Bread has been around for thousands of years and has played a role in different cultures’ diets. It has become one of the most popular staple foods that we have all grown up with, and you can still find it in nearly every household. But can vegans eat bread? I bet we all asked that question when first transforming to a vegan lifestyle.
The good news is – bread is typically vegan! The basic ingredients found in bread are flour, yeast, salt, and water. Sadly there are still some specific types of bread that call for animal-based ingredients, for example, naan bread traditionally contains yogurt. When it comes to loaves of bread sold in supermarkets, sometimes unnecessary components have been added that make some products non-vegan. Keep reading to find out what to look out for when buying bread.
Can vegans eat bread?
The good news is – you don’t have to stop going to Au Bon Pain and Subway. Whether you want to bake your bread yourself, buy it from a grocery store, or grab it from a bakery – it’s more often than not plant-based. Unless you follow a gluten-free or raw vegan diet, most types of bread are suitable for vegans. Typically the foundation of bread consists of only 4 simple ingredients that are harmless.
But it is worth keeping in mind that there are so many different varieties of bread, and all the recipes can vary slightly. So there are some exceptions – not every bread is always plant-based. Let’s look through some of the most popular types of bread and whether they are vegan-friendly or not.
Can vegans eat processed sandwich bread?
There is always so much different sandwich bread in every grocery store. White bread, whole-grain bread, multigrain bread, and the list goes on. Generally speaking, sandwich bread doesn’t need any animal-based ingredients and in most cases, is vegan-friendly.
But most sandwich bread, especially white bread, is highly processed and can contain sneaky non-vegan ingredients such as casein, lard, ghee, lecithin, whey, mono- and diglycerides. At times obvious animal products like milk, eggs, and honey are used too.
Can vegans eat pita bread?
Pita bread is a round flatbread commonly used in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and surrounding areas. It’s made with the same ingredients mentioned above – flour, yeast, salt, and water. You really don’t need anything other than those 4 components, so pita bread is vegan! Most pita bread sold in stores and served in restaurants is suitable for vegans too. However, make sure to go over the list of ingredients or ask your server to do so. In some cases, animal products such as milk, eggs, or honey have been added.
Can vegans eat ciabatta?
Yes! Originating in Italy, ciabatta is a flatbread like Greek pita. What has made people love ciabatta so much is the fluffy and soft inside and crispy crust. It’s great for sandwiches, and usually something I reach for when running late in the morning and I don’t have time for a proper breakfast.
Ciabatta is typically vegan as it consists of flour, yeast, salt, and water – just like all simple bread types.
But again, it doesn’t hurt to check the ingredients when buying it or eating out as there might be some added animal derivatives. There is also a version of this bread called ciabatta al latte, in which the dough has been softened with milk.
Can vegans eat focaccia?
Another well-known Italian bread type. It’s slightly crispy on the outside and quite chewy and airy inside. It’s rich in flavor as herbs are commonly used in focaccia recipes. Olive oil is drizzled on the bread – another trademark for focaccia.
This flatbread does not usually contain any animal-based components and tends to be vegan. Although, in some cases, eggs or butter are used instead of olive oil. That’s something to look out for.
Can vegans eat sprouted bread?
Sprouted bread has really grown in popularity lately as it has several health benefits and is generally just way better for you than regular white bread. But what is sprouted bread?
It’s a type of bread made from whole grains that have germinated before being milled into flour. Sprouted bread doesn’t contain any animal products and the ingredient list tends to be a lot shorter compared to some other kinds of bread found in supermarkets. So it’s rare to find any unnecessary animal-based food additives here.
Ezekiel bread is probably the most well-known sprouted bread around. And it isn’t just healthy – it also has a very pure and earthy flavor.
Non-vegan bread types to avoid
As we can see, most varieties of bread are traditionally vegan-friendly. But there tend to be a few exceptions to everything, and this is no different. There are a few popular bread products that call for some kind of animal-based ingredients in their original recipes. And therefore, they cannot be considered vegan unless specifically stated so.
- Naan Bread – This Indian flatbread is loved by many, but unfortunately, it’s not something that vegans can enjoy. You can find more than one non-vegan ingredient in naan bread. Those being yogurt, milk, eggs, and ghee.
- Brioche Bread – This soft and slightly sweet bread originating in France is not commonly vegan either. Two of the main components used to bake brioche are eggs and butter.
- Challah – A traditional Jewish bread that’s either braided or twisted. It has a strong egg flavor, making eggs one of the main ingredients.
So while those bread varieties are not usually vegan-friendly, it does not mean that you can never have them again. With veganism getting more and more popular – it’s possible to find vegan versions of anything. And if you like baking, why not veganize it yourself?
Can vegans eat pasta?
If you’re wondering about whether you can eat bread, you might be wondering about pasta too. The two dough recipes two are quite similar. So is pasta vegan too? Usually! You might want to avoid fresh pasta, as it’s made from flour, water, salt, and eggs.
However, dried pasta that you find in grocery stores is almost always suitable for vegans. The pasta is mass-produced and dried at high temperatures to preserve it, and very rarely contains eggs. But it’s good to read through the ingredients just to be sure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Most bread types are suitable for vegans. Although it’s still good to check the ingredients because sometimes, animal-based ingredients have been added.
Both are usually fine for vegans. You can read the label to be safe.
Unfortunately, most bread is baked, so not suitable for people following a raw vegan diet.
Most bread is traditionally vegan-friendly! That includes white bread, multigrain bread, pita bread, focaccia, ciabatta, rye bread, and sprouted bread.