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Stone Age Bread

Stone Age Bread Baking

 

Cooking in the Stone Age

When early man learned to control fire, cooking on open fires was eventually developed - probably by accident. Cooking food may have had a very significant impact on prehistoric man and some scientists even believe that cooking actually helped man develop the large brain that we have today. Cooking food significant increases the amount of energy that can be absorbed into the body and also reduces the diseases in raw meat. This means that food can be processed much more efficiently in the gut and so allowed extra energy to be used to develop the brain.

The open fires were probably made in shallow pits to conserve the heat and protect from the wind. Cooking methods probably used easy to obtain items such as plant leaves, grass and stones. It is believed that cooking on hot rocks first became a substitute for cooking on open fires about 9,000 to 10,500 years ago. This was partly for the exploitation of new food resources and also that cooking over a hot open fire, meant regular tending the fire pit. By adding large rocks to the fire however, meant they would gradually warm up and then hold heat for 48 hours or longer, conserving both fuel and human energy.

 

Oat Flat Bread

Traces of starchy grains found on the 32,000 year old stone tool in an Italian cave called Grotta Paglicci, suggests the oats were mashed them into a flour-like consistency. Because the gains were gelatinised and swollen, researchers believe they may have been heated before grinding and stirred into water and cooked (gelatinisation occurs when flour or oats are mixed with liquid and warmed, causing the starch to explode and absorb the moisture, turning it into a jelly).

 

Acorn Bread

Mesolithic people roasted and ate many nuts, including acorn, because they are very nutritious and contain carbohydrate and some protein. 

 

Sweet Hazelnut Bread

Hazelnuts are a highly nutritious source of food that could easily be gathered in the autumn and stored for consumption through lean winter months.

 

Soft White Bread 🍞

 

Today, we are gong to bake a soft white bread, so you can enjoy kneading the bread dough 😉

 

Ingredients: 

 

  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 40g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300ml warm water

 

How to make it 🤔

 

  • Start by measuring out the flour and add it to a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.
  • Measure the butter, then melt it in your microwave, before adding it to your flour. 
  • Add the yeast and the salt to separate sides of the bowl.
  • Finally, add the water – it should be warm, but not too hot.
  • Mix everything together until it comes together into a soft sticky dough. You can either do this with wooden spoons, hands or the dough hook on your freestanding mixer.
  • Once your dough has formed, you need to knead it until it forms a soft, sticky ball of dough. If you’re using your hands you can get your kids to do this on a lightly floured work surface – it’ll take around 5-10 minutes.
  • If you need to, when doing it by hand, you can add a little extra flour to stop it from becoming too sticky.

  • Oil a bowl then pop the dough in it. Cover it with cling film so no air can escape then leave it in a warm place to rise. Leave it for an hour or two until it has doubled in size.

  • Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface, and get your kids to knock it back. Basically you need to knock the air out of it by folding it in on itself and bashing it.

  • Once you’ve done this shape the dough into a round ball, pop the round dough on a baking tray and cover loosely with either a large plastic bag or cling film and leave it in a warm place for 45 minutes or so until it’s doubled in size again.

  • Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C Fan.

  • Bake your bread in your oven for 20-25 minutes. It’s ready when it’s browned nicely and if you tap the bottom of the loaf it should sound hollow.

 

Enjoy!!!

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