Fresh Bread Westhoughton & Bolton
You can’t beat freshly baked bread! Everyone can tell the difference between hand-made bread and factory made bread. However, does everyone know the difference between “real bread” and industrial bread?
Real bread is defined by the Real Bread Campaign as “bread made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives.” The Real Bread Campaign believes that the only ingredients needed to make bread are: flour, water, yeast and salt. Additional natural ingredients can be added like seeds or nuts to create a flavoured loaf but anything else is unnecessary. In spite of this, many loaves nowadays include the use of flour improvers, dough conditioners, preservatives and chemical leavening. Unfortunately, many industrial loaves contain various emulsifiers, hydrogenated fats and antifungal agents, which are even described on some labels as “added to inhibit mould growth.” Have you ever looked at the list of ingredients on the back of an industrial loaf? You will be surprised!
However, the scariest point to bear in mind is that manufacturers don’t have to declare processing aids on the label. Also bakers and retailers are not required to disclose a list of ingredients and any additives they use on unwrapped loaves. You will probably notice that loaves bought from supermarket in store bakeries don’t even have an ingredients label. Many customers believe that the bread they buy from supermarket bakeries are of superior quality, when in fact they are made using a number of processing aids and other artificial additives, they are just not declared. In addition, supermarket in-store bakeries don’t make their bread from scratch but simply re-bake it. This therefore causes their loaves to stale much quicker than a genuinely fresh loaf.
“Somewhere in the region of 98 percent of bread baked in this country is mass produced, and most of it comes from around a dozen huge plant bakeries. Supermarkets love to crow about their in-store bakeries, but they are really nothing more than mini versions of these plants.”
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Handbook No.3 Bread
Not only is mass produced bread worse for you as it contains so many unnatural ingredients but the wheat is also harder to digest as the fermentation time is shorter. In particular sourdough is more digestible than standard loaves and so is less likely to cause food intolerance. It is more nutritious too and keeps well. We sell an award winning sourdough which is delivered daily from a local artisan bakery.
When you see loaves advertised as ‘fresh’, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been freshly baked from scratch. They may just have been ‘baked-off’ which means they are baked at some point earlier, usually elsewhere, chilled or frozen and then re-baked. Bread made by hand by a skilled baker is in a different league to bread produced from start to finish by a machine.
Also just because a loaf is defined as ‘craft’ or ‘artisan’, doesn’t guarantee that artificial additives haven’t been added. The only way to be sure is to either read the list of ingredients on the label, if it has one, or ask the baker.
The reality is that there are few professional bakers left in the country who make bread properly. However, you can rest assured when you buy your bread from us. We use a local bakery, who bake real bread, with no processing aids or artificial additives. We sell real, fresh, delicious tasting bread, the way it should be!