Saturday, April 19, 2014


what the color of the twist tie or tabs on bread packaging means; namely, what day of the week the bread was baked on. what the color of the twist tie or tabs on bread packaging means; namely, what day of the week the bread was baked on
  • The inner part of the bread encased by the crust is called the “crumb”, hence why small bits of this part of the bread are called crumbs.
  • Bread is one of the oldest known prepared foods with records of it going back all the way to the Neolithic era around 10,000 BC, which was right at the end of the Stone Age.
  • It is thought that the first leavened breads probably happened by accident.  Yeast spores are ubiquitous and are even found on the surface of cereal grains.  Any dough then left out and not cooked right away will naturally leaven to a certain extent.  So in the absence of a source of yeast or other leavening agent, one can simply leave prepared dough exposed to fresh air for a certain amount of time in order to leaven it.
  • The Gauls and Iberians used foam from beer to leaven their bread, according to Pliny the Elder who lived around 2000 years ago.
  • Incidentally, Pliny the Elder, the famed author, naturalist, philosopher, and commander, died trying to rescue people stranded on the shores after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum.    While attempting to sail his ship near the shore, burning cinders fell on the ship.  Rather than turn around, as his helmsman suggested, Pliny stated “Fortune favors the brave!  Steer to where Pomponianus is.”  He landed safely and was able to rescue his friends and others on the shore.  However, he never left that shore.  Before they were able to set out again (they needed the winds to shift before they could safely leave), he died and ended up being left behind.  It is thought he died of some sort of asthmatic attack or by some cardiovascular event, possibly brought on by the heavy fumes and heat from the volcano.  His body was later retrieved three days later buried under pumice and it had no apparent external injuries.  He was around 56 years old.
  • Back on topic, another handy way to leaven bread around Pliny’s time was to make a paste of grape juice and flour and then let it ferment.
  • Once you have one batch of dough that is leavened, you can simply keep some of that dough uncooked and combine that piece with dough you make in the future.  You can then continue this practice more or less indefinitely.
  • Ancient Egyptian governments strictly controlled the production and distribution of bread as a means of controlling the populace; bread was the primary food source for most people at the time.  If bread was taken away, most people in Egypt at that time would have starved.
  • Ancient Egypt wasn’t the only place where bread was the most important food source.  During the 18th century in France, one of the triggers for the French Revolution was a shortage of bread.

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