Anna Louise Batchelor - 01 March 2013
I’m just back from a trip to Norfolk where I enjoyed travelling and eating my way round the beautiful county. I walked along stunning coastlines, visited pretty market towns and was bowled over by bread. Yes bread! ‘Real Bread’ made with only four ingredients; flour, water, yeast (or sourdough) and salt. This is bread with crusts on, with flavour but without artificial improvers, E numbers or a whole long list of words that you can’t even pronounce.
My first stop was Norwich, which seemed liked the bread capital of the county! The city’s high calibre artisan bakeries sell bread from their own shops; like the fantastic sourdough baguettes at the Dozen Artisan Bakery. They supply Norwich’s cafes and restaurants; like Pye Baker and stock the county’s independent shops and farmers markets with all manner of baked produce from the Metfield Bakery.
What was heartening to find is organic flour being used by these bakeries. Not an afterthought, not just one ‘special loaf’ but organic flour being central to Norwich’s artisan bakers and Real Bread makers across the county.
Why am I so interested in ‘Real Bread’? Here in Reading, Berkshire we at the True Food Community Co-op are planning to set up our own bakery. Not before time as it’s a shame to say that a town the size of ours, with such a dense population, hasn’t got its own real bread bakery. Recently we carried out surveys with our members, shoppers and trade customers and there was an overwhelming demand for real bread. Cafés clamoured at the idea of being able to sell top notch bread and customers yearned for crusty loaves (and maybe a few sticky buns too!).
The want is there, now we have to make the numbers and loaves stack up. So this Saturday we are having a members meeting to move the bakery forward. As a co-op everything we do has to be for the benefit of our members and our community. For me providing real bread made with organic flour, wholesome bread without the additives, is one of the best things we could do to improve the health of our customers.
Please keep your fingers crossed for us and our new bakery. It’s a pretty big endeavour to make bread for so many, but definitely worth the effort.
Anna Louise Batchelor is an environmental scientist who has worked in academia, government and industry. For the last six years she has been part of Reading's True Food Co-op.
10 May 2013 07:44
Personally feel that the article is very well written, I really like.Look forward to more of your work.
Anna Louise Batchelor
05 March 2013 16:43
Thank you for all the comments, True Food did vote yes to the real bread bakery :-) Expect a follow up post soon with more news.
04 March 2013 18:39
So, how did the meeting go? Are you going ahead with a bakery? If, so when? I might pop down for a visit.
A D Bird
02 March 2013 08:56
As I read your blog I could almost smell the fresh bread baking. Fresh bread with butter and homemade jam is one of my favourite treats. It is heartening to know that in some places 'organic' is par for the course. I hope to hear great things about the True Food Bakery in the very near future :D
01 March 2013 14:20
Nice. I'm really looking forward to the True Food bakery, can't wait to be able to buy good, real bread every week :-)
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