Good news: Rye-style is back. Those ingredients have finally arrived!
Bad news: No Sourdough Style or Toastie as now white rice and other ingredients are held up due to complicated Brexit formalities. Please buy buckwheat and quinoa products - we have plenty of those grains. Please refrain from emailing us asking when it will be here as we have no idea.
Freeze bread and cakes for 2-3 months. For a ‘fresh from the oven’ taste - see refreshing methods below.
For a fresh-from-the-oven taste try this:
Reheating - After defrosting in the bag. Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Remove all the packaging. Wet your hands with clean cold water and wipe over the loaf taking care not to wet it excessively. Place in the centre of the hot oven for 5-15 min. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Steaming (can be done at any time – not just after defrosting)
Place thick slices/bites/panini in a steamer for two minutes. Place on top of your steaming vegetables/fish for the last two minutes.
Keeping bread in the fridge will stop it from going mouldy, especially in hot weather and it can keep for 1-2 weeks. If it's mouldy at any time, do not eat it. If it's just dry you can recycle it using one of our yummy recipes, never waste a morsel! Starch hardens in the fridge which means any bread (not just ours) may feel a bit hard - but can be brought back to a softer texture by gently toasting, steaming or frying the bread.
Good to know: The temperature inside bread when it's baking is only about 102°C - even if the oven is set at 180-235°C!
Toasters are rated around 1200 KW to produce a browning effect. Russel Hobbs inform us that the temperature inside a toaster reaches 400-420°C!
Burnt toast is high in acrylamide, a chemical that is produced when burning starchy foods. EU advice is to take caution when eating burnt food. Our breads don't burn as easily as we don’t add any sugar; it is possible to toast any of our bread without letting it go too brown.
Tip: If you are gluten sensitive and are using a shared toaster you can use our toasting bags to keep your bread free from gluten.
It's probably better not to toast the Omega linseed bread to avoid burning the valuable omega 3 oils in the seeds. You can use the other refreshing methods above for the linseed bread.
We get asked this a lot and we think we have an answer:
Here is an idea for a zero carb bread:
An omelette! 100g of omelette has 195 kcal and 10.9g of protein.
100g of Turmeric bread has 195 kcal and 9.2g of protein.
What has more calories protein or carbohydrate?
Answer: (They both have 4 calories per gram!)
It is probably wiser to eat bread that is right for you! Not all foods are good for all people. Have a look on our 'Lifestyle' page for guidance on personalised nutrition.
No we don't make soda bread because using a chemical leaven such as baking soda alone does not change the unripe nature of the grain, making it difficult to digest. The body produces mucous in reaction to the constituents of the grain, which is in a form designed for long-term storage. We have invented our own leaven, which ensures the nutrients are semi broken down for easy assimilation. Our sourdough leaven is designed to produce more lactic acid rather than acetic acid, as can be the case with some sourdoughs. These lactic acids are not added, they are a natural part of the grain and aid digestion. Most of our breads are made without added yeast. Read the list of ingredients displayed with each product to see if the bread has added yeast or not.
The question of arsenic in rice regularly makes the headlines.
We can assure you that ALL our ingredients are routinely lab tested for heavy metals including arsenic and other contaminants. They are also pressure treated for any infestation. Each batch is accompanied by a lab test certificate.
We buy our organic gluten-free ingredients from suppliers with accredited facilities only.
Lab certificates can be inspected here.
Fermentation of the dough has been replaced by intense mechanical working and the addition of chemical bread 'improvers' and lots of enzymes to add flavour. The dough is ready for baking in minutes!
Industrial baking uses around 2% yeast: coupled with high speed mixing, industrial dough is ready for baking in minutes. Baker's Yeast (S. cerevisiae) is usually a genetically modified single strain variety. (According to BIOREAL, makers of organic yeast, 1 tonne of industrial yeast produces 1/3 of its weight as poorly degradable effluent; containing: 75kg ammonia solution, 15kg sulphuric acid, 11kg phosphoric acid, 4kg magnesium sulphate and 10kg detergents). 'Effluent' from organic yeast production is mixed with fruit juice and sold as an organic drink.
Since modern baker's yeast is a single strain variety, it will only metabolise those parts of the grain that are necessary for that particular strain to grow. Many microorganisms that become active in a sourdough or our fermentation process, combined with long proofing periods are responsible for the development of aroma, taste and digestibility.
These are missing entirely in ‘fast bread’ and can hardly be replaced by the use of chemical 'bread improvers' and added enzymes. The old-fashioned 'sponge dough' method, which allowed the dough to ferment overnight, has been abolished in large bakeries.
Artisan Bread is made with filtered water, which is then revitalised with a Grander System. The Grander process involves a field effect generated by highly structured water ("information water") developed by Johann Grander. As water passes by the information water, it takes on a new structure (is "revitalised").
Water Filter: We use Pentair Carbon Block ECB filtration to remove chemicals. Detailed specs below.
Information on glyphosate (Roundup) from South East Water:
We do not routinely test for glyphosate as part of our routine pesticide testing. The supply to this property is from a deep underground source and not at risk of any pesticide getting into the untreated supply. Our testing suite is specifically geared to a risk-based approach depending on the water type and the land use in the catchment.
We add a small amount of calcium Aquamin F, a marine multi mineral produced from mineralised seaweed (Lithothamnion C.) off the West coast of Ireland and North West coast of Iceland from clear pollution free Atlantic waters. It is certified organic.
Calcium levels in our gluten-free range is between 112 and 184 mg per 100g bread which delivers between 14% and 23% of nutrient reference value please refer to the individual label.
How much iodine do I get from ABO bread? Iodine can vary hugely in seaweed from season to season and plant to plant.
Through long fermentation the carbohydrates in our bread are prepared for the human organism rather than feeding fungal organisms that might be present in our bodies as is the case when people suffer from Candida and other bacterial overgrowth. Starved of yeast and sugar, these fungal organisms can be held in check by the body. We recommend you stick to our whole grain breads and avoid the white breads on a Candida diet. Most of our bread is made without adding yeast - where we do it is organic yeast and this is clearly labelled. See the list of practitioners on our website that recommend ABO bread.
When is bread truly vegan?
Whether bread is vegan or not is not straight forward as non-organic yeast may be grown on whey, a by-product of the dairy industry. But as this does not have to be declared on the label you - or the baker will never know! We oppose factory farming and you will not find any meat or dairy products or by-products in our bakery.
Ask makers of yeast extracts, patés, bread, stock cubes, ready meals etc.:
Are your products made with yeast really suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
Most producers do not know how the yeast in their products is made and what processing aids are used as this does not have to be declared.
Are you aware that you can significantly reduce pollution by using organic yeast? If yes, why haven't you switched to organic yeast?
In the few products where we do use added yeast in addition to our sourdough leaven - it is organic yeast - worlds apart from fast acting industrial yeast. Organic yeast production does not cause pollution to rivers and it adds a lovely rich taste. As always with organic food - it is much slower than industrial yeast.
Legally the term ‘yeast-free’ is not allowed for any fermented bread as during fermentation yeasts do naturally develop.
In practise ‘yeast – free’ is still used to describe a sourdough process, which is strictly not so.
The correct term is 'no added yeast'.
We have a range of bread 'no added yeast' and a range of bread made with organic yeast. Please see the ingredients tab for details on each product.
Ingrid Eissfeldt, director of Artisan Bread has been campaigning on this issue for years and we are thrilled that it is now enshrined in the International Standards for the production of biodynamic bread.
Since 2009 GM yeast is no longer allowed in Demeter certified bread! Bakers have to prove that the yeast they use is either certified organic or has been grown on organic substrates. Only if neither is available may conventional yeast be used with a written confirmation that the yeast used is not genetically modified.
There is no requirement for organic bread to be made with non-GM yeast. Naturally, at ABO we only use organic yeast where we do use yeast.
Bread making used to involve a 'sponge dough' or sourdough method. About two-thirds of the flour, mixed with water and yeast was left to ferment, and then the remaining flour, water and salt was added and mixed to smooth dough. The dough was then divided into pieces and moulded, while being allowed to rest for short periods in between these operations.
During these proving periods, fermentation and leavening of the dough continued. Finally, the bread was baked in a hot oven. The fermentation action of the yeast produces carbon dioxide. Trapped in tiny bubbles in the dough this gas expands further in the heat, causing the bread to rise. Steam and alcohol evaporate and the coagulated protein sets to form the crumb.
Modern yeasts allow a much faster process and the use of a sponge dough is a rare thing now.
This conventional sponge dough technology requires about 12 hours, but much faster industrial methods have been developed.
Gluten is a part of a protein present in many grains, such as wheat, rye, spelt and barley. Artisan Bread Organic only uses grains such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat and millet as well as legumes, like pea and soya which do not contain gluten. You may see a product on a supermarket shelf which is 'gluten-free' (food containing less than 20ppm of gluten) or 'very low gluten' (foods containing between 20 and 100ppm gluten) but it lists 'wheat' as an ingredient. The gluten is removed from the wheat in a technical process that we are not familiar with - probably highly processed. This starch is called 'Codex' starch.
In order to find even cheaper ways of producing yeast and to satisfy the demands of the modern baking industry, extensive programmes for strain development of S. cerevisiae (Baker's yeast) are taking place using genetic manipulation and some strains have even been patented. These programmes involve gene-altering techniques such as mutagenesis, hybridization, protoplast fusion, transformation and DNA technology.
Starting from a pure culture of selected strains it only takes about 6-8 days to produce thousands of kilos of baker's yeast. The growing yeast requires a source of sugars, alcohol and organic acids. Nitrogen is also essential for yeast growth. Cane and beet molasses were initially found to be the cheapest growing medium; whey (from milk) and corn syrup are even cheaper.
S. cerevisiae (Baker's yeast) does not have the necessary enzymes to utilise the lactose in whey, so a new strain has been developed through genetic engineering! Sources of nitrogen used to be based on ammonia, but it is now possible to use urea.
Yeast produced like this is not vegan! Agrano organic yeast is vegan.
Our 12-15 hour fermentation using our own leaven replicates the process of sprouting as the grain changes to provide nourishment for the living organism. This process also produces less acid residue in the body.
People are often puzzled of how we make bread from grains – even beans and pulses without yeast or baking powder or gums to stick it all together. Many years of working with these natural ingredients and understanding their properties combined with a unique sourdough-style fermentation process allow us to produce these totally unique breads.
We have developed our own leaven based on Hugo Erbe’s work in the 1920’s who invented baking ferment for people with an intolerance to sourdough, gluten or yeast. This baking ferment is today produced by one German company. The anthroposophical thinking behind it means that people anywhere in the world can produce delicious, mild tasting and easy to digest bread, from any indigenous starchy crops like millet, rice, buckwheat or even tropical manioc. However, this commercial ferment contains corn and we wanted to remove corn as it is an allergen and after a lot of experimenting we have invented our own leaven.
Our sourdough leaven is made from organic rice or buckwheat. Acetic acids are kept in check by the naturally forming lactic acids, resulting in a milder tasting, more easily digested bread as you might get just using some sourdough methods as sourdough tends to develop more acetic acids. The unique action of this leaven allows the vitality in the grain to fully develop. Slow mixing and a long fermentation and proofing process allow the bread to develop taste, vitality and good keeping qualities.
We often get asked about this as it is confusing. You can buy de-activated nutritional yeast which is no longer active – the deactivation process leaves taste, vitamins and solids behind.
There are many sourdough methods - often with romantic stories attached to them.. Generally speaking, a sourdough is just flour and water left to 'sour' - some of this sour is used in baking and the remainder is refreshed with more flour and water for another day.
We prepare our sourdough leaven fresh every week to prevent false fermentation and to encourage the growth of lactic acids (non-dairy) which aid digestion rather than vinegary acetic acids. This method also avoids unwanted bacteria.
We managed to create a 'sourdough' style bread without wheat - it looks and tastes just like what is sold as a 'sourdough' these days but is made with wheat and therefore not suitable for many people. We call it 'sourdough style' because ironically we had to add a little yeast to it in order for it to look like a 'sourdough'. In an ideal world, a 'sourdough' would not have yeast added!! But we use organic yeast which is worlds apart from normal baker's yeast and as always it is clearly listed on the label. Most of our bread is made without added yeast!
Beware: Sourdough can but just flavouring – check the label! Artificial sourdoughs are often used today, which give the bread an acidic taste. These breads do not have the enzymatic properties of a real sourdough, which aids the digestibility and taste of bread, especially rye bread.
In the UK the term 'sourdough' has been hijacked to describe a certain type of bread – more correctly it should be called 'sourdough method bread' because 'sourdough' describes a fermentation process - not a bread.
There are several methods to produce a sourdough, from a single phase to a multi-phase process. Entire books are written on the various methods which carry elaborate names like 'Detmolder' etc! Basically, a sourdough is started by mixing equal parts of flour and water with either a starter culture of pure selected strains of bacteria or a small amount of sourdough from the previous day's baking; or by just leaving a dough to spontaneously ferment by capturing wild yeasts in the air. The 'right' sourdough used to be a closely guarded secret amongst baking families and was handed down through the generations. The dough is fermented with the aid of wild yeasts and airborne acid-producing bacteria.
Sourdough can be made with different flour and naturally, we use rice flour or buckwheat flour to create our sourdough leaven.
Sourdough creates the conditions that make rye flour 'bakeable' as rye has less starch and less protein than wheat but more soluble sugar and water-binding pentosans; it also contains more enzymes for breaking down starch.
Sourdough helps to give bread structure and elasticity. Sourdough allows the natural enzymes to form the dough structure. Sourdough produces lactic and acetic acid for taste and aroma.
Manufacturers have a legal obligation to supply a product with a 'best before' date and with appropriate storage instructions. Storage instructions are printed on each product. Do not leave bread in the sun in the car etc. – bread can turn mouldy by the next day. This is not chemically laden bread in bags containing fungicide – this is a living food and in perfect conditions, it can keep up to 14 days or even longer! Perfection does not exist we, therefore, adjusted the 'best before' dates accordingly.
These are the 'best before' dates summer/(winter) on our bags:
Bread and Cakes 4/(5) days, Pizza Bases 7-21 days, Longer Life bread 14-21 days.
A ‘best before’ date is different from a ‘sell by’ or ‘use by’ date which is reserved for perishable food.
Some of the loaves of bread have a longer life as we sterilise them in the oven (no chemicals involved) – no need to freeze those. They are great for travelling as they won’t mind a bit of rough handling. You may be very glad to find a loaf in the bottom of your rucksack when your flight is delayed or you are on top of a mountain!
When is bread truly organic?
Organic bread is only truly organic if the yeast or raising agent that is used is certified organic – amazingly this so far only required for biodynamic bread! The Soil Association does not require yeast to be organic in organic food.
Only in Demeter certified bread has to be made with organic yeast - a positive step in the right direction.
Demeter International e.V. demands bakers to prove that the yeast they use is either certified organic or has been grown on organic substrates. Only if neither is available may conventional yeast be used with a written confirmation that the yeast used is not genetically modified. Artisan Bread is licensed 'organic' by the Biodynamic Agricultural Association UK6, we will use Demeter quality whenever possible but have opted to list only organic on the label as Demeter is not always available. Demeter product quality is based on the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Bio (organic) dynamic (cosmic forces) is farming organically with homoeopathic preparations to a planetary calendar. Demeter is the trademark for food from biodynamic production.
Biodynamic ingredients will always be our first choice - they are simply more than organic.
Demeter product quality is based on the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Demeter standards are in addition to requirements for organic products.
Bio (organic) dynamic (cosmic forces): Farming with homoeopathic preparations to a planetary calendar, predating organic agriculture. Demeter is the trademark for food from biodynamic production. 'Food is especially nourishing when its inner quality is appropriately and harmoniously developed. Demeter food provides the basis not only for bodily nutrition but also for the soul and spiritual life' (Demeter Processing Standards for Biodynamic Food Production Issue 02, 2005.)
What is the difference between biodynamic and organic?
Biodynamic standards are designed to enhance the vitality of the produce and are therefore stricter about the origin of Demeter licensed ingredients.
Issue 60 of the Soil Association [organic] Certification News (Autumn 2007): "We have updated the natural flavour and GM declaration forms, and can now accept flavouring ingredients that may have been made with enzymes derived from GM organisms."
Biodynamic - more than organic!
Demeter food is so much more than organic. It is agricultural science - it is repeatable and it sets the highest standards. Demeter food is food you can trust. From the cleaning agents to the packaging via spirituality - everything is covered! Enjoy the difference.
If you want to see the special vitality in biodynamic grains - try the following test: Soak and sprout biodynamic grains on a fruit day and try sprouting organic grains at the same time. Whenever we try this we find that the organic grains sprout to about 60-80% - the biodynamic grains sprout 100%.
Some of the bread has a longer life as we pasteurise them in the oven (no chemicals involved) – no need to freeze those. They are great for travelling as they won’t mind a bit of rough handling. You may be very glad to find a loaf of bread at the bottom of your rucksack when your flight is delayed or you are on top of a mountain!
We would love to see Xanthan gum returned to the fracking field where it came from – it has no place in food in our opinion.
How did that stuff get from the oil rig into bread?
Xanthan gum – E415 is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose from corn, wheat, soy or whey with the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris (the bacterium responsible for the black rot on cabbage).
It was discovered by a research team at the United States Department of Agriculture, it is largely used to thicken drilling mud in the oil industry to contain drilling mud. It was approved for use in foods after extensive animal testing for toxicity in 1968.
The gluten-free myth!
The excuse for using Xanthan gum in bread is that gluten-free bread is apparently crumbly!? Sticky rice is gluten-free - nothing crumbly about that! Our bread is not crumbly and yet contains no gum. The art of making good gluten-free bread is to understand how starches absorb water.
Try this Xanthan gum experiment: Just one single teaspoon of Xanthan gum will turn a glass of water into thick glue. We baked this glue in an old muffin tin to see what happens - the tin came out shiny and clean! What does Xanthan gum do to the human digestive system if it cleans carbon coated metal? The recommended dose for baking a loaf is two teaspoons of Xanthan gum, but it still left a hole in loaf we picked randomly from a Supermarket shelf.
Artisan v Genius
The Telegraph compared Genius Bread to ABO Bread on 20th January 2011. In the discussion that followed a number of people concluded that Xanthan Gum was causing them heartburn. Genius would not give any information when Rose Prince asked them whether they use enzymes to keep the bread soft. Read the article
Intestinal gripes, diarrhoea, temporary high blood pressure, and migraines caused by Xanthan gum?
Wendy Cohen reports on her website celiac.com that some people are allergic to Xanthan gum, with symptoms of intestinal gripes, diarrhoea, temporary high blood pressure, and migraines.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the maximum intake for Xanthan gum at 10mg/1000g per day for food; using Xanthan gum as a laxative the limit has been set at 15g per day.
The recipe on the Doves Farm Xanthan gum packet calls for 2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum for a loaf (about 8g). Considering the WHO set the maximum intake at 10mg; 2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum is 800 times the maximum limit!!!!
Taking xanthan gum with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low.
Nausea, vomiting, appendicitis, hard stools that are difficult to expel (faecal impaction), narrowing or blockage of the intestine, or undiagnosed stomach pain: Do not use xanthan gum if you have any of these conditions. It is a bulk-forming laxative that could be harmful in these situations.
Surgery: Xanthan gum might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using xanthan gum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-340/xanthan-gum
When you add yeast it is not always the case that the yeasts are killed off during the baking process – in fact, you can smell the yeast in some bread. Especially if a lot of yeast is used and/or the proving and baking times are very short.
Fermentation is an ancient way to make food digestible as lactic acid develops during fermentation to make bread easier to digest. (Not to be confused with lactic acid from dairy!)
When your nutritionist recommends our bread - it is for that reason. We ferment our bread over 12-15 hours and ripen the bread before we bake it. Our bread is in the oven for over 1 hour for a slow bake. You can tell when a bread is fully ripened before it was baked as the crust will be even and not torn open. Huge tears in the crust add rustic charm but not digestibility.
Artisan Bread is never sold in a supermarket! Buy online - Check our list of stockists to see if theres one near you or order online. With our handy Standing Order Arrangement you never need to run out of your favourite bread again.
Why is fresh flour so important? In our experience gluten-free flour is very sensitive to oxidation, we found that after just a short while gluten-free flour tastes bitter. These bitter tastes need masking in gluten-free bread – this job can be done with potato flour and egg powder. We mill all our flour fresh for each bake from the whole grain/seed/legume. We also sell the fresh flour on our internet shop. We recommend you refrigerate or freeze these whole grain flours for a clean sweet taste. Or you can buy the whole grain from us and mill it yourself – a simple coffee mill will do that for you. We recommend this especially for linseed as they oxidise within 1-2 hours after milling. Just grind what you need for one meal. Flour does keep for much longer of course – after all, any flour you buy anywhere else could be of any age, there is no way of knowing. It is our opinion that it is best before it is two weeks old.
People have many reasons why they choose to eat gluten-free bread. Some have to and some want to! We also must emphasise that non all gluten-free bread is the same – read the label!
Bread is an essential part of daily nutrition for many of us, but it can also be a burden to the digestive system.
Gluten intolerance should strictly speaking be called Gliadin intolerance. Gliadin is the main fraction of wheat gluten responsible for the intestinal damage typical of coeliac disease and leaky gut.
Wheat is one of the commonest foods responsible for intolerance/allergy according to Prof Freed.
Quinoa, peas and buckwheat are considered to have an alkalizing effect as opposed to wheat which has an acidifying effect.
The sheer pallet of exciting tastes and textures that can be achieved by using seven different grains and pulses to make bread and more is just thrilling and a pleasure to eat. For example, quinoa paired with mushrooms, egg or tofu is a culinary delight. Buckwheat is great with beetroot and black olive pate or even with stewed fruit. Our gluten-free sourdough bread is a symphony of bready flavours that you cannot achieve with wheat.
The huge variety also enables individual personal nutrition – there is something for everybody!
Our gluten-free bread can be used to bring flavour and texture to home-made pates, soups, sauces and stews. They make a good canape base as they hold the topping without going soggy. Cubed and added as croutons, fried or as they are, add substance to a simple salad. They can be steamed without falling apart – wheat bread is just not that versatile nor has such depth of flavour.