Let’s break bread!

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Let’s break bread!

Pretzel is a knot-like shaped bread sprinkled with salt, invented by monks in the Middle Ages

Let’s break bread!

Bread has been a staple food since the earliest times. According to 'homestratosphere', a food website, 30,000 years ago in Europe, Early Man used starch extracts from the roots of cattails and ferns to make flatbread. As bread is now, a staple in our kitchens, it was the same thousands of years ago, too. 

While flatbreads may be easy-to-buy, simple-to-eat and a non-fussy-sides on our dinner tables, its making and types are equally varied and complicated.

In this article, for better comprehension, we narrow down the bread to its European types:  

Pretzels

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Pretzels, called brezel in German, are twisted knot-like shaped bread sprinkled with salt, and invented by monks in the Middle Ages, as a prize for children to learn their prayers. But the German story is an interesting tale of imprisoned bakers who came up with the unconventional shape before they were set free. And perhaps that’s why the twisty strip dough has been the bakers’ symbol since the 12th century in southern Germany.

A classic pretzel can be served with various toppings, seasonings and dipping sauces. 

Focaccia

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Focaccia is an oven-baked flatbread, much like a pizza dough. This bread is mostly used as a side to a meal, as the base of a pizza, seasoned with olive oil and salt. Recipes for this bread need slicing knives through any bubbles that may arise. Interestingly, it also includes poking further into the dough in a process called dotting to help the bread soak up the oil used to keep it moist.

Baguette

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Baguettes are made from flour, water, yeast, and salt. The bread was technically not recorded as being called a baguette before 1920; long loaves of crusty wheat bread have been typical in France since the era of Louis XIV.

The modern long-skinny variation is thought to have become popular because of a 1920 law forbidding bakers to work between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am. With less time to prepare the bread before the morning rush, slender loaves were the best choice to bake faster. 

Pan Gallego

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This bread was baked in the Spanish region of Galicia. As per the ‘Afar travelling website’, "It was one of the foodstuffs locals gave to pilgrims travelling to St. James’s to Santiago de Compostela to keep them from going hungry on the long journey. It’s the most popular choice for travellers on a long trip. The traditional 500-year-old recipe for Galician bread stays fresh for a month because of its slow fermentation and lower salt content.

Juoda duona

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This Lithuanian bread includes ground rye flour, starter, and water. The dough must be pummeled for a long time before baking and left to ferment overnight. Once baked, juoda duona is ready to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

According to ‘tasteatlas Bread’, a website on breads, in Lithuania juoda juoda is always baked by the eldest woman in the house, and if visitors come over, it is a custom that they stay until the baking process is complete.

So, how many of these have you tried before?