Bread is on every table, its varieties are multiple, we’ll list them for you.
Made from flour, water and salt, bread has been eaten since prehistoric times. It is as good as savory as it is sweet and can be eaten alone or with a side dish. Whether white, whole grain, with seeds, or rye, it is rich in fiber and protein. It is recommended by the Higher Health Council to include up to 125g of this starchy food in our daily lives.
Bread or the art of preparation
To make bread, there is a golden rule: kneading and fermentation.
Once the basic ingredients have been gathered – water, flour, yeast and salt – you need to knead the dough. This crucial step allows the proper distribution of the yeast and the development of gluten which will give the bread its softness.
For the aromas to develop, you must then allow up to two fermentation times. These moments of rest are essential for the leavening agents to take effect and expand the dough. Let it rest for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature, under a cloth. During the second fermentation time, the dough triples in volume and is ready for baking.
Between these two resting phases, the baker forms and shapes the bread into a ball or baguette, depending on his choice.
Yeast or sourdough?
To grow bread dough, we immediately think of using yeast. Fast and efficient, baker’s yeast produces carbon dioxide by chemical reaction. However, there is another method. For a more traditional and natural production, we opt for a sourdough preparation. This leavening agent is not added but is created by mixing water and flour in small quantities beforehand. Depending on the built-in water temperature, the taste varies. As for the duration of fermentation, it depends, the leaven develops more or less, it can last from 5 days minimum, up to several years for some bakers. Preparing sourdough bread, therefore without yeast, requires patience and anticipation. What motivates you to raise your own sourdough? Better development of the aromas of the bread which will keep for up to 5 days, while with yeast, a few hours are enough to stale it. To prolong the freshness of the bread, place it in an airtight bag with… an apple. It will keep for up to a week. Either way, yeast and sourdough will lead to the same result: a plump loaf.
Which bread to choose according to our preferences or intolerances? Each variety has its own particularity, here are 19 of them.
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Unlike white bread, wholemeal bread is prepared with the entire grain of wheat. It is darker and its taste, close to hazelnut, more tangy. Made from “wholemeal” flour, this bread, richer in nutrients and carbohydrates, staves off hunger and is a nutritional nugget.
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White bread is the most common. Crispy on the surface and airy on the inside, it is made from wheat flour from which the germ and bran of the grain have been removed. This manufacturing method justifies its white color and allows longer conservation.
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Sourdough bread contains less gluten than others. Its longer fermentation is due to the mixture of water and flour which is left to ferment to produce natural yeast. This bread stands out for its sour flavor and different texture. Since sourdough causes the dough to swell less than yeast, the crumb is more compact.
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Very rustic, rye bread has a fairly earthy flavor. It is made, as its name suggests, from rye flour, which gives it a dark color and a tighter crumb than that of white bread. It is also commonly called “country bread”.
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Eating baguette bread is a great tradition in France. “A baguette that is not overcooked” is what 75% of French people ask their baker every day. With its thin, elongated shape, the baguette is prepared like white bread. There are several varieties of baguettes, such as the tradition, the ficelle or the sarmentine.
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It’s not just seeds that are added to bread, but also olives. They can be assimilated to any variety of bread, and make it ideal as an aperitif, with or without accompaniment.
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Fougasse is a small Provençal bread, flat and often garnished with herbs, olives or seeds, to be enjoyed as an aperitif.
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Embellished with pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, buckwheat or flax seeds, seed bread can be wholemeal or white. Adding seeds to bread provides nutrients but also additional taste and texture. The crust is crunchier and the seeds go well with any variety of bread.
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Another type of flatbread, Italian this time. Foccacia is often eaten by dipping it in olive oil and some herbs or as a sandwich. It is the Italian version of fougasse.
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From the Italian “slipper”, ciabatta is an elongated bread with a floury crust. This “sandwich bread” stands out because it is made with olive oil and has a higher gluten content. It also happens that its taste is enhanced with herbs or spices.
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Between the family of breads and pastries, we find brioche. It is a variety of bread that we associate less with salty, originating from Normandy. Brioche, rich in butter, is very delicious, slightly sweet and often served for breakfast.
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Pita bread is recognizable with its flat appearance. It is prepared without yeast and is cooked in a pan.
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Bagel bread is recognizable with its ring shape. In its preparation, the sourdough dough is boiled before being cooked. The bagel is the bread par excellence for small sandwiches also called “bagels”. Before eating, it is common to grill it to enjoy its almost crunchy crust. With cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon, you will enjoy a typically American recipe.
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Sliced bread is invading supermarkets and is consumed by 86% of French people. It can be recognized by the absence of crust and its white color. It is, as its name suggests, only breadcrumbs. As the crumb can be a source of bloating, this bread is best digested toasted.
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Soda bread is Irish. It is prepared with baking soda, used to replace traditional yeast. Its crust is thick, its crumb compact and it can be recognized by the presence of raisins.
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Challah bread is like a brioche, without butter, braided and browned in the oven. In addition to the basic ingredients of a bread dough, it is prepared with a touch of sugar and oil. Slightly sweet and soft, it is traditionally eaten on Jewish holidays but also as an accompaniment to any meal.
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In terms of texture and appearance, Viennese bread, which comes straight from Austria, is very similar to milk bread. It is long, soft and similar to pastries. With its “mini-baguette” appearance, it is very often used as sandwich bread.
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The French have baguette, the Americans have cornbread. Unlike classic bread, this specialty is not prepared with water, but with finely ground corn, wheat flour, eggs and milk. Sometimes sugar or honey is added, making this cake-like bread ideal for snacking.
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Gluten is known to cause abdominal pain and bloating. In its absence in the bread, the crumb becomes particularly soft, airy and is more easily digested. Something to satisfy bread lovers who cannot tolerate or are allergic to gluten.