Thinking of switching to a plant-based diet but unsure which foods are vegan? More often you believe you must give up foods you love to maintain a plant-based diet. But with bread, not at all! Even for vegans who follow a strict gluten-free diet, bread can still remain a great choice!
The majority of everyday bread is vegan. The basic ingredients of bread are all vegan. Sometimes dairy and other animal-derived products are added to enrich the dough. It’s best to check the label if you don’t make it yourself!
Of course, bread can include other ingredients and still meet vegan standards. Adding herbs, spices, fruits, and nuts are great options to make bread more interesting, whilst keeping it vegan.
It’s easy to distinguish vegan from non-vegan bread by checking the ingredients list. These are some of the main animal-derived ingredients you need to watch out for:
Now, the question is not whether vegans can eat bread — but which types of bread are safe for them to eat. Knowing these vegan-friendly bread types will help you get off to a good start!
This bread is an amazing vegan protein source! It is a flourless bread made from sprouted whole grains and legumes with no added milk, honey, or eggs. The grains and legumes create a complete protein source, something you don’t get from ordinary bread.
Ezekiel bread is one of my most recommended vegan types of bread! It is 100% vegan and is packed full of nutrients. If you want to make Ezekiel bread for yourself, give this Ezekiel bread recipe a try.
Baguette is the most notorious bread to come from France. To make sure it is vegan, you should ask for the traditional baguette. In its purest form, a baguette should only contain four ingredients: flour, salt, water, and yeast but sometimes other ingredients get added, especially in the US.
My authentic French baguette recipe is vegan-friendly.
This bread recipe doesn’t contain any animal products making it safe for vegans. Although I’ve seen some recipes with honey in them, you can always replace it with malt to make it vegan. If you’re searching for a pumpernickel bread recipe that’s not only vegan but also gluten-free, you should try this one from vegan kitchen magic.
Despite its name banana “bread,” it is not actually bread. It is a type of cake made from mashed bananas and is delicious if you are not vegan. Banana bread, like most cakes, uses eggs, milk, and butter. Steer clear of this one if you are vegan! This moist and healthy vegan version of banana bread will surely satisfy your cravings:
Unfortunately, breadsticks are not always vegan. They often contain dairy products in their seasonings such as butter and cheese. But, if you’re in a restaurant, you can usually ask them to make you some without the seasoning. Always check the ingredients to be sure breadsticks are vegan-friendly.
Sourdough bread covers a wide range of recipes like baguettes and many types of rye bread. And YES, they are perfect for vegans. The traditional sourdough bread contains just flour, water, salt and sourdough starter.
It is not common, but some varieties use milk instead of water or honey as sweeteners. Make sure to double-check the ingredients before buying sourdough bread if it’s not a standard loaf. You can check my recipe for Pain au Levain, a fantastic vegan sourdough bread:
This traditional six-strand braided bread is out in the vegan diet. Its recipe calls for eggs and milk, and even honey if it’s the sweetened variety. It’s generally a no-no for vegans, but I have found a vegan version of challah.
Most versions of this flat, elongated bread are vegan. The main ingredients of ciabatta are only water, flour, salt and yeast. Make sure to watch out for ciabatta al latte which replaces water with milk – making it non-vegan.
Brioche bread is not vegan as they contain eggs, milk, and butter. But, it is also possible to make a plant-based brioche. There are some vegan brioche recipes available online.
Traditional bagel contains flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast. Each of these ingredients is not from an animal source thus making bagels vegan-friendly.
It’s sad to say that this crumbly rich bread is not vegan. Its recipe contains eggs and milk, so it does not meet vegan standards. For a fluffy and tasty vegan cornbread recipe, you can try this one.
This flavorful Italian flatbread is safe for vegans. Most recipes call for salt, flour, water, yeast, and olive oil as their fat source, making this bread vegan. Occasionally bakers will sweeten focaccia with honey, so it’s best to double-check just in case.
Yes, it is! This bread made of rye grain is vegan-friendly. The main ingredients used in rye bread are yeast, water, rye flour, and cracked rye seeds. This bread doesn’t use any animal-derived ingredients which makes it perfect for vegans.
A big YES! I love pita bread and this simple flatbread only requires a mixture of flour, water, yeast, and salt. It is usually served with Hummus, a famous Vegan dish. Here’s a recipe of pita bread that only requires 5 simple ingredients:
This popular Indian flatbread is not suitable for vegans. Most of its recipes contain ghee or clarified butter, yoghurt, milk and sometimes eggs. Shame, but there are vegan naan bread available at specialist stores. I recommend this super quick and easy recipe of vegan-friendly naan.
The traditional Irish soda bread is generally out of bounds for vegans. In baking soda bread, you are bound to use dairy products such as buttermilk, butter, and eggs. I’ve seen people making this bread dairy-free by using plant-based ingredients. So, if you make it yourself you can make it vegan-friendly.
Whole wheat bread is any bread that has wheat flour in it. So by this definition, you will find various recipes of whole wheat bread that may or may not be vegan. Since there are many recipes out there, it’s hard to say a concrete yes or no to this one. The best thing to do is always check the label or ask the baker for the complete ingredients.
For the most part, this bread is definitely vegan-friendly, especially if you plan to make it for yourself! By making little adjustments to the recipe, this bread can be vegan approved. If you are buying it, check the label. This vegan-friendly multigrain bread recipe is a must-try.
Garlic bread is a very popular side dish worldwide, and my kids think it should be their main! Unfortunately, it is not vegan-friendly because butter is one of its main ingredients. But it is still possible to make a vegan version by replacing the butter with a plant-based oil such as olive oil.
Most tortillas are vegan in general, whether the recipe calls for corn or wheat flour. The list of ingredients is pretty simple and only needs flour, water, salt, and some sort of fat. The best option is to use vegetable shortening but vegetable oil works as well.
Many tortillas are available on the market, but some of them include lard or pig fat, making them non-vegan. So, please double-check that label! This Mexican tortilla recipe is vegan-friendly and easy to make.
So, we’ve reached the end of our in-depth look at vegan bread types. Many types of bread are vegan and can be part of a well-balanced and healthy vegan diet! Still, some bread types include animal-derived ingredients. Thus, I always suggest checking the ingredient label to ensure that your bread is vegan. I also encourage you to try and make your own bread by substituting non-vegan products for vegan ones. One great way to make sure it’s vegan is by baking it for yourself! Good luck!
Hi, I’m Gareth Busby, a baker, bread baking coach and college lecturer. My goal is to help you to make better bread and learn about the baking industry.
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