Did You Know How Bread Is Made? Discover These Fun Food Facts

Moumita Dutta
Jan 24, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Brown and white whole grain loaves wrapped in Kraft.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

Have you ever thought about the importance of bread in your life?

Think about the numerous times when you might have had bread, be it as a part of your breakfast sandwich or even as a juicy hamburger. Bread will surely be in your diet as one of the most nutritious and filling foods.

Bread is one such food item that is made in different ways throughout the world. So, there can be loads of possible recipes for making this astonishing food item. But, as most of us have taken to eating pre-packaged bread, we don't know much about the process of bread making. To help you know more about the art of making bread, we created this article about bread production.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about how is bacon made or how is balsamic vinegar made here on Kidadl?

How is sourdough bread made?

Sourdough is a form of bread that isn't raised with the help of commercial yeast. Instead, something known as a sourdough starter is added to the drought to produce the rise. This starter is a mixture made of fermented flour and water to produce wild yeast.

The starter needs to be kept alive and fed so that a person can make more sourdough bread using it. Like most other types of bread, sourdough also requires ingredients like bread flour and water. It can also have a bit of salt for an added flavor, but the most important part of sourdough bread is the starter. To make a quality starter, thorough fermentation is needed, and it can take up to five or more days. A blend of tepid water and flour is prepared on the first day, and it is fed for subsequent days until the fermentation process is over so that the starter can be used for making the bread.

Before starting to make the bread, a levain is prepared by mixing a bit of the starter with flour and water. This is left alone at room temperature for up to eight hours for activating. Then, this levain is mingled with more water which is added to the flour for making dough. This is left to rise in a bowl and then kneaded to get a smooth dough that's ready to be stretched. After stretching and resting the dough for hours, it is left in the fridge overnight. First, the bread is baked covered, and then without the cover to give the loaves its crunchy hard top. Sourdough is a completely vegan bread that doesn't have any eggs or any other animal products.

How is white bread made?

The most common bread that we see in the market or even in bakeries is white bread. The dough is usually made with the four main ingredients of wheat flour, yeast, water, and salt. Sometimes, fat or eggs are added to this list of basic essential ingredients according to a particular recipe.

The ingredients are mixed together to form a dough and baked in an oven so that it's ready for consumption. To make simple white bread, yeast is added to warm water to let it activate in heat. Scientifically speaking, the yeast adds carbon dioxide to the dough and makes it fluffy. On the other hand, kneading helps the dough to form gluten that helps the bread loaves to stay compact. In bakeries or factories, you'll find a big machine that helps in kneading the dough. Among all the methods, proofing is also an important part of the process as it adds air to the doughs and helps it to rise.

Quality bread from good bakeries is always fluffy because it is properly kneaded and produced from the doughs left to prove for the perfect time. We usually bake white bread in a pan with a rectangular shape and in a hot oven. It's usually left to cool at room temperature and then made to go through a slicing machine. These loaves of bread usually lack any additional flavor or taste and you can't store it for a long time.

Baker preparing dough for bread.

How is potato bread made?

Potato bread is another delicacy that comes all the way from Ireland and believe it or not, this beautiful bread was mostly eaten by commoners during the 18th century. As its name suggests, one of the basic ingredients of this bread is potato. And, usually, the potato bread dough is made by adding fresh mashed potatoes to the wheat flour.

The condiments needed for preparing the potato bread include potatoes, wheat flour, yeast, milk, salt, sugar, and a bit of olive oil or fat of one's choice. To make the bread, first, good quality potatoes are boiled and mashed, then milk is added to it along with the salt, sugar, and fat. Usually, a stand mixer is used for kneading the mashed potato mixture and flour into a smooth dough that's kept at rest to let it rise. Once it's done, the dough is sliced into smaller pieces and left to rise in individual loaf pans. Then, the loaves are baked in an oven or a bread machine, and after taking it out, the bread is left to cool at room temperature.

Another type of bread that comes from Ireland is Irish soda bread. This is a yeastless process of making bread, where soda bicarbonate instead of yeast is added to the flour along with milk or buttermilk to raise the dough. This is a quick bread recipe that's often cooked on top of a skillet and you can alter the flavor of this bread by adding other ingredients. One of the most common ways to make Irish soda bread is to mix the baking soda with flour, buttermilk, eggs, butter, sugar and salt. Everything is mixed together to form a soft dough which scored and baked till the loaf has a golden brown texture. This is a firm and dense bread that taste good with soups.

How is gluten-free bread made?

Gluten is a basic part of breadmaking as it helps to add the desired fluffiness to a bread. However, as some people are gluten intolerant, they would like to have bread that's free from gluten. This is done by altering one of the most basic ingredients of bread and that's wheat flour.

Instead of it, others like gluten-free wheat flour, almond flour or coconut flour are used to make the bread. If you have ever had gluten-free bread you'll notice that it has a firmer texture compared to a loaf of bread prepared with the usual condiments. Also, a gluten-free bread dough often includes many more ingredients compared to the usual bread as it requires a binding agent. Let's check out an easy method for preparing gluten-free bread.

First, you'll need to prepare the warm water and yeast mixture like all other methods of making bread. Then, it's time to add a bit of xanthan gum to your choice of gluten-free flour as it helps to bind the bread dough. This recipe also requires eggs, and all the dry and wet ingredients need to be mixed together. It'll probably look like a thick batter when mixed by hand or in a mixer, then you have to transfer it to a loaf pan and cover it with Saran wrap to let it prove at room temperature. Once it rises to the top of the pan, it's time to bake it in a pre-heated oven till it develops a nice crust.

How is pita bread made?

Pita bread is a Mediterranean round flatbread that's prepared by mixing yeast with wheat flour to form a dough that is flattened and baked at a very high temperature of 450-475 F (232.2-246.1 C) to help the bread to fluff up.

These pieces of bread are commonly eaten in Middle Eastern countries, and it is said to be one of the oldest bread recipes that exist. Making pita bread is actually quite easy, and it is similar to making any dough for bread. First, the yeast is prepared by putting it in a warm liquid and waiting for it to get activated. Then, the yeast is mixed well with the wheat flour, salt and a bit more water, and kneaded for a while to form the gluten and turn it into a smooth dough until it is double in size. The next step is to divide the dough into equal-sized balls and roll it into round flat discs that go into the oven for baking. When produced on a large scale, pita bread is often flattened with pressure rather than using a rolling pin. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'We Bet You Did Not Know: How Bread Is Made? Fun Food Facts' then why not take a look at 'Have You Ever Thought? Why Do Painters Wear White? Fun Facts For All' or 'When Do Puppy Teeth Fall Out? Know About Your Paw Friend's Teething.'

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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