Homemade Bread Day is coming up on November 17th!
What could be better than celebrating the cozy comfort of homemade bread?
Just thinking about it conjures up the wonderful warmth of a bright kitchen and the irresistible smell of fresh bread baking inside the oven.
The best part about homemade bread is that it is higher in fiber, lower in salt, and void of additives compared to most packaged bread.
Our busy lifestyles mean that many of us only prepare homemade bread on special occasions.
The plant-based recipe we share later on will certainly tempt you to make homemade bread more often!
Before we get to that, let’s first learn a little more about bread and its fascinating history.
Bread’s Long History
Known as the ‘staff of life,’ bread is one of the oldest foods known to mankind.
Around 10,000 BC, humans first started eating a crude form of flatbread—a simple, baked combination of ground cereal grains and water.
Similar flatbreads are still made today including Iranian lavashes, Mexican tortillas, Indian chapatis, Scottish oatcakes, and Middle Eastern pitas.
The ancient Egyptians are considered to be the first to have baked leavened bread; by 3,000 BC they began to ferment a mixture of flour and water using wild yeast. They then developed ovens, which could bake several loaves of bread at the same time.
Bread for the rich was made from wheat flour, while bread for those less wealthy was prepared with barley, and bread for the poor used sorghum.
The Egyptians revered bread so much they would often place it on the tombs of their dead.
They also used it as currency. In fact, the workers who built the Egyptian pyramids were paid in bread!
The Ancient Greeks learned how to make bread from the Egyptians, and by 2,500 BC were producing more than 80 different types of bread. The Greeks were instrumental in spreading the popularity of bread throughout Europe.
In 150 BC, the first Baker’s Guild was formed in Rome, which made bread exclusively for the rich but also gave bread to the poor in times of need.
In 1266, bakers in England were ordered to mark each loaf of bread to ensure their bread conformed to the weights required by law. These bakers’ marks are among the first trademarks known to mankind.
If a baker’s loaf was deemed to be underweight, the baker would be fined, so they would add an extra loaf to every dozen, giving birth to the ‘baker’s dozen.’
In the Middle Ages in France, bakers would loan out bread as currency and a form of credit, which is probably why King Louis IV said, “He who controls a nation’s bread is a greater ruler than he who controls their souls.”
The answer to the question, “How should I celebrate Homemade Bread Day’?” is easy!
Bake some bread!
And to help you do that here is one of our favorite recipe for Whole Grain Bread.
Baking bread is a bit of a lost art…and it is time to revive it!