Local Artisan Bread & Patisserie

Monthly archive for May 2014

New diet news – How to have your bread & eat it too

New diet news – How to have your bread & eat it too

A lot of lovely customers ask us about gluten-free.  Or avoiding wheat/ eating spelt as an alternative.  Or using low GI flours.  Some even say they have to avoid bread because they’re watching their weight.

“There’s an urban myth that if you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t eat bread”

Source: 2008: Professor Terry Graham, at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, a human health & nutritional sciences researcher who has now published clinical findings into the effects of different breads on blood sugar & insulin levels.

It’s both no surprise to us & a relief to establish that there IS growing scientific evidence that not all breads are the same – it’s what ingredients the baker uses  AND the way he uses them that determines whether you are eating healthy Bread.

round raisin & rosemaryClinical studies have proven that what’s most beneficial is….. tra la la la….Sourdough. 

“The subjects, who were overweight and ranged between 50 and 60 years of age, showed the most positive body responses after eating sourdough white bread..

“With the sourdough, the subjects’ blood sugar levels were lower for a similar rise in blood insulin,” said Graham

The measurement of the impact of food on your blood sugar is called the Glycemic Index – GI.  This obviously means that Sourdoughs are naturally “Low GI”.  We would never use low GI flours or “sour flavours” which are commercially available, as we don’t like the scary implications of altered flours, but hey presto!  We have the natural GI diet solution for you, in our Sourdoughs.

The clinical findings are so convincing for more serious conditions that the American Diabetes Association positively recommends real bread like Sourdough to help prevent  those with Type II from blood glucose spiking.   Who would have thought just your daily bread could have such a dramatic impact on your body’s gut reaction (literally)?  Clearly not all breads are made equal.

It’s thought that handmade Sourdough really is the healthiest bread because of the verrrr-yyyy lonnn-gggg slow ferment, positively altering the flour’s starches into digestible sugars.  Certainly the time & love & labour that goes into a Sourdough is what makes it our most premium priced bread (though let’s face it, still costing you about the price of a coffee).  Rex Bakery sourdough takes at least 3 days to make,  relies on a homemade sourdough starter originally derived from local  honey and that’s constantly fed & nurtured by the Rex Baker; and the very best organic flour with absolutely no additives.  The Rex Baker has even been known to take his Sourdough starter on holiday with him to nurture it, and goes in to the bakery late at night & on “closed days” to work the Sourdoughs.   No corner-cutting mixes here!   All our loaves take at least a day or 2 but Sourdough takes the very longest to develop.

artisan bread, sourdough, banneton, doughThat’s why it’s thought there’s no more fermenting, bubbling, expanding having to go on in your own tummy, because it all happened naturally in the days beforehand.  The digestive effect of slowly made real Sourdough is so benign that the researchers found it doesn’t even impact your blood sugar.  This world of difference in what bread you eat has been likened to eating a raw hard green tomato versus a vine-ripened & sun-ready tomato.

No wonder factory-fast breads are associated with bloating & weight gain, forcing some people to believe the culprit is any wheat or any bread.

Maybe even more importantly than being the healthiest option….  We like eating Sourdoughs! We plan the signature Rex sourdoughs to just. taste. delicious.!!!  We regularly rotate them but here’s our typical menu:

Daily: “regular” Rex sourdough
Saturday: Oat, Groat & Sesame; Raisin & Rosemary; Poppy & Pumpkin Seed; Pain au Levain
Weekday rotation: 3 Grain Levain, Potato, Walnut; Oat & Apple

We also make Rye, and Spelt breads.    These are the obvious alternatives to Wheat if you know you cannot digest that but could consume gluten – or just love Rye or spelt loaves as so many customers do!
Did anybody try them all yet?  We often have tasters, please ask if you would like to try something new to you.

None of our breads can be Gluten-free for the approximately 1% of the population who are confirmed Coeliacs/ gluten-intolerants because we cannot guarantee no gluten particles in the bakery atmosphere, unfortunately.  So sorry 🙁

Rex sourdough, sourdough breadWe love that Little Chalfont has taken so to Sourdoughs, we normally sell out of these fabulous loaves before the organic Sandwich tin loaves & get incredible feedback from all you Sourdough-heads out there:

Rex Sourdough – This was most excellent
Loved … the Sour Dough
“Hiii guys that potato sourdough was sooo good the best so far for me”

So if you are watching your weight, diabetic, worried about bread-bloating or trying a low GI diet – the good news is that Sourdoughs are clinically proven to be better for you.  Oh, and seriously yummy 🙂

Have a great week!

How to avoid the Great British Fake-off!

How to avoid the Great British Fake-off!

We had our best & biggest week since we opened – Thank You!


We think:

  1. Many Rex Friends come back regularly, for more.  Hooray!!
  2.  It’s back to work/ school after the Easter holidays, so lots more traffic
  3. Others are spreading the word and every day new people visit thanks to a recommendation
  4. But we also think that the refit of Tesco might have brought in some extra people this week, looking for their lunch!

Rex Artisan bakery, rex bakery, rex sausage rolls, sausage rollsWe love that our shop is near Tesco – let’s face it nearly all of us in Little Chalfont do shop there & that means a lot of footfall in our parade, all the time.  Many newbies to Rex seemed excited with what they found & we hope they become new Friends after their visit.  But without a doubt a few baulked at the prices of say a Rex Croissant or a Sausage Roll compared to their usual supermarket experience, that they were looking for something more Value.

For them, that seems to mean value in price, not value in product.

Rex Artisan Bakery is passionate about the product.  The Rex Baker started the business because he couldn’t find the best in food that he wanted to buy & eat – and envisioned that if he made the very best – the best ingredients, the best methods, for the best taste – then others like him would want to buy it too.   But he didn’t want some kind of exclusive fine dining club – it needed to be what everyone has access to & could afford daily and baking fits the bill perfectly.  Besides, he’s always loved good bread 🙂

Indeed our Sausage Rolls are a great torture test versus anything else on the market.  Ours have a hand-made puff pastry with the highest regarded Shipton Mill organic white flour which of course contains absolutely no corner-cutting our butteradditives.  We purely use the very best French patisserie butter because it has a very low water content which makes the best pastry – and then we work it, by hand & with the greatest care & attention, until it’s ready to roll.  The highest quality & delicious tasting sausagemeat was chosen as the best in the region after an exhaustive selection process.  It forms the basis for our secret recipe including added onion & herbs to recreate a food memory from the Rex Baker’s childhood, inspired by  the sausage rolls the Rex Baker’s own mum used to make.

Compare the care in Rex with the dubious packaged thing you could buy cut-price elsewhere – questionable quality, taste & texture of “sausagemeat” filling in a possibly hydrogenated fat “pastry” – mass-made by machines not a baker.  That feels more designed for profit than to delight the taste buds & the body.  Thinking of the contrast, we maybe don’t charge enough for our Sausage Rolls!!

Yet you will see some huge claims out there, some of which we’ve blogged out before.  Amongst the most misleading is the commonly used “Freshly baked” description.  It sounds so nice, yet this smoke & mirrors approach to pretending it’s real bread has been dubbed the Great British Fake-off.  In reality, a huge consignment of products mass-produced on a factory line somewhere far off & frozen some time ago are shipped in for reheating & “tanning” in an in-store oven.  Or a scary chemical cocktail mix (“just add water”) requiring really no skill or attention is used to balloon into various items to bake & sell as “freshly made in-store”.  And whilst what’s on sale might seem on 1st take to be higher value products because they look & smell just-cooked, these “bake offs” probably have the same questionable approach to pastry & sausagemeat at heart.  That’s not offering the best possible product value so wouldn’t come anywhere near to the Rex Bakery standard.

rex bread displayWe are so confident about our products that we offer lots of tasters as any regular Friends will know! Plus that’s why we have our open layout, so you can see upclose for yourself how good everything is.  The baskets are not for self-service, we want to help you make your selection ourselves – we can tell you about everything & keep it all hygienic that way.  The old adage “If you touch me, please buy me” is definitely true for our displays 🙂

Ultimately our standards are for you, our Friends, to judge.  Only you can decide where to shop & what to buy, and we will just keep applying our hand-made, best quality torture test – that’s a great discipline for us!  We hope our best-product approach is enhancing our local community in many ways  and that because of that we continue to have Friends’  wonderful support for their baked needs– whatever supermarket they also shop at! xx