Bread in the UK

Whether or not you make your own bread, you may be interested in eating and cooking with the best bread you can find.  An excellent source of general information and a force for change in the UK bread scene is the Real Bread Campaign. We are supporters and encourage you to become a supporter too.

Charities

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There are plenty of places you can get fantastic bread.  Here are some of them

Hospitality

Whiteslicers beware!  You may be about to change!

8 Replies to “Bread in the UK”

  1. How do I join this very interesting network?

    If I can come bake after I die, I want to be a baker as there is nothing like the pleasure of making real bread.

    Kind regards

    Ivan

    1. Hi Ivan are you thinking of joining metaphyiscally or physically?! If you would like to be a bread angel (albeit in this world) do let us know and we can send you some more details!

  2. BREAD is life and tea i think bread and jam with a cuppa tea, i love this snack real home made bread and home made jam ,,what do other have around the world

  3. Hi, I am interested in becoming a bread angel. I live in Brighton and I noticed a couple of posts about you visiting Firle. Is there anything going on nearer here in the next few months?

  4. Hi: I have been told that if I do not use stone ground flour immediately after grinding (I go to a local mill), I should wait four weeks before using it. Something to do with ‘fines’ or a word like that. Is that correct? Many thanks for your reply.

    1. Hi there, the answer is it really depends on what you like. Some bakers like really fresh flour and some like it older. The main concern with many bakers is how quickly it is milled after it has been harvested. if flour is used too quickly after it has been harvested it can cause problems. Let me ask a miller and I will come back to you.

    2. Hi there, here is the response from the wonderful Andrew Wilkinson who is the owner of Gilchesters Organics. They grow and mill excellent quality grains and flours. There is simply nothing he does not know. Hello Jane,

      There is no health benefit to leaving freshly milled stoneground wholemeal flour to ‘mature’. Sometimes called conditioned flour.

      Whole grains and their wholemeals contain the following dietary health benefits:

      Wheat germ – essential oils
      Phenols – Phenolic compounds are a source of natural antioxidants in our diet
      Beta-glucans – soluble dietary fibre

      These chemical compounds are subject to oxidisation themselves. The essential oils will go rancid over time, the phenolics are subject to oxidisation converting them into quinone and there is oxidisation (degradation) of the dietary fibre.

      So the longer you leave it the more these beneficial compounds degrade.

      Now the remaining major component of flour is the proteins in the endosperm – or the gluten. The gluten is a general term for the complex amino acids. The degradation of proteins begins with the conversion to amino acids for the release of sugars. By creating sugars you are going to make the flour more responsive to the yeasts as all moulds feed off sugar! Stoneground wholemeal flour has a high concentration of natural blooms of yeasts. This may be of benefit to the baker, possibly?

      But, any moisture in the flour will speed up this protein conversion and more importantly allow the phytase (stored phosphorous deposited in the wheat endosperm) to go through the phytic acid response. This is where phytase bonds chemically with all the positively charged ions held mostly in the bran, which locks up most of the essential minerals (calcium, iron etc) and renders them unavailable in human digestion. (different lecture – for another day)
      It is important to note that none of the above are present in roller milled white flour, because the germ is removed along with the bran which contains most of the dietary fibre. So this allows industrial white flour to be stored with a longer shelf life and also why it has to be fortified.

      So why would you leave the wholemeal flour to degrade in this way? We first came across this some years ago where an industrial mill was convincing bakers to buy their conditioned flour ( a term they came up with.) we suspect they were trying to sell old stock close to or over its sell-by date! But the concept has stuck with bakers, which we find amusing and disconcerting in equal measure!!

      Does that answer your questions?

    3. And there is more from Andrew: Also the word fines in milling refers to the grades of flour when sieving. So the fines are generally the white flour content within a wholemeal sample. Allowing the fines to rest or be conditioned may be referring to allowing the protein degradation to commence, as per my last email.

      Otherwise can’t think why fines in the fraction need to be left for 4 weeks!

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