While watching Ernesto make his wonderful bread, I thought where did that idea come from, which clever sod thought I’ve got an idea, I’ll grow that grass, let’s call it wheat (could’ve been any of a number of grasses back then), let it ripen then split the seeds (much smaller than today’s wheat grain) from the stalk to produce grain, then remove the husks, then grind it several times to make flour.
That’s the easy bit done, now I’ll mix it with water and some of that mouldy stuff from those grapey things, called yeast. Then if I knead it it will develop a certain elasticity perfect for producing a loaf. I’ll then leave it to rise in a warm place and finally bake it on a stone, in an oven of the correct temperature, for the right length of time.
If you’ve ever made bread you’ll know it’s hard enough to get right today in a modern oven so imagine what it was like a few thousand years ago. It’s probably why we have bakers to make it for us. On top of that wheat is not even that good for us it contains a chemical that impedes the action of Zinc and if your staple was bread you could’ve suffered from stunted growth. I’m not saying all this happened on the first day but come on it must’ve one hell of case of trial and error.
Bread of Mafra
“Pao de Mafra” is a staple of Portugal, a crusty, moist, dense bread , available in most bakeries. “Pao com Churico (Chorizo)” is the same bread stuffed full of Churico and nothing compares to Ernesto’s baked in out door, wood fired oven during market days (Sunday in this case) in the Village of Sintra Portugal. Hot from the oven, simple and delicious lovely with a glass of local wine from the kiosk nearby lunch all in for two euros. Wine, now there’s another question?