How is Supermarket Bread Made?

How is Supermarket Bread Made?

As it's Real Bread Week, we thought we'd take a look at why we call it "real bread".

Here are the ingredients for our white loaf from Coopers Bakehouse - flour, yeast, salt, water.

Here are the ingredients for a white supermarket loaf - Fortified British Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Water, Yeast, Salt, Rapeseed Oil, Spirit Vinegar, Calcium Propionate; Soya Flour, Mono- and Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids; Palm Oil, Ascorbic Acid

People often ask us "why is your bread so expensive?". The question you should be asking is "why is supermarket bread so cheap?".

The answer is that the supermarket does everything it can to cut corners and produce bread as quickly and cheaply as possible. They use high-speed mixing, a ton of additives and lots more yeast. This means the dough doesn't have to ferment at all and can go from flour to loaf in 2 hours - a far cry from the overnight ferment that even Francis Cooper's most simple loaf gets.

What's more supermarket bread is packed full of enzymes, which do not have to be included on the ingredient label. They are used to make dough hold more gas (making lighter bread) and to make bread stay softer for longer after baking. Basically shortcuts to create something that looks like the real thing, but is actually nothing like the bread that has been made and consumed for the vast majority of human history.

A properly fermented and proofed loaf will be easier to digest, more nutritious and a more interesting flavour - it will not have the sticky, doughy quality of cheap bread. 

Even 'freshly baked' loaves in supermarkets are almost always pre-made (sometimes in France or Ireland!) and frozen - not exactly our idea of freshly baked...

A truism often voiced by our beloved founder Vicky is that "there's no such thing as cheap food" - there's always a cost being paid somewhere. Whether it's in the cut-price ingredients, the under-paid staff or the dodgy process being used to make it.



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