Australian bread is a wide term used to refer to the breads eaten in Australia, which include various kinds of basic as well as fancy breads. Bread has been a staple food of Australians since historical times, and many new and health-promoting variants of bread have come up in the Australian cuisine in recent times.
History of Australian Bread Industry
Bread making has been an activity prevalent in Australia since medieval times. In the early 1800s, when grain was ground in public mills, flour of the grains was used to make bread at public baking houses. Small family owned bakeries started baking and selling the bread in the early 1900s, when bread was unwrapped and hand delivered. Many of these family bakeries evolved into larger sized bakeries that sold mostly white bread in the form of loaves. It then began to be sold at grocery stores or was home delivered through vans. Sliced bread was introduced in the 1950s, after which, bread began to be produced by large bread manufacturing companies and began to be sold in packaged form.
Though white bread was popular as before, fancier variants of breads made their way to the market. As the Australian bread recipe evolved and showed many variations, flatbreads and mixed grain breads became available, and in-store bakeries selling a variety of breads also cropped up. Independent bakeries came up with many different domestic and international variants of breads. Some examples of such bakeries were Brumby’s and Bakers Delight. Most of the breads were sold through supermarkets, and the remaining were sold through corner stores, bread shops, restaurants, takeaways, hotels, etc as well as franchises of independent bakeries. George Weston Foods and Goodman Fielder are some of the major players of the Australian bread Industry.
Types of Australian Breads
Here are some common examples of Australian Breads:
- White Bread: It is the bread made from flour made from the central part or endosperm of the grain only.
- Brown Bread: It is the bread made with the core of the grain or endosperm combined with 10% of bran. Sometimes, brown bread is also the term used for white bread which has been treated with caramel coloring, which is also called ‘wheat bread’.
- Whole Grain Bread: It is the bread made with both endosperm as well as bran of the grain, and is also called ‘whole wheat bread’.
- Wheat Germ Bread: This is bread that contains wheat germ.
- Multi Grain Bread: This kind of bread contains multiple varieties of grains like oats, buckwheat, cracked wheat, millet, barley and flax. They combine the health benefits of the various types of grains.
- Fairy Bread: This is a kind of sweet and fancy variant of bread that is a popular feature of children’s birthday parties in Australia. The preparation of the bread involves covering triangular shaped bread pieces with butter or margarine and coating these pieces with many multi-colored nonpareils which stick on the spread. The name of this fancy version of Australian bread may have come from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem ‘Fairy Bread’.