|Kinds of bread||Ingredients in Bread||History of Bread||Bread Recipe|
The different kinds of breads
How many different kinds of bread can you name? Did you name white bread, wheat bread, French bread, bagels, rye bread, or pita bread? Even crackers and muffins are considered types of bread.
Obviously each bread is made a little bit differently. Some breads have spices, such as garlic bread. Then there are breads that are more bland, like white bread.There are breads with lots of ingredients, like cinnamon raisin cranberry bread, and simpler breads, like whole wheat.
Bread is also made with different amounts of ingredients. Some white breads could have 4 cups of flour per loaf while some French breads have 6 cups of flour per loaf. Amounts of yeast, water, or any other ingredient might also vary.
Some breads rise or are cooked for longer than others, for example, sourdough is baked for 25-30 minutes, but the hearth loaf is baked for 45-50 minutes.
Breads can be very different depending on ingredients and cooking time, but even the same recipe can turn out quite differently from home to home or country to country depending on ovens, climate, and how it is made.
Ingredients used to make bread
There are two main ingredients in raised bread, flour and yeast. There are 3 more main ingredients in bread: water, sweetening (sugar, honey, molasses, etc.) and salt. Then of course there would be herbs in herb bread, or raisins in raisin bread, and most of the white breads we eat have some milk and butter. But flour, yeast, water, salt and sweetener are the basics.
Yeast helps the bread to rise. When warm water is added to the yeast, it begins to grow. As it grows, it combines with the sugar that is in the flour or that you add to the dough, and it produces carbon dioxide. This gas makes little bubbles that are trapped in the dough. Wheat flour has gluten, a protein, which makes the dough stretch instead of break when the bubbles are formed. This is why bread rises.
Salt adds flavor and helps to control the rising of the bread by strengthening the gluten in the flour. Sweetener add flavor and texture to the bread and give the yeast something to feed on.
Water helps to combine all the other ingredients, helps to activate the yeast, and creates texture as it turns to steam during baking. These basic five ingredients are used in almost all breads.
The history of bread
It is said that bread began with the beginning of mankind. Supposedly, men gathered wild grains and crushed them between stones, added water, and baked this concoction over coals. Then this was called bread.
In Egypt six thousand years ago, the first real bread was baked. People would gather wheat from the great valley of the Nile. They would mix foam from beer,(the foam had yeast in it) with wheat dough and bake it. Then they had a brown, sweet smelling loaf of bread.
The Romans were very skilled bread makers. They had breads of every kind: flat loafs, round loafs, square loafs, salty bread, dark bread, light bread, and rolls. Bread was sold dry or to be dipped in water, wine, or even goats milk.
Europe in the 9th century was not a happy place. In good years bread and a few vegetables made up a good diet. Rye grew with wheat in northern fields. When harvested they made a light brown flour called maslim. Sometimes a fungus called ergot got into the bread and made it go bad.
Bread was so important in the Middle Ages that bakers caught selling impure or under weight loaves of bread were in serious trouble. Bread was most of the meal and the dish too. People ate on pieces of unleavened bread called trenchers. Trenchers soaked up most of the meals juices. Then it was given to the servants or the poor.
The first settlers in North America brought wheat for planting but found a solid, deep forest reaching farther than they would go for three hundred years. The wheat grew poorly in the rocky, root-choked fields, but the Indians showed them how well corn grew and taught them how to make corn bread.
In the eighteen hundreds, bread could travel in trappers pockets, in the holds of ships, and just about every other place it was needed. People were in need of food, and bread and a little salt pork made a good meal.
Millers and bakers of the early nineteen hundreds decided white was pure, so the whiter the bread the purer it was. Soon the people began to believe this too and wanted their bread as white as it could be. Bakers might have added ash or alum or even chalk to make the bread shiny-white.
Now there are more modern ways to make bread but still much of the bread we eat today is very much like what was made hundreds and even thousands of years ago.
Bread is the staff of life. It has fed every civilization for thousands of years. Its still one of the healthiest and tastiest foods we have!
A favorite bread recipe
There are many different kinds of breads you could make at home, and even more if you have a bread machine. Here's a recipe to make a very basic white bread. This bread would take about three hours to make, and when its done youll have a delicious, crispy bread.
measuring cup and spoons
1 table knife
1 cookie sheet
1 package of dry yeast
1 cup of warm water
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbs sugar
3 1/2 cups flour (approximately)
First put the warm water into the mixing bowl. Add the yeast and stir it until it dissolves. Add the salt and sugar and stir again until everything is well mixed. Now add the flour a cup at a time. Stir hard after you add each cup. You will have to use your hands to mix in the third cup of flour. Now sprinkle some flour on the table where you are working. Dust some on your hands, too. Pour the dough out onto the table. Pour a half cup of flour over the dough. Work it with your hands like clay, just enough so that the dough takes up some more flour. You do not have to knead this dough. Wash the mixing bowl with warm water, then grease the inside lightly with butter. Put the ball of dough in the bowl and rub a little soft butter over the top half of it. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise. You can put some very warm water in the kitchen sink and set the bowl in that. Dont fill the sink so full that the bowl floats.
In about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half, the dough should be twice as big. How long it takes depends mostly on the temperature of the place were the dough is set to rise. If it is very warm it will rise faster, if it is cooler, it will take longer.
Check the progress after the first hour. When the dough has doubled put it on a table that is lightly sprinkled with flour. Roll the dough back and forth on the table with your hands, to make a long narrow loaf. Put the loaf on a greased cookie sheet and let it rest for five minutes. Now put the sheet with the loaf into a cold oven. Turn on the oven and let it heat to 400. While the oven heats the bread will rise again. Bake the bread for about 40-45 minutes. Until it is medium brown. Now take it out of the oven and let it cool. Delicious!