How Do I Choose the Best Peasant Bread?

European peasants traditionally baked their bread in brick ovens.
When buying peasant bread, look for large loaves that have a crust.
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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2015
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Peasant bread refers to a food that has a wide combination of ingredients, and it was historically made by European peasants. The best type of bread is generally made with a variety of grains, and one loaf should be large in size. This food is also known for its crumbly texture, so you should look for a loaf that is crusty. Traditionally, peasant bread is made in brick ovens, but it can also be baked in modern conventional appliances. The loaves of bread are sold in stores and are served in European restaurants, but perhaps some of the best versions are made right at home.

Historically, peasant bread refers to a large loaf comprised of multiple grains that was sometimes baked in large quantities by the poor. This meal was modest compared to dishes made with meats, but what has carried the bread down through the centuries is the fact that it is hearty enough to fill you up. The varying ingredients also make this particular bread more appealing to the taste buds than plain versions.

The best loaf of peasant bread should be large in size because quality versions contain a lot of ingredients. Many types of breads are either made of whole or enriched wheat, but this particular loaf combines traditional wheat-based ingredients along with other kinds of grains. Common examples include cornmeal, rye, and oats. The quality of the bread is generally increased by the number of ingredients used.


Traditional peasant-style bread sounds hollow when baked, but the final outcome should still reveal a crumbly crust. Modern-day peasant breads are generally baked at lower temperatures in order to maintain the texture of the crust without overcooking it. You should avoid loaves that are too dry or ones that have soft crusts because these are signs that the bread was not cooked properly.

Public brick ovens were the most common tools in which European peasants cooked their breads. Although the bread can still be baked in this type of oven, a quality loaf can still be achieved by cooking it in a conventional appliance. Bakers should consider multiple ovens in the home or their places of business if they plan on making peasant bread often.

Variations in ingredients can make it difficult to identify peasant bread, but generally a large loaf with multiple grains can be classified as such. This is important to keep in mind when you are looking for the bread at your local grocery store. Peasant bread is more of a commonplace in European food stores, as well as authentic restaurants. If you have the right ingredients and tools, then the best breads can easily be made in the convenience of your own home.


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Post 5

@candyquilt-- Yes, lots of different breads can be considered peasant bread. Wheat, barley and rye breads or breads that are a combination of several of these grains are peasant breads.

My favorite peasant bread is pumpernickel. It's made just from rye flour and berries and has a very dark color and rich texture. It used to be only eaten by German peasants at one point. Later, it slowly became more popular and became a specialty bread.

Post 4

@Rundocuri-- Isn't it funny that bread that was once looked down upon by social classes aside from the peasants, are enjoyed and preferred by many people now? Historically, this type bread was not preferred by the middle classes and the wealthy.

Peasant foods all have several characteristics in common. First of all, they're made with cheap ingredients that are easy to find. And they are very filling so they can be eaten alone or with a few other ingredients as a meal of its own.

Now life without bread is unimaginable. Most of us have it for at least one meal during the day.

Post 3

I didn't realize that the definition of peasant bread is so wide. It sounds like lots of different breads can fit into this category.

Post 2

@rundocuri- Local bakeries are also good places to look for peasant bread. These businesses often feature unique baked goods, and may even take special orders for peasant bread even if they do not make it on a regular basis.

Post 1

Peasant bread is a delicious, healthful bread that is not always easy to find at your local grocery store. Your best option for finding it, especially if you live in a small area where hard-to-find items aren't readily available, is in the organic section of a grocery store. There are several companies that make organic peasant bread, and you may even find it in the cold or frozen food display in the organic foods isle.

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