It’s Real Bread Week 2023, running now between 18th and 26th February. Created and run by the Real Bread Campaign at Sustain since 2010, #RealBreadWeek is the annual, international celebration of Real Bread and the people behind its rise – every pun intended! So how can you get involved this year and what’s happening in the Real Bread world right here in Plymouth?
What is Real Bread?
People of all identities and from every background around the globe make and enjoy Real Bread, by which the folks behind The Real Bread Campaign simply mean it is additive-free. It can be sourdough but it doesn’t have to be! Check out their definition of Real Bread in full here.
Local bakeries and enterprises championing Real Bread
- The Almond Thief is a relatively recent addition to Looe Street, with a bakery and cafe showcasing locally grown heritage and population wheat, freshly milled in-house to supply shops in Dartington, Totnes and now Plymouth.
- In addition to ther Heyl Bakery shop in Alma Yard, the Heyl team also pop up at Tavistock Farmers’ Market on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month and the Royal William Yard market on the 1st Sunday of the month, as well as supplying a number of local independent traders, including Jar, Cakewhole, Green Shoots Eco, Pickle Deli, The Stores and Reciprocity. You can also order online and book a baking class to hone your own skills.
- Elsie’s Habesha Cuisine at Jabulani at The Plot on Union Street is also home to Real Bread, in the form of injera, a sourdough flatbread made from teff flour that’s rich in iron and other essential minerals and a staple in Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines.
- The award-winning Jacka Bakery and Delicatessen on Southside Street sits at the site of the city’s oldest bakery (baking since 1597, no less!). Family-run, the team champion the best of local independent produce from across the South West and offer wholesale services too.
- Although their West End cafe sadly closed its doors recently, the dynamic team at Rise Bakery continues to supply wholesale and offers an online service enabling Plymouth-based customers to order freshly baked sourdough goodness and much more besides for delivery to their door.
- Hospitality Plymouth – the University of Plymouth’s catering services branch – are proud to use premium 100% flour made from naturally grown and milled ancient and heritage grains, in the form of YQ Flour, Emmer Flour, Red Lammas Flour, and Semolina supplied by The Fresh Flour Company, who mill in nearby Buckfastleigh, just 24 miles away from the University of Plymouth campus.
How to get involved in Real Bread Week 2023
Here are a host of ways to get involved in with #RealBreadWeek courtesy of the Real Bread Campaign…
Buy Real Bread
- Look for The Real Bread Loaf Mark
- Find a local Real Bread bakery
- Why support a local Real Bread bakery
It’s time to kick the additive-laden industrial loaf habit and support YOUR neighbourhood’s Real Bread bakery!
Small, independent, locally-owned bakeries help to:
- Support more jobs per loaf for people in your local community – skilled, fulfilling jobs at that
- Keep more money circulating in your local economy, helping to keep your high street alive
Some offer additional social benefits, from being a place where older people and those at risk of isolation can see a friendly face and stop for a chat, to those that are set up to offer training and employment opportunities for people facing one of a range of challenges.
Bake Real Bread
- Home baking tips
- Real Bread baking schools
- Specific classes and events
- Discounts on ingredients, equipment, classes
Seize the dough to take control of the food that you (and perhaps your family) enjoy!
Not only is making Real Bread great fun, it’s also a very affordable way of avoiding the cocktail of additives that turn up in industrial loaf products. Some people find it therapeutic.
The folks at the Real Bread campaign are always keen to see more children learning to make Real Bread, whether at home, nursery or in the classroom. It can also be a way of steering them towards healthier food – you’d be amazed at the number of children who ‘don’t like wholemeal’ but love it when it was lovingly made by their own mitts.
NB: Real Bread Week isn’t about cakes or loaves raised with baking powder / soda, or just about sourdough bread. See the Real Bread campaign definition of Real Bread.
Following a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, past Real Bread Campaign ambassador Kitty Tait’s Breaducation initiative has 10,000 ‘bread-in-a-bag’ kits to give away.
- Run a food bank or free / at-cost bread making workshops in a school, prison or any sort of community setting? You can apply for free kits.
- Baking for yourself, or running baking sessions but don’t need to claim a free kit? Buying a Kitty’s Kit will fund a free kit for the Breaducation initiative.
- If you don’t want/need a kit, you can still make a donation to the scheme.
Learn more about this great opportunity here.
Boost Real Bread
You can contribute to the campaign for Real Bread in lots of ways, including helping to create a new A to Z of Real Bread, throwing the spotlight on Real Bread traditions from YOUR culinary cultural heritage, wherever in the world its (and your) roots lie, and by sharing Real Bread campaign posts on social media – using the #RealBreadWeek, of course! Have an avid Real Baker in your life? There are Real Bread gifts galore available to buy to support the Real Bread charity.
Perhaps one of the best ways to support the work of the Real Bread charity if you can is to join the Real Bread Campaign. You don’t have to be a baker to join them – in fact, the majority of their supporters aren’t bakers. Rates (unchanged since 2009) start from £22.50 a year, less than £2 per month. Supporter benefits you’ll get to enjoy include their exclusive True Loaf magazine; and special offers on Real Bread ingredients, equipment, baking classes and more. Read more about why and how to join here.
Get in touch
Finally, if you’re marking Real Bread Week 2023 in some way in Plymouth that we’re yet to hear about, please do let Food Plymouth Sustainable Food Places Coordinator Sophie know by dropping her an email!
Images by J R Lopez, Vicky Ng and Tijana Drinic via Unsplash.