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.


Sustainability 1 - Zero Waste Shops

sugar and scoop

As I am sure you know sustainability is hugely important to me.  The Christmas break and new year always gives me the opportunity, and head space, to think about what sustainability really means and what my goals for the new year are.  Looking back at my blog I find this post from the beginning of last year; A New Year but No New Planet. I found myself liking this quote:

I think a good start is to focus on the many, small changes that are compatible, and therefore sustainable, in our own lives.  It is all about our individual priorities and making active choices, even if the science tells us next year they were wrong.  Conscious choices lead to meaningful action.

It made me realise I wanted to do a series of posts on other people's thoughts on sustainability and maybe introduce you to some local, ethical and sustainable businesses.  So, I am starting with Sugar and Scoop a zero waste shop in Ware.  

Reducing plastic waste is crucial to the future of our planet. That’s why Sugar and Scoop sell fantastic, high-quality products that help you to cut down on the single-use plastics you get through in daily life.

Kirsty Taylor-Moran set up Sugar and Scoop with a crowd funding campaign, gaining support of her future customers in Ware to help establish the business.  I asked her to tell me more:

We were motivated to set up Sugar & Scoop after becoming increasingly concerned about climate change and the government inaction. We realised recycling, where possible, was not enough and started to make meaningful changes at home to reduce our impact on the environment. 

Food packaging, cleaning, toiletries and baby hygiene products were obvious areas for us to target. We were trying to do our best to reduce our single use plastic waste but found it really wasn’t very easy for us to do without travelling miles, at the time our nearest ZW store was in St Albans and was logistically difficult for us. 

zero waste shop

Kirsty's shop is beautiful and she believes that reducing your plastic waste shouldn’t mean compromising on choice or quality.  Kirsty seeks out the best quality plastic-free products so that you can buy them locally.  If there’s something new you’d like to see in her store, just let her know and she'll try to source it.

Sugar and Scoop offers refills of food, toiletries and cleaning supplies along with treats like her nut-butter station.  Kirsty says:

We feel very strongly that everybody should have a refill shop in their town and we wanted to help others in our local community reduce their household waste too but with a real focus on convenience, accessibility and offering a broad enough range of products to make it feasible to skip the big supermarket shops.

sugar and scoop

Sugar & Scoop 
Zero Waste Refill & Eco Lifestyle Shop
76 - 78 High Street,
Ware, SG12 9AT

Email -
Instagram - @sugarandscoop

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