It’s Lammas, so ready, bready, dough!

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

RealBread_lammas12_short_page1_image4 On and around August 1st the Real Bread Campaign is helping people across the United Kingdom to celebrate Real Bread by baking or buying delicious Local Loaves for Lammas.

This is the fourth year in which the Campaign has rallied Britain’s Real Bread champions around this ancient harvest festival to help more people discover or rediscover the joys of local loaves.

As a mere 13% of us make Real Bread at home1, this Lammas the Campaign is focusing on encouraging more people to roll up their sleeves and get baking, preferably with locally-produced flour. To get them started, Campaign co-founder Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters has created a special recipe for a Lammas loaf. People can find this and more Real Bread recipes at

Andrew said: ‘The word Lammas might be old, but locally-baked Real Bread is the future! Every week, we hear from more and more people who have turned their backs on bland, additive-laced industrial loaves from distant factories in favour of flavoursome all-natural bread from local bakeries or their own ovens.’

  • Local loaf lovers can also visit the Campaign website to find details of:

  • Lammas events, activities and offers run by Real Bread bakers and traditional mills

  • Real Bread making classes and courses

  • Local places to buy Real Bread

The Real Bread Loaf Mark. Want Real Bread? Then look for The Loaf Mark, the at-a-glance assurance from a baker that a loaf is what the Campaign calls Real Bread.

  • Independent flour millers

  • Competitions to win bread making classes, books and more

Part of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food programme, the Real Bread Campaign champions locally-produced, 100% additive-free loaves, and finds ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Membership of the Real Bread Campaign is open to everyone who cares about the state of bread in Britain.

Taking its name from the Old English word for loaf mass, a traditional Lammas highlight was eating bread baked with grain from the year’s first harvest.

Key current initiatives from the Real Bread Campaign:

  • The Real Bread Finder: the only online directory dedicated to helping people find where to buy Real Bread locally. Free for bakers to add, and people to search for, local places to buy Real Bread.

  • Lessons in Loaf: A FREE download for teachers on planning hands-on Real Bread making sessions for any age, plus lesson plans to tie the topic of bread in with a range of curriculum subjects at Key Stage 2.

  • Real Bread on The Menu: the Campaign’s scheme encouraging more public sector institutions (including schools, care homes and hospitals) and food access projects (e.g. co-operative buying groups, community

  • cafes, box schemes) around Britain to offer Real Bread.

  • Knead to Know: the Real Bread starter: the guide to starting a Real Bread enterprise in your local community. Available as a PDF download.

Local Food has been developed by a consortium of 15 national environmental organisations, and is managed on their behalf by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT). Supported by the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme, Local Food has distributed grants to a variety of food related projects to make locally grown food more accessible.

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) is a registered charity, incorporated by Royal Charter, to promote conservation and manage environmental programmes throughout the whole of the UK. It has established management systems for holding and distributing funds totalling more than £20 million annually to environmental projects across the UK.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme was launched in November 2005 to help communities enjoy and improve their local environments. The programme funds a range of activities from local food schemes and farmers markets, to education projects teaching people about the local environment.

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK.

The Sheepdrove Trust also provides generous annual funding to the Campaign.

The Campaign further relies upon membership fees and public donations to continue its work leading the rise of Real Bread in Britain.

Very few things are better than real bread; bread that is made with “real” flour and not with stuff that is “enhanced” with this and that (mostly chemicals) and it is not difficult to make your own bread at home.

Unless you buy from a local artisan baker who uses “pure” flour then even from a bakery your loaf may have the same chemical ingredients as the sponge stuff you buy in the supermarket. Flour improver is listed in many bakeries as an ingredient and, at times, also preservatives. What for?

I invested in a bread machine – and it was but a small investment as it was one from Lidl – and I have never looked back since and not bought a loaf of bread since either.

However, I have to say that I no longer bake the bread in the machine but just use it for kneading and the proving process and then transfer the dough into a loaf tin and bake it in the oven. Much better result. And real bread from which I know that it has no chemicals in it, just flour, even though the latter is store bought. The ingredient list does state, however, only flour and no other things.

If one would really want to go all the way then either locally milled flour and even real yeast would be the way to go, but the simpler way of buying the flour and the yeast also results in great tasting and nutritious bread. Give it a try!

© 2012

1ICM online poll of 2038 British adults aged 18+, conducted 16 – 17 May 2012 for May Gurney.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.