Is Bread Vegan? (White, Sourdough, Pita & More)

is bread vegan white pita sourdough
Photo credit: Shisma (cc-by-sa-4.0)

Bread is the world’s #1 staple food and has been consumed for millennia. It is made from flour, water, and yeast or other leavening agents, and often includes additional ingredients such as sugar, salt, and oil. You can make it at home in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures, including loaves, rolls, baguettes, and flatbreads. But is it vegan? Let’s find out together in this new article by Veggiepedia!

What Ingredients Are Used To Make Bread?

Curious about what bread is made of? The specific ingredients can vary depending on the recipe and region, however, the four main ingredients used in bread-making are pretty universal:

  1. Flour: The main ingredient in bread. Flour is typically made from wheat, although other grains such as rye, barley, and corn can also be used.
  2. Yeast: Yeast is a type of fungus that is used to leaven the bread, which means it causes the dough to rise and become fluffy.
  3. Water: It is used to hydrate the flour and activate the yeast.
  4. Salt: It is added to bread dough to enhance the flavor and help control the fermentation process.

Optionally, sometimes bread contains the following ingredients:

  1. Sugar (optional): Sugar is sometimes added to bread dough to feed the yeast and help it grow.
  2. Oil (optional): It is sometimes added to bread dough to make the bread softer and more flavorful.
  3. Eggs and Milk (optional, NOT vegan): Now, here’s the problem for us vegans. Some bread recipes call for eggs or dairy milk to be added to the dough. These ingredients are intended to add richness and flavor to the bread. Fortunately, we now know how to make bread without them!

Recently, many untraditional ingredients have found their way to our breads, namely, mashed bananas! We will talk about banana bread in the next section briefly, however, this article is mainly focused on the more traditional bread.

Which Bread Types Are Vegan?

Whether or not bread is vegan depends on the specific recipe and ingredients used. Some bread recipes include animal-derived ingredients such as eggs or milk. Additionally, some commercial breads may contain non-vegan ingredients such as whey or honey. Let’s take a look at the most popular bread types. Are they vegan?

1. White Bread: Sometimes Yes

White bread is generally considered vegan as it typically contains only flour, water, yeast, salt, and sometimes a small amount of sugar or oil. However, please keep in mind that some commercial brands of white bread may contain animal-based additives such as milk, eggs, or honey. Therefore, be sure to check the ingredient list carefully or choose bread explicitly labeled as vegan to ensure that it does not contain any animal products.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that some people avoid white bread altogether, even if it’s vegan, due to concerns about its high glycemic index and potential impact on blood sugar levels. If that is the case, usually the best alternative is whole wheat or whole grain bread.

2. Sourdough Bread: Usually Yes

Sourdough starter is a mixture of multiple strains of yeast and bacteria that work together to break down the carbohydrates in the flour and produce carbon dioxide, which causes the dough to rise. This mixture gives this popular bread type its distinct tangy flavor and chewy texture.

Sourdough bread is typically made only with simple vegan ingredients such as flour, water, salt, and the sourdough starter I mentioned before, which means it is a safe choice for vegans. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, iron, and zinc, amongst other benefits.

That being said, before you fall in love this amazing bread, please note that commercial brands of sourdough bread may contain additives or preservatives that are not vegan. As with any bread, it is important to check the ingredient list carefully or choose bread labeled as vegan to ensure that it does not contain any animal products.

3. Pita bread: Typically Yes

Pita bread is a round, flat bread traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is made from a simple dough of flour, water, yeast, and salt, which is rolled out and then baked at a high temperature. It’s typically vegan, as it is made with simple plant-based ingredients and does not require the use of any animal products. However, as with any bread, it is important to check the ingredient list carefully as some commercial brands of pita bread may include non-vegan additives or preservatives.

4. Whole wheat bread: Typically Yes

Whole wheat bread is a type of bread made from flour that is milled from whole wheat grains, which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm. This gives the bread a darker color, denser texture, and a nuttier flavor than white bread. Whole wheat bread is typically vegan, moreover, it’s a nutritious choice high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It also has a lower glycemic index than white bread, which means that it may be a better choice for people who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels.

5. Bagels: Typically Yes

A bagel is a type of bread that originated in Jewish communities in Poland. It is round and has a dense, chewy texture with a hole in the center. Bagels are made from a simple dough of flour, water, yeast, salt, and sometimes a small amount of sugar or oil. In this regard, they are not very different from other bread types. However, what makes them stand out (aside from their shape) is the fact the bagel dough is boiled briefly before baking, which gives the bagel its characteristic chewy texture.

Most bagels are vegan, as they are made with simple plant-based ingredients and do not require the use of any animal products. However, some types may include extra flavors, additives, or fillings that are animal-derived and thus not vegan, so please keep that in mind.

6. Banana Bread: Not Usually

Banana bread is a special type of sweet bread made with mashed ripe bananas, flour, sugar, and other ingredients such as eggs, butter or oil, and baking soda. It has a moist, cake-like texture and a sweet banana flavor. Because of the eggs and dairy butter, animal products, it is NOT vegan.

However, banana bread can also be made with vegan-friendly egg alternatives, such as flax eggs, and butter can be replaced with vegetable oil, applesauce, or plant-based yogurt.

How To Make Bread At Home Without Milk Or Eggs?

You can make bread at home without any milk or eggs quite easily, and there are many vegan bread recipes available on the internet today. A simple recipe for a basic vegan bread could ask you to get these things:

  • all-purpose flour
  • some salt
  • active dry yeast
  • warm water
  • olive oil

Form and knead dough, let it rise, and bake until golden. If you want, you can also add different herbs, spices, or seeds to the dough. You can also try out other flours such as whole wheat or rye instead of the all-purpose flour. That way, you can achieve different textures and flavor profiles.


That wraps up this article. Today, we have explored the ingredients typically contained in bread, and we have discovered that typically, bread does not contain eggs or milk. However, it is not a hard rule, so some research on the bread’s type and bread is recommended anyway. We have also reviewed the most popular bread types – white bread, sourdough bread, pita, whole wheat, banana bread, and also bagels – and researched whether they are vegan. Last, we wrapped up with a short guide on making your own vegan bread at home. That’s about it, I hope you liked my new article for Veggiepedia, and I will be happy if you continue reading!

Read Next On Veggiepedia:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here