The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What kinds of bread are popular where you live?

Eidetix's picture
Eidetix

What kinds of bread are popular where you live?

I'm curious about regional tastes in bread, so I thought I'd kick off a "half-baked" TFL survey on the subject.


So tell us: What kinds of bread are popular where you live?


I got to wondering after taking note here at TFL on the popularity of sourdough. I live in Rhode Island, well into the northeastern US. Sourdough bread is just about nonexistent here. I've tried it once or twice and never much took to it. My taste for a kind of French-style Italian bread -- with a thick, hard, crackly crust and an airy, fluffy crumb -- was undoubtedly shaped by my Italo-American heritage, and by the abundance of first-rate bakeries making and selling Italian bread in the greater Providence area.


I'm guessing that similar affinities elsewhere are shaped by comparable local variables.


So tell us: What kinds of bread are popular where you live -- and in your opinion, why?

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

one bread I see almost everywhere is a Cape Seeded Loaf.  Contents may vary from baker to baker but all of them are crammed full of a medley of seeds.


Paul

BettyR's picture
BettyR

along the Gulf Coast tortillas are king. I make loaf bread and we usually have a grilled cheese night to use up the last of a loaf but we eat tortillas way more often.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I know you bake lovely breads and other baked goods.


Do you make your own tortillas too?

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I make my own flour tortillas and have for many years. It's so very easy. I don't make my own corn tortillas, I've never been able to get them a thin as the store bought ones. While we like the thicker homemade flour tortilla, we prefer the thinner corn tortillas you can buy in the store.

Vogel's picture
Vogel

In Germany, probably the most common bread is the "Mischbrot" ("mixture bread"), which is basically a round or oval loaf made from rye sourdough and a mixture of rye and wheat (like this). The percentages differ, there is the type that has more rye than wheat ("Weizenmischbrot") and the one that has more wheat than rye ("Roggenmischbrot").


Then there are countless variants of bread with different mixtures of whole grain and seeds that are baked in rectangular loaf pans, both with sourdough and without (like this).


Bread that is NOT very typical in Germany: white wheat bread made by using a long fermentation process with wheat sourdough or yeasted pre-ferments (Pain au Levain, Ciabatta, Baguette, ...). And you will have a hard time finding bread with an open, irregular crumb. Interestingly, German bakers see unevenly spread big holes as a quality failure (which I definitely don't agree with!).

EvaB's picture
EvaB

the only real bakery in town is only open 2 days a week, and they sell out faster than they can bake, that is mostly rye, and other European style breads, and it sells to mostly German decent people, these are from the Alsace area and most ofthem immigrated before WW2, of course there are a smattering of us non German non immegrant people who have caught on that the bread is good, the deserts better, and the prices are not too far out into the stratosphere.


In the supermarket, the "fresh" (read brought in frozen and baked onsite) artisan breads go fairly fast even at the outrageous prices, and the sprouted grains breads go quite well, as do the nan, the tortilla, and the pita breads all commercially baked and shipped in.


I must say the bakery is owned by a german fellow, and all the grains are ground by him, and are all organic, the breads are not light and airy, but full of rye and dense, but people drive miles and miles to stock up, one lady says they come every week and buy at least 4 loaves to tide them over, and they drive over 40 miles to shop. They stock up in the fall for winter when the roads get too bad to make the trip once a week.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

alas, the typical bread is sickly pale, crustless, squishy and wonderbread-y.


Being (as a German) used to crusty sourdough rye/wheat breads (see Vogel's comment) I started baking - and selling - my own.


Karin

bread basket's picture
bread basket

if you can squeeze the brad flat in the plastik bag, it is fresh.............!The so called artisan bread they start to sell in the grocery stores is a far cry from real artisan bread.......beeing from Switzerland could not get used to this "bread". Always baked my own and have now started to sell it. Have gotten quite a follwing in our little town.

SurebetVA's picture
SurebetVA

North Carolina & Virginia has all kinds of breads and of course soft white bread is the popular everyday bread...but if you want to know one that is more historically associated to the area it would be cornbread in many variations...some very sweet and some not...but most quick breads.


Cornbread isn't going to be a popular item at the grocery store but for many cooking at home or restaurants that specialize in "Comfort" food corn bread is king.  If it's fried fish for dinner it also could includ a deep fried corn bread balls called "Hush Puppies".  Other than cornbread it is a very soft white bread with a a tight grain.  Usually this white bread was made with either lard or shortening.  Shortening is the best "fat" for producing the extra soft texture popular in this area. 


At one time I worked for a bakery in Winston-Salem which was a large local whole sale bakery that made bread for restaurants and grocery stores just in that area.  Almost every recipe required big white blocks of shortening.  There was also a small bakery up the street at the time called B&G pies that only made small fried pies that were hand made.


One bread we used to make that was only made in the Winston-Salem area was the Moravian love feast buns which had a sharp taste to them due to the orange peel and other spices.  It is a very important bread to that area around Christmas but is not typical of other North Carolina breads and owes its history to the Germans that founded Winston-Salem.  These buns always had a M stamped on the top I believe.  Love Feast buns are especially used for the Christmas mid night services at Moravian churches at least in North Carolina.  Recipes for Moravian Love Feast buns can be found around the internet several places.   


Another Moravian tradition was the Moravian Sugar Cake which is a coffee cake which is out of this world.  It can also be found on the internet and it is a soft potato bread rolled out into a cake pan with indentions put into the dough after it has risen and then sprinkled with brown sugar and cinammon....and then sprinkle melted butter all over it.  Of course Moravian Cookies are also popular especially the traditional very very thin ginger cookie.  The best bakery for either of these would be Dewey's in Winston-Salem which is famous for it's Sugar Cake.


Rye is available now but was offered more recently for Northerns who moved south as Rye was not a popular bread in the south until more recently.  Rye has a short growing season and that is the reason it is more popular in some colder climates. Sourdough is also not a big item in this area although it can be found easy enough now.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Saeriu's picture
Saeriu

I live in a small town in north central Iowa and we have no bakeries.  The only bread available for purchase is from the grocery store.  About 20 miles away there is a 'bagel' shop but the quality is terrible and so I don't like to go there.  Once in a while at the farmer's market I come across good bread but the FF runs May-October and it's cheaper to make it at home.  I make homemade bread (of all kinds) because I want to give my family the best tasting and highest quality bread.  I usually make a variety of breads each week--regular and sour dough bread, pancakes, coffee cakes, rolls, biscuits, and recently English muffins.  My preference is to incorporate several kinds of flours in the bread I make--spelt, rye, AP, whole wheat, semolina, soy, sorgrum, various nuts, and whatever else I'm in the mood for.  I also try not to use white sugar in my recipes either unless it's necessary; I prefer to use molases, honey, brown rice syrup, or even brown sugar.


Saeriu

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I too bake something every day - and much the same breads, pastries and deserts you do - for exactly the same reasons I'm guessing.  I enjoy it and  need the practice to get half decent at it.  We have some artisan bakeries that bake fairly good bread, since Phoenix is the 5 largest city in the USA - but nothing I can't make at home nearly as well on my best day.  Mine isn't $4 a loaf either but, every once in a great while, I could charge that much for it.  Wildflowers Bakery does do a decent job at bread.

uncle goosehead's picture
uncle goosehead

Well, it's an old thread, but what the hay. 


The popular things seem to be bagels, doughnuts, muffins and various buns masquerading as 'healthy'.  There are bakeries but they don't make what would be considered artisan nor any slow rise breads.  People seem to like everthing weak and blandly flavoured, whether beer, tea or cheese.  But when they have anything I bake they seem to change their tune.

G-man's picture
G-man

Around here sourdough reigns supreme. I would say it probably has something to do with the fact that Seattle was the last stop before Alaska, during the Gold Rush, and a lot of miners ended up staying here. Crusty, artisan bread (not a fan of the term, have no other term for it?), even the non-sour stuff, is also quite big around here. The closest supermarkets to my house have a much wider selection of bread in paper bags with the names of local bakeries than plastic-wrapped Wonderbread types.


I learned to bake pretty much because I wanted to know how to do it, and because it's cheaper than paying $5 a loaf.

honeymustard's picture
honeymustard

I live in the Valley of Nova Scotia, and having lived in other areas of this province, I can attest to the fact that this area is more "hippie" than the rest of it, for lack of a better term. Therefore, the most popular loaves are multigrains and seed breads, along with quite a large selection of alternative flours like spelt and gluten-free goods.


On the south shore (where I'm originally from), the popularity of brown bread is unbelievable. It's made in most homes, baked in bakeries, and served at restaurants everywhere. And I have to say, its taste is hard to beat.

amauer's picture
amauer

Popular breads in a cultural way because of our German heritage are pumpernickel, other ryes, and wheat. Our families favorite for Holidays are both a rich egg roll, "Butterhorn Rolls " and "Swedish Coffee Ring" that is made from the same rich dough. Not surprisingly, also white bread. My Mom made it almost every week. There is a sweet Swedish Rye that is a family favorite. Not Limpa, but a molasses wheat and white flour dense bread. We have a large Hispanic population and I also like to make my own tortillas on a cast iron grill. EASY! I made a mess of the corn though, and buy those. Otherwise, this is bread country in general, my Norwegian side had bread and butter on the table for every meal. When Krispy Creams made their way North, the doughnut people were wondering what the big deal was. I did not have a bagel until the early 80's. We also eat toast with our meals. At my son's sit down Wedding Supper, a friend of mine rushed up and put some toast on my plate she had brought along! LOL!

pjaj's picture
pjaj

Well sadly the most popular bread in the UK (80%) is probably what one of my colleagues once described as "Polypropobreadaline". The pappy white muck much beloved of commercial bakeries made with the "Chorleywood bread process" (CBP) (look it up in Wikipedia) which rapidly converts inferior flours (low protein) into something purporting to be bread.


Other than that there are numerous artisan bakers around who baker a vast range of interesting breads, both yeasted and sourdough, white, wholemeal, seeded, rye you name it. We even get bread imported from France, including the famous Poilain bakery.

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

I live in Oklahoma, so there really isn't any traditional bread culture around here, except for cornbread. Most Oklahomans only eat bread via sandwhiches, so there really isn't any need for artisinal-style breads. Eating bread is reserved for cornbread and biscuits.


 


The city I live in is an oil town, so most of the people are in IT, engineering, etc. working for an oil comapany, so we don't have bakers. Although, we recently got a baker in town, but she stinks! She only makes "healthy" wonder bread knock-offs (that have the problem of molding the day after), which is fine with most people around here. Grocery stores carry sandwhich breads and really bad "French bread" (which tastes like wonder bead with a dark brown crust.)


 


Being that there a lot of Mexicans here (including myself) here, tortillas are common. You can buy them at the store or fresh from a tortillaria (the closest one is an hour's drive). I usually make my own for fun and tradition. My mother's family are Spanish-Mexicans from Chihuahua, Mexico, so we traditionally eat a lot of flour tortillas. Although, corn tortillas (which most Mexicans eat) are normally used in baking or cooking.


 


As a staple bread, I only like to eat artisinal breads, so I have to bake my own. I make multigrain sourdough bread occasionally, but I like to make a rustic multigrain batard (with commercial yeast; takes less time). I love the nuttiness of multigrain, so that's what works for me.

Laddavan's picture
Laddavan

In Thailand mostly in the city, we just slowly get into eat bread for breakfast. Many people didn't know European bread. Only people who can effort to have a meal in a 5 stars hotel or who have been to Europe. So, most of us knew sandwich bread, next step is French Baguette and Croissant that bake in Department store.


My husband is German, so I knew a bit the taste of European bread. Some bakeries in Bangkok try to bake mix whole grains bread. But it's still soft like sandwich bread. Whenever I bought those loafs I really disappointed. Because, it looks like European bread but the taste is not. We got a German bakery in Bangkok. Once in a while we go there. I can't keep up drive an hour just to get that bread.


So I practice to make a real German bread myself also Ciabatta etc,. I've been practiced about 4 years already. It turn out very good now, one thing I have to say I really appreciate and thankful to this website and to all of you who put your knowledge and experience in here. I had learned a lot and have good progress on my bread, that I couldn't get from my imported bread books. I love to bake. But now I got a problem. It's become too much. We eat bread only in the morning. My husband said you better open a bakery, lol. I love my bread also my family. One day, whenever I am ready I'll post my bread too.


Thanks to you all


Laddavan.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I started with my little European bakery, selling my "surplus" breads to a local natural food store.


Greetings from Maine,


Karin (originally from Germany)

saurin13's picture
saurin13

After moving from Texas to San Francisco, I can finally say I know what real bread is like - not the factory made bread in grocery stores, but real bread. People in San Francisco take their bread seriously. I personally love sourdough and we buy baguettes at least once or twice a week. I love to eat it with fresh Brie or Gouda and a glass of napa valley red wine...

its getting me hungry now!

jayc32's picture
jayc32

The most popular bread is salt rising bread. It's like a sourdough but the starter is different, made with cornmeal and sometimes potato. The name salt rising comes from the way the starter was made in olden times, the stater must be kept warm to get it to ferment and the way they used to keep it warm was to keep the starter container in a bucket of hot rock salt. 

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

The official bread of Texas... so my web search says... I am a noob here in TX, transplanted from CA where sourdough is KING. Here is the website article... I think I will make it, over charcoals... in my dutch oven... stay tuned!

www.texascooking.com/features/nov2005_pan_de_campo.htm


aytab's picture
aytab

Down here in the Los Angeles area, we have so many different cutural influences that it is really hard to say. Within about 3 miles of my house I have 2 Filipino bakeries, Several Mexican Panaderias, a few classic American Pastry types bakeries that have a few breads and one French Bakery that is mostly desserts, tarts etc and have some breads. So it all depends on what I'm in the mood for if I don't bake. What we don't have down in my area, I kow they do more up on LA itself, is a real Artisan Bakery. One that is making Sourdoughs and Rye's etc.

aytab's picture
aytab

Oh one more thing, I spend most of my time at one of the Filipino Bakeries, they have amazing baked goods using Ube, Mongo and other cool ingredients. They also have ensaymada which is my favorite with the cheddar cheese and they have a Filipino food buffet which of course I can't resist, and no I'm not Filipino. If anyone has a great ensaymada recipe, let me know I'd love to bake them here at the house.