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Throughout history, worldwide, humans have relied on bread for sustenance. Bread has been so important as nourishment for the human body, it has come to symbolize nourishment for the human spirit. The first loaf of bread happened by chance. Legend has it that about 2600 B.C. an Egyptian slave was making flour and water cakes. He fell asleep and the fire went out before the cakes were baked. Being in a warm environment overnight, the dough and the result was much more pleasant to eat than the thin, hard cakes they were used to. Archeological findings in Egypt have revealed murals showing the process of baking bread, as well as loaves of bread buried with the dead to nourish them during their journey to the afterlife. People believed that the sun and rain were gifts from the gods, so the expressed thanks for the earth's fertility by offering bread sacrifices. Bread became a symbol of all that was precious. In old Muslim tradition, bread could not be sold, but only given or traded because it was a gift from Allah. Still, today, we find bread at the heart of many religious ceremonies. In the Christian eucharist ceremony, bread represents the body of Christ and symbolizes the nourishment of the soul. During Passover, or the Festival or Unleavened Bread, Jews eat only flat breads, symbolizing their ancestors' freedom from slavery - they has to run from Egypt before the bread dough had time to rise. Bread exists in many forms, each evolving from the resources, customs and beliefs of the people who created it. In periods of failed crops and poverty, people have lived on bread, yet bread remains on the plate in times of plenty as well. How can such a simple food, one which was in fact discovered by accident, have such universal significance? Perhaps it is that, in its simplicity, bread draws us together. Regardless where we live, from where our ancestors came, and what we do, bread has a deep place in the history of all of us.
Banana Bread or Banana Cake?- What Should I Eat for Lunch? I'm Hungry
Nearly everybody knows about banana cake and banana bread. There are likely very few people who do not know about these favorite delicacies. Worldwide, both banana cake and banana bread are very much preferred. However, if you ask what distinguishes banana cake from banana bread, there is often bit of confusion. Both banana cake and banana bread contain similar ingredients however they have many differences between them. Though you might have tasted banana cake and banana bread, you might not have noticed that much difference in taste as they both contain almost the same ingredients. There is however a slight difference in the taste between Banana cake and banana bread. Banana Bread is usually less sweet than Banana Cake. You will also clearly notice a difference between the banana cake and banana bread by just looking at it. The Banana Cake will look softer when compared to the hard texture of the Banana Bread. It will also be noticed that Banana Bread is very dense and heavy in contrast to the banana cake, which is lighter. Another difference between banana cake and banana bread is that the former is moist and the latter one is dry. Banana bread is quick bread made in a loaf pan. In Banana bread, baking soda and/or baking powder is usually used, which gives it a raised appearance. This is usually not used while preparing banana cake. Yeast is used in the preparation of banana cake. One can also come across difference in the flour used for preparing banana cake and banana bread. When compared to the flour used in banana bread, the flour used in Banana cake is soft wheat. This means that the flour used in banana cake usually contains less gluten. Boy all this bread talk does make me hungry I wonder what should eat today for lunch? :)
Basic Bread Recipe- What Should I Eat Today? I'm Hungry
1. Add 1 cup of warm water and one tablespoon of sugar into a mixing bowl. Next add two tablespoons of yeast. Now let it sit for about 5 minutes.
2. Next add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of milk, a small dash of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil and/or melted (and cooled) margarine or shortening. Stir the mixure approx. 50 times clockwise then another 50 times counter-clockwise.
3. Now add another 3 to 4 cups of flour and mix it until the dough forms into a ball. Now turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Next, knead the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Let the dough rise in a greased bowl for about 1 hour (it should nearly double in size). Now punch down the dough. Let it rise yet again for 30 to 45 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape them into loaves. Place them in loaf pans and bake at 425 degrees for approx. 25-30 minutes.
Keeping Bread Fresh- What Should I Eat Today? I'm Hungry.
REFRIGERATORS & BREAD
It is best to avoid storing bread in the refrigerator. The average temperature of most refrigerators is about 41 F. This is a temperature at which bread stales most rather quickly. Interestingly, one day in the refrigerator can be equivalent to three days at room temperature for bread or breads.
FREEZERS & BREAD
A freezer would be the ideal place to store bread when keeping beyond its best before date or when mold could be a concern. Wrapped bread may be kept for up to three months in a freezer. Defrosting a loaf of bread at room temperature may take a few hours however, this could be speeded up by wrapping the bread in foil and then placing it in a pre-heated oven first.
BREAD THAT IS WRAPPED
Bread that is presliced and prewarapped should always be kept inside its wrapper. The best before date is usually displayed either on the wrapper itself or the quick lock tab. It is usually best to store bread in its original packaging tightly closed and wrapped. When stored like this the bread will usually stay fresh for several days at normal room temperature. In warm humid areas to avoid molding it may be best to freeze the bread and defrost slices when needed. Wrapped bread may last in a freezer for as much as 3 months.
BREAD THAT IS CRUSTY
Crusty rolls and bread always taste best when eaten shortly after or at least on the day of purchase. Often, after a few hours French Sticks already being to go stale. Crusty artisan bread tends to dry out rather quickly and the bread crust may become chewy. Left over crusty bread can be used in the next few days for anything from buschetta, homemade croutons, cheese bread, or Gourmet French Toast.
When a loaf of bread stales, the crust of the bread starts to become leathery while the inside loses its softness. These changes can be temporarily reversed by warming the bread an oven (see above) or by toasting the bread.
Newly baked bread is free from mold. However, mold spores, which are present in the air, can form on the crust of the bread and then mold may develop on the bread, this is particularly common in warm/moist conditions. To delay this process, it is important to store bread, tightly closed/sealed, in its original wrapping.
HOW TO REFRESH BREAD
Rolls, buns, and Crusty bread which have become a bit stale could be freshened by wrapping the bread in foil and then placing in a pre-heated oven at 450 F for about 5-10 minutes. The bread should be left in the foil to cool down and eaten soon afterwards because reheating causes it to dry out and go stale rather quickly. When crusty bread losses its crispness it can be placed uncovered in a hot oven for 5 minutes.