Bread is the base of nearly everything we eat, pretty much holding our world together like we’re all in one big sourdough bowl. Though it is a beloved staple food and dieter’s Achilles’ heel, many still settle for a loaf of regular white bread when they go grocery shopping. The fact is, many products that line the shelves are highly processed and filled with added sugars or artificial flavors. These additives help companies save money and time, but they don't belong in your body. Consider these naturally hearty bakery goods to upgrade the flavors and textures in your pantry.


Holly Park

Compared to other bakery goods, this bread has a distinct, sour taste. Naturally occurring bacteria and yeast ferment the simple dough of flour and water to create a “starter,” which is continuously fed with more water and flour to create a steady supply of dough. San Francisco’s Boudin Bakery still uses a “mother dough” that dates back to the California Gold Rush! 

Irish Soda Bread

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Nicole Drago

To get the dough to rise, this bread substitutes baking soda for yeast, hence the name. Baking soda rapidly forms bubbles, making this a “quick bread” recipe that results in a less dense product that’s comparable to a scone. Though the bread is on the drier side, it usually has raisins, currants, or caraway seeds to naturally sweeten and add texture to the bread. 


Holly Park

Rye typically ranges in color from light to dark, depending on the density of fiber and how the flour is milled. Since rye doesn’t have as much air-trapping gluten, it forms a dense bread with a strong, tangy flavor. This fiber-rich bread is touted for its effects of lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss. 


Holly Park

Focaccia is similar in style and texture to that of pizza dough, so it's not surprising that it originates from Italy. Though it's relatively flat, focaccia has some yeast to let it rise slightly for a fluffy, soft structure. Filled with flavor and moisture, freshly baked focaccia is typically finished off with a brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of herbs.


Perfect for French toast, brioche is characteristically rich in flavor, due to its high proportion of fat. Though recipes with brioche bread are usually very sweet, the bread itself doesn't have any added sugar. The buttery taste and soft texture of the bread pairs nicely with sweet toppings like jam, but contrasts well with strong, savory ingredients. 


baguette, France, bread, baguettes, French, dough, carb, grain, Soft
Caroline Ingalls

The most well-known example of French food is probably the baguette. Its signature long, thin shape was designed to expose the dough to as much oven heat as possible to attain a hard outer crust. They can be enjoyed plain, with a spread of butter, or as toast with savory toppings.

#SpoonTip: Finish baguettes within a couple days, as they go stale fast!


Holly Park

This loaf bread was an Italian baker's response to the popularity of French baguettes. Though it's not as well-known, it has gained recognition as the bread used for paninis. Ciabatta bread has a smooth, hardy crust dusted with flour and is made up of a dense interior that's perfect for grilling into a sandwich.


Challah bread is a Jewish delicacy, usually eaten during holidays or Sabbath. The various braids and shapes of the bread also carry meaning and symbolism in addition to looking aesthetically pleasing. The fluffy texture is similar to that of brioche bread, but challah is sweeter and richer in egg flavor.


Holly Park

As the name implies, flatbread is usually unleavened. However, breads like naan still have a little bit of yeast to help the dough rise. These breads can be enjoyed plain, with a savory dip, or made into a meal as wraps, pita pockets, or thin crust pizzas. Though they are not as thick and hardy as most breads, flatbreads are highly versatile and are a healthier alternative to typical sandwich breads.

Holly Park

A loaf of plain, white bread may be cheaper, but it's definitely not of the best quality. When you want to enjoy carbs, treat yourself to top-notch bakery goods where less (ingredients) is more. Don't settle for basic sandwich bread, especially when the superior option is healthier for your body and will add more character to your pantry.