Judges Bakery – real bread

Judges bread stall

I had a glamorous moment at the Real food festival when I bought bread at the same time as Trudi Styler. She has an organic farm and had just taken part in the festival panel with Zac Goldsmith, of the Ecologist, who also chanced by.

So there I was checking out Craig’s organic bread at Judges stall and suddenly I was surrounded by celebrities.

I’ll do the goss then get on to the bread.

Judges is owned by Craig Sams and Josephine Fairley. Their relationship gave birth to Green & Black’s chocolate – it’s a great story, soon published.

Before marrying Josephine (a top editor), Craig made healthy eating accessible. You could buy wholefood peanut butter in the supermarket in the 1980s thanks to his company, Whole Earth.

My gratitude goes back to 1968. I was a teenage Londoner who went to Seed, Craig and his brother‘s macrobiotic restaurant in a Paddington basement.

Later, (and living communally) I could buy brown rice from their organic and wholefood shop, Ceres, in Notting Hill Gate.

Later again (now with a child in 1978), I would buy the most delicious health-giving bread ever from the Sams’ bakery.

That brings me to the present. The Sams’ bread today is just as bread should be. Real, substantial, and tempting.

No wonder it has flavour and texture. Judges’ organic loaves rise slowly overnight before being baked.

(Most commercial bread is whipped into a frenzy with air and additives).

Slow dough breads are easier on the digestion too. During the slow rising, enzymes have a chance to start breaking the bread down.

The pic below is of two Judges’ loaves from the Real food festival at my friend’s breakfast table.

It reminds me how at home I felt there. (We go back to the 1970s too.)


6 responses to “Judges Bakery – real bread

  1. Some serious star gazing there! I found this very interesting. There were a great article in G2 last week about commercially produced bread, which made me balk and do a double take. Have you tried baking your own?


  2. realfoodlover

    Lovely to hear from you, Mallika. Yup, I used to bake a lot in the 1980s when I was in my John Lennon-baking-bread-at-home-with-small-children phase. I am afraid I overdosed and vowed never to bake another loaf again. However, after recently editing the absolutely inspiration Baking Bread with Children by Warren Lee Cohen (see Warren’s site on ‘Blogs (and sites) I like’), I felt encouraged to start again. Only, well, I have not started quite yet. I’d like to have a go with making a sourdough starter. Soon. Soon-ish…

    The link for the Guardian piece by the heroic master baker and founder of the Village Bakery, Andrew Whitley, is here


    Thanks, Mallika, so much for that.


  3. Commerical white bread reminds me of and some times tastes like chalk.
    (With a a lot air added) That bread in the picture looks really tasty.


  4. realfoodlover

    Take a look at Ben’s site http://www.realfoodfarm.com
    It’s about a family-owned farm in Minnesota, which produces real food. Traditional family farms round the world are constantly under threat in an economy based round “cheap” food. (It’s not really cheap when you factor-in the damage caused by chemical and industrial farming to our health, farm animals, environment and community).

    Support your local family farm today!


  5. Hi Elisabeth
    I seem to remember a Gregory Sams from my time in the Food Industry (I worked in ingredients – on an industrial scale- in the 70’s and early 80’s.) Wasn’t he involved in The Realeat Company? I think it was his company. Could the person you met be his son or a relation? I think I may have visited Gregory Sams’ factory but that may have been someone else.
    Anyway, I remember writing a report back then about how the food ingredients industry was going to have to move towards less processed, more home-made style supermarket foods. It was laughed out of court at the time but has proved to have been an understatement of what went on to happen, I should point out that we are talking about the Vesta era here – though as an early 1970’s student, I still remember the thrill of producing a Vesta meal I had actually ‘made’ myself. I recently had a dream in which my making a Vesta Chow Mein featured – Now that IS weird!
    OK, OK, but it was a start and I had no-one to teach me about cooking and proper food. Maybe that’s what Delia’s trying to do now. I know she’s become controversial but I have to say that I’m with her with what she’s doing. She’s trying to get things started with people whose idea of cooking starts and ends at the microwave.
    On a TOTALLY different subject, it was absolutely great to hear about John too!


  6. Hi Paul Norris,
    You do remember a Gregory Sams – c’est moi! And Craig Sams of Judge’s is my brother. The Realeat Company made the world’s first Vegeburger, and if you want a full memory jog then go to my website at http://www.chaos-works.com


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