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**Historical Significance of Bread**:
– Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, with evidence dating back 30,000 years in Europe and Australia.
– The Natufians in Jordan’s northeastern desert produced bread 14,500 years ago.
– The Sumerians in Mesopotamia baked leavened bread around 6000 BC.
– Different civilizations used various methods for leavening bread, such as yeast, ash, and sourdough starters.
– The Chorleywood bread process was developed in 1961 to speed up bread production.

**Types and Ingredients in Bread**:
Wheat flour, rich in gluten, is the most common grain used for bread-making.
– Non-wheat cereals like rye, barley, and oats are combined with wheat flour for bread-making.
– Gluten-free breads use alternative flours like almonds, rice, and sorghum, along with additives to mimic gluten’s effects.
– Ingredients in bread include salt, fat, yeast, and baking soda.
– Bread recipes may contain additional ingredients like milk, eggs, sugar, or seeds.

**Nutritional Value and Properties of Bread**:
– Bread is a good source of carbohydrates, magnesium, iron, selenium, and B vitamins.
– Whole grain bread is rich in dietary fiber.
– Micronutrients in bread contribute to a balanced diet.
Wheat bread contains phenolic compounds in hulls that aid in disease resistance.
Rye bread contains phenolic acids and ferulic acid dehydrodimers.

**Bread Preparation and Formulation**:
– Bread can be baked, steamed, fried, or cooked on a frying pan.
– Water-to-flour ratio is crucial for bread texture and crumb.
– Artisan bread formulas typically have 60-75% water content.
– Professional bread recipes use bakers percentage notation.
– Calcium propionate is added to commercial bread to prevent mold growth.

**Leavening Agents and Techniques**:
Yeast is commonly used to leaven bread, with Saccharomyces cerevisiae being a popular choice.
– Sourdough bread is produced through a long fermentation process using natural yeasts and lactobacilli.
– Leavening lightens bread by adding gas to the dough.
– Steam produced during baking causes bread to rise unpredictably.
– Gas-producing chemicals and acids like buttermilk are used to leaven chemically leavened breads.

Bread (Wikipedia)

Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour (usually wheat) and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history and around the world, it has been an important part of many cultures' diet. It is one of the oldest human-made foods, having been of significance since the dawn of agriculture, and plays an essential role in both religious rituals and secular culture.

Loaves of bread in a basket
Various leavened breads
Main ingredientsFlour, water

Bread may be leavened by naturally occurring microbes (e.g. sourdough), chemicals (e.g. baking soda), industrially produced yeast, or high-pressure aeration, which creates the gas bubbles that fluff up bread. In many countries, commercial bread often contains additives to improve flavor, texture, color, shelf life, nutrition, and ease of production.

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