Bread in Egypt

Did you know that Bread has been around for centuries? Experts believe the first grinding stone was invented by the Egyptians around 8000 B.C. Flat breads were first baked from the crushed grains, but later it was discovered that adding yeast made the bread rise.
In ancient Egypt, bread was a form of currency used interchangeably with money.  In fact, bread was so important to ancient Egyptians that loaves were often placed in tombs for the deceased to take to the afterlife.
Early Egyptian writings urged mothers to send their children to school with plenty of bread and beer for their lunch!

Sliced Bread

In 1928, a man named Otto Frederick Rohwedder created the greatest invention -- pre-sliced bread.

Before the invention of pre-sliced bread, people either baked their bread at home or bought full loaves of bread. For both home-baked and store-bought loaves of bread, the consumer had to personally cut off a slice of bread every time he wanted one, which meant rugged, irregular cuts.

This all changed when Otto Frederick Rohwedder, from Davenport, Iowa, invented the Rohwedder Bread Slicer. Rohwedder began working on inventing a bread slicer in 1912. Unfortunately, bakers scoffed at Rohwedder's early slicers; the bakers were sure that the bread would quickly go stale if pre-sliced. Determined in his belief that pre-sliced bread would be a major convenience for consumers, Rohwedder continued to work on his invention.  

After many trials and errors Rohwedder realised that wrapping the bread in wax paper would stop it from going stale.  Even with the sliced bread wrapped, many bakers remained dubious. In 1928, Rohwedder traveled to Chillicothe, Missouri where baker Frank Bench took a chance and used Rohwedder's invention. The very first loaf of pre-sliced bread went on shelves on July 7, 1928 as "Sliced Kleen Maid Bread." Bench's sales quickly skyrocketed and they knew the invention was a success.
The Makings of a Sandwich

During the 1700’s, the Earl of Sandwich gave his name to the sandwich: meat between two slices of bread.

Names for Bread

Napoleon gave a common bread its name when he demanded a loaf of dark rye bread for his horse during the Prussian campaign. "Pain pour Nicole," he ordered, which meant "Bread for Nicole," his horse. To Germanic ears, the request sounded like "pumpernickel," which is the term we use today for this traditional loaf.

Medieval bread names were often related to the people who ate them; Knight’s loaf, Squire’s loaf, Court’s loaf, Pope’s loaf, to name a few.

Fun Facts and Myths:

• The "pocket" in pita bread is made by steam. The steam puffs up the dough and, as the bread cools and flattens, a pocket is left in the middle.
• One bread superstition is that if you put a piece of bread in a baby's cradle, it will keep away disease.
• Murphy's Law dictates that buttered bread will always land buttered-side down.
• Scandinavian traditions hold that if a boy and girl eat from the same loaf, they are bound to fall in love.
• In Russia, bread (and salt) are symbols of welcome.
• Superstition says it is bad luck to turn a loaf of bread upside down or cut an unbaked loaf.
• Legend has it that whoever eats the last piece of bread has to kiss the cook.