Bakery and Confectionery

Baked food may refer to food made from flour, water, yeast and other ingredients kneaded into a soft dough fermented and subsequently baked in an oven. Baked food, specially bread has been the principal food of most civilizations for several thousands of years and has as a result a vital place in the economic and social history of these people. Baked food is found to be healthier and more palatable as even when using same ingredients, baking helps avoid deep frying and hence makes the dishes with less cholesterol contents.

Bread is believed to originate from Egypt. The emergence of agriculture was a necessary further step towards the use of bread as a staple food in many civilizations. It was not until the 19th century that the process of Bread making was considerably improved with the Industrial Revolution. The introduction of mechanized dough mixing and steam driven mills along with baking powder led to mass production causing home baking.

The basic ingredient of baked food, i.e. wheat is a grass whose seed belongs to the cereal grains group. Many kinds of foods such as breads, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries use wheat as main ingredient. It contains gluten, the basic structure in forming the dough system for breads, rolls and other baked goods. Other grains have gluten, but not as much as wheat. When dried, gluten yields a tan-colored, free-flowing powder that has a high protein content. Many varieties of winter and spring wheat are found each of which has it's own characters and are hence processed into different products. High protein flour obtained from hard red winter wheat is best for making bread. Medium protein flours from hard red winter wheat may also be used for making biscuits, all-purpose flour, quick breads, mixes and other baked goods.