What is Real Bread Ireland?
Real Bread Ireland is a support network of real bread bakers and others whose aim is to encourage us all to eat better bread, whether we buy it or make it ourselves.
We want to see the standard and quality of bread raised throughout Ireland so that we can all have access to the very best bread possible, both nutritionally and in terms of taste, and we believe the gold standard to be what we define as ‘Real Bread’.
Want to see the full list of members? Click here
If you are a real bread baker and want to join us (its free!) click here.
What is Real Bread?
Real bread, in its purest form, is bread made without the use of processing aids or any other artificial additive. Real Bread is simply flour, water and fermentation (either by adding yeast or using natural fermentation) and sometimes salt is added. Other natural additions include nuts, seeds, herbs, butter, egg or milk.
Real bread is bread made without flour improvers, dough conditioners, preservatives, chemical leavening (baking powder, Bi-carbonate of soda), any other artificial additive or the use of pre-mixed ingredients.
As bakers and consumers, we deserve to know what it is we are eating. We would like to see a system of transparency established (including a listing of ALL ingredients) so we can all be aware of what is in our daily bread.
We don’t want to tell anyone what to eat or not to eat; we would simply like everyone to have the opportunity to make a fully informed choice when it comes to eating their daily bread.
Though we always try to operate with integrity and maintain the highest standards expected of a craft baker, not all breads made by members of Real Bread Ireland match our definition of Real Bread.
Good Bread and Real Bread
For example, we all recognise that soda bread is a hugely popular part of our culinary tradition but we do not include it under the real bread definition due to the use of chemical leavening, bicarbonate of soda or bread soda.
If you wish to avoid breads that differ in any way from our definition of Real Bread, we are very happy to offer you those in our range that fit the criteria and help you begin a journey of discovery.
That begins with baking at home, which the network and many members promote and teach, and if baking at home means beginning with brown bread leavened with bread soda, well and good.