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Photo by Vincent Talleu

In 1928, Otto Frederick Rohwedder created a machine that would change the way we buy our bread — sliced and wrapped in plastic.

In the sixties, the trend continued as fermentation was replaced by machines pushing air in the dough through intensive beating. Bread factories greeted this as a step forward: bread making, once a time-consuming process, could now be completed much faster — and without relying on experienced bakers. Factory bread invaded our homes and the art of a slowly fermented, hand made loaf was almost forgotten.

Now, this is about to change.

This is a free preview of an article published in BREAD Magazine Issue 1.

Buy the issue to read the full article!

I interviewed Chris Young, the coordinator of Real Bread Campaign, an initiative dedicated to putting bread back to its rightful place at the dinner table. He talked about the campaign, his appreciation for bread, and shared interesting facts about bread and its place in history.

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Chris Young. Photo by Kath Dalmeny / Real Bread Campaign.

Jarkko: How did the Real Bread campaign get started?

Chris: The Real Bread Campaign was the brainchild of Andrew Whitley who, as an organic artisan baker, has been highlighting since the mid-1970s the state of bread in Britain, and sharing with people how we can all help to make a positive difference.

He knew that in order to bring Real Bread back to the hearts of our local communities in significant numbers, a national organization was needed. This would bring together everyone who was sick of industrial loaves as a mutually-supportive network, sharing ideas and experience; championing positive steps in the right direction, and challenging legislation and other obstacles to the rise of Real Bread.

He brought this idea to the charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, which, as a campaigning organization, was happy to take on the task. We launched the Campaign in November 2008 and the open-to-all membership scheme in September 2009.

Jarkko: How did you get involved with the campaign yourself?

Chris: My first attempt at bread making as a student resulted in a brick, which I still use as a doorstop. Thankfully, I tried again and soon got the hang of baking a basic loaf. I got more interested in 2004 when I found Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf. It was the first bread book I’d seen that didn’t just take one or two basic recipes made with instant yeast, then throw in a handful of herbs or cheese or just make a load of different shapes, then write “Contains over fifty recipes” on the cover.

Then in November 2008, I went on a course with Andrew Whitley at Schumacher College. Reading his book Bread Matters and listening to him talk about the issues and his proposed solutions literally made me say “How can I get involved?”

He told me he was about to launch the Campaign, so I signed up for the newsletter, which a few months later advertised a vacancy for a volunteer…

This is a free preview of an article published in BREAD Magazine Issue 1.

Buy the issue to read the full article!

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