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[Bread and Japanese White Bread]

White bread is a staple in Japanese breakfast. It was named "staple bread" in Japan because it was the style of bread that was widely used as a staple food overseas when it was first introduced to Japan. It is commonly known as "shokupan" and is still widely loved today.

Bread originated in ancient Mesopotamia around 6000-4000 B.C., when wheat was cultivated and people ate flatbreads, which were simply thin crackers made by kneading flour with water and baking it. On the other hand, Japan's bread-eating culture began when missionaries from Portugal came to Japan during the Warring States period and brought bread as food, along with sponge cakes. The origin of the word "pan" for bread in Japanese is "pão" meaning bread in Portuguese. Later, when Christianity was banned, bread production was also banned, and bread disappeared due to national isolation. However, with the opening of Japan to the outside world, baking was revived, and bread was once again introduced to Japan by foreigners and engineers from foreign settlements. During this period, popular sweet breads such as anpan, cream buns, and jam buns were created and rapidly became popular among the general public. After the war, due to food shortages, flour was delivered from the U.S. as a relief supply, and bread was adopted for school lunches, which led to the spread of bread on Japanese dining tables.

Most Japanese white bread is baked in a large rectangular box-shaped mold with the lid closed, so it is square and is characterized by its moist, soft, and fluffy texture compared to bread from overseas. Since rice was originally a staple food in Japan, bread has been eaten as a kind of pastry or side dish, and it seems to have developed so that it can be eaten on its own and still have taste and flavor.

Now, there is a recommended way to heat up white bread. It is often frozen and can be steamed in a seiro and defrosted before putting it in the toaster, so that it becomes fresh and fluffy, and the baked bread becomes crispy. A slice of 4 slices of bread can be placed in a steaming seiro for 3 minutes. Please give it a try.

Yamaichi's Chinese Seiro
Kiya's Unbleached Cotton Cloth
Moyai Kogei's Zelkova Bread Plate
Yoshita Handi-Design Studio's Butter Knife