From the English Loaf, to the Italian Focaccia. The Chinese baozi to Indian chapati. The Armenian lavash to the Colombian Pan de queso - bread is internationally known in thousands of different forms.
Real Bread, and the making of it, can be followed throughout culture, time and place. Bread's golden threads are fully interwoven into the fabric of the world; and the homemade making of it is an art that is slowly reviving. Since it's advent, the cultivation of wheat and grains has formed the basis of the evolution of many towns and cities as humans began to spurn a more nomadic lifestyle for one of settlement. The simplicity of bread and the making of it hasn't changed much over the years so much as the way that we view bread as well how certain cultures they all involve cooking a mixture of milled grains and water.
In more modern times, a lot of onus has been placed upon the healthiness of bread amid the rise of 'diets' and 'intermittent fasting'. Carbs are now seen as the enemy, and the art of bread making, thanks to the advent of sliced bread, has fallen to the wayside.
Nowadays, a lot of the bread in the supermarkets that are prepackaged/presliced and come from a highly processed simple carbohydrate. This bread is extremely quick and easy to digest but has little to no nutritional value. These highly processed grains lack fibre and substance - which can lead to weight gain and a higher risk of lifestyle-related chronic conditions. Real Bread week is all about celebrating the additive-free loaves and those who make them. These bakers are those who go back to the grains and ensure that every ingredient that is put in a loaf is grown, ground and kneaded in the right way.
The science of gluten strands, leavening and yeast activation can sometimes feel a bit scientific but the thing with bread is that at its core it is a simple, nutritious basis of a meal. It's a comfort food, it's a staple, it's the basis of so many meals shared around a kitchen table.
In times like these, we are all looking for home comforts. There's so many meals that revolve around the sharing of bread, the act of passing over warm rolls of solace for a lovely feeling of reassurance. It's rewarding to make your own and it's a delight to eat fresh.
Flour Power : Gilchesters Grains
Gilchesters has got it right - they know (and have known for years) that crop diversity is the recipe for better soil. Full circle from grain to loaf, Gilchester's ensures that the quality of their grain is the highest around. Artisans of the terroir, Gilchesters grains are the best beginning of a bake that you could ask for. They combine the traditional art of stone milling with with quality grains from nature. Like us here at Pipers Farm, Gilchesters manage a rotation of crops and animals on each field to ensure that the soils are never depleted of naturally occurring minerals and nutrients.
Essentially, it is all to do with soil health and the nutrients that are there. For Gilchesters, natural fertility from livestock manure results in a better final grain for their flours. Their heritage grains are perfectly placed to produce truly natural flours, high in their concentration of minerals and vitamins. We're so proud of the range that we stock from Gilchesters - it is truly wonderful grains that resemble the hard work of the workers as well as the terroir of where the grains come from.
Heroes of the Pulse: Hodmedod's
Passionate about utilising regenerative techniques, Hodmedods are one of our farming heroes. With their in depth knowledge of indigenous species, passion for sustainable crop rotation and commitment to soil health, they are a real inspiration and a gem in the British farming landscape.
Less than 10 years old, Hodmedods are wonderful pioneers in the pulse and grains scene. Their back-to-the-earth products from carlin peas to their more technologically-advanced YQ flour are all a testament to their hard work. You can shop their range here.
Big Up the Little Bakeries: Hobbs House Bakery
Hobbs House Bakery are the absolute kings of baking. We swear by their loaves, their pastries are second-to-none and their burger buns are the perfect accompaniment to Pipers Farm burgers. By providing good bread baked locally, teaching people how to bake, and training and supporting entrepreneurs in the food industry, we are committed to developing diverse, inclusive and healthy communities.
This real bread week we urge to to buy your bread from local independent businesses. These people are artisans of their craft who have put so much into their work and have honed their crafts to create great loaves of bread. These independent businesses are what makes a high street a high street and they put back into their local town and economy. Either this or we would encourage everyone to dust off their pinny and bake something for themselves. It's the perfect way to de-stress, unwind and relax.