Local Artisan Bread & Patisserie

Monthly archive for June 2013

How is Artisan bread different anyhow?

So what’s the difference between our Rex Artisan Bakery Bread, Supermarket in house bakery bread & the sliced white we all grew up with?

artisan bread

An Artisan Baker like Rex Bakery loves flavour which means making bread slowly.  We use the minimum number of ingredients possible, only organic flour and highest quality ingredients.

The best way to get superior flavour and texture in a loaf is to make it slowly, so the flour is properly fermented which also allows complex flavours to develop.  So even our humble artisan White Sandwich Loaf or Bloomer has been fermented for over 24 hours. It is called a ‘Sponge’ and is the same process used back in the old days where a local baker would keep back some of his dough each day to put into the next day’s dough. He knew it gave him better flavour, as do only artisan bakers.

bread dough

People forget that Bread is a fermented product , using many of the same ingredients as beer; Yeast , Water & Grain ( in beer Malted Barley is boiled and in bread Wheat is milled into a flour).  To properly ferment flour, to change is nature and create tasty bread, takes time.

Most bread today is not properly fermented some suspect this is behind the rise in allergies to wheat flour, gluten and a whole host of gastrointestinal diseases . It is fashionable to think  wheat itself is the culprit, but perhaps it is the way it is treated which is the problem, the lack of fermentation which causes bloating & discomfort in most of us and serious illness in some.

It all started after the second world war when Government demanded cheap food. The “Chorleywood Bread Process” was the solution for bread, invented in the now closed ‘British Baking Industries Research Associatjon’ laboratory  a few miles away in Chorleywood. 80% of bread in the UK is now made this way & factories across the world use this process.

Essentially it involves whipping the dough at very high speeds with lots of additives, to create a big voluminous mass which perhaps has more in common with a Meringue than traditional bread. It is made & baked very quickly in a couple of hours from start to finish so the wheat flour is not really fermented at all. The loaf structure is created by the whipping action, and not really by fermentation. It is big on volume, lasts a long time & is ‘cheap food’ in plastic bags.

Supermarket in-store bakeries use the Activated Dough Development (ADD) process using many of the same additives as the Chorleywood, but it is a half way house.  As an example, soft white rolls , include ‘soft white roll  No2 ’  mix which will have all sorts of dough improvers, preservatives & flavour enhancers.The supermarket doughs are fermented for longer than the factory bread but still rarely beyond a couple of hours .They  are focused on volume and keeping quality rather than taste or health.

WE think you can taste & feel the difference in our bread .  What do you think, we would love to hear your feedback?

After Village Day – announcing our 1st pop up collection point!

The Rex Baker nearly killed himself last Thursday / Friday /Saturday for Village Day but managed to get out well over 100kg of bread plus a whole range of Croissants, Danish, Brioche, Buns & Tarts.  He had about 4 hours sleep over the two nights and had a power outage at 11pm on Friday night which required a wonderful local Electrician friend to save the day (well, night…), plus the limestone the Rex Baker was baking on ( 4 of them) all decided to collapse about half way through!
rex at show new
Then despite a shaky start getting all the display out on show & a tropical rainstorm arriving in Little Chalfont Saturday afternoon, we had a fantastic time meeting so many wonderful friends & local community supporters and virtually sold out.
So now plans are afoot for this coming Saturday.  From 9-12, Rex Bakery pop up collection point will be found after the bakery has lovingly finished off orders overnight Friday.
All good things take time – 36+ hours mixing, proving, kneading, shaping & finally baking to be precise!  

All good things take time

med rex bubbling dough A full ovenmed rex rye
Rex Bakery is new, local and artisan. We hand make baked goods the old-fashioned way which means slowly & with love, to develop flavour, texture and keeping quality.

We use the best ingredients we can source, organic where possible and nothing else added, so plenty gained. To start with we’re planning a Little Chalfont pop-up Saturday morning shop – that means, after a hard day’s night of baking we’ll have your favourite breads & buns ready for you to collect

And this is where we can take you behind the scenes. Somewhere to share our thoughts and to give you good people a chance to comment on what we’re doing. Somewhere to post our pictures, tell our stories, let you know the latest. Somewhere for our trials & tribulations & triumphs. So this is the start of the life of Rex Bakery – because all good things take time.

More photos on our FB page. Click R link below.

Full website with Click and Collect service coming soon!

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