Did you know that the Egyptians created the first modern bread?
The journey from cereals to flour, then from flour to the use of yeast fungi in the preparation of dough, from dough to baked bread is one of the most fascinating stories of human innovation.
The history of bread is, in fact, the history of civilization because the cultivation of cereals enabled the transition from hunting and nomadic lifestyles to agriculture and the formation of cities.
Although bread is one of the oldest prepared foods, its true origin is still unknown. However, it was found that bread was made 12,000 years before New Era, made of water and wild cereals, probably the forerunner of today’s wheat, crushed and baked on stone slabs in caves. The bread of that time was more like tortillas than what we today call a loaf of bread. The turning point in development dates back to the Egyptians, from 4000 to 1000 BC. Namely, they found that if we add yeast to the dough, which they prepared by mixing flour and water, bread becomes softer and becomes larger in volume. It was the first truly modern bread we still know today. The Egyptians were so innovative that they even started production of baker’s yeast and introduced refining to eliminate “”impurities””. Sesame, honey and fruit were added to the bread.
Like many other foods, bread arrived in Europe from Egypt through the ancient Greeks. The Greeks are known to have enjoyed various forms of this food (like an unusual mushroom-shaped loaf), and they gladly added oil and honey to it. Numerous statements by famous Greek thinkers testify to the importance of bread for the population at that time, and even then, Hippocrates emphasized that it is not unimportant whether we eat white or black bread. The “”technology”” of bread production from the Greeks was taken over by the Romans, in whose hands it experienced a real boom. It was in Rome that the first bakery guilds were founded and the bakers got a separate craft. The bakery guilds were so powerful and prized that they did not even allow the children of bakers to do any other business than produce the bakery products. Back then, bakers enjoyed special privileges – they were the only craft that was not enslaved but free.
Today, it is irreplaceable at all tables around the world, embedded in numerous proverbs about the wisdom of living, and is an extremely valued and inseparable part of food culture in our region. Most foods specific to our area, such as dolma (stuffed) or “”saftali”” (juicy) meals, actually implies bread, not only as a side dish, but often as a cutlery.”