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Jul 4, 2013 08:51 AM

What Is Your Favorite Country/Region for Bread?

The possibilities, of course, are almost endless. My favorite region, however, is undoubtedly Eastern Europe and Russia. I love the use of rye, caraway and onion, and I could live on Russian chernyi khleb (black bread).

I don't spose any of you lot have an opinion on this subject.

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    1. re: Veggo

      Even Cambodia?

      (Or is it Kampuchea? I can never keep up with the geographical musical chairs.)

      1. re: Veggo

        You need cuban bread to make a proper cuban sandwich. A hero or baguette doesn't work.

        1. re: Bkeats

          I agree. And the bread is the least tasty part of the sandwich.

          1. re: Veggo

            while I can't speak of the bread in Havana, a fresh loaf from La Segunda in Tampa is right up there.

            Nothing but nothing beats a French baguette, still warm from the oven.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Bread directly from the bakeries in Cuba wasn't bad. Not mind-blowing, but perfectly fine, if a touch sweet.

            2. re: Veggo

              how does Cuban bread from Havana taste, compared to La Segunda?

              1. re: sunshine842

                I can't say - I haven't been to La Segunda. I find the Cuban bread at the Columbia to be bland and dries out quickly, but good for mopping up the garlicky sauce from the shrimp side to the 1905 salad. A spot near me does the warm pressed Cuban and the bread is like cardboard by the second half. Cuban bread in Cuba is not as dry because of the humidity and lack of AC.

                1. re: Veggo

                  that's the downside of the Columbia - they keep it in the ovens to keep it warm, but it dries it out.

                  A hot pressed Cuban (all the way, naturally...) does end up like cardboard -- the bread ends up squished to nearly paper-thin, and with the grill, it's almost more cracker-ish (which is not necessarily a bad thing - a good Cuban sanguiche is near and dear to my heart!)

                  I know darned well that Cuban sandwiches don't exist in Havana, though (unless they've been taken back fromTampa...)

                  Is Cuban bread (in Havana) in the long thin loaves? The story goes that Cuban bread in Florida is long and thin because it was a good way to make the bread last longer during a flour shortage.

                  (purely useless information - old houses in and around Ybor City to this day have a tenpenny nail in the door was where they hung the bread when it was delivered before down -- out of reach of neighborhood cats and dogs)

        2. Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian breads, hands down. I agree with you PK on the black bread; Danish rugbrød piled with open-sandwich-tidbits also spins me like a top. But this is just nostalgia now; I've been exiled to the gulags in the outer reaches of GlutenFreeberia and let me state for the record: the bread here is lousy.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cayjohan

            You have my sympathies.

            I recently managed to score a loaf of onion rye bread from my local mega-grocery chain and was blown away by how good it was. Verily, it was the inspiration for this thread topic.

            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              If you have any sort of Russian market available in your area, go check out some of the imported breads. Now, Cyrillic is definitely not my forte, so I made all my loaf choices based on 1) is it blacker than espresso? and 2) is it as dense as a neutron star? Never steered me wrong. Now, how old those imported loaves were, I have no idea; it doesn't seem to matter much with such types of bread - they just get tarter and more delicious.

              1. re: cayjohan

                Heh. Good description. Alas, the nearest Russian market to my abode is at least three parsecs.

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Well that distance might well be within Klingon territory, and worth exploring - *dark, dense and sour* seems like a perfect Klingon bread to me ("Warrior Bread.") Maybe Amazon isn't yet at odds with Federation taxation or shipping policies?

          2. Germany, especially the southern half.

            good bread is the basis of a good existence. (i have changed this saying from 'good food is the basis of a good existence')

            7 Replies
            1. re: Pata_Negra

              What breads are most typical of Bavaria?

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                sourdough, rye, and rye/wheat mixed bread. not only in Bavaria but throughout the southern region.

                i holiday in Germany every year and everytime stepping into a bakery i just want to cry.

                some g00gle pics:

                1. re: Pata_Negra

                  Bauernbrot from my Backerei in Ansbach, Frankenland. 3 Korn or 7 Kornbrot south of the Augsberg/Munchen line. All in the standard 1 Kilo loaf.

                  Brotchen from Bavaria are required with Leberkase and Wurst. Or at breakfast with butter and jam. A hardcrusted white flour roll.

                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                    Oh man, I really do miss a good Brötchen. Berlin doesn't make 'em nearly as well as the Rheinland.

                    And of course, they're called Semmel in Bavaria '-)

                    1. re: linguafood

                      because if they weren't called Semmeln, you couldn't make Semmelknudel.

                      (I have no idea why I love those gluey balls of paste so much)

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Ha! And I *hate* semmelknödel. Gluey balls of paste pretty much describes my opinion!

                  2. re: Pata_Negra

                    Those bauerbrots are wonderful and beautiful. Abendbrot using those breads was always my favorite meal of the day when I lived in Germany.

              2. I always enjoy Indian flatbreads...naan,onion kulcha. Sour rye. Everything in between, especially just as it comes out of the oven. I could be happy for a long time with good bialys.

                2 Replies
                1. re: tim irvine

                  Good call on Indian flatbreads. Well-made, fresh naan is a true delight.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    Fresh, home-made chappatis are a delight, too. And puris, right out of the fryer.

                    U.S.: desert southwest for fry bread, when fresh and steamy.
                    southern U.S.: the biscuits of my childhood, dripping with butter and honey, or smothered in sausage or redeye gravy.
                    my kitchen: sourdough, made in my 100 year old CI dutch oven. Still steaming, with ghee.

                    I think I'd like to travel the world, just sampling breads...

                2. Back when I was in school, I spent one summer traveling through Europe. I was on a train from Italy to Germany. I was sitting at a table in the dining car with a bunch of Germans and French. We were having a variety of wide ranging discussions. We talked about who made the best bread. Coming from America land of Woonderbread, I had no dog in the fight. It was interesting to listen to the two sides argue about why their bread was better. Neither side conceded anything. But when we got to cheese, the Germans didn't even put up a fuss. No argument there. So between Germany and France there was no winner on bread. A draw. But for cheese, the uunnnndisputeeed heavvvvy weight champeeeon, FRANCE.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bkeats

                    Well, that's getting a bit OT, but I wonder if France's victory would be so overwhelming today. Italian--if not German--cheese has come into its own, and so has British.

                    PS--You COULD have put in a plug for San Franciscan sourdough. ;)