Bread Battle Brews Over Sourdough

Bread Battle Brews Over Sourdough

When it comes to sourdough bread suppliers, we like to source ours from the specialists. This is perhaps just as well, as some supermarket brands and their suppliers are facing accusations that what they are putting on the shelves is not the real deal.

On one side of the argument is The Real Bread Campaign (RBC), formed in 2009, which represents artisan bakers from across the land. It is adamant that only the kind of sourdough bread they produce is authentic. It argues that major bread brands and the supermarkets that stock them – the likes of Aldi, Morrison’s Sainsbury’s and Tesco – are really producing “sourfaux”.

In particular, the RBC argues, “real” sourdough bread doesn’t include baker’s yeast, chemical raising agents or any other additives, all of which features in “sourfaux”.

Campaign co-ordinatior Chris Young said: “Some industrial loaf fabricators, and other crafty bakers, want a slice of the sourdough market but don’t want to invest the extra time, knowledge and skills necessary to craft great, genuine sourdough bread.”

At the heart of the argument, says the RBC, is the attempt by the big bread boys to develop an industry-wide definition of sourdough that just isn’t authentic. It wants the government to get tough with a stricter set of standards and definitions. And here we all were thinking Boris Johnson’s soon-to-be-named successor would only have Covid, war and a cost-of-living crisis to worry about.

As it happens, some of our specialist sourdough breads do not even come from the UK at all, including Polish and Romanian sourdough products that can not only be enjoyed by those originally from those lands, but anyone who enjoys sourdough and likes to avoid some of the controversial alternatives.

Ultimately, sourdough is all about using a naturally leavened bread as starter culture, with no need to add yeast, as there is a mix of wild yeast and bacteria in it that can rise naturally and produce the distinctive taste. 

Sadly, while those microbes dutifully get on with doing their stuff, it seems all a more advanced species wants to do is argue about definitions.

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By | 2022-10-26T10:10:16+00:00 September 30th, 2022|Blog|Comments Off on Bread Battle Brews Over Sourdough

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