the so-called ‘ONE HOUR LOAF’

One hour to make but may take days to digest... by A Webb

Ticino Bakery London Bread Loaf

bread was once the staple diet of man. Our greatest weakness is still the smell of hot buttered toast or the warm roll offered at the restaurant table. Brits get through the equivalent of sixty loaves a year each, although since the 1970’s sales of mass-produced bread have been falling.

We were recently chatting with the team at Ticino and got onto the subject of making and baking bread. Ticino have been serving up artisan breads to the local catering community in SE1 for decades and really know what goes into a good loaf. The problem with most of the bread we consume, they explained, is that mass-production of flour from whole grain tends to grind out all of the goodness.

The flour we eat today is a fine white powder created by the mechanical crushing of grain in ever finer rollers. This creates a heat that destroys all of the vitamins and goodness in the grain and the result is a lifeless off-white starch.

Traditionally flour was produced by grinding the whole grain between stone rollers, powered by wind, water or oxen. Rollers moved slowly generating much less heat and subsequently keeping in the nutrients and germs.

Bread made this way is heavy and prone to drying and crumbling, which is less popular in today’s quick and convenient consumer-driven society. Responding to this, bakers began to keep their bread moist by adding chemicals that absorb and retain water.

Marina at Ticino explained how the fermentation process naturally works. Starches in the flour are naturally broken down into components that are easy to digest and though fermentation may take several hours, or even days, the bread benefits from great flavour, aroma and texture. It also lasts longer without needing any additives and has a lower glycemic index keeping blood sugar levels more balanced.

“Brits get through the equivalent of sixty loaves a year each…

For industrially mass-produced bread this time costs money and pressure from supermarkets and consumers has squeezed producers to find shortcuts. The ‘No Time Method’ or ‘Chorleywood Process’ was developed to speed up production. Fermentation Accelerators are added and the dough is mechanically whipped combining both the fermentation and aeration processes together therefore reducing the time needed to just two minutes. Salt is then added to mask the blandness which is not required in bread baked in the traditional way.

All of this makes for a fast and cheap turnaround of bread (the so-called ‘one hour loaf’) which may be good for business but is likely to sit heavily in your gut. If you are looking for a healthy, natural loaf then it may cost a little more but is worth every penny!

176-178 Bermondsey Street
t: 020 7407 7025

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