Consumption of bread in daily life is with the purpose of intake of grains. That is how you defined the importance of bread. With the exception of rice and a few other grains that are consumed as such, wheat primarily and corn to some extent is mostly consumed by making flour out of the grain and then baking the flour into bread.
The dietary importance of bread comes from the fact that grain, be it wheat, corn or even rice is an essential source of carbohydrates and that in a balanced diet 50-55% of our total calorie requirement has to come from carbohydrates and not from fat and other sugars.
With regard to recipes, there is no other dish that is so varied and so versatile than the humble bread. At a very fundamental level bread is essentially flour of a grain . Combined with water and sometimes fat as well, the flour is kneaded into a dough and cooked by baking, toasting, frying or even steaming sometimes. The result depends on the flour used, the method of cooking and whether the bread is leavened or unleavened. Leavening is the action by which air bubbles are introduced into the dough before cooking. This makes the dough airy, light and soft when cooked. The substance used to create the air bubbles is called the leavening agent. It can be yeast, baking soda or even carbonated water in some cases. Flat breads however are very often unleavened as their shape allows for quick cooking. A loaf on the other hand can turn out as hard as a brick should you leave out the yeast!
In a meal, bread is usually considered the main base dish which is served with accompaniments made of other fresh or dry vegetables, meats and dairy. While the forms in which this combination is served across the globe are so varied that they hardly appear to have anything in common. A close look at the key ingredients will reveal a common pattern. Let’s compare for instance, a quesadilla, a falafel sandwich and a burger. These might look and taste completely different and are literally from three different continents. But consider these similarities. The tortilla of the quesadilla, the pita of the falafel and the hamburger bun are all breads. The filling in all three are beans, vegetables and meat. However the breads differ from each other in that, the tortilla is made of corn and is not leavened, the pita from wheat and is mildly leavened and the bun also from wheat but is heavily leavened. The ultimate purpose in all cases being to get grain into your system.
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