Know your breads

Get to know the different types of bread available in your supermarket or bakery.

by: Louisa Holst | 29 Mar 2007

Wheat-free rye
A moist bread made with pure rye flour and no wheat, it can be eaten by those with a gluten intolerance. It has a slightly chewy texture and is high in fibre. Some varieties have seeds added, others contain ingredients such as carrots.

Pot bread
White dough baked in a pot or round tin. In South Africa pot bread is often baked in a potjie or other cast-iron pot on the coals of the braai.

Also known as French bread, baguette means ‘rod’ or ‘stick’ in French and refers to the long, thin shape. It is a soft bread with a crisp brown crust and a chewy interior, with many holes. At first, French bread was shaped into rounds, however, when bakers realised that the crust was so tasty, they made the loaves long, so that there would be more crust. It is also available in a seeded variety.

Whole-wheat seed loaf
Made using whole-wheat flour with seeds and sometimes nuts. It has a firm, dense texture, and is moist and chewy, with a nutty flavour. It is high in fibre and is substantial and filling.

Ciabatta is an Italian word meaning ‘slipper’ and refers to a soft bread in a slipper-like shape. The dough is soft and sticky and is poured onto the baking tray, and traditionally baked in a wood oven. It has a firm, chewy texture with holes and a crunchy crust.

Batter bread
Made from soft batter rather than dough. The raising agent in some is yeast and in others may be baking powder. May be topped with seeds or oats and flavoured, for instance, with honey. It is slightly moist and has a chewy texture. Best served fresh with sweet or savoury toppings.

Black forest
Made with rye and bread flour and enriched with potato and cream cheese. It has a dark-brown crust and dense, slightly chewy texture and a hearty flavour. Delicious with cold meats and pickles

Plaited bread
White or brown dough may be plaited before baking to form a decorative bread. Loaves may be flavoured with ingredients such as garlic and herbs.

Soft rye
Rye bread with a soft texture, made with pure rye flour or a blend of rye and wheat flour. Check with the bakery to make sure, if you are gluten intolerant. Sometimes flavoured with caraway seeds. It is delicious with cold meats, mustard and pickle.

A white bread dough that is sometimes enriched with egg. It is plaited and may be topped with poppy seeds. The bread has a soft texture and slightly sweet flavour. Kitka is traditionally eaten at a Jewish Sabbath supper

Country bread
An Italian-style bread with a firm, slightly chewy texture, made with olive oil. Other ingredients such as cheese, garlic, onions or herbs may be added to the dough. It can be bought par-baked so that you can complete the baking in your oven and enjoy the fresh warm loaf.

A light, very rich white bread made with lots of butter and eggs. It has a light, soft texture and a slightly sweet flavour. It can be baked in different shapes and flavoured with nuts or candied fruit, or herbs and spices.

- Ideas


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