A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and I was good enough for the 10th century Persian mathematician and poet Omar Khayyam. For many of us, after all these years, that middle element is at least really appreciated.
Is bread vegan? The answer is sometimes – and often! It is, and sometimes it isn’t.
Whether you slice, chop, fill or toast, from the simple sandwiches we eat at our desks to avocado toast, we can’t leave the baking.
A brief history of how bread is made
By definition, bread is a food made from flour or a meal that is leavened, moistened, kneaded, and baked. The first bread dates back to the Neolithic period, approximately 12,000 years ago, and was made of coarsely ground grains and water, likely baked on hot stones and covered with hot ashes.
The Egyptians developed the first sourdoughlikely by accident when wild yeast spores and air activated the fermentation process in the dough, but bread in one form or another is found in virtually every culture and corner of the world, from Ethiopia’s sour injera to a crunchy baguette.
Some types of bread, especially flat bread, are not leavened, which means they do not contain rising agents, and many types of thicker bread are leavened, using a variety of means, such as baker’s yeast or baking soda. Many breads are made with wheat but there are others made with a variety of grains, such as teff, millet, and cornmeal.
Is bread healthy?
While people have loved bread for thousands of years, controversy has arisen in recent years with low-carb diet fads demonizing grains as contributing to weight gain and other issues. According to Lee Crosby, RD with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, not all carbohydrates are created equal. “Carbs are an important part of a healthy diet. But some people consider all carbs, from soda to sweet potatoes, to be equal. Decades of science tell us that’s simply not true—the body treats lentils differently than popsicles, Crosby explains.
Specifically, what about bread?
Eating whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes, and more, and according to NutritionFacts.org, 99 percent of Americans don’t consume enough whole grains.
according to Cleveland ClinicLooking for 100 percent whole grain or whole wheat on the packaging will help you find bread that has the myriad of health benefits imparted by eating whole grains.
When bread excludes refined flour, added sugars, and other unhealthy ingredients, it can be part of a healthy diet. Read on to find out what types of bread and some healthy options to look for.
types of bread
From loaves of bread For that crunchy baguette, there are more types of bread than you probably realize.
Sourdough comes in a variety of forms but they all start with an initial mixture of sourdough flour and water. This starter, also referred to as a mother or sponge, can be decades old. When yeast and airborne bacteria combine, they ferment, creating bubbles and a distinctly refreshing flavor that people have adored for thousands of years. The sourdough is not based on packaged yeast but on a natural leavening agent for starters and has a crisp crust.
2 White bread
A variety of breads, burger buns, white bread, and more, white bread is any bread that has had the bran and seed layers removed from the whole wheat kernel before milling, resulting in a bread that is light in color.
Low in fiber and nutritional value, white bread is associated with the worst aspects of modern diets, but it has been around since the beginning of experiments with bread in ancient Egypt.
3 all grains
Whole grain means that the bread is made from the whole grain kernel, bran, seed, and endosperm. This can be whole grain wheat but also oats, barley or brown rice.
4 beta / nan
Pita and naan are a yeast-leavened, oven-baked bread of Middle Eastern origin, although today naan is more associated with Indian cuisine. Pita bread is usually pocket bread, and is classically used in falafel sandwiches, but is sometimes flat and folded around a filling. Naan is eaten everywhere from the Indian subcontinent to Japan.
A flat but puffy, yeast-raised bread with roots in ancient Rome, focaccia is similar to a pizza crust and is sometimes used as a base for pizza but is also used in sandwich bread and cut into a variety of shapes.
Usually a braided bread of Ashkenazi origin, challah traditionally uses eggs but there are varieties that use water instead of eggs. This is a lighter and less rich bread than white challah bread.
Ring-shaped yeast dough, boiled, then baked, comes in a variety of flavors, such as sesame, poppy seed, and, of course, everything. Some are made with refined flour, others are made with whole, sprouted, or even gluten-free wheat.
A yeast-free flatbread that originated in Mexico, tortillas are made from corn or wheat flour and rolled into round shapes.
Flatbread, the first type of bread, varies from culture to culture around the world, from the soft and luscious naan bread of India to the crisp and crunchy matzo bread of Jewish culture. Many flatbreads, such as tortillas, are unleavened but some, such as pita bread, are leavened.
11 quick bread
A class of bread that doesn’t need yeast but does require baking soda and an acidic ingredient like vinegar to release the carbon dioxide and rise. Examples include soda bread and Irish biscuits; They are called quick bread because they do not require long lifting and kneading processes. Other quick breads include sweet ones, such as banana, pumpkin, and zucchini varieties.
12 Bread made from cereals
Multigrain bread contains two or more types of grains but differs from whole grains in that it may not contain every part of the kernel. Some contain wheat as well as oats and rye and many contain additional ingredients, such as sunflower seeds. The high-fiber power plant, loaves and muffins provide complex carbohydrates for those who want to elevate their nutrition.
13 spread bread
Made with whole grains that have sprouted, sprouted bread may include wheat grains, but also grains such as millet and legumes such as lentils that contain the bran, seed, and endosperm, resulting in more fiber, vitamins, and protein per serving than varieties that contain sprouted. Essen bread, allegedly based on a recipe developed by the Essenes, a mystical Jewish sect from the first century, is an example of sprouted bread slowly baked at a low temperature to increase its nutritional value.
14 gluten free bread
Grain-free breads that contain gluten — such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats (the oats depend on whether gluten is a sensitivity or avoidance) — are made with a variety of different ingredients, such as rice flour, almond flour, millet flour, potato starch, and more. However, it is mixed and baked like traditional wheat bread.
Is bread vegan?
Many types of bread are vegetarian, but some can contain animal ingredients. Animal ingredients can include dairy products (in the form of milk but also butter, yogurt, and whey, for example), eggs, and honey.
White flour may also contain L-cysteine from the refining process, a dough-conditioning additive derived from feathers, pig hair, or even human hair. Mono and diglycerides are emulsifiers that can be added to commercial bread to help form texture, and they are often derived from plants, usually from soybean oil, but can be of animal origin. Lecithin is also an emulsifier frequently added to commercial baking ingredients, usually vegetarian but sometimes not.
Read the ingredients to be safe and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions. Many brands are manufactured on shared equipment and should list potential allergens, such as dairy and eggs, the product may have come into contact with it but that doesn’t mean it contains those ingredients, just that there is a possibility of cross-contamination for people with allergies.
vegan bread brands
All breads, cakes, pizza crusts, and rolls made by Angelic Bakehouse are vegan and kosher, and contain whole grains. Try hot dog buns with seven puffed beans the next time you’re craving a working vegan dog and whole-grain beet roll when you want to up your lunch.
food for life
2 food for life
Makers of all-vegan Ezekial Bread, try Food For Life’s 7-Sprouted Grains for a sandwich with plenty of hunger-killing fiber and 7-Grain Pocket Bread for the unbeatable falafel sandwich. It also offers a variety of gluten-free loaves that are all vegan and can be found in your grocery store freezer.
Dave’s Killer Bread
3 Dave’s Killer Bread
brand on ExpeditionDave’s Killer Bread is dedicated to providing employment to ex-prisoners and making the best organic loaves, bagels, muffins and English muffins possible. All bread products are vegan and free of corn syrup, and many are made with healthy whole grains. Check out the Good Seed Loaf and Epic Everything Bread.
rudy mountain bakery
4 rudy mountain bakery
A small batch and baked in Colorado since 1976, Roddy Mountain Bakery offers organic bread from English muffins like Multigrain Flax to loaves like Double Fiber. With the exception of its honey-sweetened varieties, all of Rudy’s traditional loaves of bread are vegetarian; Their gluten-free options are not.
cobbled bread company
5 cobbled bread company
A national brand with vegan options, you can find Pumpernickel, Seeded Sandwich Rolls, and more. Lunchtime can be elevated to a party with a long sandwich — sliced luncheon meat, vegan cheese, veggies, and all the best seasoning — on a sturdy corn-covered Kaiser roll.
While not all varieties are free of animal ingredients, several Arnolds are safe for vegetarians, like 8-Grain Pocket Thins Flatbread (stuff them with falafel!), Dinner Rolls, and Bakery Light 100% whole wheat bread.
While the signature English muffin isn’t vegan because of the whey, many of Thomas’ other products are: Bagels are vegan, like blueberries, cinnamon, raisins, and 100% whole-wheat varieties, and you’re just waiting for a piece of vegan cheese. .
8 nature king
Try this brand’s vegan options for fiber-packed goodness, like the perfectly made thicker multigrain chips or the 100% whole wheat sandwich chips next time you want a vegan burger with business.
Regional grocery stores like Kroger, Safeway, and Meijer and national grocery chains like Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods have vegan baking options as do retail businesses with grocery options like Walmart and Target.
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