Bread Facts to Ponder

Isn’t bread the best thing since flour was invented? You can’t possibly disagree if not a week passes without having bread in your diet. If this is something that we eat regularly (hence, the label staple food) then we should know more about it than the fact that bread slices taste great with cheese, ham, eggs, vegetables and mayonnaise.
•    Bread making is one of the oldest food preparation techniques.  Basically, it is prepared by cooking the dough of flour and water and other ingredients. Generally, it is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, niacin, riboflavin, iron, calcium and other B complex vitamins.

•    The Old English word “bread” may have been derived from the root word “brew” or “break” to refer to bits or broken pieces of bread. It took the place of loaf as a generic term in the 12th century.

•    The “staff of life” has a great historical and cultural importance. Bread has been used as a metaphor for the basic necessities of life, livelihood and even money.  It is the staple food in North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas (including the US).

•    Sliced bread or pre-cut bread was commercially available only in 1928 when the Chillicothe Baking Company of Missouri produced their first slices using the bread-slicing machine invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa.  The phrase “the best thing since sliced bread” was inspired by the advertising message “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped.”

•    The bread maker or bread machine, invented in 1986 by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (now known as Panasonic), became popular in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States in the 1990s.

•    Generally, homemade bread does not have preservatives and can become stale faster than commercial bread. However, you can keep it fresh longer if you store it properly and slice bread only before consumption.

•    Bread stored in the refrigerator becomes stale faster than bread stored at room temperature. It can stay fresh in a bread box for 4 or 5 days or much longer in the freezer. Uncut bread stays fresh longer than cut bread. It is important to have the right tools for slicing bread anytime you need it.

•    More households like baking their own bread because it is satisfying and enjoyable as well as more practical and healthier. They like being able to control or  the amount of additives and ingredients.
There are so many more choices of flavors and types of bread than you can buy at a market.

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