-free bread recipes, check out our articles on how to bake gluten-free or without dairy and eggs

Pumpkin spice bread

Pumpkin spice bread

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Cranberry pistachio biscotti with jam

Cranberry pistachio biscotti with jam

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Low-carb bread:

Braided Easter bread

Braided Easter bread

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Fitness bread

Fitness bread

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More delicious ideas for you