‘Bake Two, Share One’ Recipe for Coronavirus Bread Communities

How can we help during the Coronavirus outbreak? We have been putting our heads together to work out how we can best play to our strengths and yours.
We’re focusing on two activities:
1. ‘Bake Two, Share One’
2. Responsive help, tips, guidance and troubleshooting from us to help you bake your best loaf
1. We’ve been talking about bread communities for a while, and this situation is what those communities are made for. With your help, we can create a chain of bread-making that supports those who need it, nourishes us all and gives everyone something to do if they’re stuck at home for a fortnight or longer!
Let’s bake the antidote to stockpiling, and double down on the ‘bake two, share one’ strategy. We’ve been seeing reports from New York of ‘neighbourhood bread drops’ to share loaves, and we love it. It can be as simple as doubling your usual recipe, bagging one up and hanging it on a neighbour’s door on your daily exercise escape. Guaranteed to cheer up a housebound covid-19 captive.
If the lucky recipient happens to be getting on a bit, consider slicing your loaf before sharing it. That way they can pop it in the freezer and take a slice or two out each evening to be ready for breakfast (or simply defrost them in the toaster): lovely fresh bread without all those ‘crumb-softening enzymes’ that make industrial bread so squidgy and indigestible.
To get you started, we’re releasing the two-loaf recipe that we wrote for our Bake Two Share One #RealBreadWeek pack. Download it here: Bake two Share one recipe sheet – it will show you how:
– to refresh your starter with wheat flour
– to make two simple tasty nutritious sourdough loaves
– to pass on some culture, skill (and love)
We will also be publishing some more recipes to join those already on our blog. Our recipe for sourdough hot cross buns is particularly timely and shareable.
2. That’s what we can all do: now on to what Scotland The Bread can do. If the activity on our online shop is anything to go by, a lot of people now have a lot of flour, and perhaps need some tips, guidance and troubleshooting to feel confident making the most of it.
You have flour, we have knowledge. What isn’t working? What would you like to improve? Do you know where to start with a starter? Is your loaf dense, dipping in the middle or flat?
Send us your questions and bread dilemmas by email to info@scotlandthebread.org, by commenting on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts or by under this blog. We’ll collate them and STB Chairman (described by The Guardian as ‘the godfather of the British sourdough movement’) will film a Q&A session answering them. We’ll also be sharing some of the amazing content being posted by other bread experts in the UK and beyond. Let the bread workshops come to you!

2 thoughts on “‘Bake Two, Share One’ Recipe for Coronavirus Bread Communities

  1. Elaine says:

    Do you have a recipe for a wholemeal loaf, or part wholemeal and part strong white flour? I am not keen on sourdough bread – I prefer a softer loaf. I bought your wholemeal flour and am not sure what proportions of white and wholemeal would make the best loaf? Thanks.

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      Scotland The Bread says:

      Dear Elaine

      I see to my shame that it is nearly a year since you posted this question. I’m afraid I completely missed it and I’m sorry for this oversight on my part. My answers to your question, should you want to have another go with Scotland The Bread flour, are as follows:

      The ‘softness’ of a loaf depends on several factors, not just the proportion of white to wholemeal flour, though using 50:50 would be a good place to start. Softness is a feature of ‘just-baked’ bread but it has been engineered into virtually all commercial bread in recent years by the use of ‘crumb-softening’ enzymes. (See my book Bread Matters for more detail on these horrors.) We’ve got used to a kind of ‘perma-softness’ in industrial loaves that is, in reality, a marker of inadequate fermentation or ‘ultra-processing’ or both.The secret of real sourdough is that the long fermentation process allows beneficial bacteria to ‘pre-digest’ some of the proteins that trigger digestive discomfort in some people. It also processes the (relatively indigestible) fibre that is present in wholemeal flour. Cereal fibre is important for supporting healthy balance and function in crucial gut bacteria.

      It is possible to restore softness to bread that has begun to age naturally (i.e. bread that is not in a state of arrested development due to industrial enzyme adulteration) by warming it to about 50°C at which point the starch in the crumb begins to go back to its ‘gummy’, just-out-of-the oven, state. But beware! Not only does this speed up the subsequent ‘staling’ of the bread (so do it a slice at a time) but it also seems to bypass our ‘satiety mechanism’, i.e. the feeling of fulness after eating. As a baker of nigh on fifty years, I can vouch for the irresistibility of freshly baked bread! Industrial bread’s additives don’t just support a conveniently long ‘shelf life’. They keep us coming back for more.

      However, the delights of natural softness can be enjoyed even in additive-free well-fermented (including sourdough) breads. Try using 2-5% olive oil or butter in the dough. Butter will improve loaf volume more than oil, as well as giving a softer crumb. Much higher percentages of fat are, of course, used in breads such as brioche. Increasing the water content of the dough will also produce an initially softer-eating crumb as well as a more open texture that our mouths perceive as being easier to chew. In that respect, Scotland The Bread flour, very finely ground on our distinctive cyclone mills, is also helpful because the bran particles are small and less obtrusive.

      I wish you well in the eternal struggle between health and indulgence!

      Andrew Whitley

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