Friday, December 2, 2016

The Gauls’ bread (Intermediate-Advanced level)

The Gauls reaped their wheat, and then threshed it out by means of oxen and horses; but they also cut off the ears, and then reaped the straw. To gather in the panic and millet, they held the stalks by means of a kind of comb, and then cut off the heads with shears. To prevent its being stolen, the corn was hidden in underground storehouses, and often in natural caves, which were afterwards walled up. They used mealing stones, as before described, in order to crush and roughly grind their grain, which was made into an unleavened cake, dry and thin, which was not cut, but was broken when served. They also had a kind of bread called ‘plate bread,’ which they ate soaked with sauce or meat gravy. The Gauls made beer from barley, and used it instead of water to mix their dough with. Thus, unconsciously, they discovered the secret of leavened bread; and, by-and-by, noticing that the beer if let alone frothed, and that when used for bread-making in this state the bread was lighter, they left off using the beer, and only employed the yeast.
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