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Technological alchemy of bread

17 April 2015 / 10:04:40  GRReporter
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Each baker strives to make bread for the region or country where he or she lives. Only in this way, can the baker be the most useful and meet the needs of the geographical habitat.

Presian continues, "So far I have learned from a Frenchman, Englishman, Swede, another naturalized Swede, who was born on the island of Mauritius, an Indian, Dane, Austrian, Hungarian, two Koreans and one American. The idea is that each baker develops his approach to Bread in accordance with the place he live in. He does not make it according to what he has been taught, or by whom, or to where he studied; the idea is to make bread that is typical of the people with whom he lives. I have a friend from Mexico who makes bread from corn. He makes bread for Mexicans. He looks for a way to make traditional, tasty, true bread using the techniques he has learned from other masters outside Mexico. So do the American and the Swede, and the Korean. The aim is to make delicious, healthy and wholesome bread. The baker will make such bread if he complies with the culture in which he lives. I make Bread for the Bulgarians."

For Presian, traditional Bulgarian bread is 2-3 kilograms in weight, it does not become stale for about 1-2 weeks or more, without even being covered, large loaves with very crispy crust and soft inner part. He is trying to recompile the ingredients, accounting for the fact that once people grew different varieties of cereals together, stored them together and used them together when they made bread. He experimented by putting barley in bread, its content reaching up to 45%, which is really a lot. Barley is not a typical gluten culture and does not form sticky dough. Therefore, great skills are required to make bread with a high barley content.

Industrial bread

Before showing us how to make wholesome and natural bread, in which the amount of gluten is naturally reduced, Presian told us the reasons for the poor quality of industrially produced bread. The production technology of bread makes it fluffy and seemingly big thus leading to a larger amount of bread made. The goal is noble, namely, no more hungry people. As usually happens with good intentions, they take a different direction. The next step is how to make more bread with less flour. It starts with various additives, one, two, three, no matter how many, it is important to achieve the effect. What if the bread is tasteless? Here come the bread flavours. However, they change its texture and other substances have to be added to offset this. Finally, a loaf of bread is made, composed of flour that is the first word on the list of ingredients, followed by industrial yeast and ingredients that most people cannot even understand the meaning of. Bread has huge and long labels.

Living bread

Presian gave us the recipe for bread and his brother Teodor demonstrated how to make natural, living and healthy bread.

Natural and delicious bread made with flour, water, salt and sourdough (or natural yeast) can improve health, help people with a gluten intolerance. If bread is durable, its acidity protects against pathogenic bacteria while bringing to the body good probiotic microorganisms. The way our ancestors made bread 30,000 years ago may become a modern innovation. Everything new is actually well-forgotten old.

Often, superstition and science, faith and progress in technology are on opposite sides. In the case of bread, we see that this is not so. Beliefs and respect for bread were not ungrounded. And the Orthodox religion is the reason to keep sourdough bread that is used in worship and liturgy. ''No one is bigger than bread'', as the Bulgarians say, and we know why this is so!


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