How did they work out how to make bread?
How did so many ancient cultures figure out that you can make flour, and then bread, from wheat? It’s a pretty convoluted process and I reckon you could sit me in front of a field of wheat with an oven, some water, a grinder, and some yeast and wheat, and I’d never put the five together.
The first breads wouldn’t have had yeast in them, but would have been the unleavened bread mentioned in the Bible. Since grains aren’t really edible until they have been cooked, it would have started, perhaps, with tossing them into whatever passed for a stewpot.
Then perhaps someone would have got the idea to pound the grains up with a rock to make them cook more quickly; then discovered that they held together as a sort of gluey mass when soaked and cooked. Then they would have made a kind of pancake and cooked it on a hot rock.
The discovery of yeast may have happened when someone left a pot of this mixture out to soak and soften, and the next morning found bubbles and air holes in it because natural yeasts from the air had got in, or perhaps from dried fruit they had added.
There may have been some crossover from beer brewing. One ancient Assyrian beer recipe mentions using “twice baked bread” (toast?) and raisins as the ingredients. Raisins would have picked up wild yeasts while drying on the vine; someone may have used the same utensils for whipping up a batch of bread and added yeast to their bread that way.
So it wouldn’t have been a one-time thing, with bread as we know it suddenly emerging from loaf pans in an oven. nuliajuk
What if in the field you also had a cow, some cheese, a tomato plant and a gherkin plant? Don’t you think you would find a convenient way to serve the burger you had just invented? russell84
They probably had a Mary Berry book handy.