Alphabet of international bread recipes (around the world a few times)
July 12, 2018 11:36 AM   Subscribe

More than white, wheat and rye, there's a glorious world of breads, and for your enjoyment, here's an alphabet of international bread recipes: Aish Merahrah / Bammy / Česnica / Dosa / Eggette / Flatbrød / Green onion pancake / Himbasha / Injera / Johnnycake / Khanom bueang / Lahoh / Mollete / Naan / Obwarzanek krakowski / Potbrood / Qistibi / Rugbrød / Soda bread / Taftan / Unleavened bread / Vienna bread / Watermelon toast / [nothing for X] / Yufka / Zopf. To take away some of the mystery from these links, there are more descriptions (and more recipes, and MORE BREADS) below the break.

As I limited myself to the Latin alphabet (more or less) and I couldn't find any bread starting with "X", that's only 25 examples from a glorious world of baked and steamed breads. And because there are so many other amazing breads, I doubled the recipe, er list, below, highlighting 52 types of bread from around the world. If that's still not enough, you can see the Wikipedia list of breads for a whole lot more.
  1. Aish Merahrah (or Eish merahrah, عيش مرحرح), Egyptian flatbread, traditionally made with emmer, an ancestor of modern wheat, but is now made with fenugreek seeds and maize, or simply whole wheat flour
  2. Anpan (あんパン), Japanese filled sweet buns, most commonly filled with red bean paste
  3. Bammy, Jamaican fried flatbread made of cassava root and salt in coconut oil, dipped in coconut millk and refried (vegan and paleo)
  4. Bannock, Scottish flatbread, which was also made by native North American tribes, as cited in an article + recipe calling bannock the original camping bread
  5. Canadian White, called "white bread" in Canada; heartier than typical white bread due to the requirement for relatively high protein content, somewhat comparable to "strong" flour found elsewhere
  6. Česnica, Serbian soda bread made during Christmas
  7. Ciabatta, Italian white bread
  8. Cornbread, a cornmeal bread made in the Americas by native people before European explorers arrived; cornbread has evolved over time (with "400 years of cornbread recipes" displayed in 13 examples as proof), and there are now a number of variants throughout the U.S., and even an annual cornbread festival in Tennessee, with winning recipes online; more variations, including Sopa Paraguaya, and Arepas from Venezuela and Colombia; Mealie Bread from South Africa, and Proja is a Balkan variant, once made in times of widespread poverty, now more common with meals or even at a place of honor at weddings as warm hors d'euvre, with some white cheese and smoked dried meat
  9. Damper, Australian soda bread, traditionally baked in campfire coals
  10. Dosa, Southern Indian fermented crêpe or pancake made from rice batter, which has been expanded to include urad dal / black lentils to change the texture and taste; you can also simplify the recipe for a quick, crêpe-like flatbread
  11. Eggette, aka egg cake, egg waffle, or egg puff (Gai Daan Jai, 雞蛋仔), Hong Kong pancake or ball waffle, also popular in Macao
  12. English muffin, or just "muffin" in England, where the small, round yeast breads were first made
  13. Flatbrød, Norwegian traditional flatbread
  14. Fougasse, French yeast bread, sometimes sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat
  15. Giraffe bread (renamed in UK), tijgerbrood or tijgerbol (tiger bread or roll, original name from Netherlands), Dutch Crunch or "Marco Polo" bread (US); typically made as a white bread bloomer loaf or bread roll, but the unique rice paste topping and inclusion of sesame oil can be applied to any shape of bread (listed as Giraffe bread because it generally looks more like a giraffe than a tiger, and to get another "G" bread in the list)
  16. Green onion pancake, Chinese savory flatbread
  17. Hallulla, Chilean flatbread used for aliados (cheese and ham sandwiches)
  18. Hardtack, named by the British, but similar breads or crackers have been carried by Egyptian sailors and Romans well before the naming of this semi-modern, versatile military staple, with ancient unleavened biscuits found in Switzerland dated as 6,000 year old
  19. Himbasha, Eritrean and Ethiopian celebratory, slightly sweet flatbread
  20. Injera, Eritrean and Ethiopian yeast-risen, slightly spongy flatbread
  21. Johnnycake, likely a Native American flatbread made from fried gruel of cornmeal, but has expanded and changed as time passed and the recipe traveled, and can include cheese, corn kernels, hard boiled egg chunks or sausage
  22. Ka'ak, Near Eastern leavened bread rings; fermented chickpeas can be used as a leavening agent, and as with many recipes, you can add quite a bit to them; not to be confused with the simple Eid cookies, ka'ak, in part because ka'ak or kahqa is the Arabic word for "cake"
  23. Khanom bueang (ขนมเบื้อง [kʰanǒm bɯ̂əŋ]), crispy flatbread common in Thailand and Cambodia as a streetfood
  24. Lahoh, a spongy, pancake-like leavened bread made in Djibouti, Somalia, and Yemen
  25. Lefse, Norwegian potato flatbread
  26. Maltese bread (’’Ħobż tal-Malti’’), traditional sourdough bread from Malta
  27. Mollete, Andalusian soft white bread, which is different from Mexican mollete (sweet or savory)
  28. Naan, flatbread made in South, Central, and West Asia, noted for its cooking in a tandoor
  29. Ngome, Malian flatbread (may be hard to read, so here it is reformatted on Pastebin; recipe possibly based on this description of the ingredients)
  30. Obwarzanek krakowski, ring-shaped yeast bread made in Kraków, Poland -- but if you're talking to Polish bakers, don't call it a bagel, it has a long, specific history
  31. Pan dulce, Mexican and Latin American sweet bread
  32. Pandoro, Italian holiday (Christmas and New Years) sweet yeast loaf, made to look like the Italian Alps in winter
  33. Potbrood, South African leavened bread, often made with wheat flour and sweetcorn, in a cast iron pot covered with wood coals; can be made with beer or salad dressing, because why not?
  34. Pretzel, German dry bread, traditionally formed into a "crossed-arm" knot; can be soft or hard, salty or sweet
  35. Qistibi, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan roasted flatbread
  36. Quick Bread, bread first made in North America that is leavened with something other than yeast and often including fruits or vegetables
  37. Rice Bread, Japanese gluten-free bread made from rice flour
  38. Rugbrød, Danish sourdough made of rye and wheat flour
  39. Salt-rising bread, leavened bread from the U.S. that results in a dense crumb and cheese-like flavor and scent, but without any cheese
  40. Soda bread, Irish quick bread made with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and buttermilk
  41. Taftan, Iranian leavened flour bread, which can include saffron and/or cardamom powder
  42. Teacake, British fruited sweet bun, which have also been adapted (or adopted) in the US South
  43. Texas toast, simply double-thick slices of bread, toasted, because everything is bigger in Texas; but because it is too big for a typical toaster, the bread is often buttered and grilled, baked with cheese on top, or turned into thick French toast
  44. Tunnbröd, range of types of Swedish flatbread, which can be made soft or crisp, with different grains, and with or without leavening agent
  45. Unleavened bread, any of a wide variety of breads made around the world, which are not prepared with raising agents such as yeast, and may have religious significance; may be a flat and crispy or soft bread, or a dense loaf
  46. Vánočka, braided, leavened bread, made traditionally at Christmastime in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, rich in eggs and butter, similar to brioche or challah, but with usually lemon rind, nutmeg and other spices
  47. Vienna bread, Viennese leavened bread; normally made in the shape of a baguette, though the crust is softer, the texture is finer, and the taste is sweeter
  48. White bread, international in use, bolstered in the 1950s by a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and baking-industry scientists to launch the Manhattan Project of bread; made from enhanced, processed wheat flour, which lacks the bran and germ, unlike whole wheat bread
  49. Watermelon Bread, or Watermelon Toast, a craze that hit Taiwan in 2015 for sliced bread that looks like watermelon, thanks to beet, not watermelon, juice; you can also make watermelon look-alike raisin bread, where the raisins are the seeds
  50. Yufka, Turkish flatbread, which may have a long shelf life depending on moisture content, and can be used to make Sigara Böreği (Turkish Cheese Rolls)
  51. Zopf or Züpfe ("braid"), made in Switzerland and Germany; a leavened white bread, braided and then brushed with egg yolk before baking to for a golden crust
  52. Zweiback ("twice baked"), originated in East Prussia, now eaten in much of Europe; typical zweiback is baked, sliced, and baked again, or crushed and used to make dumplings; also, Mennonites bake a form of soft rolls, called Tweebak in Plautdietsch.
If you want to read a history of bread, kittenmarlowe has you covered. If you want a local New Zealand history of bread, the NZ History of Food and Beverage Manufacturing has you covered.

If you want something for your kitchen, or casual at-home perusal, The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making (1999) looks pretty good [Google books page, with contents for an idea of what you could get on Amazon and elsewhere]. It's a bit old now, but bread hasn't changed that much in a few decades, right? If your budget is a bit (OK, a lot) bigger, check out this New York Times review of Modernist Bread (Amazon link), from the makers of Modernist Cuisine (previously)

For more bread recipes, the Wikibooks Cookbook has an extensive section on making bread and specific bread recipes. The Bread Experience, a bread-making goods shop, has another collection of bread recipes, sorted into almost 50 categories. And for another commercially-aligned bread resource, here's Zojirushi's Bread Encyclopedia, focused on bread machine recipes. Or if you want quick breads (with some advance preparation, namely making dough), Artisan Bread in 5 is possibly the site for you.
posted by filthy light thief (35 comments total) 133 users marked this as a favorite
Bless this post.
posted by larthegreat at 11:38 AM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Inspired by this less than accurate Imgur gallery/list titled "Around the World with Easy Bread Recipes," which is followed by comments of people saying the cake bread is (partially) a lie (... in terms of being authentic regional recipes).

[And if you read the comments and you're wondering why teleporting bread is funny, it's a Team Fortress 2 based meme from the Expiration Date short video, which was itself a joke based on an update to the game. And now, back to the bread!]

Oh, crumbs. I didn't include a recipes for white or wheat bread ... now I have.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you for including all of the Native breads but not frybread, which is a (delicious) tool of oppression and genocide.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:41 AM on July 12, 2018 [3 favorites]

where are the AREPAS, my stomach demands an answer.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:54 AM on July 12, 2018


I've been dabbling in Indian cooking for a few years now, but have been wanting to try some more southern Indian dishes, so that dosa recipe looks especially interesting.
posted by slogger at 11:55 AM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Salt-rising bread, leavened bread from the U.S. that results in a dense crumb and cheese-like flavor and scent, but without any cheese

I'll be honest, I might make this just to gross my wife out.

For real, though, I've been on a bread kick lately. Every Sunday I bake a batch of little rolls, slightly enriched dough, 2oz pre-baked. My wife and daughter eat them for breakfast just about every day. Most weeks I don't even eat one. This week's were a little underproofed and close-textured because I forgot to start working on them until dinnertime. Last week's were overproofed and enormous because it was super hot and I forgot they were rising in the pantry (these were actually really good; I ate two).
posted by uncleozzy at 11:57 AM on July 12, 2018

I'll be honest, I might make this just to gross my wife out.

It's made with botulism!
posted by elsietheeel at 12:04 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

No Crispbread?(!).
posted by Julianna Mckannis at 12:22 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

where are the AREPAS, my stomach demands an answer.

Tucked away, under #8 Cornbread :)

No Crispbread?(!).

Sorry, I didn't include that one. I kept the list to 52 examples (with some "see also: related breads" to expand the list), so a good many breads were cut, particularly breads starting with "P".

That just means you can share your favorite recipes as comments! More bread! :)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:25 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Indian fried bread, Bhatura, is one of my favorites from my pre-celiac diagnosed wheat bread days. Idlis have mostly replaced them but I do miss them.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:39 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Harold McGee article on salt-rising bread, The Disquieting Delights Of Salt-Rising Bread, goes into more detail on the science.

Interesting: sourdough starters are lactobacillus, cultured from the bacteria naturally present on wheat. The article explains that (a) cornmeal is a richer source of clostridium than wheat flour, and (b) the step of mixing the cornmeal with scalding milk kills off most of the other bacteria and yeast but activates the clostridium spores.

Part of me wants to give it a try; the remaining part quails at the idea of intentionally culturing a food-poisoning bacterium on the kitchen countertop.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:43 PM on July 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Oh I guess my favorite wheat bread recipe is Peter Reinhart's poolish focaccia recipe. As I mentioned in an askme response its brought me acclaim in some quarters and is always requested.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:46 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

OMG. I literally just stepped out of my kitchen where I punched a rye sourdough (rye, wheat, sunflower seeds) into submission for a good long while and will now use my recovery period for bread research. Bread is serious business.

Has there ever been a MetaFilter sourdough starter exchange? Because there totally should be!
posted by The Toad at 12:48 PM on July 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Salt-rising bread, leavened bread from the U.S. that results in a dense crumb and cheese-like flavor and scent, but without any cheese

I'll be honest, I might make this just to gross my wife out.

There are a couple of places around here that sell it but I doubt it would ship well this time of year. The process is apparently stinky but the finished product is pretty good and not gross at all.
posted by dilettante at 12:52 PM on July 12, 2018

green onion pancakes are among my favourite snacks. dipped in a soy sauce/vinegar combo? i would eat only that for dinner. I have never considered making my own but now I am tempted.
posted by hepta at 12:59 PM on July 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Tom from GBBO started my obsession with fougasse (he said it's his 'cinema snack') and reentry into the world of bread.
posted by cobaltnine at 1:10 PM on July 12, 2018

Nothing for X eh?

(starts thinking up money-making scheme for xylophone bread)
posted by ian1977 at 2:53 PM on July 12, 2018

posted by wenestvedt at 3:24 PM on July 12, 2018

X Bread
posted by unliteral at 3:52 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

There are some pretty great breads right there but no discussion of bread is complete without Khachapuri.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 4:51 PM on July 12, 2018

Here's an X! The Xiédǐ Bǐng 鞋底餅 of China. The name literally means "shoe-sole bread", referring to its flat, oblong shape. I have fond memories of snacking on freshly baked xiedi bing from some street baker, straight out of their mobile oven. The bottom and centre parts are crispy, while near the two ends the texture is softer and bread-y. They also give you a gravy-like but thicker spread, with chilli and spices. When the bread is hot, the spread's aroma is enhanced by the heat. Mmm..
posted by runcifex at 5:33 PM on July 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Essene bread?
posted by rmmcclay at 5:37 PM on July 12, 2018

This post pleases me. Thank you.
posted by pipoquinha at 6:46 PM on July 12, 2018

runcifex: Here's an X! The Xiédǐ Bǐng 鞋底餅 of China. The name literally means "shoe-sole bread", referring to its flat, oblong shape.

Neat, thanks! Can you find a recipe, or at least pictures of it? My searches failed.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 PM on July 12, 2018

I recently discovered that you can take Mark Bittman's recipe for pita bread from his "How To Cook Everything" book... make the dough, let it rise, then divide into balls. Wrap the balls well, and freeze. Pull one out of the freezer, let it sit on the counter for about an hour, and it'll be thawed enough to roll out, then either bake in a hot oven or toss onto a hot cast iron skillet for a few minutes each side.

Knowing I'm never more than about an hour away from some fresh, hot, homemade pita/flatbread has been pretty game changing for me.
posted by dnash at 9:15 PM on July 12, 2018

Hi FLT! A few low-resolution pictures I found online. Preparing the doughs, baking in an oven, and the final product with the spread.
posted by runcifex at 9:22 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I need all of these. Right after I'm done with Whole30.
posted by MissySedai at 10:09 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think this is a recipe for 鞋底餅 [Google translate]. It looks like the real deal.
A Snack Training School. This needs more investigation!
posted by unliteral at 10:36 PM on July 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was going to go with Xian Bing (literally, "filling bread," but sure, we can call it a Chinese meat pie).

(for anyone wondering how to pronounce 'x' in pinyin)
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:42 PM on July 12, 2018

unliteral, I think that's a recipe for the crispy variant. It uses a lot more oil than the one from my memory. I was referring to the kind with a plain-bread texture.

(And if you can read Polish, the pinyin X has more or less the same value as the Polish Ś.)
posted by runcifex at 11:07 PM on July 12, 2018

This post is my (delicious, carby) mortal enemy. Pretty sure I’m the only person in the world who made a flat brick out of the no knead bread recipe.
posted by romakimmy at 11:17 PM on July 12, 2018

THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY (except for the fact that I'm on a no processed carbs thing at the moment so I can't run home and make all of these tonight, wahhh). Saved for later!
posted by brilliantine at 8:45 AM on July 13, 2018

CTRL-F "simit": No results

Ah. Here, take your pick!

(It's extremely common street food and a very traditional breakfast-on-the-go in particular, especially when it's warm and the crust is crackling and you have it with a glass (the narrow-waisted Turkish tea glasses, not a mug or cup) of tea... And some white cheese if you're being fancy... Okay now I'm hungry and homesick, yay.)

Also, bless this post. Flagged as fantastic.
posted by seyirci at 9:28 AM on July 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was just asked to inform everyone that “Zweiback” (#52) should be spelled “Zwieback”. This much distressed (OK, I am exaggerating) friend also pointed out that the name links not to a recipe for making zwieback but to a derivative that uses zwieback as ingredient instead.

That’s it for this PSA.

Great post! I instantly shared it with friends outside of MetaFilter!
posted by Martijn at 11:09 AM on July 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Egads! Thanks for the corrections, Martijn! To right those wrongs, here's a zwieback recipe from King Arthur Flour, which notes:
Add a layer of cinnamon-sugar to the toasts as they bake, and you've made Trenary Toast, a specialty of the Trenary Home Bakery in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The cinnamon version of zwieback also mimics Finnish korpu, if you're partial to those tasty toasts.
It's a two-fer of twice-baked goodness!

In other bread news: Discovery of 14,000-Year-Old Toast Suggests Bread Can Be Added to Paleo Diet (George Dvorsky for Gizmodo, July 16, 2018)
Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest evidence of bread-making at a site in northeastern Jordan. Dating back some 14,400 years, the discovery shows that ancient hunter-gatherers were making and eating bread 4,000 years before the Neolithic era and the introduction of agriculture. So much for the “Paleo Diet” actually being a thing.
The article includes an interview with Tobias Richter, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen and a co-author of the new study, and a link to the article: Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan (full study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
“First, that bread predates the advent of agriculture and farming—it was always thought that it was the other way round,” Richter told Gizmodo. “Second, that the bread was of high quality, since it was made using quite fine flour. We didn’t expect to find such high-quality flour this early on in human history. Third, the hunter-gatherer bread we have does not only contain flour from wild barley, wheat and oats, but also from tubers, namely tubers from water plants (sedges). The bread was therefore more of a multi-grain-tuber bread, rather than a white loaf.”
Sadly, no recipe for the "experimentally produced bread" used to compare a modern attempt at re-creating this ancient bread.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:45 AM on July 21, 2018

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