A Brief History of Bread

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About
One of the simplest of crafts, bread making is the seed from which all other baking has sprung. Beginning with the development of primitive grains in the Middle East some ten thousand years ago, man conjured up a mix of grain and water to create a nourishing food, but the invention of bread as we know it has been attributed to the ancient Egyptians. Remnants of bread-making tools—grinding stones, baking ovens, agricultural implements used for growing grains—have been found in tombs, and depictions of bread making are shown in great detail in the art preserved there. Further proof is seen in archaeological documentation of their mastering the art of fermentation for use in both baking and brewing. Egyptians continued to advance bread baking through the invention of clay ovens that could produce a risen loaf, rather than the usual flat one produced in the ashes of a spent fire or on a baking stone.