Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library

The Worshipful Company of Bakers

By Jeremy Likness

Bread is one of the oldest known recipes to man. It has been around for several millennia.

The recent low-carbohydrate craze has given bread a bad reputation, but not all breads are created equal. There are more varieties of bread than there are supplement companies. This article will explain the history of bread, the types of bread, and the role that bread can play in the quest for good health and a better body.

The History of Bread

It is estimated that the first bread was made around 10000 years BC or over 12,000 years in the past. This bread was more than likely flatbread, similar to a tortilla, made simply of ground grains (flour) and water that was mashed and baked. The first tools and implements used in the making of bread are dated to about 8000 years BC.

Egypt is attributed with popularizing the art of making bread. Egyptians are considered to be the agricultural pioneers of the old world, probably benefiting from interactions with Samaria. The closed oven was invented circa 3000 BC and allowed for more varieties of bread to be produced. It is around this time that leavened bread is first described, that is bread, bread with yeast added so that it would rise during production. Refined grains were considered superior and therefore were prevalent in the higher courts, so the poorer populations used barley and sorghum in their breads.

Around 1000 BC the Mosaic laws were introduced. These laws, in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, contained instructions to the nation of Israel regarding proper food preparation. When the Hebrew people fled Egypt during the legendary Exodus, they were forced to make unleavened (flat) bread in their haste. Leviticus declares a feast commemorating the exodus using flatbread. Bread is a common symbol of bounty in the bible - Leviticus 21:22 declares, "He shall eat the bread of his God." When the people of God were lost in the wilderness, they were fed manna, which was described as bread from heaven. The Christian Savior, Jesus Christ, is called the "Bread of Life".

The bible also gives one of the earliest recipes for sprouted grain bread. It reads, in Ezekiel 4:9-17: "The thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof." While more than a year of nothing but this bread sounds like quite a marathon diet, analysis of products today using the same recipe show that it was a well-balanced, nutritious bread that yielded plenty of protein, fiber, carbohydrate, and healthy fat.

In 400 BC, around the time when Socrates was providing sage dietary advice, Plato imagined an ideal world. In this world, men would live to a ripe old age. Their main source of sustenance would be whole grain bread from local wheat.

168 BC saw the establishment of baker's guilds in Rome. Bread even played a major role in politics when, in 40 BC, as part of a campaign, it was decreed that bread should be freely distributed to every male adult.

In 1202 AD, English laws were passed to regulate the production of bread. While many people are aware of the differences between whole grain (brown) bread and white breads, few realize that it caused quite a stir in 1307 when the white bread bakers and brown bread bakers split to form separate guilds! It was not until two centuries later, in 1569, that the guilds were reunited and called the "Worshipful Company of Bakers."

As early as 1826, the whole grain bread used by the military was called superior for health to the white, refined bread used by the aristocracy. In fact, the term refined today comes from this fact. Before the industrial revolution, it was more labor consuming (and therefore costly) to refine bread, so white bread was the main staple for aristocracy. This made them "refined".

In 1910, Americans were eating 210 pounds of wheat flour every year. The commercial bread-slicing machine was invented in 1912 by Otto Rohwedder, and unveiled in 1928. The 1930s saw the United States pursue a diet enrichment program to begin fortifying breads with vitamins and minerals after their discovery in the late 1920s. In 1941, calcium was added to help prevent rickets, observed in many female recruits to the military. In 1956, it became the law to enrich all refined breads. By 1971 consumption of white bread had dropped to around 110 pounds per year, but by 1997 (possibly due in part to the low fat, high carbohydrate craze and the food pyramid) consumption was up to 150 pounds - still 60 pounds shy of the fit, trim Americans at the turn of the century.

Types of Bread

There are many types of bread. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

In the most basic form, grinding grains, adding water, and heating it produces whole grain flatbread. Whole grain bread is similar, only yeast is added so that the bread rises. White bread starts out similar to whole grain bread. The grain is processed, however. The hard, outer portion of the grain is stripped, removing fiber and many vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that are naturally available. The remaining portion is ground to a fine powder, the enriched with a generic spray of vitamins and minerals. This is then used to bake the bread.

Spelt bread is a grain-bread, but made from special wheat that does not contain gluten. Gluten, a form of protein, is a common allergen and gluten intolerance or allergies are quite common.

Since whole grains are not sweet, sourdough bread is simply wheat bread with no sweetener added. Once a sweetener is added - often high fructose corn syrup in commercial breads, but typically brown sugar, honey, or molasses in fresh baked breads - it becomes the typical bread you are used to buying.

Varieties such as oat, barley, rye, kamut, triticale, millet, and even rice bread are simply variations using different grains other than traditional wheat. Sometimes seeds and spices are added, creating varieties such as basil, garlic, onion, or cinnamon bread.

Sprouted grain bread has increased in popularity in recent years. Traditional bread is made from ground flour from the hardened kernel of grain. Sprouted grain bread involves soaking the grain and allowing it to sprout. The sprouted seedlings are then mashed together and baked. Sprouting allows the enzymes in the grain to convert some of the carbohydrates and fats to vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Due to the changes that take place, sprouted grain bread typically is higher in protein, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals than regular bread. It is also less refined and processed than even stone ground wheat bread, so it has less of an impact on your blood sugar.

Bread and Nutrition

Many commercial types of bread are highly refined. Enriched breads have the original nutrients stripped out and replaced with inferior, often lesser quantities of standard vitamins and minerals. Some companies will try to produce wholesome-looking bread by adding grains to the outside, even when the main ingredient is enriched bread. High fructose corn syrup is often added as a sweetener.

The first thing to look at when purchasing breads is the ingredients list. Look for breads where the very first ingredient is "whole grain or "stone ground rather than "enriched (even if whole grains follow the enriched flour ingredient). Look for natural sweeteners like molasses or honey over high fructose corn syrup. Preferably, the sweetener and salt should be last on the ingredients list. If you consume high quantities of bread or keep the bread refrigerated, it will last longer and you can purchase fresher varieties that do not contain additives or preservatives. The most basic ingredients list will look like this: whole-wheat flour, water, salt. There should be a few grams of protein and fiber per slice - low protein and/or fiber is a sign of excessive processing that has stripped these nutrients, and implies that the other nutrients will be missing as well.

Rye bread typically contains moderate portions of protein and fiber per slice. A 100-calorie slice will contain a few grams of protein, a few grams of fiber, around 20 grams of carbohydrate, and decent amounts of calcium and iron. The addition of flaxseed increases protein and fiber (for the same 100 calorie slice) but also adds trace amounts of health, unsaturated fats.

There are actually some amazing bread recipes that can be very beneficial for the bodybuilder. A variety of bread called "Men's Bread by French Meadow Bakery contains the following: Organic whole wheat flour, filtered water, organic flaxseed, organic pumpkin seeds, organic oat fiber, organic low fat soy flour, organic wheat flour, organic sesame seeds, organic raw sprouted fava beans, organic sunflower seeds, organic millet, organic pea protein isolate (non-GMO), organic wheat flour (wheat germ restored), soy germ isoflavone concentrate (non-GMO), organic sprouted quinoa, organic sprouted amaranth, organic sprouted spelt, organic sprouted kamut, wheat gluten, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted oats, organic sprouted wheat, unrefined sea salt.

This power-packed ingredients list provides a 100-calorie slice of bread with essential fatty acids, 5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein to only 11 grams of carbohydrate. It is abundant in over 13 vitamins and minerals. Compare this to a typical slice of white bread, which contains no fiber, trace amounts of protein, and double the carbohydrate.


Bread has been around for ages. While trends such as low carbohydrate nutrition or low fat dieting come and go, bread is here to stay - people "earn their bread or "bring the bread home and are constantly looking for the "best thing since sliced bread". Before eliminating bread from your program, consider the many types of bread that are available and decide if there is one that suits your needs. Bread can increase your protein intake, add fiber to your diet, refill you muscles by supply quality carbohydrate in addition to healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. People are always looking for the next great protein or power bar. Why not try a slice of bread?

Copyright 2005 Jeremy Likness

About The Author

Jeremy Likness is an internationally-selling author, motivational speaker, and health coach. His unique coaching services have assisted people around the world with losing hundreds of pounds of weight. Jeremy is the author of "Lose Fat, Not Faith: A Transformation Guide" available at or through major bookstores (ISBN: 0976907925). To learn more about Jeremy and his unique form of coaching from the heart, visit: or call Jeremy direct at 1-888-472-2829 (770-456-5580).


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Trans4mind Training is the best thing we've ever done! It's a series of interactive video workshops covering the key challenges we all face in life - to help you achieve greater inner peace and true fulfillment.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd