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Type Bread
Place of origin Medieval Europe
Main ingredients Legumes, grains, nuts, roots
Cookbook: Horsebread  Media: Horsebread

Horsebread was a type of bread sometimes consumed in medieval Europe. This bread was, at the time, considered a low-quality bread, made from legumes such as dry split peas as well as or instead of grains, and was one of the cheapest breads available. It was fed to horses but also eaten in times of famine by the indigent and those who could not afford white bread (which was the most labour-intensive, and therefore expensive, bread) or other breads like rye or barley breads.[1][2] White breads were generally only eaten by the wealthy, because of the labor involved in refining flour and because of the lower nutritional content. This is in contrast with modern whole grain breads, which are typically seen as premium-priced health foods or gourmet foods. This is in part because modern flour has a higher gluten content than flour produced in medieval Europe, and thus bread made from less refined flour is more palatable than it would have been during the Middle Ages.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davis, James (2004). "Baking for the common good: a reassessment of the assize of bread in Medieval England". The Economic History Review. 57 (3): 465–502. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2004.00285.x. ISSN 0013-0117. 
  2. ^ Rubel, William (2006). "English Horse-bread, 590–1800". Gastronomica. 6 (3): 40–51. doi:10.1525/gfc.2006.6.3.40. ISSN 1529-3262. 
  3. ^ Sim, Alison (1996). The Tudor Housewife. Glouchestershire: Sutton Publishing Limited. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7735-2233-6.