Spreading the word about artisan bread!

With the media’s watchful eye firmly fixed on the latest scandal swirling about what actually goes into our food, it’s no wonder people aren’t concerned with meat products alone.

Nearly every product in a supermarket begins to look suspicious of containing hidden, even unsavoury ingredients.  Just one look at the ingredient list for a fairly innocent, standard white loaf leaves me in a daze.  What are those space-age ingredients that I can’t even pronounce?

Take heart, fellow foodies.  Not everything we eat has to be so complicated.  I was recently asked to pop along and visit the guys at Love Bread, a community interest company based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Love Bread’s aim is simple – to spread the word about artisan bread in the Calderdale area.  They do this initially by running reasonably priced courses about the four simple ingredients that make a great tasting loaf.

What does a great tasting loaf contain?  Just flour, yeast, salt and water.  You can hardly get any more down to earth than that.

From the cookery classes, Love Bread hopes that budding bread bakers may offer some of their own time to help out when it comes to market day.  This consists of selling on the stall or actually making some of the 300 loaves they regally sell at market.

Not content with me just taking pictures of the students at work, Carole the course tutor, encouraged me to get involved.

I recently purchased a Kitchen Aid appliance by way – at least in part – of avoiding bread by hand.  The kneading process drives me insane and I inevitably wind up covered with sticky dough.

After a day with Carole that included a remarkable lunch of butternut squash soup, she had me cured of my bread making frustrations.  No more sticky, unsightly work surfaces for me.  I had three loaves of beautifully golden, handmade bread under my belt and understand now where I’ve gone wrong with bread making in the past.

Okay, I confess.  I made two loaves of beautiful, golden handmade bread.  My wife made the other one and her bread was even better than mine.

Thanks to their outstanding program, Love Bread is only 12 months into their handmade bread project and already they’ve outgrown the ovens of a local school.  Fortunately, they have found a more suitable location for their expanding and worthwhile enterprise.

Love Bread also teaches in schools – they’ll teach pretty much anywhere that will have them, so look them up at www.lovebreadcic.moonfruit.co.uk and get involved.

Is that fresh bread I smell?  Gotta dash, I have a loaf ready to leave the oven!