Is bread vegan?

Read Time:   |  18th November 2021

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Bread is a staple product many of us enjoy every day, but have you ever wondered is bread vegan? While a simple bread recipe with flour, water, salt, and yeast is vegan, some breads contain added ingredients that aren't vegan. Here's how to tell what bread is vegan and which ones are not.

Loaves, buns, bagels, and wraps. Bread is a staple for almost all of us.

In fact, bread is estimated to be found in up to 99.8% of households in Britain, making it one of the most frequently purchased and consumed items in our cupboards. And sadly one of the most wasted.

Thankfully, vegans don’t usually have to miss out on dough-based products.

But before we crack open the breadsticks and dive head-first into the bread basket, let’s do what vegans do best. Check out the ingredients list!

Is all bread vegan?

For the most part, bread is suitable for vegans.

The fundamental ingredients of bread are flour, yeast, water, oil, and salt – all of which are vegan!

But whilst it’s looking good so far, annoyingly, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Breads such as naan bread (made using yoghurt), brioche (made with milk and eggs) and some bagels and crumpets (which are sometimes made using milk or eggs) are usually unsuitable for vegans.

When shopping for breads, most own-branded supermarket breads are usually very clearly labelled as suitable for vegans.

When shopping at a bakery, you can always ask to see a list of allergens to be sure that the bread you’re purchasing is 100% plant-based.

Some breads such as naan bread, bagels or brioche often contain dairy or dairy.

Some breads such as naan bread, bagels or brioche often contain dairy or dairy.

Why might bread not be vegan?

As previously mentioned, some breads may be made using dairy products.

However, certain breads may also have an egg-wash glaze on them to provide a shiny, golden-baked topping.

Some gluten-free breads also use egg as a binding agent.

Other breads could be made using honey as a sweetening agent, particularly in darker grain breads such as Rye. If you’re in any doubt, always check the ingredients list on the bread’s packaging.

Is there a vegan garlic bread?

The holy grail of comfort food – garlic bread.

While a lot of garlic bread is made with butter, the brilliant news is that there are vegan-friendly garlic breads available to buy.

When searching for garlic bread in the shops, a handy tip is to always opt for the less expensive or own-branded items. That’s because these tend to be made using oils rather than dairy and are therefore accidentally vegan.

But again, just to be sure your product is suitable, check the ingredients and allergens before you buy.

At restaurants, Nando’s and Zizzi’s both have delicious vegan garlic bread options to try.

If you fancy making your own deluxe version of garlic bread at home, try this brilliant vegan garlic flatbread recipe!

It's easy to make your own vegan garlic bread using olive oil or a plant-based butter alternative.

It's easy to make your own vegan garlic bread using olive oil or a plant-based butter alternative.

Got more questions about what products are vegan? Find the answers here!

How do I know if the bread is vegan when I’m eating out?

When eating out, first check if the item is listed as vegan or not.

However, when ordering from a menu that doesn’t specify whether their items are suitable for vegans or not, ask to see an allergen guide or an ingredients list. This will help you find out whether the bread is suitable.

If you’re eating out at a South Asian restaurant, opt for chapati rather than naan to swerve the dairy.

Thinking about going vegan?

Here are 20 things you need to know before going vegan.

Written by

Charlotte Willis

Charlotte Willis is an Assistant Psychologist at the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has a MS degree in Clinical Neuropsychiatry from Kings College London. Charlotte is also a marketer for ethical brands, author of Vegan: Do It! A young person’s guide to living a vegan lifestyle, and a regular contributor to sustainability and plant-based publications.

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