What bread looks like in 15 places around the world

  • Bread is a staple in cuisines around the world.
  • Cooking methods and ingredients vary. Some use cornmeal, some use wheat; some are cooked on stoves, and others are baked in ovens.
  • Here are 15 types of bread from around the world.

From baguettes in France to pita in Mediterranean countries, bread is a staple in cuisines around the world. They’re distinct in their ingredients – some types are made with corn and others with wheat – as well as their shapes – bakers poke holes in Italian focaccia, giving it dimples, and French baguettes are often scored at an angle.

Here’s what bread looks like in 15 cultures around the world.


Challah is a braided bread that bears special significance in Jewish cuisine.

Adam Berry/GettyA man puts freshly baked challah on a rack.

Challah is an eggy bread that is consumed on the Sabbath and other festive occasions. Different shapes have different meanings: the intertwined strands of braided loaves symbolise love, and round loaves symbolise continuity.


Baguettes are a long, thin French loaf.

Stop into any French bakery and you’re certain to find fresh-baked baguettes. The loaf often has angled scoring and is known for its long, thin shape, golden-brown colour on the outside, and chewy texture on the inside.


Bammy is a cassava-based flatbread from Jamaica.

Debbie Ann Powell/ShutterstockFried bammy with fried plantain, ackee and saltfish, and callaloo.

Bammy comes from the Arawaks, Jamaica’s original inhabitants. It’s made from cassava flour, salt, and water. It’s often dried out for preservation and then soaked in coconut milk and refried to eat.


Dampfnudel is a German sweet bun.

BarthFotografie/ShutterstockDampfnudel with vanilla custard and poppy seeds.

Dampfnudels became popular in Germany in the 1600s. The sweet buns are cooked in a sauté pan in a poaching liquid made with butter, milk, and sugar to give them their caramelised bottom and “soft pillowy tops.”


Ethiopian injera is made from fermented dough.

Per-Anders Pettersson/GettyA woman making injera on a wood-burning stove in Ethiopia.

Dough for injera is made from teff, a small grain found in Ethiopia, fermented with yeast. The wide, flat bread often lines trays on which stews are served, and you can use it to scoop up the food.


Filipino pandesal is soft and airy.

Pandesal can be eaten with just jam or butter or turned into a sandwich. It’s best to eat it hot, because the texture becomes crumbly once the roll cools.


Shaobing is a Chinese flatbread.

Shaobing comes from the Shandong province of China. It’s one of many types of Chinese flatbread, called bing. It’s layered and can be made sweet or savoury, stuffed with fillings like sesame paste or red bean.


The dimples in focaccia, from Italy, are made by poking the dough before baking.

Focaccia is a thick Italian bread made on a sheet pan. It’s flavored with copious amounts of olive oil, coarse salt, and herbs, like rosemary, and baked at a high temperature.


Cornbread is an American staple.

T.Tseng/FlickrCornbread muffins.

Cornbread comes from Native Americans. There are several variations it, from basic recipes with just cornmeal, water, and salt to more modern versions with eggs, milk, and sugar for a sweeter final product.


Chapati, an unleavened flatbread from India, is cooked over the stove.

Chapati is a type of roti, unleavened flatbread, and it’s a staple in northern India. You can make it with water, atta – stoneground whole-wheat flour – salt, and oil.


England’s cottage loaf gets its name from its unique shape.

Helen Bell/FlickrA cottage loaf.

Cottage loaves come from southern England. The smaller top loaf is linked to the larger bottom by pressing your fingers through the center of the top.


Lavash is a traditional flatbread at the heart of Armenian cuisine.

Sergei Malgavko/GettyWomen baking lavash.

The unleavened bread is traditionally baked in large batches in a subterranean stone oven. Lavash is such a key part of Armenian cuisine UNESCO listed it as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Today, it can be found in many different places and cultures including in Turkey and Iran.


Irish soda bread is a quick bread that uses baking soda as its leavening agent.

Mike McCune / FlickrIrish soda bread.

Irish soda bread is distinguished by a hard crust and slightly sour flavour. Using baking soda instead of yeast means the bread can be made quickly. Soda Bread was created in Ireland in the early 1800s, and at the time soured milk was often used. Today, buttermilk is a more common ingredient.


Pita is a popular flatbread with a convenient pocket for fillings.

Pita bread comes from the Mediterranean region. It’s cooked at a high temperature, which allows the dough to expand and form an inner pocket that can be filled with meats, vegetables, and other ingredients.


There are many types of Pan Dulce or Mexican sweet bread.

Flickr/JoePan dulce

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