The reason why there are so many
types of Italian bread is that people can't really live without this
delicious piece of its gastronomic history. Bread is really a key feature of Italian cuisine.
There's really no meal in Italy without bread, starting from breakfast and its sweet variants, up to several kinds of salted bread which are used during lunch or dinner.
One of the most interesting aspects of Italian bread culture is that even the smallest ingredient can change its flavor, and that's why every single region of Italy can count on different specialties of bread. Some of these variants. such as "Piadina" or "Focaccia", are recognized in the entire world for their unique taste.
The first is typical of Romagna region and is made with white flour, lard oil, salt and water. The whole dough is cooked on a terracotta dish and filled with both salted or sweet ingredients, like ham & mozzarella or Nutella, the most famous hazelnuts cream of the world. One of its variant, called "Crescione", is filled with cheeses and meats, folded and then cooked.
Focaccia is a multipurpose kind of bread, having inspired the creation of one of the most loved food of the planet: pizza! This Apulian kind of bread can be seasoned with olive oil, salt or herbs, while some bread makers prefer to top it with olives, onions, cheese or anything else. There are many variants depending of regions, like "Focaccia genovese" (typical of Liguria) and "Muffuletta" (typical of Sicily).
Among over 100+ different types of Italian bread, "Michetta" is one of the most appreciated thanks to its hollow and bulged shape that is similar to a small rose, and it's used for any kind of sandwich. Another popular product is "Grissino", a pencil-sized stick of dry bread similar to crackers, used in restaurants as an appetizer and often combined with Prosciutto Crudo (ham).
One of the most used daily-bread in northern Italy is the Filone, a long piece of yeast bread with texture and crumb similar to well-known French baguette, while in the central part of the country is often used the "Coppia Ferrarese", a twist-shaped type of sourdough bread made with flour, lard, olive oil and malt.
In southern Italy are most diffused variants like "Pane di Altamura", which is a round-shaped made from durum flour with a big cross on its top, and "Pitta", typical of Calabria region that is similar to a big donut, while the two island regions Sicily and Sardinia feature products like "Pane di Lentini" (made of Sicilian durum wheat flour, salt and water) and "Pane carasau" (thin and crisp flatbread made of durum wheat flour, salt, yeast and water, similar to a music sheet).
While these ten types of Italian bread are certainly the most common of the country, every Italian region offers a journey made by hundreds of tasty variants or bread makers ancient recipes, all to be discovered and savored.