Select Page

by Slow Food USA staffer Nathan Leamy
Make sure to check out Nathan’s last post, “Breaducation.”

Often when out and about with friends, I am introduced to people as ‘Nathan: he bakes bread.’ It’s true. I spend a lot of time baking and eating bread. But as much time as I spend with baked goods in a practical relationship, it’s not often I spend time thinking about it in the more abstract. What is at the essence of breadyness?

After some ruminating on the topic, I finally came up with a bulleted list which divides up the taxonomy of bread into four major categories based on how (or if) they rise.

    1. Yeast breads (includes sourdoughs and commercial yeast breads, pan breads and hearth breads)
      1. White
      2. Whole-wheat
      3. Egg breads
    2. Chemical leavened breads (also called quick breads)
      1. Biscuits
        1. Crackers (a cracker is a salty, especially flat biscuit, often with docking holes)
        2. Cookies (a cookie is a sweet biscuit)
      2. Scones
      3. Cornbread
      4. Fruit bread
    3. Mechanically leavened (Steam leavened/fat leavened/air leavened (fat, eggs, etc))
      1. Croissants
      2. Some biscuits
    4. Flat breads and unleavened breads
      1. Tortillas
      2. Naan (though some Naan and pita are made with yeast and some catch yeast, they are often unleavened)
      3. Pita
      4. Matzo