When Did Flour First Appear?

Food Processing Plant Engineering, Non-Food Installation, Fabrications, Health & Safety Selby & Doncaster

Brookshaw WheatMost of us think nothing of buying a bag of flour for baking, and its journey over the centuries never occurs to us. Always available and affordable it sits in the cupboard and lasts for ages, ready when we need it. But wheat flour has a long and fascinating history, and has sustained many civilisations in all its forms. Flour is the one ingredient that exists across the board, all over the world and has throughout history. The process of flour milling has not changed significantly for centuries, as wheat is crushed and transformed into different grades of flour.

Croatia is the location of the oldest oven ever discovered dating back 6,500 years, although baking was probably going on long before. It is believed that even before wheat was cultivated in the Middle East, around 9600 BCE, grass seeds were being processed. This would probably entail collecting the seeds, soaking them and crushing them with rocks. The resultant rough paste would then be baked either laid out in the hot sun or eventually using fire. This would be a very basic form of early bread probably flat as there was no yeast added.

The process of bread making really came into its own once the Ancient Egyptians began baking though. They used available varieties of wheat such as khorasan, emmer and barley, pounding them with rocks until fine. Although nowhere near as fine as we can get it today! Water would be added and the needing process would begin, as the dough was shaped into loaves. These Egyptian bakers sometimes used wild yeast to leaven the bread, which was then baked over open fires. They would also often use honey or fruit juice to sweeten the bread, usually for the more wealthy.

These methods seem remarkably labour intensive, when you look at the sophisticated flour mills and plants these days. Brookshaw Stuart offer our engineering expertise to customers in places in and around Yorkshire like Selby, Grimsby, Doncaster, York. To finds out more about what we do call us on 07718974265.

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