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Is all bread vegan?
Almost any bread is made with four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Yeast is a type of microscopic fungus used to help bread rise. So the simplest form of bread is indeed vegan.
But not every bread is made with only those basic ingredients. Some types of bread also include additional ingredients like sweeteners or fats. And those can be made of animal ingredients.
Some bread recipes may also use eggs, milk, butter, or honey to give it a different flavor of texture. So those types of bread aren’t vegan.
Yet, the majority of bread like sandwich bread, baguettes, sourdough, bagels, and pita are vegan, in most cases. If you’re unsure, check the label or ask the vendor about how it’s made.
How to tell whether bread is vegan?
The best way to check whether bread is vegan or not is by checking the ingredient list. Avoid bread that contains animal ingredients like dairy, eggs, butter, buttermilk, gelatin, or bee products.
Some bread may also contain monoglycerides, diglycerides, and lecithin. Those ingredients are usually vegan, but not always!
- Monoglycerides and diglycerides are types of fat that are used to improve texture and help to keep the bread fresh. Those types of fat are made from soybean oil, but can also be sourced from animal fats.
- Lecithin is an emulsifier made from soybeans. But it can also be sourced from eggs.
In most cases, it’s rather impossible to tell whether these two ingredients are made from soybeans or sourced from animals.
If you want to be sure that your bread is vegan, try to avoid bread with those ingredients altogether unless the product is labeled as “vegan”.
Most common types of vegan bread
Here are the most common types of vegan bread:
Bread that is prepared specifically to be used for the preparation of sandwiches.
A long and thin bread with a crispy crust and tender crumb. A French classic that’s now popular worldwide.
An Italian white bread that’s recognizable by its harder crust and airy crumb.
Sourdough is a type of fermented bread made from flour, water, and salt.
A flatbread made from flour, water, yeast, and salt. Some varieties may add eggs or milk for flavor, so check the label!
More vegan bread
- Kosher bread
A general rule is if the bread is less processed, it’s more likely to be vegan. Also flatbreads, savory, or dry types of bread are more likely to be vegan. Be sure to check the label of fluffier brioche-types of bread. Those types of bread often contain eggs or dairy.
How to substitute non-vegan ingredients in a bread recipe?
Making your own bread is easy and it ensures that the bread is vegan. The simplest bread recipes are naturally vegan. But it’s still possible to modify other, non-vegan recipes to make them vegan.
Substitute for eggs
Eggs can be replaced with chia seeds. Here’s how to replace one egg:
Mix 1 tablespoon (15 mg) of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of warm water. Then wait and let it sit until the mixture gets a jelly-like consistency. Then add the mixture to your batter in the same way you would add an egg.
Substitute for butter
Plant oils like coconut oil or olive oil are a great substitute for butter.
Substitute for dairy milk
Plant-based milk like soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk is a great substitute for dairy milk. Be sure to use unsweetened milk to make it not too sweet!
Substitute for honey
Maple syrup is a great alternative to bee products like honey. To learn more about honey and why it’s not vegan, check out this article: Is honey vegan?
So as you can see, many types of bread are naturally vegan. Still, some types of bread include von-vegan ingredients like eggs, butter, milk, or honey. So the best way to ensure you’re eating vegan bread is to carefully check the label or by making your own bread.