Look at the ingredients label for most commercial breads and you’ll see it…
Enzymes can be derived from either plant or animal sources.
If you want to be 100% sure that a particular bread is vegan, you’ll have to contact the manufacturer.
However, in the case of bread, I think most vegans will find it acceptable to assume that the enzymes are vegan.
The Majority of Enzymes in Bread Are Plant-Based
Throughout recent history, the enzymes used specifically for baked goods usually come from fungal (plant) sources.
Examples of these types of enzymes are:
- Lactase (most lactase enzymes are vegan)
Over time, the use of enzymes in baking bread has continued to trend towards those derived from plants.
Here’s a relevant quote from the VRG website:
An employee from AB Enzymes told us that most enzymes used in baked goods are all-vegetable based produced from microbial fermentation.
The only thing that should give you pause is if you see “lipase” specifically on the ingredients list, an enzyme that usually comes from pigs (although it can come from vegetables as well).
So where does that leave us? If you’re okay with taking a small chance (it’s probably no more than a few percent), I think it’s fine to assume most enzymes in bread are vegan.
However, if you want to be sure, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer to check. Even then, some large companies won’t specify if their enzymes are vegan or not because they say they often change.