How old exactly wheat is, Man will most probably never know but it is almost certain that it dates back at least tens of thousands of years......It is thought however, that wheat began its growth in the river valleys of Egypt, Persia and in places where spring was followed by a hot dry summer that suited this grass-like plant.
The most important part of the wheat plant to the baker is the seed. (grain is used as a collective name for the seeds of cereals such as wheat, oats.maize and rye). At one time a grain was the smallest unit of weighing in the Troy and Avoirdupois systems = to 0.648 grams.
The wheat grain, as a seed, is fitted for reproducing the plant from which it came. The Germ is an embryo plant, with a radicle which can grow into a root and a plumule which can develop into stems and leaves.
The Bran (pericarp) is a tough skin that protects the inner seed from soil organisms which may attack it. This consists of a number of layers,each having a specific job to do in its reproduction.
The Endosperm is the food reserve (the life support system) on which the young plant lives until it develops its own root system, it is a mixture of starch and protein. The protein in the endosperm is mostly gluten which, in the making of bread gives the dough its elastic structure.
By its nature, wheat contains,
- Mineral Salts
- Vitamin B