To celebrate Real Bread Week, we want to take you all on a culinary adventure, talking you through some of the tastiest breads from the far corners of the globe (some closer). To get you excited to get baking this February, we will explain where and when these popular breads were discovered, breads that we often purchase but know little about.
A Naan bread for those who are unaware is a flatbread from the Middle East, Central Asia but also South Asia. We often think of India when we think of the naan, this is most likely because our only encounter of this oven baked bread is when ordering an Indian either as a takeaway or when eating out at our local restaurant. The ingredients of a typical naan include white flour, along with salt, yeast and yogurt, mixed together and placed into the oven to bake before brushing with butter. When it comes to choosing your topping, coconut is a popular choice along with garlic or herbs of your choosing.
Another popular flatbread, this time from the Central American country of Mexico. A popular bread used in creating delicious tortillas, crispy tacos or baked with cheese and a filling of your choice to create enchiladas. Made from maize flour, tortillas also originate from Guatemala as well as Mexico; making this simple and multipurpose wrap is rather easy. We have put together a super easy recipe using plain flour instead of maize so you can make this dish at home, turning it into a crispy taco if you choose.
At one point or another we have all eaten and enjoyed a pitta accompanied by some fresh tzatziki and falafel. What you may be unaware of with pitta is that it is also known as Arabic bread. A soft, leavened flatbread made by baking wheat flour, pitta is a middle eastern dish that is eaten all over from the Middle East, Western Asia, Balkans to the Mediterranean. Creating a dough, pitta is baked at a high temperature of around 230°C which is the temperature it takes for the dough to puff up dramatically. As the bread is removed from the oven, the dough will have cooked in separate layers, helping to form the pockets that make the pitta.
Nothing quite beats a bagel, toasted with cream cheese and smoked salmon inside or sprinkled with sunflower seeds. Eaten for either breakfast or lunch, the bagel is the perfect meal to eat for those on the go or in a rush. The bagel may feel for many like a product of America, but the origins of the bagel are rather different and humbler than you originally thought. The bagel is in fact a bread created by the Jewish back in Poland and is shaped into the donut shape by hand with the ingredients of yeasted wheat dough. To make the bagel, take the yeasted wheat and boil in water only briefly before baking in the oven. By boiling and baking you create the crispy shell and doughy interior that we love and associate with the bagel.
Two guesses where the pretzel comes from? Yes you guessed it- Germany! The Pretzel for those who don’t know is a dough that has been baked into a shape that resembles a twisted knot.
Originating from Europe is the Middle Ages, the pretzel is associated with Germany where it is believed to have first been created. Similar to the Greek Ring bread, the pretzel comes in a large range of flavours and sizes. From salt sprinkled on top to being dipped in cheese or smothered in chocolate, enjoy your pretzel either as a savoury snack or as a sweet treat.
Another type of flat bread, this version is less famous and one we believe that you have not yet heard of, originating from Ethiopia, Injera is a sourdough-raised flatbread with a unique spongy texture. Ideal for soaking up delicious dips or sauces, Injera is typically made with teff flour and back in Ethiopia is the centre piece of any meal, sitting proudly in the middle surrounded by smaller dishes to complement the bread. To make this unusual bread, start by mixing water and the teff flour before leaving to ferment for a few days before baking into a large flatbread. Injera bread is the perfect bread for those with a gluten intolerance, the teff flour is one of the limited grains that are gluten-free, making it not only a delicious and different bread but perfect for celiac sufferers.
We have put together a recipe for each of these breads, allowing you to make these worldly doughs at home for yourself. Whether you are wanting to make something different such as the Injera perfect for those with a gluten intolerance or wanting to make your own tortillas or tacos at home for your own taco Tuesday, our recipes are easy to follow.
To celebrate Real Bread Week, be adventurous and cook up some popular authentic bread from countries around the world!