“Baps, Bloomers and Barm Cakes”
Celebrating British Bread Week
~ Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves ~
National Bread Week
16th – 22nd April 2012 is National Bread Week in the UK
British Bread week gives us all the opportunity to celebrate one of the oldest and most popular types of food – bread. Ours is a nation with a rich and diverse bread making history, with the most marvellous, quirky names; bloomers, cobs, cottage loaves, baps, barm cakes, bannocks, Kentish huffkins, Sally Lunns, stottie cakes, farmhouse, buttery rowies, Granary etc……….the list goes on. In fact we have over 200 different types of bread in Britain. The numerous regional varieties of bread products provide us with a culinary map of our nation, some famous and well know, and some not known out of their own villages, towns or regions – variety truly being the spice of the British bread basket delight.
Different types of bread can be further broken down into the flour and grain types used, such as wholemeal, soft grain, wholegrain, corn, rye and buckwheat, again, usually due to local availability and demand. There is also Granary bread which is a brown bread made from special Granary flour (a trademark of the Hovis brand), which includes kibbled and whole grains.
The arrival of the Normansin Britainwas the first major era that influenced the types of bread we ate; rye flour was gradually replaced for the finer and soft white French flour – only for the rich and courtly people of course! During Tudor times, bread became a huge status symbol, the nobility only eating white bread, tradesman and merchants eating wheaten cobs and the serfs eating bran – how times have changed.
- Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves
Sliced mass produced bread provides us with the ease and convenience of eating bread at all times of the day or night for that matter, especially if we are working – but why not take the time this week to make some bread at home. The satisfaction and elemental pleasure that you get from putting your own home-baked bread on the table is immeasurable; and it is NOT difficult at all – you just need to set aside some time. I like to have a pot of tea or coffee on the go, my favourite music playing, then just me with my yeast and flour in the kitchen.
If you have a local baker that still makes and sells artisanal, regional bread, try to support them and their products. Hopefully, we may still have all of these traditional and unique breads, with their very British names for years to come. To celebrate British Bread Week, I will be posting three very different types of bread recipes throughout the week for you to try: Farmhouse Oatmeal Bread – wonderful for sandwiches as well as toast; Rustic Flower Pot Bread Loaves – amusing and easy little bread loaves baked in plant pots; and finally, Baps, sometimes called Scottish Morning Rolls – perfect for sandwiches, both hot and cold. So, let’s get kneading, have fun and let’s get baking. See you later and have a great week…….Karen.