Bread Matters

We have wonderful bread in Little Hadham Stores. Fiona's Organic Irish soda bread is simply amazing. Made fresh the morning you pick it up with certified organic ingredients, apart from those locally foraged. The plain soda bread is deliciously hearty, can be made vegan at no extra cost and is the basis for 16 different speciality breads she makes.  This week Fiona is offering a taster of her bread for every customer who orders from her, so it's the perfect week to try it. 

Matt at Jigsaw Bakery is an absolute genius baker and I challenge you to find better sourdough anywhere.  I've tried a few others and I stick my neck out and say his is the best.  And that is why I drive to Linton, Cambridge every Thursday morning, it's why the shop doesn't open until 11am.

Over the first lockdown I returned to making my own bread and reading my favourite book on bread (Yes, I have one!) Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters.  It reminded me again of why a thoughtful approach to the food we eat is so important.  

Andrew Whitley is the founder of the celebrated Village Bakery in Melmerby.  An organic baker he writes of the deplorable state of British bread, explains the baking process, demystifies the science and shares the practical craft of bread making.

I've been avoiding processed bread from supermarkets for over 20 years now, and can hardly eat the stuff these days, though my children - LOVE IT - when they go to someone else house, they act like it is some kind of miracle food.  

Bread Matters reminds me to think about the whole process of making a food; not just how the wheat is grown - organically or not?, But also the source of the bread flour, how it is milled, the process under which it is made into bread and the additives that are put into it before baking. 

Particularly interesting is that the long fermentation times that used to be the norm, before modern yeasts were isolated - along with the increased instances of wheat intolerance, and coeliacs - have implications for gut health and wheat intolerances.

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