The History of Bread
The history of bread dates back far into the history of humans; from a form of nutrition that could be easily transported to a wholesome and hearty addition to a meager meal, bread has a long standing history within our history.
The first breads were likely comprised of crushed grains that were mixed with water to form a grain paste and then baked over a fire. There is no way to know if the earliest versions of bread were created accidently, or if they were created by human experimentation with crushed wheat and water. The end results would have been very similar in appearance, and perhaps even flavor, to South American Tortillas or Indian Naan breads.
Early hunters and gatherers would have found that various berries and even leftover dried meats could be combined with the grain pastes to form much more nutritious and portable meal choices to take with them while hunting or otherwise on the move.
Getting through the harsh winters would have been made an easier feat by accumulating stores of grains so that grain breads could be made during the colder months.
As our early ancestors realized the potential of grains as a food source, they began to not only gather and store supplies to get through the winter months, but they also began to cultivate their own wheat crops in order to have a much more plentiful and bountiful source of this vital food product.
As wheat crops began to be seen as a source or nutrition, other vegetables and fruits also began to be grown as crops.
Bread And Beer
Breads did not really begin to shine until the invent of beer and more specifically the use of yeasts in beer. There is archaeological evidence to support the fact that Egyptians, as early as 4000B.C, used various forms of yeast as a leavening agent for breads and as an active ingredient for brewing beer.
While yeasts are naturally occurring in the air around us, it was the Egyptians who came to the realization that bread exposed to the same yeasts that are used in the beer and even the wine fermentation process are much more likely to rise and produce better quality loaves of bread.
Perhaps one of the most commonly used methods of leavening bread was to use a portion of bread dough saved from the day before – this starter dough would begin the fermentation or leavening process in the new batch of dough.
Baking Bread Through The Ages
Bread has played such a vital role in the evolution of mankind by providing us with a filling and portable type of food that is easy to create and generally in large demand.
Throughout the Medieval times, especially during times of war, bread served as a vital staple part of every meal.
White breads were once seen as the bread of the rich and the elite while whole grain breads were thought to be better suited for the poor and unfortunate. However, as the health benefits of eating whole grain breads came to light, this ideal switched – and, to this day, whole grain breads tend to run more on the pricier side!
As bakeries and bread artisans began seeing the profit to be made in providing affordable variations of bread, an entirely new industry was born.
Ovens for baking the bread were improved in order to provide a much more efficient method of baking loaves to meet the ever-growing demand. However, along with an improvement in the technologies used to bake bread came an increase in the chemicals and preservatives used to bake bread products.
Bread making machines have seen a surge of popularity as more people take to the idea of baking healthy and nutritious breads in their very own home!
Bread has greatly evolved greatly from its very early and very humble beginnings, yet it still serves the purpose of providing us with a readily-available source of nutrition!
- 600-watt programmable breadmaker makes 1-1/2- or 2-pound loaves of bread
- 12 cooking functions; 3 shade selections; 13-hour delay bake; LED display; touch-control panel
- Metal utensils should not be used with removable nonstick baking pan
- Wash by hand only; instructions with recipes included
- Measures approximately 14 by 19 by 13-1/2 inches; 1-year limited warranty
List Price: $ 86.05