- Bread has been around for centuries.
Ironically, it even had a role in the settlement of Australia as many
convicts were deported here for stealing bread. However, the origins of
bread started well before this, nearly 12,000 years ago.
- Bread is almost always made of wheat
but in the past rye, barley, oats, rice and maize (often called Indian
corn until recently) were used or mixed.
- The first bread was probably made of
coarsely crushed wild grains mixed with water and shaped into loaves
that were laid on heated stones or baked by covering with hot ash.
However, the earliest documentation traces bread to the Middle East,
where Egyptians cultivated grains.
Flour, water, yeast and other ingredients are mixed to
form a dough. Mixing develops the gluten in the flour for optimum gas
retention at later stages of proofing and baking. Mixing incorporates air
into the dough. In some processes, additives included at the mixing stage
reduce or eliminate fermentation time.
It is also known that xylanases have an anti-staling action during bread
storage but their action is not clear. Knowledge
about the mechanism of xylanase action in dough and bread is still
limited, probably because pentosans in flour vary between wheat types, as
well as the fact that the specificity of xylanases towards different
substrates is also variable.
staling is a complex process, and is generally defined as the increase in
the crumb firmness and a parallel loss in product freshness. The most
important change associated with staling of bread is the gradual increase
in the firmness of crumb
In recent years engineering innovations have developed
presses with much greater capacity and improved performance. Associated
with their introduction there has been a move to finer semolina
granulation to accommodate increased mixing speeds and reduced mixing
time, and to improve homogeneity of the extruded dough.
The Rapidojet process that is, the preparation of
dough by means of a high-pressure water jet that has been recently
introduced in Germany, is a real innovation. The process is based on the
fact that the mere combination of water and flour will result in the
immediate formation of gluten strings.
- The UK bread and
morning goods market is worth almost £2.9 billion and is one of the
largest sectors in the food industry. Total volume is approximately 4.4
billion units, the equivalent of over 12 million loaves and packs every
- The larger
baking companies produce 80% of bread sold in the UK. In store bakeries
(ISBs) within supermarkets produce about 17% and high street retail
bakers produce the rest.
- China represents a much
faster-growing market for bread due to its relative nascence. Growth can
be seen particularly in urban areas where, due to the increasing pace of
life, many people do not have the luxury of spending an hour at
- Bread and biscuits constitute the
largest segment of consumer foods in India. Their production is about
3.70 million tons per year.
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