A Brief History of Artisan Bread From the Ancient Egyptians to a Bakery Near You
Do you love to visit your local bakery for fresh bread and a few cups of quality coffee? Many people consider this combination to be a daily necessity, especially with bread baked with local ingredients.
Since you love fresh-baked, artisan bread, you may be interested to know a little bit about its history. According to historians, it is believed that humans first began creating this staple food approximately 30,000 years ago.
Flatbread, if you know your culinary history, was also referred to as unleavened bread. It didn’t contain yeast, and was believed to be the first type of bread. Thanks to the discovery and cultivation of yeast approximately 7,000 years later, leavened bread was available.
Even though people throughout the world continue to bake and enjoy unleavened bread, yeast, is integral to the type of bread that many people consume today. Circa 300 B.C., Ancient Egyptian bread makers were believed to to be the first producers of what is now known as commercial yeast. Furthermore, the earliest reference to sourdough was around 1500 B.C., and is also attributed to the Ancient Egyptians.
Centuries later, in the 20th century to be more exact, bread wasn’t consumed as often as it is today. When artisanal breads were rediscovered, however, this changed dramatically. As a result, bakers returned to the 1,000-year-old recipes and began to produce bread more often.
Were you aware that a single package of commercial yeast contains roughly 140 cells? When these cells are nourished, they begin to multiply, which is what makes bread rise.
Even though bakers may use a variety of flours to make bread, wheat flour is considered to be the most popular type of flour. This is because wheat flour has 2 proteins that are able to create gluten. Flour, you may be interested to know, is composed of roughly 70% carbohydrates or starch. The average adult, according to the FDA, should consume between 6 to 11 servings of carbohydrates every day. It’s good to know that this includes bread.
How much bread do you think people in the United States eat every week? In 2016, 11.76 million people ate a minimum of 5 loaves. While Americans obviously love their bread, you may be interested to know that there is more bread consumed in Turkey than in any other country. Every year, each person enjoys a total of 440 pounds of bread.
Where do you go for quality coffee? Chances are that you head toward a local cafe or quality bakery so that you can just relax and bask in the rich aroma of quality coffee and fresh bread. The next time you purchase a loaf of artisan bread, you might want to take a moment to honor its history before you take the first bite.