The history of yeast…
The use of yeast is not recent!
Without knowing its role or its existence, men have always used yeast.
Its history goes back 5,000 years…
… with the Egyptians who used yeast to make their bread, believing it to be a miracle.
Humans have always used yeast, well before writing was invented. Egyptians used it to make bread some five thousand years ago. However, they ignored the yeast fermentation process and they believed this biological reaction to be a miracle.
Before that they had been content with preparations made with cereals, gruel or flat breads as basic components of their daily diet.
Bread was born the day that man realised that, with naturally fermented dough, bread could rise and its flavour and texture improved.
In the first century AD, it is said that the first bread was made in Gaul and Iberia using beer foam, i.e. the head formed on the top of the beverage during its fermentation. This method helped to speed up fermentation and improve the taste of bread and the way it rose.
Thanks Pasteur !
The history of yeast took a decisive turn in 1857 when Louis Pasteur discovered the fermentation process. Relive this small nineteenth century revolution!
The history of yeast takes us back to 1680: using a microscope, Leeuwenhoeck observed beer yeast globules for the first time. But it was not until 1857 and the work of French scientist, Pasteur, that the fermentation process was understood. Pasteur believed that the agents responsible for fermentation were yeasts. He established the key role of yeast as the micro-organism responsible for alcoholic fermentation.
He unveiled these mysteries by proving that the yeast cell can live with or without oxygen. Pasteur understood very early on that yeast was indispensable for forming bread’s aromas and flavours.
Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has imposed itself, throughout history and worldwide, as the best way to make dough rise.