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bread yeast wheat flour rye flour maslin oatmeal semolina spelt ancient ovens Byzantine bread Chinese bread Colonial ovens Colonial bakeries Baking in America/Panschar French Revolution London prices Restaurant bread service anadama bread artisan breads bagels baguette banana nut bread bannock biscuits bishop's bread Boston brown bread brioche bread pudding bruschetta campaillou challah cheese straws ciabatta cinnamon rolls cinnamon toast cloverleaf rolls coffee cake colomba corn bread crackers cranberry bread crepes croissants croutons crumpets diet bread doughnuts Easter breads English muffins flatbreads flower pot bread focaccia National Loaf (UK) pain de campagne pain de mie pancakes panettone panforte panko paratha parbaked bread Parker House rolls Parthian bread pita popovers potato bread pretzel bread pretzels Pullman loaves pumpernickel pumpkin bread roti rye & Indian bread rye bread sandwich bread Sally Lunn salt rising bread scones Ship's biscuit sourdough stuffing & dressing tea cakes thirded bread toast tortillas waffles white bread whole wheat bread zucchini bread The history of bread and cake starts with Neolithic cooks and marches through time according to ingredient availability, advances in technology, economic conditions, socio-cultural influences, legal rights (Medieval guilds), and evolving taste. Variations in grain, thickness, shape, and texture varied from culture to culture.
Archaelogical evidence confirms yeast (both as leavening agent and for brewing ale) was used in Egypt as early as 4000 B. Food historians generally cite this date for the discovery of leavened bread and genesis of the brewing industry.
Sources generally agree the discovery of the powers of yeast was accidental.
"No one has yet managed to date the origins of beer with any precision, and it is probably an impossible task.
There is no question that fermentation takes place accidentally (as it must have done countless times before humans learned something about controlling the process), and most investigators believe that barley was first cultivated in the Fertile Crescent region of lower Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Grain is heavy to transport relative to the beer made from it, so it is not surprising that there may be evidence of ale in these outposts and not unreasonable to suspect that accidental fermentation did occur at some point in the ancient Mesopotamian region, leading to beer making." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F.
The rise would be more spectacular than from a few errant spores and the effect would be easy to explain and equally easy to reproduce." ---Food in History, Tannahill (p.
51-52) "The brewing of beer may well have occurred soon after the production of cereal crops, and no doubt for a long time beer was home-produced and in the hands of housewives responsible for preparing the gruel or bread..first production of beer may be reasonably considered as an accidental discovery resulting for the malting of grain for other purposes." ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins: Maryland] 1998 (p.
166) On the Web Recommended reading: English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David Six Thousand Years of Bread, H. Jacob The Story of Bread, Ronald Sheppard and Edward Newton Ancient ovens & baking "The most important part of the baker's equipment is, and always has been, his oven.
For six thousand years and more it is the oven, however crude or complex, which has transformed the sticky wet dough into bread.
It is the oven which influences the final character of the loaf; the effieciencycy of an oven, or lack of it, can determine the success or failure of any bread baker's business. It was the Egyptians who first used a manufactured portable oven.