Today I am thinking about something very very important. BREAD. I have always been a fan of home made bread. I have a bread machine which I use regularly but I also like to get stuck in and make it the long way... It tastes better and I don't seem to need to eat so much but it doesn't last very long... if I leave it in the bread bin for more than two days I find it has started to grow mould. The bread I buy in the supermarket lasts for ages... I wonder why?
Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on your loaf of bread? Well I did today. After the wheat flour, water and vegetable oil and vegetable fat, yeast, sugar, salt... yep I put all these into my home made loaf... but what's this? Calcium Carbonate, Vinegar(????), Emulsifiers: E471, E472e; Flour Treatment Agent: Ascobic Acid (Vitamin C). My only question is WHY? Two e numbers? OK that's two questions. The more I investigated the more horrified I was. Modern supermarket bread is not made in the traditional way of allowing the dough time to rise and develop it's flavour naturally, the bread flour is treated with a host of chemical enhancers, injected with air and extruded into loaf shapes which are then baked ... this is not bread, this is a facsimile of bread!
Then I remembered that when I used to sell my soap at local farmer's markets there was a chap who sold a Heritage Blend Flour - this is a flour made from an ancient mix of cereals grown locally. It made really good bread and the best tasting pancakes ever. I did a little investigation and found that he started The Oxford Bread Group. The aim of the group is covered very thoroughly on their website and I would encourage you to read it, it is fascinating. In a nutshell it is the future if we are to have any future at all. I have sent them an email asking to join. I suspect that they will not yet have enough bread for everyone, but if there is a waiting list I hope to be on it.
I already bake quite a lot but I have so far held back from the daily loaf. Perhaps it's time to think seriously about that. I feel a talk with the family coming on...