Last saturday, 400 people gathered at the Kensington Town Hall for the annual Weston A Price Foundation conference. WAPF is an American organisation set up decades ago to teach people about the benefits of traditional nutrition. Simply put, traditional nutrition is the nutrition traditionally enjoyed by people with no access to processed food and no ability or desire to process their food beyond cooking it in ways that enable them to absorb the maximum amount of nutrition possible from it. Today, traditional nutrition is a choice and includes (among other things) consumption of dairy products straight from the animal, unadulterated meat (ie with the fat on), and whole grains. Fermenting foods is one of the many ways to prepare and preserve food in a traditional way, making it easier to digest and simpler for the body to absorb vital nutrients. As readers know by now, real bread is fermented (proofed, risen) over several hours to break down the flour before we eat it, enabling us to digest it with no bloating or other tummy troubles.
We, at the global HQ of Virtuous Bread love all good bread and we are particular fans of sourdough bread. To that end, we were delighted to be asked to provide the bread for the lunch buffet, only letting the knowledge that we needed to bake for 400 people stop us in our tracks for a brief moment. Nothing is easier when you bake sourdough bread than baking for a crowd. 100% rye sourdough is better 2-3 days after it has been baked and even 100% wheat sourdough is better the next day. Sourdough bread is so “damp” that it needs to dry out for a bit before it reaches its peak of tastiness.
The bakery cranked up on Tuesday, putting out sourdough starters to refresh and seeds to soak.
Then came the ryes….
100% dark rye rolled in oats, 50/50 dark and light rye decorated in flour, 50/50 dark and light rye with grated carrot and rosemary, Danish rye with molasses and mixed seeds, Honey rye with honey and mixed seeds and Borodinsky rye with molasses and coriander seeds – a cornucopia of ryes baked over two days, making them perfect to eat on Saturday.
Then came the rye and whole spelt/rye and whole wheat – plain, and with a generous addition of Rude Health Fruity Date porridge oats.
Finally, the 100% white wheat bread and biscuits baked last because they dry out the quickest – for those (and there are some) who cannot tolerate whole grains. Remember, white is not bad – especially when it has been stone ground.
Bread for 400? No problem at all. Delicious? Well, there was not one single scrap left that I know of. So, it must have been good. For those of you who missed it, please come to the conference next year and learn about the clear links between good food and good health. Preventing and fighting disease, coping with mental health issues, maximising fertility, ensuring healthy weight…all of these are achieveable through traditional nutrition. Log on to the WAPF website to learn more.
For those of you who would like to buy the bread – thank you so much – but unless you live where I can deliver to you on foot I cannot provide it to you given that we are dedicated to local delivery. That being said, there are more and more bread angels who can make excellent bread and if you would like to know where they are please contact us. Last, and by no means least, if you would like to learn how to make sourdough bread, come and take a class. It’s a whole day, it’s fun, you get lots of bread to take home, you get your very own starter to get you going – and you will have it for life. Just remember to include it in your will for the next generation.