Why a Bread Maker? There are number of reasons: the aroma of freshly baked bread is at the top of my list, followed by knowing I was responsible for creating one of the basic necessities in life. Controlling ingredients and eating something without additives such as MSG is a major plus. There is also a euphoric feeling at knowing you created something that is so important to one’s livelihood.
I recently read an interesting article about bread being the “staff of life” published on November 6, 2005. (November 6th is also the date of my birth) The article is worth reading, and if you are interested you can visit http://humannaturenuggets.blogspot.com/2005/11/breadthe-staff-of-life.html). Darlene (the author) said, “Whatever its shape, size or name, not only has it been a principal form of food from earliest times, but it has been a staple in the lives of mankind throughout history.”
According to Webster, bread is a basic food made of flour or meal! The history of bread making is however much more interesting than the basic ingredients making up a loaf of bread, a pan of biscuits or a tortilla. “Wheat and bread created villages, communities, and nations; they helped to civilize the world.” It is written that Egyptians baked the first known leavened bread and built a thriving industry. The tale goes that an absent-minded baker left a piece of unleavened flat dough out in the warm sun, where it fermented. (I believe I also read where fermentation is a cornerstone of beer making)
At one time strict laws were imposed on bakers regarding the “social classes of bread.” Bakers were also subject to being be-headed if they did not bake enough bread (during the Middle Ages); thus the phrase “The baker’s dozen” where baker’s added an extra loaf of bread to each dozen to ensure they achieved their daily quota.
Good reading to learn more about a brief history of bread making, and featuring more than 250 recipes for baking breads, biscuits, rolls, etc. can be acquired in Uncle John’s Original Bread Book, written by John Rahn Braue (2nd edition, 1965). This book (used) is still available through Amazon.com and a few other booksellers. Simply surf the web for more information. If you are interested in bread making it is a must have.