Five bread recipes (and the stories behind them) from around the world
Heritage Day Recipes
Did you know that wheat is the most consumed grain in the world? Considering its growing conditions, nutrition quality, and how delicious it is, it might not be too surprising. What may surprise you though, is that much of that wheat (about 22.7 million tonnes last year) came from Canada.
Once the wheat is shipped around the globe, it’s transformed into all different types of food. From Italian pasta to steamed baos in China, Life’s Simple Ingredient sure is versatile!
No matter where the wheat goes, there’s one staple that you’re always going to see (and hopefully taste), bread. What that bread looks like may differ from continent to continent, or culture to culture, but bread transcends all borders and languages as a universal food that brings us together and fuels our bodies.
So in celebration of Heritage Day and coming together, we pulled together some of our favourite traditional bread recipes (and some history behind them) from around the world.
Injera bread is not just a dinnertime staple, it’s also your utensil for tonight’s meal! Characterized by hundreds of little bubbles making a spongy texture, Injera is the perfect side dish for soaking up rich Ethopian stews and sauces. This sourdough flatbread uses a mix of traditional teff flour from the area and self-rising flour to give it a rich brown colour and unique texture.
Swedes take their coffee break very seriously, so seriously that there’s a whole movement behind it, called fika. Fika is part of everyday life, where you grab a cup of coffee or tea, and a slice of Vetebrod (a cardamom wheat bread) or other baked good and take a break. The most important part of Fika is to take the time to pause. We think you should bring this practice (and the bread recipe) over to Canada too.
In Mexico, the day after Halloween is known as the Day of the Dead, a celebration of the lives of your loved ones (including pets!) who have passed on. In the weeks leading up to the Day of the Dead, Pan de Muertos – a soft sweet bread with a hint of orange water and decorated with bone-shaped pieces – is made to honour the dead and the circle of life.
Bakers in Hong Kong aim to make the softest, fluffiest bread possible, and Pai Bao takes the cake (or should we say, loaf). The secret to this sweet fluffy bread is in the Tangzhong method, where bakers add cooked flour and water to the dough, changing the breads structural development.
When you think Challah, you probably picture fluffy braided loaves, but Challah is much more than that. Traditionally, Challah is any bread used in a Jewish ritual. Of course, the shiny golden braided loaves are the most famous around the world (and also incredibly delicious). The braid is what sets these loaves of bread apart. Bakers wrap dough strands together to represent twelve loaves in the ancient Temple of Jersusalem.