Looking at a field of wheat and a loaf of bread, you wouldn’t guess that one came from the other. But man has been making bread of some kind for over 10,000 years!
Early man probably chewed the seeds of wheat and other grains, either raw or roasted. Then primitive people learned to crush cereal grains between stones, splitting the seed cover and turning the starch and other food elements inside to a powder. The powder could be mixed with water to form dough, and then baked.
The ancient Egyptians and Hebrews were the first to discover that fermented dough, dough with yeast in it, would produce lighter, better- tasting bread. The Egyptians were probably the first to bake white bread made from wheat. But even as late as the 17th century, English peasants rarely ate white bread: they made their bread instead from barley and rye.
The job of grinding wheat into flour was difficult until around 200 B.C., when the first milling machines were invented. Later, water wheels and windmills were used to turn the stones that ground the wheat.
Bread has always been valuable because of its low cost and high nutritive value. Bread is so important around the world that it is called the “staff of life.”
A loaf of bread 3,500 years old was found in an Egyptian tomb!