28 Breads from Around the World
Nearly every nation in the world has some form of bread that they claim as their own. Whether yeasted or unleavened, elegant or unadorned, these breads are significant and delicious.
You’ll find many variations of this sweet, twisted bread in Eastern European and Jewish bakeries. This version is made with dark chocolate, orange and cinnamon. It might look complicated, but it’s truly easy to get those great swirls.
Naan is a flatbread from the Indian subcontinent that has many applications. It can be simply brushed with ghee, used as a dipper or stuffed with various mixtures of meats, cheeses and vegetables.
In Hungary, beigli is a sweet roll filled with either nuts or seeds. The stuffed brioche-like dough is a traditional Christmas treat for many folks with Central European heritage.
The variations of Swedish tea rings are endless, and each is as delicious as the next. Whether they’re filled with dried fruit, spices, jam or cream cheese, they’re the perfect brunch treat.
While the true origin of the pretzel is unknown, many stories exist. Regardless of where they were created, we’re glad they were—the salty twisted treats are an amazing snack.
As the name suggests, fry bread is a flat disc of dough fried in oil or lard and served with various toppings. Its creation is attributed to Native Americans and to this day, it remains an important part of their history.
These buns are filled with dried fruit and topped with a bit of icing. Traditionally they were served on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, but they are delicious enough to enjoy all year.
Countries around the world have their own versions of rye bread, which has been around since the Middle Ages thanks to the ability of rye to grow in poor soils and through drought. It’s a wonderful sandwich bread. After all, a Reuben isn’t a Reuben without rye bread!
Irish soda bread is unique in that it is leavened only with baking soda; traditionally, no yeast was used and it was as basic as could be. These days, you can find Irish soda bread made with additions like cheese, dried fruits, herbs and seeds.
France is known for its delicious bread, and baguettes are a specialty! The process of making the long loaves is a bit fiddly and some recipes require specific tools, but the satisfaction that comes with tearing off a hunk and sinking your teeth into it is well worth it.
Bagels are distinctive breads in that they’re boiled before they’re baked (much like pretzels). They hail from the Jewish communities in Poland, and while they’re perfectly delicious plain, it’s hard to pass up a schmear of cream cheese.
If the more well-known panettone isn’t your thing, try this version of Italian sweet bread. Ciambella is basic but quite satisfying… especially when dunked in white wine or coffee!
Chapati is an Indian flatbread very similar to naan except that it’s rolled out much more thinly and baked on a flat griddle instead of in a tandoor.
This rich bread—bolstered by eggs, milk, eggs and butter—was traditionally made in Poland to celebrate the end of Lenten fasting.
Challah is an important type of bread for Jewish people. It can be made in many different sizes and shapes and each has its own significance. It also makes an incredible batch of French toast!
These small yeasted treats are commonly filled with fruit or poppy seeds. They trace their origins back to Bohemia—now part of the Czech Republic.
Americans are no strangers to Mexican and Central American tortillas, which are very thin breads made from either corn or flour. They’re key components in everything from tacos to enchiladas to Americanized pinwheel sandwiches.
Limpa bread is a Swedish rye bread flavored with orange and fennel or anise (or both). It’s wonderful simply toasted with butter but can also be used as sandwich bread.
Julekake or julekage is a rich, sweet bread packed with dried fruit and spices, specifically cardamom. It’s a staple in Scandinavian households during the winter holidays.
A Russian holiday bread, Krendl, is usually reserved for Christmas. This pretzel-shaped sweet bread is stuffed with dried fruits and makes a stunning centerpiece for any celebration.
Sourdough bread is unique because it makes use of naturally occurring yeast from the air to achieve its rise. Varieties exist in many countries, but San Francisco has proven itself as the source of some of the best tangy-flavored bread in the world.