Bread – The Universal Staple Food
No kitchen is functionally complete without the aroma of the freshly made bread. Some form of bread is prepared daily in every kitchen round the globe. Mostly made from different types of grains and their various combinations, bread is the staple food of almost all cultures: it provides adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates along with a dash of fat and vitamins, adequate enough for a day’s nutritional needs
Human culture is entwined around the bread, anointed differently at various locations, depending on the type of grain available locally for making it. Bread can be roasted, baked or fried. There are basically three ways of making bread: baking with yeast, leavening it with baking soda and simply heating the dough on the pan.
White bread is made from the finer interior core of the grain(endosperm), it does not go very well with the health conscious, being made of very fine material it subjects the digestive system to undue stress. Brown bread is made of the bran and the interior white core of the grain. Being coarser it is easily processed in the body and is also more nutritive than white bread. Whole grain bread is made from the dough made from the bran, the interior endosperm along with the germ.
At the core of the process of making bread is the leavening or the lift provided to the dough by the action of different agents, like the Yeast – bacteria – or the baking Soda. These agents convert the sugars inherent in the dough into gas (carbon dioxide) and alcohol. The gas so produced in the form of minute bubbles, raises the dough from inside, turning the entire mass into a sponge. The external heat provided congeals the entire mass as it is, forming the bread.
A Roti is a form of bread famous in Southeast Asia, wherein the dough prepared from the whole grain is made into flat rollovers and roasted on a heated pan. Nan is a leavened version of the Roti, and the geographical stretch it spans across is synonymous with the Roti’s., Rye bread, native to Germany is high in fiber and nutrients. Apart from these the French, Italian and Cuban breads are world famous.
The bread is much more to the kitchen than just another type of food prepared on a daily basis. Its high affinity to the moisture and the odors can be used to rectify a number of processes going astray in the kitchen: keeping a loaf of bread over a bowl of scorched rice – and covered for 5 minutes – would suck off the annoying odor completely; it is the best choice for picking up the tiny glass shards from the floor and holding a piece of bread between the teeth while cutting onions can save you the watering eyes.
Bread is central to the daily meals; everything else is just the accompaniments as additives or enhancers to it. The method involved in making bread and the way it is consumed, reflects a lot about sthe culture of the associated populatio