Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour, water and other ingredients, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history it has been popular around the world and is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of importance since the dawn of agriculture.
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There are many different types of bread around the world; white, wholemeal, wholegrain, rye and spelt, to name just a few. Bread can be leavened or unleavened, and can be cooked in many different types of oven to produce different results.
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Bread is served in various forms with any meal of the day. It is often toasted at breakfast time, eaten as a snack throughout the day, and used as an ingredient in other culinary preparations such as sandwiches. It's also used in the form of breadcrumbs as a coating for other foods, to prevent sticking.
Bread has a social and emotional significance beyond its importance as nourishment. It plays essential roles in religious rituals and secular culture
The Old English word for bread was hlaf (hlaifs in Gothic: modern English loaf), which appears to be the oldest Teutonic name. Old High German hleib and modern German laib derive from this Proto-Germanic word, which was borrowed into Slavic (Polish chleb, Russian khleb) and Finnic (Finnish leipä, Estonian leib) languages as well
Bread is the staple food of the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, Europe, and in European-derived cultures such as those in the Americas, Australia, and Southern Africa, in contrast to parts of South and East Asia where rice or noodles is the staple
Some types of bread, especially seeded breads, can be rich in various essential oils and nutrients
Bread is used in a wide variety of ways in kitchens around the world. It's toasted, used for sandwiches, dipped in oils and vinegars or other sauces, used to top biryani, made into puddings... Hardly surprising, given it's been around so long!
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