I was taught that bread is higher spiritually than its ingredients because of the transformation that it makes when baked. The premise is also that it has more potential to feed people, I think.
Bread’s higher status is why lechem is tied to material wealth, which is why saying the birkat hamazon can bring financial blessings (in theory).
Is this view about bread commonplace? I’m wondering if other foods that undergo physical changes have symbolic spiritualism (besides symbolic-symbolic foods for Pesach and other holidays).
Yes that’s correct.
Flour and water before being into bread is only mezonos like cookies and cake. But when baked into a bread it goes up spiritually into a special own bracha only used for bread of hamotzi and birchas hamazon after versus just a al hamichya
Wheat is not edible in its raw form.
Maybe the pasuk indicates the OP לחם לבב אנוש יסעד. What does it have to do with the heart?
Wine also, יין ישמח לבב אנוש.
Laskern: Is wine more elevated than grape juice?
According R’ Moshe by the seder the person is not yotze cherus with grape juice. Also, I don’t think grape juice will make you happy.
Not to take anything away from bread & wine , but making a bracha with kavanah on any food or drink infuses it with spirituality. Especially on Shabbat, as we can see how the zmiros mention all kinds of delicacies lichvod Shabbat. With proper intent we can elevate ourselves even with a smell of a rose to spiritual heights.
You have four levels, דומם, צומח, חי, מדבר, inanimate, plant, living and speaking. Each higher level elevates the lower level. We make a brocho שעשה לי כל צרכי on shoes because when wearing it, we take advantage from all lower levels. When we eat, we elevate food to a higher level of kadusha.
Now we can understand why bread is higher spriritually from its ingedients because it will be consumed by a higher level.
Who are we to judge?
And to your response I say “so” and “why”
Rabbeinu Bachaya on parshat Tetzaveh, describes the physical and spiritual aspects of the colored stones inserted in the choshen. It’s fascinating.