The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Geography of breads

bublik's picture

Geography of breads

Does anybody know the answer or can refer me to any resource that will explain why yeasted and flat breads have markedly different geography? Does it have anything to do with properties of yeast?  Or possible effect of yeast on the body and health?

LoganK's picture

Flatbreads and Flavors, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.  I don't remember if it has anything directly addressing that, but it has loads of information on different yeasted and unleavened breads from all over the world, including a lot of background about the cultures and areas that each comes from.  Maybe that's a good place to look?  Also, I've made many of the breads and other recipes from this book, and they continue to amaze me, so it's a fun one to have around.


LindyD's picture

Have you tried googling "bread history"?  

I just did and came up with 36,700,000 pages in English.

This  one was interesting.

mredwood's picture

is such a great book. A lovely read.  Most of the flat breads were made quickly and cooked outside. It seems where fuel is scarce and possibly time flatbreads reign. They are quick and easy and can be made with very little resources and baked quickly. 


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The use of flat breads may be a clue.  In countries where flatbread is cultural, it is used as a utensil, a scoop of sorts to pick up, hold and tool for eating cooked and prepared foods without touching them with the hands.    There is less tableware and dishes involved.   May have something to do with water, little of it in deserts or as in tropical lands, plenty but the quality is poor.   Food is presented and individual plates are often not present but a large plate of flatbred is, it is torn and used to scoop.  It can easily be torn in half and filled.

And there is the logic... who wants to sit around waiting for a large stove/hearth to heat up the room unless it's cold outside?   Flat breads are nomatic, quickly baked and require less energy.