Bread and pastries are staples in many cultures around the world. From the crusty baguettes of France to the fluffy croissants of Austria, these baked goods have become a part of our daily lives. But with so many different types of breads and pastries out there, it can be overwhelming to keep track of them all. In this article, I will guide you through some of the most common types of breads and pastries from an expert's perspective.
The Basics of BreadsBefore we dive into the different types of breads, let's first understand what makes bread, well, bread.
Bread is a staple food made from a dough of flour and water, usually leavened with yeast or sourdough starter. The dough is then baked in an oven, resulting in a delicious loaf with a crispy crust and soft interior. Now that we have the basics covered, let's take a closer look at some of the most popular types of breads around the world.
SourdoughSourdough bread is made using a sourdough starter, which is a fermented mixture of flour and water. This type of bread has a distinct tangy flavor and a chewy texture. Sourdough bread is often associated with San Francisco, but it has been around for centuries and can be found in many cultures.
BaguetteThe baguette is a long, thin loaf of bread that originated in France.
It has a crispy crust and a soft interior, making it perfect for sandwiches or dipping into soups and sauces. The traditional baguette is made with just flour, water, yeast, and salt, but there are now many variations with added ingredients like herbs or cheese.
PitaPita bread is a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It is a round, flat bread that can be split open to create a pocket, perfect for stuffing with falafel, shawarma, or other fillings. Pita bread is made with flour, water, yeast, and salt, and is usually baked in a hot oven, causing it to puff up and create the pocket.
The World of PastriesNow that we have covered some of the most common types of breads, let's move on to pastries.
Pastries are baked goods made from dough or batter that is filled or topped with sweet or savory ingredients. They can be enjoyed as a dessert or as a savory snack.
CroissantThe croissant is a buttery, flaky pastry that originated in Austria. It is made by layering butter and dough, resulting in a light and airy texture. Croissants can be enjoyed plain or filled with chocolate, almond paste, or other sweet fillings.
They are also commonly used in sandwiches or as a side for breakfast dishes.
StrudelAnother popular pastry from Austria is the strudel. It is made by rolling out thin layers of dough and filling it with fruit, nuts, or other sweet fillings. The strudel is then baked until golden brown and served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar. Apple strudel is the most well-known variation, but there are also savory versions filled with meat and vegetables.
CroquemboucheCroquembouche is a French dessert made from choux pastry, which is a light and airy dough.
The dough is piped into small balls and then stacked into a cone shape. The croquembouche is then drizzled with caramel and decorated with spun sugar, creating a stunning centerpiece for special occasions.