We’re taking back… Bread!

bread processed ingredientsWe found a loaf of bread at the supermarket.

Listed in the ingredients were: wheat flour, water, yeast, vegetable oil (canola, palm (antioxidents 306, 307), emulsifier (322 soy lecithin), iodised salt, sugar, wheat gluten, soy flour, milk solids, emulsifiers (471, 481, 472e), malted wheat flour and vitamins (thiamin, folic acid).

To compare, we asked a local baker, “What’s in your bread?”

From fantastic to craptastic and back again
Bread originated in the Middle East; flatbreads like khubz, lavash, pita, roti, chapatti and tortillas are surviving examples. The first example of leavened bread comes from archeological remains from Egypt from 4000 BC. Most people made their own breads or used communal village ovens, up until the 18th century. During the Industrial Revolution, people moved from villages to crowded city quarters to work. The baking of bread was relegated to the baker. Later still, central factories made bread. Bread quality was compromised with additives, a cake-like interior, no crust and an uncharacteristic flavour.

Yet over the last thirty years, traditional breadmaking has been revived. Artisan bakeries started producing bread with less refined grains and grain mixtures, long, slow fermentation and baked in small batches. In multicultural neighborhoods, ethnic bakeries have sprung to life. In addition, the home cook has rediscovered the joy of baking.

Want to start baking?
“Mark Bittman, of the New York Times, makes the easiest, most impressive bread for beginners,” Lucy advised. Watch it and see! (Recipe)

Show us your bread!
corn tortilla taco@FlavourCrusader says: Hey @tammois @crazybrave @melkettle I finally made tortillas! Better texture and flavour than store bought ones. They’re really easy to make too!

sam grains@sam_grains says: Oh @FlavourCrusader did you see my latest attempt?

white bread no knead@UrbanGreenSpace says: Loaf 3.0 white. #realbread

seeded rye bread@dianalesaux says:「freshly baked」Seeded Rye Bread: flaxseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed and poppy seed.

prosciutto buffalo mozarella olive basil pizza@FlavourCrusader says: It’s been a while since I made pizza… I used a tomato sauce from the freezer… made pesto with the rest of the basil… divided up the extra dough to freeze for later. Piece of cake!

ruth bruten pizza@ruthbruten says: Lookin’ a lot like pizza #pizza #dinner #homemade This is my recipe for pizza dough and shows a recipe for a Middle Eastern open pizza that I make with my kids.

cheese bacon rolls@ruthbruten says: Give me one child who doesn’t like these! One child in the classroom will inevitably have these in their lunchbox on any given day. My kids have been nagging me to have them in theirs so we finally got around to making them. They are really sooper doop easy – the kids did all the work. If your kids like playing with playdough they will like making these!

no knead wholemeal bread@FlavourCrusader says: Talk about anticipation! This is a wholemeal no knead loaf with sunflower and pepita seeds. It was delicious, ate a slice warm with butter. Really crunchy crust. First bread I’ve made in ages, no knead is no fuss. Love it. Thanks for sharing the video, Lucy! And thank you for motivating me Steve!

urbangreenspace wholemeal bread@UrbanGreenSpace says: First loaf! Wholemeal FTW #realbread

sam grains bread@sam_grains says: You may now call me Sam the Baker…

demeter mill bread@thoughtfuleater says: After finding out that even the wholemeal bread from supermarkets is still highly processed, I decided to invest some time and effort in working out how I could make bread myself. Surprisingly I realised making bread doesn’t have to take a lot of time. My linseed, sunflower and pepita bread is really quick and easy to make. You can add as much goodness as you want into your bread!

corn tortilla@melkettle says: I serve pulled pork with homemade corn tortillas. You can buy your own from the store if that’s easier – but they taste SO MUCH BETTER if you make them. Making corn tortillas is SO EASY.

bread peter reinhart lean bread @dianalesaux says: My wonky Peter Reinhart‘s Lean Bread :D no more supermarket bread!

gluten free seed bread@BundarraPork says: My gluten-free bread with seeds.

Contribute: In under 60 words, tell us why you started making your own bread. Any books, websites or tips that have helped. How you benefit, too. Email a photo and blurb to info AT flavourcrusader DOT com or ping me at @flavourcrusader

Buy better bread
Wheat is turned into flour by milling. It’s the process whereby the wheat kernel is broken down into small particles. Most flours are refined; the particles are sifted to remove the germ and bran layers from the particles of protein- and starch-rich endosperm.

With conventional milling, grooved metal rollers shear open the grain, squeeze out the germ, and scrape the endosperm away to be ground, sieved, and reground until the particles reach the desire size.

With stoneground milling, the whole grain is crushed thoroughly before sieving, so that some of the germ and bran end up in even the refined flours; bread made with this flour is darker, denser, favourful and more nutritious as a result.

Read more here and here.

Artisan bread made from stoneground flour can be bought from:



Tips from @mindfulfoodie and @annalspurling.

If you don’t live near a bakery, these are your best multigrain supermarket breads, from Choice magazine.

Contribute: Can you share artisan bakeries that make loaves with stoneground flour? Comment below, or email tips to info AT flavourcrusader DOT com

Use better flour
Here are some mills that produce stone-ground flour; they’re available to buy from health food shops or good greengrocers. Thanks for the tip @thoughtfuleater.

NSW Fosterton Farm, Wholegrain (Demeter Farm Mill brand)
SA The Lily
TAS Callington Mill
WA Eden Valley Biodynamic
WA Kialla Foods

Contribute: Mates with a miller? Got an iPhone? Want a creative holiday project? Can you capture video and record audio of some milling action. Love you long time, email info AT flavourcrusader DOT com

Storing bread
Store your bread at room temperature in a breadbox or paper bag if you want to use it within a few days. Storing bread in a plastic bag at room temperature encourages the growth of potentially toxic molds.

For longer storage, wrap the bread in plastic or foil and freeze it. Place paper in between slices so they’re easy to separate.

What’s in your bread?
Check out the ingredients list; if it looks long and numeric, buy something better. Or make your own. Then come back and share the deliciousness you made.

13 Responses to We’re taking back… Bread!

  1. Ruth Bruten says:

    Colette at UtSi cafe in Perth Tasmania bakes their bread everyday using Callington Mill Stoneground flour. It is DIVINE. they bake it out the back where they have built a wood oven in their vegie patch.
    FAB FAB place. All about using local & ethical ingredients.
    We buy good organic bread but my next venture is to master Bread making. it’s been on my to do list for a long time!
    My kids call craptastic bread “fake square” bread- they hate it.

    1. Sharon says:

      Ooooh wood oven! Covet! Amazing how something so everyday like flour can transcend when it’s treated with respect.

      Yes I must admit I have a cooking to-do list and flatbread is on it. I’ve mentally planned a lovely Mexican meal to christen the new tortilla press. And the next Indian meal I will make a bread too. And I just HAVE to try the no knead bread.

  2. Mei says:

    Where is that Iraqi bakery????
    need to add it to my list of places to go!

    1. Sharon says:

      The Iraqi bakery is Al-Rafidain Bakery at 14 Harris Street, Fairfield. Fairfield rocks for multi-culti bread – you can get authentic bread from around the world! Put it on the to-eat list :)

  3. Tammi Jonas says:

    I started making my own bread a couple years ago, and feel like this year I finally mastered it. Now we live in the country, we bake bread every day, and love it! I buy 12.5kg sacks of 00 pizza flour from UCG Wholesales in Melbourne, which makes great bread. We’ve just started experimenting with fruit & nut loaves, to great effect. My kids refuse to eat ‘supermarket bread’, and over the years, even my friends have stopped contributing industrial bread at parties. :-) My recipe’s on my blog for those interested.

    1. Sharon says:

      I loved your country rhythms blog post. Wake up, bake bread. Ahhhhhhhh……

  4. Steve says:

    What perfect timing! I’ve been itching to start making bread as we ran out last week and I couldn’t make it to the markets over the weekend and can’t face stupormarket bread. Have been craving real bread all week.

    I look forward to having a go over the coming weeks :)

    1. Sharon says:

      Yay! Looking forward to seeing your loaf :)

  5. Rolley says:

    haha its all so true, I loved that video of the bakery guy, hitting home with the truth – 3 ingredients. Isn’t simplicity so beautiful! Last year I got in to making sourdough, it was really time consuming and after three months my culture died and life got too busy to spend whole days baking anyway – but it was a really rewarding three months, even making the culture with just water and flour, and feeding it was a nice experience. …and the bread? Tasted amazing, absolutely amazing.

    I totally recommend having a go at sourdough to anyone, really, it’s not as hard as it sounds, just requires a bit of patience. : ) The best site I found was: http://sourdoughbaker.com.au/ – this site is pure gold!


    1. Sharon says:

      Hi there!

      Making that video was so fun :) Yup, three ingredients – why stuff with a 6000 year old recipe!?

      The feeding of the culture is indeed interesting! I reckon knowing how things are made gives you a greater appreciation of food.

      Thanks for that linkage Rolley! Have a great weekend, tell the bees hi!

    2. Sharon says:

      His stories about setting up the bakery are hilarious. Illegal bakeries and description of the NEIS scheme – yep – pure gold!

  6. Thanks for an interesting read.
    For those looking for artisan baked bread in Victoria we would add to your list Irrewarra Bakery, which is based near Lake Colac, East of Geelong: http://www.irrewarra.com.au/about-our-bread
    And, for those who are gluten free, we can recommend GoGf which is based near Melbourne: http://www.gogf.com.au/
    Happy eating and baking!

  7. […] to regard bread as one of the most nutritious of foods. While it may well be a dietary staple the processing of many breads–especially white breads–has led to it becoming addictive to many who […]

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