Properties of bread

In wheat, phenolic compounds are mainly found in hulls in the form of insoluble bound ferulic acid, where it is relevant to wheat resistance to fungal diseases.
Glutenin and gliadin are functional proteins found in wheat bread that contribute to the structure of bread. Glutenin forms interconnected gluten networks within bread through interchain disulfide bonds. Gliadin binds weakly to the gluten network established by glutenin via intrachain disulfide bonds. Structurally, bread can be defined as an elastic-plastic foam (same as styrofoam). The glutenin protein contributes to its elastic nature, as it is able to regain its initial shape after deformation. The gliadin protein contributes to its plastic nature, because it demonstrates non-reversible structural change after a certain amount of applied force. Because air pockets within this gluten network result from carbon dioxide production during leavening, bread can be defined as a foam, or a gas-in-solid solution.
Acrylamide, like in other starchy foods that have been heated higher than 120 C (248 F), has been found in recent years to occur in bread. Acrylamide is neurotoxic, has adverse effects on male reproduction and developmental toxicity and is carcinogenic. A study has found that more than 99 percent of the acrylamide in bread is found in the crust.
Bread can be served at many temperatures; once baked, it can subsequently be toasted. It is most commonly eaten with the hands, either by itself or as a carrier for other foods. Bread can be dipped into liquids such as gravy, olive oil, or soup; it can be topped with various sweet and savory spreads, or used to make sandwiches containing meats, cheeses, vegetables, and condiments.
Nutritionally, bread is categorized as a source of grains in the food pyramid and is a good source of carbohydrates and nutrients such as magnesium, iron, selenium, B vitamins, and dietary fiber.
Bread crust is formed from surface dough during the cooking process. It is hardened and browned through the Maillard reaction using the sugars and amino acids and the intense heat at the bread surface. The crust of most breads is harder, and more complexly and intensely flavored, than the rest. Old wives' tales suggest that eating the bread crust makes a person's hair curlier. Additionally, the crust is rumored to be healthier than the remainder of the bread. Some studies have shown that this is true as the crust has more dietary fiber and antioxidants such as pronyl-lysine, which is being researched for its potential colorectal cancer inhibitory properties.