Art: Bread in Medieval England

Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash

The Early English Bread Project – “It’s Bread, Jim, But Not As We Know It.” (published October 11, 2016).

It’s fascinating how simple day-to-day items, like bread, are extremely different from what you might have run into historically. Our modern bread beats out anything that graced the table of kings. Yeast-risen white bread screamed wealth – (1) England’s climate isn’t a wheat-growing climate, so raising wheat instead of, say, rye, indicated you had the luxury of failure and the time for extra work. (2) Baking instead of griddle-cake type-breads indicated a population large enough to maintain and use an oven.¬†(3) The air-holes giving it a light, fluffy easy-to-eat result, is the biggest brag. “I don’t need bread to fill me up.” (See Fluffiness in the above article.)

The way the grain was ground and immediately used produced different flavors than we experience with our modern months-old flour. The yeast¬† most often wasn’t purpose-driven bread yeast, but stolen leftovers from brewing. And the grains and pulses used, so different from the monoculture of wheat, likely didn’t have the gluten-reactions we experience today (in case you were wondering how so much gluten reaction survived in humanities genome).

Like I said, fascinating. If you would like to read the full original blog post by the Early English Bread Project the URL Link is