History of Bread

Events

Earliest Form of Bread

Approx. 10000 BCE

Man creates the earliest known form of bread. It's a flat bread consisting of flour and water.

Fermentation

3500 BCE

Most archaeological evidence, however, suggests that fermentation was being used in one manner or another by around 4000 to 3500 B.C.

First Baked Leavened Bread

Approx. 3000 BCE

The Ancient Egyptians make the first baked leavened bread. They discovered how to ferment the flour and water mixture.

Animal Milling

800 BCE

The Mesopotamians refined milling around 800 BCE, using two flat, circular stones, stacked on top one another to grind the grain. These stones were continuously rotated by draft animals or slaves.

Ancient Greeks learn from Egypt

800 BCE

The Ancient Greeks learn how to make bread from the Ancient Egyptians. This would then cause bread to quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe.

First Watermill for Grain

Approx. 202 BCE

The first watermill is invented in China during the Han dynasty. This was the first watermill of its time used to grind grain.

Bakers Guild

Approx. 150 BCE

The first Bakers Guild is formed in Rome. These guilds would make exclusive bread for the rich and would also give out bread to the poor in times of need.

Albion Flour Mill

1786

The invention of the Boulton & Watt steam engine in 1786 drove the Albion Flour mill in Battersea where the process was advanced and refined. It was rumored to be so large and efficient that in one year it could produced more flour than the rest of the mills in London, put together. 5 years later, the mill burned down.

First Grain Elevator

1843

The first grain elevator was made. This allowed grain farmers to store their grain in one place instead of having to bag all of it once it was harvested.

United States Bakeries

1850

By the 1850's, the United States had over 2,000 bakeries, employing over 6,700 workers.

Yeast Discovery

1860

Yeast is identified as a plant like organism used for fermentation and leavening, thanks to early microscopes. This was previously unknown to bakers, despite early bread still using yeast.

Baking Powder

1869

Chemist Eben Horsford invented baking powder. This allowed bakers to invent quick breads such as banana bread or Irish soda bread.

White Flour

1870

White flour is invented. People who owned the mills started to just use the endosperm of the grain. More people started eating because it has more health benefits than other flours.

Electric Mixer

1908

An engineer named Herbert Johnson invented the first electric mixer in 1908. The original model was an 80-quart mixer that was selling to numerous professional bakeries by 1915.

Pop-Up Toaster

1919

Charles Strite created the first pop up toaster. He Put a timer and springs into the toaster because people were getting tired of burnt toast. This invention changed the way people ate bread and to this day many people still eat toast for breakfast.

Bread Slicer

Approx. 1928

The invention and introduction of the first commercial bread slicer. This invention was followed by the automatic toaster.

Enriching White Bread

1940

Continental Baking began adding vitamins and minerals to Wonder Bread as part of a government-sponsored program of enriching white bread, which was notoriously deficient in vitamin and mineral content, to combat certain diseases.

Ban on Sliced Bread

1943

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture banned the sale of sliced bread in hopes of keeping prices down during an era of wartime rationing.

The Chorleywood Process

1961

The Chorleywood bread process is invented. This process was huge in the industrialization of bread because this process could make a batch of bread in three and a half hours. This allowed producers of bread to make bread faster so they could package it and sell it more efficiently.

Bread Machine

1986

A Japanese Matsushita invents the first bread machine. It allows you to make bread loafs at home and it was so big because all you had to do was put the ingredients in. After that the machine did the mixing, proofing and baking.