Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bread is the article of food formed by baking the dough, or paste, made by the mixture of flour or grain with water. The primitive method consisted in simply this and nothing more, but now. the kneaded mass of dough is universally brought to a spongy texture, the change being due to the, formation of carbonic acid in the mass, and is brought about in three ways: - (1) by the action of some ferment such as leaven or yeast; (2) by the addition of an acid (such as tartaric) and sodium bicarbonate; (3) by directly injecting the gas. The mechanical result in each case is the formation of innumerable cells within the dough, the whole being encased within the crust formed during the baking. The cereals from which bread is made may, for dietetic purposes, be said to contain constituents of the three following main groups: - (1) Carbohydrates, i.e. the starches, sugars, and gums; (2) albuminoids or nitrogenous matters; (3) ash, or mineral matters. The chief proteid present is gluten, a nitrogenous substance mixed with another called "gliadin," which latter gives the characteristic adhesiveness to dough. In the first of the three processes mentioned above, the addition of the ferment partially converts the starch into maltose, which with the sugar becomes converted into carbonic acid and other products. When the fermenting process has gone on far enough, the dough is placed in the oven, where the heat soon stops the action of the ferment; the mass, however, keeps on expanding until the formation of the outer crust. In method (3) the flour is mixed under pressure with water charged with carbonic acid, and the resulting dough, on the removal of the pressure, becomes vesicular or spongy, and is then divided into loaves and baked.