Bread is a staple food, rich in carbohydrates, produced from a flour-based dough, leavened and then baked. The dough is made with some cereal flour, water, and possible other ingredients, different according to the area of production.
In Italian cooking it is a must, often accompanied by something else. It is so important, that its production is regulated by actual laws. You can also make unleavened bread, widespread in Middle-Eastern countries, that keep longer time.
Bread is one of the oldest produced foods: the first examples probably made just with a grain-paste cooked on hot rocks. The earliest archaeological evidence of leavening is from ancient Egyptians, who noticed that bread dough left to rest overnight and cooked the next day was better than usual bread. Even in ancient times there was a large variety of breads. In ancient Greece, for example, they used to make a bread with milk, oil, cheese, herbs and honey into the dough.
In the western countries, the most widespread bread is made from wheat flour, while in northern Europe countries from rye flour. But there are also breads made from corn, barley, and oats flour, often combined with wheat flour. Anyway, the base recipe to make bread is two parts of flour in one part of water, yeast and salt (but from Tuscany, Marches and Umbria, where they use to make unsalted bread).
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