Bread is one of the most common staple foods throughout much of the world and there are thousands of different varieties. Evidence suggests that bread has been made and eaten by humans for thousands of years. Today, many people purchase bread from a bakery or grocery store, although some still bake their own bread at home. It is used in a number of ways, but the most popular remain toasting and making sandwiches. In the United States the most common type of commercial bread is white sandwich bread, but other varieties are also popular. Most of us eat bread every day without ever thinking about the ingredients. Let’s find out what bread is made from.
What is bread made of?
The majority of bread is made from a dough of flour and water. Additional ingredients may include; salt, vinegar, oil, fat, milk, egg, sugar, nuts, seeds and spices. Leavening agents, such as yeast and baking soda, are also commonly used to make the bread rise. In many commercially made bread preservatives are also used to increase the shelf life of the product. Some commercial breads also contain added vitamins and minerals to boost the nutritional value of the product.
The flour used in bread is most commonly wheat flour, although rye flour is also used in a number of varieties. Flours made from barley, corn (maize) and many other grains are less commonly used but are still very important as many of these may be suitable for people with allergies or diseases, such as celiac disease.
Did you know?
Most white bread is made from bleached refined flour, which has had the wheat germ and bran removed. This processed was developed in the 19th century to improve the shelf life of the flour. Unfortunately, the wheat germ contains important vitamins and other nutrients. Critics of white bread suggest that whole-wheat bread is a better nutritional choice.