Grains through the Centuries
Wheat in all its forms is the standard for bread baking today. There are several varietes of wheat like white or red and hard or soft depending on when and where the wheat was grown. But wheat was not always the first choice for bread baking. Through the ages, people have used many different grains for their daily bread.
Simply put, bread is made from grass. Any grass. The seeds of these grasses are known as grain. Grain can come in many forms, shapes and sizes. Some grains grow better in some places and climates then others. The grains found most commonly in a location is what the daily bread was usually made from. And each country came up with its signature ways of making bread. Ever heard of the Icelandic rye bread that’s baked in the black earth?
Ancient bread was made out of ancient grains. Older forms of the grasses and grains that we find today. If you’re curious, I wrote articles about them here and here. Many ancient grains are returning to our store shelves. Buckwheat and barley are two ancient grains that are still used today. And some of these grains are used with great success by people who are gluten free.
Europe is known for its rye, spelt and barley breads. China is known for its soft, often steamed, rice breads that tend to be very chewy in texture. An in America, “bread” was first made out of corn namely in the form of cornbread and tortillas.