If you were buying a bottle of wine, you’d look at the label, wouldn’t you? You look at where the grapes came from. You may read a little bit about the grower. So treat your bread like red wine, you know?…
Never pick up bread without looking at the label and turning it over. Look at the list of ingredients. Now, the second you see an extremely long list of things you cannot pronounce, or do not recognise, put it down. It doesn’t matter what the label says on the front. Put it back. Be prepared to put that right back on the shelf and say, no, I’m not accepting this bread today. I want something that is going to nourish me.Vanessa Kimbell
Exploring and Educating
14.10.23 Attended and thoroughly enjoyed Noa’s sourdough workshop with eight others including my mum, sister and son, and Allison (my sisters friend), and a second party of four who we met for the first time on the day, Helen, Freya (25th birthday), Jasmine and Rhiannon. Noa was such a generous and welcoming host. Freya’s birthday party of four, were such lovely people to share the workshop with. A happy accident or great hosting?
The workshop was astutely conceived. Space was of a premium in Noa’s kitchen, where everything had it’s space and every space had it’s thing. There was plenty of sourdough recipes to taste, Harry particularly enjoyed the sourdough squash cake and we all enjoyed the sourdough discard crackers and no cheese, cheesey sourdough discard scones. (Discard is the ‘discarded’ over-ripened starter that is not used for baking sourdough starter and discarded).
The substantial gains in savor, keeping qualities, and versatile uses with the natural leaven justify the time it takes to build and care for one.Tartine Bread p10
…the plastic-wrapped loaves we find on shop shelves have an almost entirely different chemical composition to traditional loaves from a bakery or made at home. With low fibre, very little protein and made in a few hours in factories as an ultra-processed refined flour product that can last over a week, modern bread is very different to what previous generations ate.Dr Tim Spector
The impact a supermarket white sandwich loaf has on blood sugar levels is terrible, similar to eating refined white sugar. Traditionally made wholegrain sourdough or dark rye pumpernickel, on the other hand, are nutritious with plenty of fibre and less starchy carbs, plant protein and gut-healthy polyphenols.Dr Tim Spector
Vanessa Kimbell is no less scathing.
The processed bread on our supermarket shelves is completely dependent on petro-chemical-derived commerce, synthetically fertilised adulterated wheat, routinely treated using carcinogenic, chemically produced herbicides. The wheat used to make the bread is stripped of its nutritional properties, it is fast processed using a single monocultural yeast strain; the bread is packed with preservatives and emulsifiers and enzymes before being packaged in wasteful plastic bags and transported long distances. It is bread that is destroying our health and our planetVanessa Kimbell The Sourdough School p184
Why home-baked bread?
The baker’s skill in managing fermentation, not the type of oven used, is what makes good bread.Tartine Bread p24