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BREAD MATTERS: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own Hardcover – 4 Sep 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Sep 2006
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; Reprint edition (4 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007203748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007203741
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 4.2 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Andrew Whitley, organic baker and founder of The Village Bakery, reveals the deplorable state into which modern supermarket bread has fallen, and the secrets behind making good, nutritious bread at home. All is not well in British baking. Commercial bread is laced with additives to make it look good and stay soft. It uses varieties of wheat that have been bred for high yield and baking performance with little concern for human nutrition. To rush it through the bakery at the lowest possible cost, it's dosed with four times as much yeast as before. Described as 'fresh' when it may have been frozen and re-heated, it's sold as a loss-leader at knock-down prices which undermine what little respect it may once have commanded. Even before the Atkins diet frightened people off, there was evidence of a massive growth of intolerance - to gluten, wheat and yeast in particular. Call it coincidence. Dismiss it as hypochondria if you will. But things have come to a pretty pass when people avoid their staple food - the staff of life - in droves. "Bread Matters" offers a solution.

Revealing the madness behind this modern adulteration of our most basic food as only an insider can, organic baker Andrew Whitley, founder of The Village Bakery in Melmerby, shows why and how to make real bread at home. Unlike many bread book authors, he has baked for a living for over 25 years. His recipes are fool-proof because he explains what's really going on, demystifying the science, sharing a practical baker's craft. Using the skills he deploys on his popular courses, he guides and inspires beginners and seasoned bakers alike. And he brings good news to those who have had to abandon bread because of dietary sensitivity, showing how to bake tasty and nutritious food without yeast, wheat or gluten.

From the Author

Are you one of the many people who find that modern bread
doesn’t agree with them? If so, Bread Matters may be partly your

I had been making fairly ordinary breads at the Village Bakery for about
fifteen years, when people started to ring up and write in asking whether I
made any loaves without wheat, or baker’s yeast, or both. It seemed that
they felt ‘bloated’ or worse when they ate shop bread. Tests suggested
that they should avoid wheat, gluten or yeast. I brushed up my baking
skills and started to make bread differently, using rye and spelt flours
and a long rising process using only natural yeasts. Customers said they
could digest the new breads, no problem.

This set me thinking – and researching. I came to the conclusion that
there was something fundamentally wrong with the way modern bread is made,
from the chemically-grown wheat, to the roller-milled flour to the
super-fast factory production which allows no time for the dough to mature
and stuffs it with additives to give it superficial appeal. So Bread
Matters is the product of a great British belly-ache. But I hope it helps
many people to take their health in their hands and escape from the
clutches of the food industry by making their own.

© Andrew Whitley 2006

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