Nowadays, many people believe that they are what they eat

So we often get questions from new & current Friends alike about what exactly goes into Rex bake range, how they taste, how & where they are made.

You are what you eat – but do you really know what you are eating?


We may not be experts, but many of us do care more about the human food chain today.


Did you know that a now-global scientific approach to modern food production heralds from nearby Chorleywood?  The Rex Baker has recently met  locals who worked in the 1960s in the now defunct Chorleywood Flour Milling and Bakery Research Association, which was almost opposite to Christ Church in bread dough, artisan baker at work, shaping dough, cutting doughChorleywood.


Back then, small British bakeries needed to compete on cost & efficiency versus big new commercial bakery factories that had sprung up post-war in the UK.  So the research bakers at Chorleywood developed revolutionary ideas to help – but in fact they changed the way bread was made across the entire world and today fewer & fewer of us like the result.


These researchers discovered that by adding hard fats, extra yeast and a number of chemicals (now with no irony called “Bread Improver” in the Industry) and then mixing at high speed you got a dough that was ready to bake in a fraction of the time it normally took. This became known as the “Chorleywood Bread Process”


The actual result was that the big factory bakers very quickly adopted the process and as the price of British bread plummeted, the revolution largely wiped out traditional craft bakeries from villages across the country.   This travelled worldwide and now most of the  £1billion a year UK bread industry is made this way, to produce cheap long lasting bread with generally lower quality wheat.



Some Rex Friends ask for wheat alternatives or low wheat breads – but it’s the whole British approach to commercial baking that may be affecting your digestion.  We think slowly hand-made Rex bread with the fewest, highest quality ingredients and nothing else added, gains you plenty instead.


One of the key additives used in so called ‘Bread Improver’, to soften many factory breads be they Chorleywood or otherwise, is  L – CYSTEINE (or E920).


It is a harmless enough sounding chemical and is synthesised in a typically ingenious way – it takes an unwanted bi- product and turn it into something useful.   However this chemical is generally synthesised from Chicken Feathers in the EU or Human Hair in the rest of the world. Eww!   How does that sound?!


We don’t know about you, but the Rex Baker tends to avoid eating both of those things 🙂 It’s hard to imagine our bodies are designed to digest extract of that!


Worse, this isn’t even something that bread, cake & biscuit manufacturers have to openly declare on their ingredients list because enzymes are seen as processing aids, not additives.  Most people have no idea that their bread may contain this, nor from where it hailed and so can’t even make an informed choice about what they are eating.


artisan bread, rex bakery, rex bread, multiseed crust

So good news for all near to Little Chalfont – now you know how to be sure that the bread & baked items you are eating DON’T feature extract of chicken feathers or human hair!!!   Rex Artisan Bakery openly states what our few essential ingredients are and you will be able to see us taking an old fashioned approach in the on-site working bakery right in the heart of our community, hand making our baked items slowly to get the rise & the taste right without artificial help.


We don’t want to give you nightmares but there are other dodgy sounding enzymes in modern bakery production….  for a start those mysterious “flour treatment agents” that many of the better supermarkets mention in their in-store artisanal-looking bakeries.   More on those another day, we promise!!


In the meantime, no need to worry AT ALL if you are a Friend of Rex! xx