Bread is one of my favourite things to talk about! I’m particularly passionate about what is increasingly being referred to as ‘Real Bread’, and the Real Bread Campaign.
It all started with the Chorleywood Bread Process (words that cause shudders down any baker’s spine) in the 1960’s, when food scientists discovered that by adding more fat, water and yeast to the dough, and using high speed mixers, they could reduce the kneading and proving time to just five minutes (think of it as ‘beating’ air into the bread, rather than it rising). These days, most ‘wrapped’ loves you buy in a shop are made using this process. On the side of your average loaf of supermarket bought wrapped bread is a mind blowing list of twenty plus ingredients, many of them just combinations of letters and numbers. Not only that, a bunch of other ingredients, deemed as processing aids, don’t even have to be listed on the ingredients list. So with that cheap loaf of bread, you may be getting a lot more than you bargained for!
Experts are increasingly finding that these extra ingredients and the processing methods used to make a loaf of industrial bread can cause reactions such as bloating and digestive discomfort, and are advocating for a return to bread made the old fashioned way. This is where the Real Bread Campaign comes in, defining Real Bread as “Bread that is made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives“. As well as the lack of additives, they also advocate for bread made through long fermentation, with locally milled flour and containing whole grains.
This is why we source our bread from Mark’s Bread, a local bakery in Bedminster who are passionate about Real Bread. They make a range of different sourdough breads using naturally occurring wild yeasts, as well as their regular yeasted breads, which are slow fermented for improved taste and digestibility. They add no additives, improvers or stabilisers, and use organic flour from Shipton Mill. Plus, the bread is delivered to us by bicycle, so the loaves of bread have minimal food miles, and we’re supporting a local business in our community.
Photo credit: Mark’s bread