An important part of our daily diet, bread is such simple food stuff that it is often taken for granted. In United Kingdom, the popular idea of bread is quite disheartening; it is considered a horrible mass-produced loaf wrapped in plastic with additives and preservatives aplenty. Even in the case of avoidance of the ‘packet sliced white loaf’, it is possible that you purchase your bread from a supermarket. If this were so, go in for the more over-priced, mass-produced specialty breads that most super markets sell these days. Only a few people in the UK buy their daily bread from a baker nowadays, and hence, village or town bakeries are shutting down. Ensure that you support a small bakery in your vicinity, if there is one, as the produce that you buy from there will be markedly better than the bread bought from a super market. Over the last few years, the popularity of bread has gone downhill. People now see bread consumption as one of the slimming deadly sins.
However, if you ensure that you don’t eat too much of it, you will be fine, provided you eat bread made of unbleached white flour, yeast, water, sugar and salt; or even the wholemeal version. Fresh and wholesome bread is good for you than many other foodstuffs that you substitute into your diet. The home-baked variety of bread is a rare commodity these days, even though is the most widely used staple of all.
Making bread at home is much simpler than you imagine, and is a much more enjoyable process than buying it in the super market. Some people feel that bread fills them with excitement and anticipation, and is a pure delight. In Italy, no table is laid without bread and no meal is considered complete without it. Prepared nicely, with good basic ingredients, and allowed to rise for the correct length of time, bread is highly nutritious; a complex carbohydrate that releases energy gradually through our blood system. For a bread-lover, the greatest food combination may well be – bread and olive oil.
All the various stages of bread making are accessible and simple, if taught properly. A good recipe book, with a baking section, will teach you the basics of bread baking, which require three basic things, namely – the correct ingredients, proper equipment and an oven. There is a ‘wealth’ of different style of bread in Italy, where you can find the tastiest of breads in the whole world. Focaccia is a very popular Italian in demand abroad too. Focaccia is bread that is baked flat in an oven, having toppings of onions, herbs and other foodstuffs. Traditionally baked in the hearth of the fire, Focaccia gets its name from the Latin for ‘fire place’ or ‘center’. Focaccia is usually seasoned with olive oil and herbs, with cheese on top. Outside of Italy, this bread is mainly used to make sandwiches. At a traditional pizzeria in Italy, if you have had the chance to eat a real Italian pizza, you would have actually relished the deliciously crisp bread base of the pizza, which simply is the best bread on earth.