Bread is one of the oldest man-made foods, with records and evidence pointing as far back as ten thousand years. What is bread anyway? The simplest way to describe bread would be a paste of flour and water (dough) that is cooked surrounded by heat (in an oven) or on heat (on a hot surface). The earliest form of bread was unleavened and can be likened to the tortillas we enjoy today. It wasn’t until three thousand years ago in Egypt that bread was leavened from yeast that came from fermenting beer. Today, bread comes in many shapes, sizes, forms, and tastes, making bread one of the most diverse products available.
- Beer is essentially liquid bread; they contain the exact same ingredients. Water, yeast, and grain, but just in different proportions.
- The Great Fire of London which gutted London in 1666, was said to have been started by a baker.
- The average American consumes over fifty pounds of bread annually.
- Bread was essential for the survival of families; this gave rise to the term “Breadwinner” where the income-earner was able to provide bread for the family.
- The highest consumers of bread in the world is Turkey with an average consumption of 1.2 pounds of bread per day per person.
- In WWII, it was prohibited to eat freshly baked bread in London because it encouraged people to consume more than what was allowed.
- In France, a bakery must produce all of its bread from scratch for them to legally call themselves bakeries. No shortcuts!