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Creative bread/Different bread around the world. Please tell me about them!

 
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My family ate at a traditional Chinese bao restaurant last week and it got me thinking about how much I love bread and how there are probably countless delicious bread traditions/recipes around the world that I wouldn't even know the name of.

Please share with me some lesser known breads that you enjoy so I can do an internet search for recipes and give them a try. TIA

(PS I just have to note that, man, the bread forum blew up today. Sheesh! There are a lot of posts to catch up on.)
 
Jenny Wright
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Chinese bao or baozi is a light and fluffy steamed bread bun that usually has a filling, anything from meat, veggies, custard, or one of my favorites- sweet red bean paste.
It's so so so good. My mouth is watering just thinking of it. The closest place we can buy it is an hour away so it's a special treat to get. We make them ourselves as well but it's a lot of work to make the fillings and the bread dough and then steam them with in a little bamboo steamer on the stove, though you can cook them in the oven too for a slightly different texture.
Screenshot_20211217-222427-2.png
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As a kid we ate dark German bread with peanut butter.  We really liked it and I can't remember the name of it, but it was good. I love all breads, but I'm diabetic and have to my sugar when I eat it. Geno
 
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They are a lot of hard Dark Rye breads from Northern Europe and Russia.
 
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James Sullivan wrote:They are a lot of hard Dark Rye breads from Northern Europe and Russia.



Just a quick internet search and I see that in some places in Germany, they steam rye bread for up to 24 hours. That sounds interesting. I can't think of what the texture would be like. Have you tried that or even heard of it?
 
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https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/world-50-best-breads/index.html

I think I found what I was looking for in this article. Here's a jumping off place for me to try out some different types of bread from around the world, or at least start reading about them and searching for recipes.
 
James Sullivan
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Jenny Wright wrote:

James Sullivan wrote:They a.a lot of hard Dark Rye breads from Northern Europe and Russia.



Just a quick internet search and I see that in some places in Germany, they steam rye bread for up to 24 hours. That sounds interesting. I can't think of what the texture would be like. Have you tried that or even heard of it?




I've had rye bread in Iceland that was baked in beach sand, was heated geothermally for 24hrs and that was very good. Served with fresh butter I was in heaven. It was on the list Dökkt rúgbrauð, Iceland.  Also had Appam at a Sri Lankan restaurant but thought they were called hoppers, this is made sweet or savory.
 
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James Sullivan wrote:

Jenny Wright wrote:

James Sullivan wrote:They a.a lot of hard Dark Rye breads from Northern Europe and Russia.



Just a quick internet search and I see that in some places in Germany, they steam rye bread for up to 24 hours. That sounds interesting. I can't think of what the texture would be like. Have you tried that or even heard of it?




I've had rye bread in Iceland that was baked in beach sand, was heated geothermally for 24hrs and that was very good. Served with fresh butter I was in heaven.



Oh that sounds so interesting and yummy! What was the texture/taste like? I've never had any kind of bread that baked longer than ~40 minutes.
 
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Jenny Wright wrote:

James Sullivan wrote:
I've had rye bread in Iceland that was baked in beach sand, was heated geothermally for 24hrs and that was very good. Served with fresh butter I was in heaven.



Oh that sounds so interesting and yummy! What was the texture/taste like? I've never had any kind of bread that baked longer than ~40 minutes.



Dense but spongy, was made in a Stock pot so the loaf was huge and offered to the tour group.
 
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Jenny Wright wrote:

James Sullivan wrote:They are a lot of hard Dark Rye breads from Northern Europe and Russia.



Just a quick internet search and I see that in some places in Germany, they steam rye bread for up to 24 hours. That sounds interesting. I can't think of what the texture would be like. Have you tried that or even heard of it?


This is the German pumpernickel (I mentioned it before in another thread, apparently there is a bread called pumpernickel in the US that doesn't resemble the original much).

The low-temperature steaming caramelizes the starches and the taste is very rich and profound and definitely sweet. The crumb is not fluffy at all but dense and chewy and moist.
I don't live in pumpernickel country but I like to eat it from time to time.

ETA: The wikipedia article says it is no caramelization in the proper sense of the word but rather a Maillard reaction.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpernickel
 
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Anita Martin wrote:

The low-temperature steaming caramelizes the starches and the taste is very rich and profound and definitely sweet. The crumb is not fluffy at all but dense and chewy and moist.
I don't live in pumpernickel country but I like to eat it from time to time.

ETA: The wikipedia article says it is no caramelization in the proper sense of the word but rather a Maillard reaction.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpernickel



I wonder if this is the pumpernickel I used to eat when I was a little kid. My mom used to stop at this bakery and we would get a loaf as a treat. Then we stopped going there and when I tried the pumpernickel at the store as an adult, I was vastly disappointed! It was not the same at all, kind of salty, dry, and sour. Dense, chewy and slightly sweet is what I remember loving as a kid.
 
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Jenny Wright wrote:Chinese bao or baozi is a light and fluffy steamed bread bun that usually has a filling, anything from meat, veggies, custard, or one of my favorites- sweet red bean paste.


If you take that dough, you can just steam it plain as buns (called mantou in some places). There are some nice varieties using dough flavored with sweet potato or pumpkin, and I just did a 100% whole wheat one a few weeks ago that was absolutely exceptional.


I also do a lot of stovetop breads -- either chinese flatbreads with sourdough starter, with and without additions (scallions and sesame is the bomb), and also turkish breads and their cousins naan, roti, etc.... I start dinner after I get done with work, and right now it's hella hot here and no ovens are coming on, and we're doing some pretty serious flatbread rotations.
 
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Injera is a fun one to try. Ethiopian sourdough flatbread made with teff, an east African grain.  It is a fermented batter cooked like a crepe on a griddle. It has a sour taste and a spongy texture. If you go to a Ethiopian restaurant they serve the food on a large platter lined with injera and give you some extra to use to pick up the food.

I have made it at home using teff flour and my usual rye/wheat sourdough starter. It is not the same as you get at restaurants, but still works.

 
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Jenny Wright wrote:
I wonder if this is the pumpernickel I used to eat when I was a little kid. My mom used to stop at this bakery and we would get a loaf as a treat. Then we stopped going there and when I tried the pumpernickel at the store as an adult, I was vastly disappointed! It was not the same at all, kind of salty, dry, and sour. Dense, chewy and slightly sweet is what I remember loving as a kid.


Very likely they changed the machinery/setup in the bakery. The wikipedia article I had linked says that pumpernickel is normally not baked in a regular bakery as it would occupy the oven for a day and a night in a row, disturbing the "normal" bread baking. And on weekends they can't do it either due to legal work restrictions.
So they probably just gave up the traditional procedure and make a pumpernickel that only has some resemblance to the original one.

This has also happened here in Germany when traditional sourdough fell out of favour because it is more cost-intensive (meaning it needs more labour and occupies more space due to the long fermenting) - in order to make a higher profit many bakeries have started to import the pre-made loaves (from China or Eastern Europe) and only give the last oven touch in their "Bake shops" (IIRC, the may not be called bakeries).
However, the media has reported on this trend and there is a backlash: people are treasuring real sourdough bread again and many are willing to pay the price of artisan bread here.

The picture shows the entry of the bakery in the monastery next town (same building as my son's school) and the shop entry says "baking bread since 1492".
IMG-20140323-01106.jpg
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