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Bread is with out a doubt one of the major factors in the forming of humanity. It’s virtually impossible to exaggerate how important bread has been to early society all the way up to the present day. All the way from Asia, where wheat did become a domestic grain, it’s cultivation went to the west, and also to the north. Europe and the African countries of the north found large populations farming instead of being just hunter gatherers.
Farming gave humanity it’s first taste of living in collective villages, and then living in towns. Such a departure from the nomad ways of life. Such change brought about higher levels of group learning, and offered organized societies a chance to thrive and grow. It was eastern Asia that experienced the same with rice, and the Americas had a similar experience with corn.
The best guess is that the oven, with a door, that could achieve preheated status, was most likely a Greek idea. Back during ancient times, it is surprising the amount of variety that existed in choices of breads. The Greeks seem to have had an affinity for barley bread, with the idea that wheat would be used on special feasting occasions.
Bake shops appear in historical records of Athens Greece going back as far as 500 BC. Near 200 BC., Roman history displays information regarding Greek bakers providing bread for sale. Classical writings describe breads made of barley, wheat, honey sweetened grains, some breads covered with and baked with seeds atop the loaf. Writings of the medieval days of Europe clearly describe brad not only as a survival staple to all, but as a common part of the table service existing at places that served food and lodging.
Eventually bread was industrialized, and that of course was a major step towards creating the world that we now live in. Sliced bread became an item back during 1912, and is believed to be a creation of Frederick Rohwedder. It was at 1928 that sliced bread really took off because a device created to wrap the bread immediately after slicing was implemented to avoid the bread becoming stale. It was a baker, in the state of Missouri at the town of Chillicothe, that was the first to sell sliced and wrapped bread using the above mentioned devices. It was then generation after generation that did desire white breads more than they desired darker colored breads. It was not until the later parts of the twentieth century that people became wise to the fact that whole grain, dark colored natural breads were much healthier and nutritious than mass produced white breads.
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One can only hope that the entire world will reverse course and become awake to the fact that natural methods of preparing and cooking breads are the way to better health for bread eating societies. Advancements in the area of financial gain are often giant and tragic steps backwards in the area of human health and wellness. We must get old school again when it comes to bread. It will be very much to our health benefit.