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Bread Around the World


The other day I baked my first homemade bread and it blow my mind what you can create with just 2 or 3 ingredients. Water, flour and yeast. And while I was waiting for the bread to rise, 12-18 hours with the no-knead slow rise method, I started to contemplate about all the different breads around the world:  baguettes, bagels, pretzels, tortillas, naan, sourdough, roti, rye, pita, matzo, focaccia, soda bread… they all start the same way.
With only two or three ingredients, each culture has been able to create their own individual identity. Through bread.
Have you ever thought of traveling the world just to sample bread? Think about it. Or, if that’s too difficult, how about traveling vicariously through your local delicatessen, trying different breads from around the world? It’ll make you aware of how different continents interpret the world’s most common food.
Bread is the food that immigrants remember most from their home country, and it’s often what they miss the most. It’s the ultimate comfort food, an essential part of our cultural heritage. While in many countries the almost-ritual stop at the bakery to get a fresh loaf of bread is part of daily life, it's not surprising that a large number of 'expats' , including me, have started baking their own bread at home. Germans are baking brezels; Italians focaccia; Indians roti and naan; and Ethiopians injera.
And once we’ve figured out how to replicate it, we take it with us wherever we go, spreading the word. Take the tortilla, which has exploded all over Southern California, giving sourdough a run for its money – thanks to our Mexican neighbors.
Bread in all its forms tells us a lot about the environment where it has been developed, about the culture it is part of, and about the people who consume it.
And much has been said about it. One way or another, it’s been around for an estimated 6,000 years. It’s written into the Lord’s Prayer, for God’s sake.
It’s so ingrained in our cultures that we make jokes about our relationship with it. According to Milton Berle, ‘Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies.’ Meanwhile Bill Cosby admits, ‘I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.’
And think about that expression ‘daily bread’. It’s what keeps us alive, sustenance, survival. ‘It is not accidental that all phenomena of human life are dominated by the search for daily bread,’ said Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov, ‘the oldest link connecting all living things, man included, with the surrounding nature.’
Think about it.
Here are several links to types of bread, history of bread, bread museums, breadmaking, and other fun stuff.

39 flat bread variations from around the world

A Little Bread History

Bread Prices around the world

Bread Around the World

Name as many different types of bread as you can?

I Like Bread


Bon appetite. HL

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  • Jacqueline Benson

    September 17, 2010

    Growing up in the Southern United States, my mornings were started with the smell of just baked biscuits wafting from my Mom’s kitchen. Much better than an Alarm Clock to wake up to. I always feel safe and secure when I wake up to that aroma of biscuits coming from a kitchen. I’ve tried to replicate my Mom’s biscuits many times, but can only come close. Maybe the love she put into her cooking is the ingredient that I am missing when I make them for myself. My favorite breakfast is hot biscuits with butter and pear preserves, slice of honey smoked ham, grits, and sliced tomatoes. OK now I am salivating…going to the kitchen.

  • I used to do a lot of bread baking – from hearty artisanal loaves of honey-wheat to olive oil focaccia with garlic and rosemary and eggy challah braided into a puffy, golden sculpture.

    I make the most amazing French toast. I got the recipe from the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

    The recipe is begun the night before and is baked off in the oven Slice baguette on an angle in 3/4-inch thick slices. Brush butter in the bottom of a 9×9 or 9×13 inch baking dish. Fit the bread in closely so the slices are touching. Whisk together eggs, cream or milk, vanilla and a little cinnamon and pour evenly over the top. Then cover with plastic wrap and put it in the frig overnight to soak in.

    In the morning preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake French toast in the oven 15-20 minutes. Flip all the slices and bake another 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with berries or banana slices and pure maple syrup. Enjoy!

  • Bread is so wonderful. I agree with you about how amazing it is that 3 little ingredients combine to make such a mouthful of goodness! Forget all the additives and fillers,… I’ll take a crusty loaf of Artisan bread any day!

Any comments?