Best Types of Italian Bread For Classic Cuisine! - MomDot (2023)

Italians love baking different types of Italian bread, although they don’t eat it as much as the French do. Nevertheless, a typical Italian will eat some bread every day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In this article, we’ll list some of the most popular Italian bread types, so keep on reading to learn more about them and find the right bread for your dishes!

Rules For Eating Italian Bread

Food plays an essential role in Italian culture. This is why some rules should be followed while eating Italian bread.

  • Bread is meant to be eaten with other types of food, except pasta. Pasta is made of starch, and adding bread to the plate doesn’t make sense from an Italian point of view. People usually eat bread with their soup, main course, or vegetables, usually using pieces of bread to add food to their fork while they’re enjoying a delicious Italian meal.
  • In Italy, people don’t dip bread in olive oil or add butter on top. However, in some cases, the bread is toasted with olive oil drizzled on top of it. In this case, the bread can be eaten as a snack before the main meal.
  • You may use pieces of Italian bread to scoop up the remaining sauce on the plate in less formal gatherings.
  • In some parts of Italy, the bread is baked without any salt. You shouldn’t add any salt to it because in most cases, the food served with the bread is very salty.

Types of Italian Bread

Italy has a wide variety of bread types that can be served for multiple meals. There are regional differences, but all kinds of Italian bread are tasty.

1. Focaccia

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Focaccia is extremely popular all over the world because it usually combines impressive flavors from the herbs used to give this bread a distinctive look and taste. This is an oven-baked flatbread that has a texture that resembles pizza dough. Focaccia bread is soft and usually infused with several herbs to enhance the flavor.

In the simplest forms, focaccia bread is drizzled with some olive oil on top. It can be served in a bread basket or sliced for making sandwiches. The more complicated versions of focaccia are topped with different types of vegetables and meats or cold cuts. There’s also a sweet version, which is served as a dessert.

2. Ciabatta

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The Ciabatta bread is one of the most popular types of Italian bread due to its unique soft honeycomb texture. The bread is usually elongated and can be served warm or cold. Compared to other Italian bread types, this one is relatively modern, as an Italian baker introduced it to the market in the 1980s.

The bread is usually sliced at an angle and served with olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and salt before the meal or as a side to salads and soups. It can also be used to make sandwiches, where the filling can be made of meat, cheese, and fresh vegetables. Most people use Ciabatta bread to make paninis because it can handle grilling.

3. Pane Toscano

Pane Toscano originates in Tuscany and is baked in a wood-fired oven to give the bread its distinctive flavor. This bread is large and round, looking very much like a traditional white loaf, but flatter.

People usually serve the Pane Toscano bread with soups and stews, or as an appetizer with Tuscan pecorino cheese. It also goes well with cured meats or salty antipasti like salami and prosciutto.

Before eating this bread, you need to drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of it to soften its texture. It can be used to scoop up any leftover sauces when your plate is finished.

4. Panigacci

This simple flatbread comes from the Lunigiana, and the dough is made of flour, salt, and water. The dough is then shaped into small discs that are baked in an open fire oven.

The Panigacci bread is usually served with cheese and several types of cured meat. It’s also quite popular in Italian street food.

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5. Piadina Romagnola

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This is another type of simple flatbread that became very popular in the 20th century, so much so that it was even called the “bread of poverty” in a poem called La Piada. Today, this recipe is awarded a PGI status under European Law as it has become a staple in the cuisine of the Emilia-Romagna region.

People usually use the Piadina Romagnola to make sandwiches, and it’s recommended to eat warm. The most popular filling used is cream cheese, prosciutto, tomatoes, and wild arugula.

6. Pizza Bianca

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This is a crossover between pizza (by the way, check out this amazing meatball pizza recipe!) and bread and is usually served warm. The dough is rather thick, so it looks and tastes more like bread than pizza.

Some olive oil is drizzled on top of the Pizza Bianca while it’s still hot. In some cases, fresh mozzarella is spread on top, so the cheese will melt a little because of the heat of the bread. In the sweet version, it can be served with chocolate.

7. Coppia Ferrarese

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This classic sourdough bread dates back to the 1200s and gained a PGI status under European Law. This means that at least one stage of its production should take place in Ferrara, where it originally comes from. A special malt is used to give this bread a distinctive flavor.

The dough is shaped in a criss-cross pattern, achieved by twisting four strands on top of each other. It’s best eaten on the day it’s produced and should be kept in a brown paper bag. Coppia Ferrarese pairs well with eel broth and other fish soups. It can also be used to make bread soup.

8. Civraxiu

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Civraxiu comes from Sardinia and is usually crispy on the outside while being tender and soft on the inside. It’s made using regular flour and semolina flour, and it tends to be a little lighter on the inside.

In the past, people used to prepare this bread once a week and keep it in cellars wrapped in cloth. Because of its crunchy, yet soft, texture it pairs well with soups and dishes where you need to scoop up the sauce. It’s usually served warm as an appetizer after dipping it in olive oil or drippings from roasted meat.

9. Pane Pugliese

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The origins of the Pane Pugliese can be traced back to the Turks who ruled southern Italy in medieval times. This sourdough bread is made using flour, water, and yeast but gets its distinctive shape and texture from the kneading technique. The long fermentation process strengthens the flavors in this bread, while the golden crust makes it an excellent choice for soups and stews.

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The dough is a little challenging to work with, but after following the wet dough folding method, the resulting bread will be airy and soft. The Pane Pugliese is usually used to make bruschetta.

10. Ciriola

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This bread is named after its flame-shaped crust, and the word Ciriola means “candle” in Italian. However, locally, the name refers to the eels which are widely consumed in Italy and resemble the bread.

The bread is crusty on the outside and tender and soft on the inside. It usually hardens after baking, so it’s best consumed on the same day, or it can be used to make crostini if it gets too hard. The Ciriola bread can be served with eggs, cheese, and other types of fillings.

Wrap Up

The Italian cuisine is full of rich and tasty flavors, and Italian bread complements these delicious dishes. Food should never be wasted in Italy, so even if the bread gets stale, it can still be incorporated into some of the tastiest dishes. We hope our guide to the best types of Italian bread has helped you find the right side for your Italian dishes!


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What is the most famous bread in Italy? ›

Perhaps the most well-known and popular Italian bread, ciabatta is a slipper-shaped bread. It has a unique, almost plasticity, texture, which makes it possible to do practically anything with this bread.

What are the names of some Italian breads? ›

Each region of Italy produces its own unique types of Italian bread. Liguria and Puglia are famous for their focaccia, Basilicata is known for Pane di Matera, and Veneto boasts fantastic Ciabatta.

What type of bread is Italian bread? ›

Italian loaves vary by region, from pane casareccio in Puglia and its cousin, pane genzano in Rome, both with crusty tops, to softer sesame-topped loaves from Sicily. French bread is typically made from wheat flour, water, yeast and salt.

What is Italy's national bread? ›

Ciabatta is made with a strong flour and uses a much wetter dough than traditional French bread.
Place of originItaly
Region or stateVeneto
Main ingredientsWheat flour or whole wheat flour, water, yeast, salt
Cookbook: Ciabatta Media: Ciabatta
1 more row

Where is the best bread in Italy? ›

Look no further than Italy's heel. It may be controversial — in fact, we know it is — but many Italians believe the best bread comes from the region of Puglia. The town of Altamura in Southeast Italy is known for its traditional large knots of bread called Pane di Altamura.

What is the best bread to serve with lasagna? ›

Some of the best types of bread to serve with lasagna include a nice chewy ciabatta, focaccia, asiago, and of course – garlic bread! For a truly authentic feel, serve your bread with a small bowls of olive oil for dipping.

Why is Italian bread different? ›

Italian flour is made from softer wheat than French. This makes the dough more soft and subtle. Italian bread often contains fat such as olive oil and sugar or honey. These act to laminate the dough, again helping to create a softer bread.

What bread is usually served with pasta? ›

Did you know that you can make delicious garlic bread in just about 5 minutes?! It's the perfect side to serve with pasta since it tastes even better when slathered in tomato sauce.

What is the most commonly used bread? ›

The Most Commonly Used Bread for Sandwiches
  • White Bread. White bread is as classic as it gets. ...
  • Baguette. Baguettes are texturally exciting. ...
  • Ciabatta. Ciabatta is Italy's answer to baguettes. ...
  • Sourdough. As the name suggests, sourdough is known for having a tangy flavor and an ultra-chewy texture. ...
  • Milk Bread. ...
  • Pandesal.

Which type of bread is the most commonly used? ›

Yeast Bread – loaf bread is the most commonly used bread for sandwiches. 1. White Bread – These are long rectangular loaves that provide square slices. It is one of the most versatile sandwich bread, it comes in various flavors and goes well with everything and toast nicely.

What are the 3 main types of bread? ›

There are three main kinds of bread in the world those that rise highest so are baked in pans, breads with a medium volume like rye and French breads, and those that hardly rise at all called flatbreads.

What is a loaf of Italian bread called? ›

They bake a number of different types of bread, but the filone is the classic loaf, called “pane napoletana” by the people who work at Renella. Not terribly Roman in name, though you will find it on the table of almost every restaurant in one of Rome's most Roman neighborhoods, Trastevere.

Why is Italian bread so good? ›

Italian bread has a delightfully savory flavor that comes from the ingredients, baking method, and toppings. This savory flavor pairs well with other traditional Italian dishes to create a flavor-packed meal.

What flour is used for bread in Italy? ›

Breads and pastas usually use grano duro, or hard wheat, because of the higher gluten content. Most sweets and cakes use soft flour or grano tenero.

What is Italian white bread called? ›

Ciabatta in Italian means “Slipper” due to the shape of the bread resembling one. Ciabatta is a white bread that stems from a baker in Rovigo, Veneto, Italy.

Why is Italian bread yellow? ›

This is due to the use of organically produced durum wheat (Triticum durum). The yellow bread is prepared with semolina, so as to increase the grain's fine character, mixed with water and natural yeast prepared by a company.

Is Tuscan bread the same as Italian? ›

Same basic ingredients, completely different breads! Tuscan bread not only lacks depth of flavor without salt, the crust also doesn't brown and the structure is much more delicate. There are many theories for why the Tuscans started making their bread this way.

What grain makes the best bread? ›

Wheat is also the best grain for bread making. A kernel of wheat is known as the five-in-one; it is about 11 percent protein, and contains carbohydrates, both soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The less it is processed, the more nutritious it is.

What is the healthiest Italian bread? ›

If you think you need to lose the bread to stay healthy, think again! Healthy Life Italian Bread is The Original Dieter's Dream® with high fiber and 35 calories per slice. Whether you're cutting carbs, watching calories, or simply trying to stay fit, Healthy Life Bread is the Answer!

What country is best known for bread? ›

Germans have more bakeries and eat more varieties of bread than most other countries in the world (although we might not go toe-to-toe with France on the bakery count).

Do Italians eat garlic bread with lasagna? ›

No, in Italy garlic bread is not served with pasta, the bread that is put on the table along with the pasta dish is often used to mop up the last of the sauce on your plate.

How is bread served with an Italian meal? ›

Italians don't slather their bread with butter, nor dip it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They enjoy it with a light drizzle of olive oil or plain. Resist the urge to dip or ask for butter.

Why does Italian bread have holes? ›

Excess yeast causes extra air bubbles to form, creating holes in the baked bread. You prepared the recipe correctly. The interaction of the various ingredients and the preparation method used for French bread and sourdough bread are intended to create a bread which has a coarse texture and uneven holes.

What is crusty Italian bread called? ›

Ciabatta. Ciabatta is a rustic Italian loaf that's filled with tons of irregularly-shaped air pockets. It's super crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside, making it an ideal choice for making sandwiches.

Why don t Italians salt their bread? ›

The most straightforward of these is that salt was heavily taxed, making it too costly for most of the population. So, they simply started making their bread without it. One of the popular stories ties pane toscano (Tuscan bread) to a long-standing feud between the city-states of Florence and Pisa.

Do Italians serve bread with dinner? ›

Bread is Consumed With Your Meal

Few Italians eat bread before a meal. We all love bread yet it is meant to be enjoyed with the actual meal itself, not in advance of the main dish. Many Italians will intentionally save their bread to clean up leftover sauces that remain on the plate.

What do Italians eat with pasta? ›

Pasta is often served as a primo (first course), with a meat, seafood or vegetable course called a secondo coming after that. To do as the Italians do, try serving a smaller portion of pasta as a primo for an Italian-inspired dinner party, or as precursor to a meat, fish or vegetable main.

What bread do you eat with tomato soup? ›

Dedicated carnivores will love the prospect of a doorstop bacon sandwich served with their bowl of tomato soup. White bread works best here, and if you're feeling fancy, you might want to select a ciabatta or crusty variety.

What is the most popular bread used in sandwiches? ›

So, what are the best sandwich breads? Some of the best and most popular options include sourdough, whole wheat, multigrain, ciabatta, and rye bread. The best bread will also largely depend on your toppings, if you are grilling the bread or not, and what the actual sandwich recipe is.

What type of bread molds the most? ›

Organic white bread usually molds faster than non-organic white bread because it contains fewer preservatives. Homemade bread molds faster than store-bought bread because it's harder to control its acidity levels and may contain fewer preservatives.

What is the most eaten bread in USA? ›


There is no food more American than the classic cornbread. The soft, but firm baked bread made with cornmeal is easily the most important memorabilia of the American past, which is especially associated with the American South.

What are the eight types of bread? ›

Types of Bread
  • Based on Fermentation – Yeasted Bread and Sourdough Bread. ...
  • Based on Chemical Additives- Commercial Bread and Natural Bread. ...
  • Based on Flour- Brown Bread, Whole Wheat Flour, Multigrain Bread, and Gluten-Free Bread.

What are the 6 main ingredients in bread? ›

Basic Yeast Bread Ingredients
  • Flour.
  • Yeast.
  • Liquid.
  • Salt.
  • Fat.
  • Sugar.
  • Eggs.
  • Sourdough Starter.
26 Jun 2019

What are the 5 main ingredients in bread? ›

The 5 bread ingredients are:
  • flour.
  • yeast.
  • sugar.
  • salt.
  • oil.
16 Sept 2022

What are the 5 types of quick breads? ›

Quick breads include muffins, biscuits, scones, cornbread, and quick loaf breads like banana bread and zucchini bread.

What is traditional bread? ›

Traditional bread recipes usually have just five or so ingredients: flour, water, yeast, salt, and either some type of sweetener or maybe herbs or spices. If you look at the ingredient list on a loaf of modern bread, though, you'll almost always find a lot of extra ingredients that you can't even pronounce.

What are the classic bread shapes? ›

Baguette, Batard, Baton, Boule, Ficelle (shapes)

A Batard is shorter and thicker, similar to a football shape. A Baton is a smaller baguette. A Boule (Fr.: ball) is round and somewhat dome-shaped. A Ficelle (Fr.: string) is a very thin baguette.

What are 2 types of Italian bread? ›

Baking Like An Italian – Guide To 5 Famous Breads of Italy
  • Focaccia. Out of all the famous breads of Italy, the Focaccia is one of the most loved. ...
  • Ciabatta. The Ciabatta, is another common type of Italian bread, easy to find on the shelves of your nearest supermarket. ...
  • Coppia Ferrarese. ...
  • Piadina Romagnola. ...
  • Grissino.
25 Apr 2019

What are the 12 grains in bread? ›

The prime ingredients in 12-grain bread include whole wheat, amaranth, barley, oats, rye, soy, buckwheat, sesame seeds, millet, triticale, and flaxseeds. However, 12-grain bread isn't always whole grain bread. A loaf of bread must be produced entirely with whole-grain flour to be whole grain bread.

What are the 5 different types of bread used for sandwich? ›

Sandwich breads are produced in many varieties, such as white, whole wheat, sourdough, rye, multigrain and others.

What is the bread you get in Italian restaurants? ›

Types of Italian Bread
  • Pane Toscano.
  • Piadina Romagnola.
  • Ciabatta.
  • Focaccia.
  • Pane Pugliese.
  • Coppia Ferrarese.
  • Filone.
  • Brioche col Tuppo.
13 Sept 2022

What gives Italian bread flavor? ›

In accordance with Italian baking traditions, only flour from durum wheat (Tritucum durum) is used in true Italian breads. This flour gives a unique texture, flavor, aroma and color on the baked goods and requires special formulation and dough processing.

What bread do Italians use for sandwiches? ›


Ciabatta is renowned in Italy and worldwide. The typical ingredient mixture of this type of bread consists of olive oil, salt, wheat flour, yeast and water. Ciabatta bread is a flat and elongated bread and is the most common bread used for making Italian sandwiches and various other types of snacks.

What is soft Italian bread called? ›

Ciabatta is soft, light and porous with a crisp crust. There are regional varieties of Ciabatta throughout Italy. Colomba Pasquale – Natural yeast, butter, flour, sugar, and eggs are used to produce this bread, traditionally baked on Easter.

What is artisan Italian bread? ›

Flour, water, salt and yeast are the key ingredients of most artisan breads - and a lack of chemical additives in its ingredients list is a sign that it is truly artisan. Sourdough breads may not even include yeast, as they rely on a culture for leavening instead.

What is the best Italian flour? ›

Arguably the best type of Italian flour is 00 flour, which is a refined flour that can be used for various purposes. Depending on how it is milled, 00 flour can be specifically used as pizza flour, pasta flour, or pastry flour.

How many types of Italian bread are there? ›

There are about 350 types of Italian bread, and these delicious loaves are enjoyed with nearly every meal whether there's meat, seafood, or a traditional pasta dish on the menu. And while many Italian families bake their own bread at home, there are still approximately 20,000 bakeries all over Italy.

How do you make crispy Italian bread? ›

How to Revive Stale Bread
  1. Begin by heating the oven to 300 degrees F. ...
  2. Take your whole loaf or partial loaf and run it quickly under running water just to wet the outside. ...
  3. Place the loaf on a baking sheet and heat until it is dry and crusty on the outside — 6 to 10 minutes, depending on its size and wetness.
27 Apr 2020

What kind of bread is good with spaghetti? ›

Garlic bread, rolls, and breadsticks

What is this? No more wondering what to serve with spaghetti—you'll want to try every one of these bread options! Air-Fryer Garlic Bread is crisp, cheesy, and perfect when you don't want to turn on the oven. Pro tip: use fresh garlic for authentic Italian flavor.

Why is there no garlic bread in Italy? ›

Garlic bread can not be found in Italy, as Italian cuisine uses garlic parsimoniously and the bread at the table is usually eaten plain. In France, it was common in Provence, where it was called chapon and served with salad.

What are Italian bread rolls called? ›

Ciabatta (/tʃəˈbɑːtə, -ˈbæt-/, Italian: [tʃaˈbatta]; literally "slipper") is an Italian white bread made from wheat flour, water, salt, yeast and olive oil, created in 1982 by a baker in Adria, province of Rovigo, Veneto, Italy, in response to the popularity of French baguettes.

What is the difference between Italian bread and Sicilian bread? ›

Many types of bread fall under the “Italian bread” category. There's crusty and airy ciabatta, which we all know and love. Focaccia, the olive-oil-rich bread studded with rosemary and flaky sea salt, has a chewy crust and spongy texture. Sicilian bread is made with semolina flour and topped with sesame seeds.

Is ciabatta the same as Italian bread? ›

Ciabatta is a rustic Italian bread that is made from wheat flour, water, olive oil, salt, and yeast.

Which bread is softer Italian or French? ›

Italian bread loaves tend to be shorter and plumper. French bread tends to be hard and crusty on the outside, with a light and soft crumb. Italian bread can also have a hard crust, but the crumb tends to be denser.

Which is better Italian bread or French bread? ›

Differences in bread taste and texture

The crusts of the bread from the two countries tend to contain the biggest differences between nations. French bread generally comes with a thick, crunchy crust -with a light crumb. Italian crusts are more tearable and thick, making bread with a denser, more hearty crumb.

What brand of bread is the most popular? ›

Top 50 Scanned: White Bread beta
#1Butterbread Nature's Own1 slice
#2White Whole Grain Sara Lee2 slices
#3Whitewheat Enriched Bread Nature's Own2 slices
#4Premium Italian Bread Brownberry1 slice
46 more rows

Is sourdough and Italian bread the same? ›

Besides the obvious (Ciabatta is an Italian bread), one difference between ciabatta and sourdough is the leavening agent. Ciabatta uses a commercial leavening agent such as dry, instant, or fresh yeast, while sourdough does not. It uses a natural culture of wild yeasts and acid to raise the bread.

What is the round Italian bread called? ›

Pagnotta – Italian Round Bread. Pagnotta – simple and delicious Italian round country bread made at home.

What country eats the most bread? ›

An enormous variety of bread is available across Europe. Germany alone lays claim to over 1,300 basic varieties of breads, rolls, and pastries, as well as having the largest consumption of bread per capita worldwide. Bread and salt is a welcome greeting ceremony in many central and eastern European cultures.

What is the number one bread in America? ›

There is no food more American than the classic cornbread. The soft, but firm baked bread made with cornmeal is easily the most important memorabilia of the American past, which is especially associated with the American South.

What brand of bread is the best for toast? ›

Different breads need different kinds of toasting. Tender, buttery brioche can't take high heat; denser, moister whole-grain breads can. Challah, ciabatta, semolina bread, baguettes split lengthwise, pain de campagne — all make fine toast (actually, day-old bread makes the best toast), given proper attention.


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