June 7, 2011 - 6:45am
Happy 50th "Chorleywood" Bread!
Couldn't help sharing this with everyone here:
"For the past 50 years, a British food stuff has spread across the world to Australia, South Africa, South America, Turkey and even to supermarket shelves in France. But is the long life, plastic wrapped, sandwich loaf that was first created in Chorleywood a design classic or a crime against bread, asks David Sillito. More than 80% of all loaves in Britain are now made the Chorleywood way. Even the fresh crusty bread baked at your local supermarket is probably made the Chorleywood way. The work of the scientists at the Chorleywood Flour Milling and Bakery Research Association laboratories in 1961 led to a new way of producing bread, making the average loaf in Britain 40% softer, reducing its cost and more than doubling its life. The move was good for British farmers growing low-protein wheat What is more, each slice was uniform. For its supporters, it was the innovation that pushed bread into the modern era .... "Already, thanks to the Chorleywood process, nearly half the wheat in our bread is British. The industry's current development programme could bring about a situation where British bread is made from an even higher proportion of British wheat - thus making the British loaf even better value for money in relation to world bread prices." .... But with industrial bakers quickly adopting the process, rather than helping small bakeries, the research at Chorleywood helped put thousands of them out of business. But for some bread lovers, particularly the "artisan bread movement" anything Chorleywood is simply not real bread. "This stuff is like cotton wool," says Paul Barker, who himself used to work as an industrial baker and sold the emulsifiers, enzymes and other chemicals used in modern baking ...."Interestingly, when I was treating a friend of mine to a "bacon butty" afternoon to help him relive his comfort food days in the U.K., I had to find soft, white, spongy bread like this to make the experience authentic for him. He appreciates good bread, but needed the old bread.