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The two main types of bread are:
- Leavened bread is made by adding yeast or other leavening to the dough. The yeast produces gas that makes the dough lighter. Leavened bread can be made into larger loaves baked in an oven. This is the main type of bread eaten in Europe, America, and many parts of Asia.
- Unleavened flatbread is baked from a dough of water and flour, with no yeast. It is baked in flat rounds like tortilla or chapati. This type of bread cannot be made thick as it would be too dense to eat. Unleavened bread is eaten throughout the Middle East, Africa, parts of Asia, and as the Central American tortilla. Baking can be done on a metal plate or hot stone, or in an oven.
The color and taste of the bread depend on the kind of flour used and the style of baking. Flour made from the whole grain gives darker bread. Flour made just from the polished wheat grain gives a very white bread. Rye and barley flour give darker types of bread. The type of flour also changes how long the bread can be kept before going bad. Some strains of wheat are resistant to fungus, but may not produce a bread as tasty as a weaker strain.
Orthodox churches forbid the use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist (Old Testament) and permit leavened bread only as a symbol of the New. This was one of the three points of contention that brought about the schism between Eastern and Western churches in 1054.
Types of bread
- Markouk in Lebanon and the Levant
- Matzo in all Jewish communities
- Naan bread
- North American biscuits
- Pizza dough
Cake is made in a similar way to bread but sugar, fat and milk are added to the dough and often more ingredients.
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- Ware, Timothy (1964), The Orthodox Church, London: Penguin Books, p. 66,