When lock down first came into force the craze for making sourdough bread went into over-drive. Corner shops and supermarkets ran out of flour and people nearly came to fisty-cuffs to grab the last bag off the shelf. So, what was all the fuss about?
We are so used to just grabbing pre-prepared food that we have lost touch with where our food comes from and how it is made. Here at Craggs & Co we are very aware of the skill and love that goes into creating our flour and that is why it tastes so good and bakes so well. The same is true of home cooking. It restores our closeness to nature and the environment.
SMELLS AND TASTES DIVINE!
Anyone who has come into the kitchen when bread is being baked will know the smell is dreamy. Who can resist cutting off the first slice of a freshly baked loaf, even when it is too hot to handle, let alone eat – it’s almost impossible! No wonder estate agents, keen to boost your house price, suggest you bake to make the house smell homely and welcoming when potential buyers visit.
HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS
So why does home baked taste so much better? The first difference is the ingredients. The industrial loaf needs preservatives to meet the shelf life demanded by most retailers and customers. It will generally contain soya flour, enzymes, and other additives to help the dough go through the production process. All of this leaves a massive taste and texture deficit. This sort of bread is often pappy, doughy and bland.
Artisan bread needs only four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. The best flour comes from the tastiest wheat varieties, grown on organic principles. The grinding process matters too. Here at Craggs we use hammer milling, as this process not only breaks down the starch, making it ideal for bread making, but the flour retains the minerals and vitamins contained in the wheatgerm. These are rejected with industrial roller milling.
Traditionally bakers used a homegrown yeast culture – sourdough. This type of yeast requires longer fermentation times, usually between 12 – 30 hours. Long fermentations produce a loaf that is easier to digest, more nutritious and much much tastier with a great texture!
FUN AND THERAPEUTIC
Not only does home baked bread taste better but it is fun to make. Kneading dough can be very therapeutic if you’ve had a bad day at the office, and the joy of seeing just flour, water and salt turn into a delicious loaf should be experienced by all.
So put on your apron, get out your mixing bowl, grab a bag of Craggs & Co flour and get baking!