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Grissini
Classic Italian grissini (the singular form of the word is grissino). Photo by Martin Brink | IST.
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August 2008
Last Updated March 2013

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Breadstuffs

 

What’s Your Favorite Type Of Bread?

Page 5: Glossary Of Bread Types ~ G To L

 

You’ll find your favorite type of bread in this Bread Glossary. This is page 5 of a 9-page glossary of the many different types of bread. Click on the links below to visit other pages. You can also return to the overview and the history of bread or select from many more food glossaries.

 

Click on a letter to go to the appropriate glossary section:

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This glossary is protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in whole or part.

You are welcome to link to it.

 

GARLIC BREAD
Garlic bread is toasted bread—typically slices of baguette or other crusty loaf—spread with garlic butter. It is an excellent use for stale bread. A quick recipe: blend 4 cloves of crushed garlic into 4 tablespoons softened butter, olive oil or a combination of the two. Spread on toasted bread. Alternatively, slice a long loaf of bread on the diagonal, cutting almost to the bottom but leaving enough to  keep the loaf attached. Spread slits with garlic butter and wrap loaf in foil. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes; open foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Recipe variations:

  • Garlic Cheese Bread: Mix 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese into the butter/oil and microwave for 1 minute prior to spreading.
 
Garlic bread. Photo by Robyn Mac | IST.
  • Garnish: chopped flat-leaf parsley and/or browned minced garlic.

GENESIS 1:29 BREAD
This bread has a cornucopia of seeds and grains. It’s named after Genesis 1:29: “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’ ” While each baker can create his/her own recipe, one recipe from Food For Life includes: amaranth and chia from Central and South America, barley from Israel, black quinoa from the mountains of Peru, brown rice and spelt from the Far East, corn from Mexico, flax and rye from Northern Europe, kamut from Egypt, teff from the highlands of Ethiopia, millet and sorghum from the plains of Africa, pumpkin seeds from the Mediterranean, sesame seeds from the Near East, soy from China, spring wheat and Unprocessed Bran from Montana and sunflower seeds from the Dakotas. As you can imagine, it’s a highly nutritious loaf. See also Ezekiel bread.

 
Genesis 1:29 bread from Food For Life. Photo courtesy Organic Gardens Network.

GRISSINI
A particular type of Italian breadstick that is very slender and about 12 inches in length. (Photo above.)

HOECAKE
See cornbread.

HOT CROSS BUN
A sweet yeast bun made with raisins or currants. The top is decorated with a cross made of icing (or more simply, by knife cuts in the dough). The cross symbolizes the crucifixion, and the buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday; although they are believed to predate Christianity, eaten by Saxons in to honor the goddess Eostre (the cross is believed to have symbolized the four quarters of the moon; Eostre is probably the origin of “Easter”). The first recorded use of the term “hot cross bun” appears in 1733.

 

INDIAN BREAD
India is a large country with many regions; each has its preferred breads (all flatbreads), and different grains and blends are used in different regions. The styles vary from moist to dry, and leavened to unleavened Some are discussed further here: see chapati, dosa, naan and paratha.

 
Hot cross buns—delicious even at room temperature. Photo courtesy Amy’s Bread.

INJERA
A flatbread staple of Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Kenya, Somalia and the Sudan, injera is a fermented sour bread. It is baked in large, round pancake-like pieces and used instead of both plates and utensils. Stews and salads are placed upon the bread; pieces are torn up for eating.

ITALIAN BREAD
Italian bread is a generic term. In general, Italian bread is similar to French bread (also a generic term), but the loaves are shorter and plumper, while French loaves are longer and narrower.

IRISH SODA BREAD
A variety of white and brown soda breads are popular in Ireland, often containing raisins. See soda bread.

JEWISH RYE BREAD
Jewish rye is a light rye bread, a mix of wheat and rye flours. Often, caraway seeds are included for extra flavor.

JOHNNYCAKE or JONNYCAKE
See cornbread.

KHACHAPURI
A Russian variation of an Italian calzone. An oblong, individual portion of bread is filled with cheese and baked until the dough is cooked and the cheese inside is melted.

 
You can put anything on Jewish-style rye bread—including ham and cheese. Photo courtesy KingArthurFlour.com.

KIPFEL
A kipfel is a crescent- or horn-shaped roll that is the progenitor of the croissant; Kipf is the German word for horn-shaped. There is also a crescent-shaped Jewish yeast pastry by the same name, filled with chopped nuts or fruit preserves, also called kipferln or rugalach.

 

LAMINATION or LAMINATED
DOUGH or LAMINATED PASTRY

Laminated dough is used to make Viennoiserie—brioche, croissants, danish and other buttery, flaky breakfast pastry. It is a time-consuming and expensive dough to make, owing to the large quantity of butter used. First, a yeast dough is made, called the détrempe (from the French verb, “to soak,” as the dry ingredients soak in liquid): milk, dry yeast, brown sugar, bread flour, and sea salt kosher salt are kneaded together. Some recipes use starter dough from a prior batch. The dough is chilled, then rolled out into a rectangle. A smaller rectangle of rolled out and chilled butter, called the beurrage (from the French word for butter, beurre), is placed on top of it. Then the construction of the pâton, or dough roll, begins. The rectangle is folded into thirds, as if folding a letter (in fact, this first fold is known as a “single letter fold”).

  Croissants
Croissants are perhaps America’s favorite form of laminated pastry. Croissants available from Wolfermans.com.

The pâton is then refrigerated for an hour, rolled and folded again. The rolling and folding continues, usually for four turns.

 

LAVASH or LAHVASH or LAHVOSH
Lavash is an Armenian flatbread made with wheat flour, water and salt. In the U.S., it is topped with toasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic and other seasonings. When fresh, lavash is soft and thin like a tortilla, and is used as a sandwich wrap for kebabs and other foods. It hardens into a crunchy cracker consistency, which is how it is most often found in the U.S.

 

LEAVENING or LEAVENING AGENT
Leavening is the process of adding gas to a dough to produce a lighter, airier, more easily chewed bread. Most breads consumed in Europe and America are leavened; Middle Eastern and African breads tend to be unleavened flatbreads. There are two types of leavening agents: chemical agents and yeast. Chemical agents are used to produce quick breads and soda breads. Baking powder and baking soda are the chemical agent choices; baking soda requires an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk to create the chemical reaction that produces gas. Yeast is a natural leavening agent.

  Lavasch
Lavash is a Middle Eastern flatbread that has become popular in the U.S. Photo courtesy HotBreadOven.org.

 

LEVAIN
Levain is a leavening agent or bread starter, also known in the U.S. as sourdough starter. It’s purpose is to develop the flavor of the bread. (While there is levain in sourdough bread, not all levain-based breads are “sourdough.” While “levain” means leavening, not all leavings are levain. There are cultivated (commercial) yeast leavenings and chemical leavenings such as baking powder and baking soda.) Levain is used instead of yeast to rise the dough in certain types of bread. The technique—and the starter—were developed in France in the 1600s. Levain is made from wild yeasts, and is less predictable than “foolproof” commercial yeasts. The latter can be relied upon to rise bread within a couple of hours, whereas starters take several days to make, and another two to three hours to rise the bread. Despite the lengthier time involved, artisan bakers prefer the results.

 
A baguette from Maison Kayser. Great pains are taken to prepare the homemade levain and ferment the bread. Photo courtesy Maison Kayser.

To make levain, a mixture of water and flour is set out in the open for several days. This exposes the “starter” to the bacteria, fungus and yeast in the air. The fungus or yeast inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, making the levain safe to use as a food.

 

LOAF
A bread or cake baked in a round or oblong pan with a rounded top. In the 12th century, “loaf” became the generic term for bread: The Teutonic word hlaf became our modern English word, loaf.

 

Continue To Page 6: Terms Beginning With
M To O

Go To The Glossary Index Above

  Loaf Of Cardamom Bread
A loaf of cardamom bread. Photo by Daniela Cuevas | THE NIBBLE.

 

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