So what’s the difference between our Rex Artisan Bakery Bread, Supermarket in house bakery bread & the sliced white we all grew up with?

artisan bread

An Artisan Baker like Rex Bakery loves flavour which means making bread slowly.  We use the minimum number of ingredients possible, only organic flour and highest quality ingredients.

The best way to get superior flavour and texture in a loaf is to make it slowly, so the flour is properly fermented which also allows complex flavours to develop.  So even our humble artisan White Sandwich Loaf or Bloomer has been fermented for over 24 hours. It is called a ‘Sponge’ and is the same process used back in the old days where a local baker would keep back some of his dough each day to put into the next day’s dough. He knew it gave him better flavour, as do only artisan bakers.

bread dough

People forget that Bread is a fermented product , using many of the same ingredients as beer; Yeast , Water & Grain ( in beer Malted Barley is boiled and in bread Wheat is milled into a flour).  To properly ferment flour, to change is nature and create tasty bread, takes time.

Most bread today is not properly fermented some suspect this is behind the rise in allergies to wheat flour, gluten and a whole host of gastrointestinal diseases . It is fashionable to think  wheat itself is the culprit, but perhaps it is the way it is treated which is the problem, the lack of fermentation which causes bloating & discomfort in most of us and serious illness in some.

It all started after the second world war when Government demanded cheap food. The “Chorleywood Bread Process” was the solution for bread, invented in the now closed ‘British Baking Industries Research Associatjon’ laboratory  a few miles away in Chorleywood. 80% of bread in the UK is now made this way & factories across the world use this process.

Essentially it involves whipping the dough at very high speeds with lots of additives, to create a big voluminous mass which perhaps has more in common with a Meringue than traditional bread. It is made & baked very quickly in a couple of hours from start to finish so the wheat flour is not really fermented at all. The loaf structure is created by the whipping action, and not really by fermentation. It is big on volume, lasts a long time & is ‘cheap food’ in plastic bags.

Supermarket in-store bakeries use the Activated Dough Development (ADD) process using many of the same additives as the Chorleywood, but it is a half way house.  As an example, soft white rolls , include ‘soft white roll  No2 ’  mix which will have all sorts of dough improvers, preservatives & flavour enhancers.The supermarket doughs are fermented for longer than the factory bread but still rarely beyond a couple of hours .They  are focused on volume and keeping quality rather than taste or health.

WE think you can taste & feel the difference in our bread .  What do you think, we would love to hear your feedback?