Real Bread Bakers
By Sharon Wilson When my husband asks where all the butter has gone, I have to explain that cooking requires ingredients, the cakes don't just 'magic themselves up' I say. I am, however being disingenuous because magic does happen when you cook especially with sourdough. In Zev Robinson's film 'Real Bread Bakers' Andrew Whitley, founder of Scotland the Bread, explains that sourdough is: "a spontaneous fermentation of naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria." The magic process of fermentation happens when microbes produce acidity. That is what makes the bread rise and gives sourdough its taste characteristic 'twang'.
If there is a food that symbolises lockdown, it is sourdough, i.e. bread made solely from flour, water and salt. Facebook communities swapped and shared flour and starters.
In Zev's film, we visit another type of community, High Rise Bakers. A Gorbals breadmaking initiative based in one of Glasgow's remaining high rises. Bread brings folk together, and Andrew Whitely underlines this fact when he explains the Latin roots of the word companion.
The movement for real bread continues as people become more aware of the devastating effect on the environment that mass production has. Coronavirus has highlighted how vulnerable we all are when the food system strains. Many people have turned to local producers to support them and to source tasty food as restaurants and cafes remain closed. Zev Robinson's film contributes to the movement for real food by telling real-life stories around breadmaking.