Chorleywood is a pleasant but unassuming village on the Herts/Bucks border. I take Owen there every Saturday for his football class. So it came as a surprise to learn that the village created the modern loaf of bread.
Back in 1961, the British Baking Industries Research Association, based in Chorleywood, invented a new way of making bread. The Chorleywood process was much quicker, with the extra benefit that loaves lasted longer. Low protein British wheat could be used to make bread easily and quickly. Eight out of 10 British loaves now result from the technique, which has spread around the world – even France. Yet critics say Chorleywood bread is low in nutritional values.
We buy our own bread from the Stratton Bakery in nearby Chalfont St Giles. The bread is made on the premises. Stratton also has a branch in … Chorleywood.
Sadly the Chorleywood Process was the the worst thing ever to happen to our British bread. The ‘no-time process omits the usual leavening process, high speed spinning is used instead. Luckily, there are bakeries using the proper proving process. It seems likely that this cheap and quick process could be the reason that there are now more people suffering from wheat intolerance. And, you really can’t beat the flavour of a properly produced loaf.
I quite agree. I have settled on a Morrison’s cob loaf that is a Wheat/Rye/Spelt mix. Try it!
I have been living in Switzerland for 5 years and have rediscovered the joys of excellent daily bread. The bread I buy there is only good for a day or two at most before it becomes stale..it tastes great, is nutritionally superior to anything here. The British people have been totally swindled by being deprived of what, in my opinion, should be a daily staple. Only the middle class foodie who is lucky enough to live near an artisan baker in the UK can enjoy what for everybody in Switzerland is seen as a basic everyday foodstuff…whether you’re a bus driver or an investment banker.
So what’s to be done? The supermarkets perpetuate the whole sorry scandal, however, campaigns by top celebrity chefs like Hugh Fernley-Wittingstall had a definite impact on improving the chicken we buy and increasing the quantity of free range birds….it’s about time we started a similar campaign to reinstate the proper daily loaf. It saddens me that in the UK real bread is almost impossible to buy. I went to Tescos yesterday and I am simply appalled by their so-called bakery….all the bread is vile.
Mass produced pap, my digestive system says “NO!”.
My brother, Fraser Maldoom, worked there for a spell. Check him out, and say hello.
Oh, and it gets worse — cheaper breads masquerading as ‘traditional’ or ‘artisan’ are now likely to contain rapeseed oil, that pernicious adulterant.
Also one has negotiates one’s way through acres of ‘Sourdough’. I can’t stand the fashion.