Ideally bread should be vegan if the process of making it held to its traditional roots. It takes only simple ingredients such as flour, water, salt, oil, and yeast to make bread.
But when it comes to commercial bread you see in the supermarkets, there is no assurance of those bread being vegan and there can be many confusing ingredients.
If you check the label, some bread may have ingredients sourced from animals such as below.
Non-Vegan Ingredients in Bread (ingredients with no plant source)
- Sodium caseinate
The good news is since bread is one of the oldest man-made foods and a staple in many countries there is a broad variety of bread brands & types you can choose in this modern era.
Hence we have discussed as many bread types as we can such as whole wheat bread (wholemeal/whole grain), white bread, sourdough bread, pita bread, bagels, pretzels, burger buns (bread rolls), tortillas, banana bread, and breadsticks in this post giving you plenty of vegan options.
Is Yeast Vegan?
Since many bread products are leavened by yeast it’s a fair question. But to put it in perspective, if you’re to avoid yeast you just have to stop breathing, literally, no kidding!
That’s how prevalent yeast is, in the air, on your skin, plant leaves, in the soil, intestinal tracts, you name it. Yeast has no central nervous system and no evidence to support it has any sentience.
So yes, yeast is vegan and not derived from animals.
How to Easily Make Vegan Bread at Home
Whole Wheat/Whole Grain Bread
Deciding to eat whole wheat bread is a healthy choice and definitely better than white bread!
The flour used for whole wheat bread has all three nutritious parts which are not lost during the process, the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Still, commercial whole-wheat bread may have honey, milk or whey. Always read the labels to check the ingredients.
Vegan Whole Wheat/Whole Grain Bread Brands
- Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Vegan Bread
- Dave’s Killer Bread Organic 21 Whole Grains and Seeds
- Silver Hills Bakery Macks Flax Sprouted Bread
- One Degree Organic Foods Veganic Lentil Grain Bread
White Bread (Sandwich Bread)
The main ingredient of white bread is wheat flour, but it can contain milk, butter, honey, and eggs. Most white bread could be made of enriched flour and be fortified due to its lack of nutrients.
Again checking the ingredients of white bread is absolutely important to make sure there are no animal ingredients.
Vegan White Bread (Sandwich Bread) Brands
Most sourdough bread suppose to have flour, water, salt and sourdough starter culture, which contains flour, wild yeast, and lactobacillus bacteria.
But in some cases, you may see ingredients such as milk, butter, buttermilk, eggs, and honey.
The best options are to buy from a known baker where you can check the ingredients or otherwise you will still have to read the ingredients on commercial bread made of sourdough.
Vegan Sourdough Bread Brands
- San Francisco Sourdough Bread
- Dorothy Lane Market Sourdough Bread
- Cobblestone Mill San Francisco Sourdough Bread
Pita bread also known as Arabic bread is one of the oldest bread products known and traditionally includes basic ingredients such as flour, water, yeast, and salt.
Thus pita bread in its original form is vegan but commercial brands may have many more ingredients.
Check for milk, eggs, honey or any other ingredients derived from animals.
Vegan Pita Bread Brands
- Bfree Vegan Gluten Free Pita Breads
- Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Flour Pita Bread
- Toufayan Bakeries Low Carb Pita Bread
Are bagels vegan? Bagels being a popular bread product, it’s useful to know whether they’re vegan.
Ideally, bagels should be vegan since they’re made of wheat dough (wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast) boiled and then baked.
Some bagels prior to baking may have been made with an egg wash on top to make it shiny and could include butter, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, and whey as ingredients.
Also make sure to avoid the egg bagels, or any toppings with cheese, butter, and honey.
Vegan Bagels (companies may change the ingredients, so double check!)
- Bruegger’s (Plain, Everything, Garlic, Sesame, Blueberry)
- Cobblestone Bread Co. 100% whole wheat bagels
- Dave’s Killer Bread (organic Epic Everything™ bagels)
- Lender’s Bagels (all flavors are vegan except egg)
- Tim Hortons’ (Everything, Plain, Cinnamon Raisin, Blueberry, Pretzel)
- Rudi’s Organic Bakery Bagels
- Thomas’ Bagels (100% Whole Wheat, Blueberry, Cinnamon Swirl, Cinnamon Raisin, Everything, Onion, and Plain)
- Trader Joe’s Bagels (Plain, Whole Wheat, Sesame Seed, Cinnamon Raisin)
Another popular baked snack in the US and you can find it practically everywhere.
Generally, whether it’s soft pretzels or hard pretzels these are mainly composed of three basic ingredients: yeast, water, and flour.
Still, pretzels may contain lard, milk, butter, margarine, and eggs. Margarine or butter can specifically be added to make the pretzels softer and for a richer taste. Check the ingredients to be sure
- Bakery Authentic Bavarian Lightly Salted Soft Pretzel
- Gratify Gluten Free Pretzels
- Unique 100 Percent Whole Grain Wheat Sprouted Pretzels
Pizza Crust (Base/Bread)
Unless it’s a 100% dedicated vegan pizza which you get with some chains now, some crusts may contain milk, whey, honey and even be stuffed with cheese.
Your easiest option is to ask whether they have vegan pizza.
Below are some pizza crusts which are vegan.
The Thin ‘N Crispy or Hand-Tossed crusts are vegan (other crusts aren’t vegan as those may contain milk/whey).
Order the thin crust (others are not vegan).
Original hand-tossed is vegan
Burger/Hot Dog Buns (Bread Rolls)
Some burger buns (bread rolls) can be vegan, but not all. Many of the burger/hot dog buns can come with animal ingredients such as milk, butter, animal fats, and eggs.
So you would not want to skip reading the ingredients here as well. There’s a better chance of finding vegan buns at the bakery (in supermarkets) with fewer ingredients.
Vegan Burger/Hot Dog Buns (Bread Rolls)
- Schar Gluten-Free Hot Dog Rolls
- Organic Bread of Heaven Burger Buns (certified organic & certified vegan)
- Arnold Country Potato Hot Dog Rolls
- Stroehmann Dutch Country Burger Potato Rolls
A tortilla is usually made from corn or wheat. Generally, corn tortillas which are used with tacos, enchiladas, taquito (rolled taco), quesadillas are free of any ingredients derived from animals and they can be considered vegan.
On the other hand, wheat flour tortillas which are frequently used with burritos & quesadillas contained lard in the past, but could rarely be used today. We would still recommend checking before you buy.
You may have a good chance of buying vegan tortillas at your bakeries, local markets or natural food stores and know with what ingredients the tortillas were made.
- Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Tortilla
- BFree Gluten Free Wheat Free Sweet Potato Tortillas
- Siete Almond Flour Grain Free Tortillas
Banana bread is made from mashed bananas, but it can contain milk, butter or eggs.
You can find vegan banana bread at Dank Brooklyn.
Breadsticks (Grissini, Grissino or Dipping Sticks)
This is one appetizer which you can safely consider as vegan. Generally, breadsticks will contain simple ingredients such as wheat flour, oil, yeast, malt, and salt.
Just check the label to make sure.
Breadstick Brands (Vegan)
- Alessi Thin Breadsticks
- Marini Classic Italian Tomato & Oregano Breadsticks
- Stella D’oro Original Breadsticks
List of Vegan Bread Brands (check the review here)
- Food for Life, Ezekiel 4:9 Bread (Organic Sprouted Whole Grain, Sesame, Cinnamon Raisin, 7 Sprouted Grains, Flax Sprouted Whole Grain)
- Dave’s Killer Bread (Organic 21 Whole Grains & Seeds, Organic Raisin’ the Roof!™)
- Bfree Vegan Gluten Free Soft White Sandwich Bread
- Arnold bread (Country White, Country 100% Whole Wheat, Jewish rye)
- Cobblestone Mill (Jewish rye, Pumpernickel, San Francisco sourdough and Whole Wheat)
- Ener-G Light Tapioca Loaf
- Trader Joe’s fresh-baked bread
You may able to find bread suitable for vegans at local bakeries, local markets, natural and health food stores, and bagel shops.
Take Home Message
Breads such as brioche or challah are more likely to be non-vegan as they typically include eggs or butter.
Though we requested to check the labels to read ingredients we suggest not to go overboard with it. This is why Vegan Society quite correctly included the word ‘practicable’ in their definition of veganism.
Ingredients such as mono- and diglycerides, lecithin, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), sugar may (these ingredients can come from plant sources as well) or may not be vegan. There can also be lengthy lists of ingredients which you may not even recognize or find it difficult to pronounce.
Don’t get yourself stressed over it. Just remember the 13 non-vegan ingredients we’ve listed above and once you’ve chosen your vegan-friendly/vegan bread brands, you can continue to enjoy this convenient & staple food!