Like a blank canvas, bread’s simple base of flour, water, and (often, but not always) yeast has inspired countless interpretations and nearly as many traditions, whether that’s a morning ritual or a wedding centerpiece.
The way bread is buttered can define a culture: The Dutch breakfast tradition of sprinkling hagelslag, a type of sweet sprinkle, on top of toast is a favorite among children and adults. Other breads are baked in wondrous ways: Iceland’s thick, chewy hverabrauð is just like regular rye, with one big difference: It’s baked in a geothermal spring. And in Ukraine, a bread baked for weddings is so beautiful that it’s displayed by the altar.
Whether it’s a slice alongside soup or a once-a-year treat, these 14 traditional bakes will bring you doughy delight.