Breads Around The World
In the age of low-carb diets, bread has gotten a bad reputation. However, bread is a staple all around the world. From the baguette to the tortilla, breads have been prepared in every culture from the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks. Each region has its own characteristics based on the land conditions and climates. So don’t let conversations about the dangers of carbohydrates and gluten deter you from enjoying one of the oldest and most beloved foods in the world. Here are some of the most popular – and delicious – forms of bread:
Naan is a flatbread that hails from India, but it is popular all over West, Central and South Asia. It’s typically baked in a tandoor, served brushed with ghee or butter. However, using naan for wraps and other types of sandwiches is popular as well. Plenty of variations of naan exist, and it’s common to sprinkle the bread with sesame seeds, nuts or spices.
This Croatian bread is a Easter bread made with eggs, meant to be eaten at the end of Lent. It’s sweet and indulgent, flavored with rum or citrus. Before putting the dough in the oven, bakers carve a cross into the top to represent the crucifixion. It’s best served warm but typically stays fresh for a couple of days after Easter.
Originating in Germany, pretzels have become a staple snack all over the world. However, it started as a soft bread, traditionally twisted in a “pretzel loop.” While there are many accounts of the supposed “first pretzel,” some of those accounts date back to the 12th century. There have been plenty of variations of pretzels throughout the centuries, but now we get to enjoy not only the traditional fare but also crunchy pretzel rods and pretzel buns for our cheeseburgers and sandwiches.
Challah is a Jewish braided bread that’s typically served on Sabbath or holidays. Dating back to biblical times, this bread has great religious significance. Each traditional Sabbath meal begins with two loaves, woven with six strands, each representing a tribe of Israel. This bread is typically made with egg and may be baked with raisins, sesame or poppy seeds. Since the bread is a bit sweet, it’s also used in many breakfast dishes, like French toast.
Pan de muerto
Pan de muerto translates to “bread of the dead,” but don’t let that spook you too much. This sweet bread is traditionally prepared in the month of October in Mexico, as a way of commemorating loved ones who have died for Dia de Muertos. Sometimes, the bread is decorated with a skull or bones and eaten at the graves of loved ones. It gets its sweet taste from the use of anise or orange flower water in the dough.
Hot cross buns
We all know the nursery rhyme, but have we actually eaten British hot cross buns? Similar to pinca, hot cross buns are usually served around Easter time and marked with a cross on top. However, these buns have become more mainstream and enjoyed all year-round in some regions. Though they’re traditionally prepared with raisins or currants, more bakeries are bakingthese buns with orange cranberry flavors or apple cinnamon.