History of bread in India: Here's everything that you need to know about it

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New Delhi : Now we all know about the Indian bread which is roti or naan or anything along those lines but we also love the good old regular bread. Most of us enjoy a good sandwich every now and then and who doesn't like a good peanut butter sandwich or the delicious and creamy Nutella sandwich? The good old loaf of bread has become a part of our everyday lives and we all love having some interesting breakfast which includes some bread. Those of us who are health-conscious turn to some brown bread to satisfy our hunger for bread. But have you ever wondered about the history of bread?

How did bread find it's way to India? How did we manage to include bread and pav in our desi meals? India does not have any history of ovens or baking for that matter. But we all know that the Portuguese people found their way to India through Goa and through Middles East. That is where refined flour or what is better known as maida, which is a key ingredient of bread, and the concept of ovens found it's way to India. But if that's how maida and ovens came around, how did the Portuguese make their bread? Well, it all started with finding the right replacements for the ingredients. A Portuguese baker used whole wheat flour (atta) and added a few drops of toddy as a replacement for the yeast to aid the fermentation process. Now we all know that there is no way to bake a loaf of bread without an oven and this is where he used his street smartness and improvised with whatever he had. He used a hot surface to make an improvised oven and used it to bake small pieces of bread which are now a large part of the Goan cuisine. He created a Goan version or rather a desi version of the Portuguese pao which is how the concept of pav came around to be. The Portuguese people continued to experiment and came up with a variety of different versions of bread more so when the ovens came to India. 

Now, we're all aware that a large number of bakeries in India are still owned by Muslims, especially in North India as well as Mumbai, and this is because they brought the ovens and maida to India. While we all love bread and it has become an integral part of our diet, it is also important to understand that it is not our staple diet and this is why a lot of people don't know much about it. We simply believe that the normal bread is white bread and the brown bread is the healthier version of bread but the fact is that it is simply a different version and if you look at the local bakeries around your area you will realise that they make a large variety of bread which we consider exotic but that isn't actually true. It is also essential to understand that bread has evolved along the way and there have been a lot of new types of bread which have come around over time but if you look at someone who belongs to place where the staple diet is bread, you will realise that this packaged bread that we eat is not what they would consider as quality bread!