Real Bread Week: Getting your kids interested in Real Bread

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We spoke to Lindsay Stark, Head Baker at Modern Baker, who gave us her take on real bread and how to get baking it yourself.

One of the things that we are passionate about at Modern Baker is getting children not just eating Real Bread, but making it as well.

First of all though, what is Real Bread? The Real Bread Campaign defines it as bread “that is made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additives.” At Modern Baker we think of it as bread that is made with as few ingredients as possible (flour, water and salt) and that is fermented for a long time to enhance the flavour and the health benefits of the bread. That is why we only make sourdough bread and don’t use any bakers’ yeast in anything we make.

So what are the benefits of Sourdough? Sourdough bread is much easier to digest than mass produced bread and is also more nutritious. Lactic acid bacteria that are naturally occurring in sourdough (the good bacteria we hear so much about) make vitamins and minerals in the flour more readily available to the body. These bacteria also turn a fast carb into a slow carb by reducing the speed that glucose is released into the blood stream. In addition, the lactic acid bacteria makes the gluten easier to digest and therefore easier on those with food intolerances.

Real Bread is suitable for babies from around the age of six months. My nephews (2yrs and 4yrs) are both keen sourdough eaters. Especially impressive when the 4yr old is, to put it diplomatically, a very discerning eater. One of my proudest moments as a baker was when he ate some sourdough toast I had made for him and he declared “I love your bread, I really, really love it. You should make it everyday!” A discussion about exactly what a baker does, and how bread is made, ensued.

Not only are my nephews keen consumers of baked goods, they are also budding bakers. Admittedly the 2yr old helps mostly by “washing up” but he gets involved as much as he can. The 4yr old, however, loves helping out and getting his hands dirty. We started off with him making simple things like shortbread and fairy cakes but he is progressing with bread now.

Getting a child to prepare their own sourdough starter is a really good introduction to the process. It allows them to see the magic happening over the course of a few days and then they get to turn it into something they can eat. 

Once you have a live starter then you can get going on making bread. However, if you want something a bit quicker and easier I would definitely recommend making sourdough crumpets with your children. They are surprisingly easy to make.

Learn how to prepare your own sourdough starter, and make sourdough crumpets here.

Tom RedwoodComment