Do you eat real bread?

I took the above picture of real bread at Wholefoods Market, London last weekend.

Daringly I took it AFTER being told by a Wholefoods Market employer that it was “not company policy” to allow photographs.

Even though I was about to blog about the store’s amazing real bread made by a genuine master baker who makes his own yeast.

Bread was on  my mind.

A few days before, a press release from the Real Bread Campaign had arrived in my email inbox.

A nine-month investigation by the Real Bread Campaign found that – despite those tempting bread-baking smells in supermarkets – only one, Marks & Spencer, produces real bread.

Real bread is made with basic ingredients such as flour, yeast and water.

Real bread does not use weird substances designed to make bread seem like real bread but are actually potentially toxic ‘processing aids’ that do not even need to be declared on the label.

I must confess.

A bit of me was like ‘so what?’.

I mean I was hardly surprised to hear supermarkets sell pretend bread.

However my inner jaded-real food campaigner was put to shame when the Real Bread Campaign’s report was published in the Daily Mail.

I was staying at my mum’s; she is a daily Daily Mail reader.

“I knew it,” she said, pacing up and down the kitchen, brandishing the paper.

“I knew that smell of baking loaves was fake,” she said.

The report vindicated her suspicion that there was no real baking going on.

Unlike at Wholefood Market which may charge inflated Kensington prices on some items (such as hummus) and not wish me to take photos but

does bake the



real bread.

Find real bread here and tell me:

Do you eat real bread?

17 responses to “Do you eat real bread?

  1. Well, what do you call real baking? they never said the smell was of “real” bread did they? How do you define real bread? they put stuff in it so it lasts longer, if you buy bread made without additives it goes rock hard in 24 hrs! so the choice is ours, to have bread that lasts 7 days and is potentially toxic, or have bread that lasts a day and is healthy. Not a very difficult decision i guess. But yes they should label it more clearly so at least we know what we are eating…!


    • Hi Peter

      But do most supermarkets do real baking? According to the Daily Mail, the Real Bread Campaign disputes the term ‘bakery’ and thinks ‘tanning salon’ would be more accurate as the chilled or frozen loaves have already been part-baked.

      We have choice in theory. In reality industrially produced bread spends more on marketing its brand to millions than making healthy bread.

      As for how real bread lasts without preservatives -I say more than a day (Unless the reason is it is so good it gets eaten fast).

      I’d say real bread keeps for over a week using a fridge and can be toasted when past its prime. And be frozen.

      Thanks for commenting!


  2. I make my own bread frequently but admit that basic ingredients are just thrown into a machine to do the hard work! The convenience of shop bought bread is unfortunately a necessity on busy days. I must admit to being slightly jealous of the French who buy tasty bread as a daily ritual.
    Last week I had the pleasure of eating in The Crown at Whitebrook where James Sommerin bakes his own bread rolls. Wow, the Laver Bread rolls were exceptional as were the organic white. No machines there!
    BTW nice photograph – good for you for being so brave.


    • Respect GambO for making your own bread.

      As for bread machines, I hear nothing but good things.

      I used to bake bread in the 1980s then overdosed on bread baking and have not yet returned to the task. Maybe a bread machine would help…

      Thanks for the mention of The Crown at Whitebrook. Sounds lovely. And near to Bristol. Sounds worth a visit…


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  4. My bread comes from a variety of places. Sometimes I make my own, usually with a bread maker but occasionally by hand. Sometimes I buy it from a local bakery. Sometimes I pick it up in a supermarket. It all depends on how organised I’ve been.

    My younger daughter adores elastic white supermarket bread(!) so I always keep a loaf for her sandwiches. The rest of us prefer ‘real’ bread. My favourite baker is Mark’s Break on North Street in Bedminster. It opened a few months ago and sells a variety of loaves (sourdough, olive, mathouse, etc). It’s lovely and chewy, full of flavour and keeps remarkably well. And if I order by Tuesday evening it’s delivered to the Green Shop just round the corner from where I live.


    • Thanks Gai. I too am lucky here in North Bristol. I can buy real bread from Better Foods, Radford Mill Farm shop, Harvest, La Ruca and the Olive She – and that list is not exhaustive…

      There are also two real bread bakeries, Herbert’s, and The Breadstore.

      And all the above are within 20 minutes walk from home. Crikey, am lucky.


  5. We do real bread. To be exact, the Mercedes Benz of breads. It is called Fraulein’s Harvest, all organic, with stone ground whole wheat flour from Montana, freshly ground spices and five seeds soaked and sprouted, no additives whatsoever.
    Check us out and all the best, love your site !


  6. Thanks for bringing up the subject of real bread!

    I used to love the real bread from the Neal’s Yard bakery at Swan Island in Twickenham, but the unit is up for sale and I don’t know what’s happened to them. So if anyone knows do tell…

    And on the subject of real bread not lasting, stale bread makes a great ingredient in all sorts of recipes – bread pudding, french toast, croutons, panzanella salad and you can always make breadcrumbs to keep in the freezer!


  7. Yummm, if you’re going to eat a wheat loaf -you might as well make it a good one! I was eating a Marks and Spencer seeded loaf while reading the original blog, the praise about their loaves took away any guilt I normally feel when delving into a loaf. Thanks 😉


  8. Thank you, Penelope and


    I hate to cause guilt and sometimes describing problems can do so.

    But hey, now we can celebrate a chain’s food policy.

    And imagine if the others followed suit!


  9. I do eat real bread, but only since I started making my own after going on Real Bread Campaigner, Andrew Whitley’s bread making course. I can’t buy it so have to make it! I am now a member of the campaign though.


  10. Yvonne Gilmour


    I love real bread. I go to M&S most days for a loaf. Boule is my current favourite.

    I try to find time to bake my own, and use a 40 year old Kenwood Chef (still works brilliantly despite being used almost daily)

    Can anyone recommend a “real bread baker” in Northern Ireland? Have car- will travel!

    I love this Campaign and hope it will spread to Belfast.




  11. Hello Yvonne,
    Sorry I can’t help. I live in N. Ireland, (Glengormley) and have had no luck in finding real bread either. People seem to want their bread softer and softer. Don’t think they will be happy until they can float it on a string; like a helium balloon. LOL I even contemplated getting a ‘shepherd loaf’ sent from the Cotswolds for twenty one pounds, but on inquiry the cost with extra postage went up to thirty five pounds for N. Ireland. Not wanting to be under a death threat from the wife, I am still eating bread from Tesco.
    If you find a source of real bread anywhere in the island of Ireland, please let me know.


  12. Hello,
    If you find any real bread; made from grain, salt and water, I hope you could let me know. Thanks! England has lots of real bread bakeries, lucky ducks. lol Most wont send it to N. Ireland.


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