The Top 5 Italian Bread Types

What is life without bread? Thankfully in Italy, you’ll never have to find out. Italians are obsessed with bread, and there are plenty of styles and recipes to choose from. Take a look below to discover some of the best Italian bread types to add to your next meal.

Ciabatta

Ciabatta is beloved in Italian and a sandwich staple in the United States. Ciabatta is an Italian word that translates to “slipper” due to its slender shape and rounded corners. This bread is soft and chewy on the inside while being firm and crusty on the outside, allowing it to hold up to ingredients like tomato and pesto, which can make other breads rather soggy. When eating this bread, you’ll notice a slightly nutty flavor, though the general bite is smooth. Ciabatta was invented in 1982 as Europe was largely enamored with the similar texture of the French baguette. Consider using ciabatta the next time you make a caprese sandwich for the optimal combination of textures and flavors.

Focaccia

Nowadays, focaccia is a wildly popular bread choice that many amateur chefs make right at home. This bread uses an abundance of olive oil and is baked using a flat sheet pan. You can also top this bread with herbs and veggies, such as thyme, rosemary, tomatoes, and garlic. Focaccia recipes vary in Italy, and you can even find sweet versions of the bread in some areas. This versatile bread is a great appetizer for guests. Pair with an olive oil and balsamic dipping sauce for maximum enjoyment.

Grissini

Sometimes what your meal is missing is a crisp breadstick. Thankfully, Italians know the perfect way to make them! Grissini is a thin, hand-stretched breadstick that works well for dipping and snacking. You can serve them as an appetizer or alongside a delicious soup. Grissini is pretty easy to make at home as well and can be topped with sweet or savory ingredients. Choose rosemary, parmesan, or sugar for your next homemade batch.

Panettone

Christmas is nothing without panettone. This sweet yellow bread is soft and filled with fruits like raisins and citrus. Though panettone traditionally consists of candied fruits, you can also find other versions that are frosted with chocolate or filled with cream. Panettone is probably one of the most difficult breads to make on this list, so you may fare better visiting an Italian bakery to get your fix. However, if you do decide to take on this feat, be prepared to spend a few days waiting for the dough to rise and dry before popping it into the oven.

Buccellato

Another sweet bread, buccellato, stems from Lucca, Italy. Round, soft, and incredibly delicious, buccellato boasts a brown crust and consists of raisins and aniseed. This bread is shaped into a ring and can be stuffed with a variety of candied fruits, much like panettone. Bucellato was beloved by the Roman army, and many households in Italy, particularly in Lucca, will serve you this bread as a treat. This bread can take just under 2 hours to make, which is great for those who are looking for a simple treat on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Book a Table at Nico Boston Today!

For the best brunch in Boston, join us at Nico Saturdays and Sundays. We offer a selection of brunch foods for every taste, including sweet monkey bread, our specialty French toast, and a Lobster Benedetto you’ll fall in love with. Make a reservation today!

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