Bread

It’s possibly the oldest recipe out there. Certainly it’s the one food product that has stuck around our culture for the longest period of time. There is evidence from 4000 BC in the Swiss lake habitations that the people made it from barley and rye flour. According to the food timeline, it has been around for 10000 years, occuring at the same point that man had discovered agriculture.

I am, of course, talking about bread.

What we see in the store today is a far cry from what the folks back in 8000 BC were noshing on. For one thing, it was unleavened bread, as yeast wasn’t added to dough until the Egyptians (crazy beer drinkers that they were)accidentally dropped a few pieces into the mixture. That happened around 2300 BC.

It was bread that helped the humans live through the winter months. As grain could be stored and milled at a later date, bread could be made when convenient, unlike meats and vegetables which tended to go bad rather quickly.

As Barley, Corn, Wheat, rye, and rice all became ensconsed in areas throughout the world, flour for those grains soon followed. Although the food cuisines of the western hemisphere was far different from the eastern, flour was one of the few things that the spaniards recognized when they came across the aztecs. Of course is was made from this new, wacky product that they had never seen before… but that was corn, and that story comes a little later on.

The fact remains that bread is probably one of the handful of foods that hav affected the history of humanity. As such, it’s about time I learned how to make the stuff.


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