For thousands of years, over every human civilization, in every single culture, bread has been a dietary staple. All that really changes is the bread’s makeup, as in the sorts of flours used, the techniques to make it rise, and how it’s cooked. Bread acting as a “vessel” food has been around since the building of the pyramids. Still, not much has changed over the last millennia. Other than a lot of the grains being much cleaner and healthier now, most of the techniques for the breads themselves remain unchanged. One of the best things about bread is that many are very simplistic recipes. Some quality flour, some water, and a few other odds and ends, depending on the type of bread, and you have yourself a meal ready to go.
But what are some of the simplest breads out there? Before you buy organic flour online, you might be wondering about some new recipes to try it out on. So, let’s go over four of the simplest bread recipes from around the world, speak about their cultural significance and how they’re made, and touch on what makes them so good.
4 of the Simplest Breads You Can Find Globally
1: French Baguette
This is one that practically everyone knows, but it’s actually from France. The baguette is a long, thin crusty loaf of bread that is very appealing for a wide range of reasons. It can be used for sandwiches, appetizers, grilling, and so much more. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not really that old. It didn’t start becoming popularized in France until the 18th century, making it a relatively new bread. Sure, the French ate bread since the inception of the nation, but the simple baguette is relatively new.
With quality unbleached flour from a place like Grainworks Organic Tillers & Millers, you almost have enough to make this loaf. All you need beyond your flour is water, salt and yeast. That’s how simple the baguette is. You won’t even need any fats or sugars, if you want to cut them out. It’s perhaps one of the simplest loaves of bread to make in the world. Shaping it is the more difficult part.
2: Indian Naan
India’s culture dates back for many thousands of years, but their most famous cultural bread recipe, naan, has only been known about since the 1800s. Most cultural experts believe that Indian people have been enjoying naan for many, many generations, but only in 1803 did the world first learn about this bread. It’s a leavened bread that’s traditionally baked in the oven. It can be made with whole-grain flour or other types of flour, and its ingredients include flour, yeast, salt and water.
Based on the ingredients, it shares almost the same makeup as the French baguette. That’s how similar simple bread recipes are. Due to the lack of kneading needed, and the fact that it’s a flatbread, the flavour and texture come out entirely different. Naan is great as a side, where traditionally it’s torn apart and ate as a side dish, usually to sop up things like curry sauces. It’s a very simple and delicious variety of bread.
3: Mexican Tortilla
Some people might not agree that tortillas are bread, but technically speaking, they are flatbreads. The biggest differences between a Mexican tortilla and Indian naan include the fact that tortillas are unleavened and that they’re traditionally fried on a flat-top griddle instead of baked. Though other than that, they use the same sorts of ingredients, like flour, water and salt.
Traditionally, Mexican tortillas are cooked with masa, which is a corn flour made out of maize. However, as global trade routes opened up and Mexico could get more types of flour, many different tortillas started to become popular in the nation, everything from white wheat flour to whole spelt flour. Mexico uses a wide range of flours now for these tortillas. It is definitely one of the simplest types of bread out there. And when it comes to uses, the sky really is the limit on the tortilla’s applications.
4: Israeli Challah
Challah bread may be the most complex type of “simple” bread on this list, but that’s only due to the addition of one extra ingredient. This is a very traditional kosher Jewish bread that’s made using fine white flour, salt, water, yeast, and eggs. Many traditional varieties also use sugar, honey, or other sweet substances, but that’s primarily to feed the yeast so that the thicker dough rises well. And it is a rather thick, dense dough. The eggs give it a very yellowish colour and a dense, luscious texture.
One of the most appealing aspects of this bread is how it looks. The bread dough is braided before its second rise, which gives the final product the appearance as if it has knots on the dough, almost like a pull-apart bread. However, challah is traditionally sliced and used with all sorts of Jewish cuisine traditionally. In non-traditional use, it’s a great option for items like grilled cheeses, sandwiches, etc.
What Makes for the Best Bread
There are literally thousands of types of bread from which you can choose, which use everything from whole spelt flour to flours made from nuts and beans. We just wanted to touch on four of the simplest, most popular varieties around the globe.
The point we want to get across is that the best breads come from the best flours. As you can see with these recipes, they’re all incredibly similar. None of them use any exotic or outlandish ingredients. It’s all about the quality of your flour. For instance, if you buy organic flour online, your bread will come out better than if you buy that mass-produced stuff from the grocery store. Better flour makes better bread.
So the next time you’re considering making a traditional simple bread at home, always remember that your first stop should be at a locale that sells only in the best in high-quality organic flour. If you get that, the bread is going to come out very well for you.