Soda bread, time to bake.

On saturday mornings I look forward to a wholesome slice of bread, spread with -when I have the time to make it- home made butter and a sprinkle of seasalt or jam that reminds me of the warmer days of the year passed.

But it has become so hard to get a decent loaf these days, I admit I'm not the easiest of customers but I think my wishes aren't odd at all.
I want 'real' bread made from good quality - organic - stone ground flour, not low protein Chorleywood style loafs or other breads that have been made in a jiffy filled with additives and bread enhancers that feed food intolerance and allergies.

Many people don't realise that when they buy this unnaturally square shaped spongy bread they get more than they bargained for. Chorleywood bread is one of these wonderful inventions of the 60's when everything had to go fast and had to be industrialised. The ingredients don't only list low quality wheat flour, water, salt and the double amount of yeast used for 'real' bread, it also contains a cocktail of hard fats, ascorbic acid, enzymes, emulsifiers and other chemicals that speed up the process.

Some scientists claim that the Chorleywood method is responsible for the growing amount of people who have trouble digesting bread, the use of potassium bromate (E924) -which is now banned in the EU but not the US- being the primary cause. Potassium bromate is carcinogenic and nephrotoxic to experimental animals, causing cell tumors to the thyroid and Renal cell carcinoma.
I apologise for the usage of these scary words but when I found out about this an researched it some more I felt I had to share it with you.

The last 4 years now I've been having trouble digesting the store bought industrial bread that was kindly offered to us at the office for lunch. This wasn't the white square shaped loaf but artisan looking bread bought at a bakery or supermarket - not pre-packed and screaming health alert- I didn't realise until I stopped eating it that it was because of the bread that I suffered abdominal pain every day. But I had been feeling unwell for a long time and after months of searching for answers last summer we finally found out that I have Mixed Connective Tissue disease, an autoimmune condition
in which the body's defense system attacks itself. I also had an overactive Thyroid which is now stable ...  If you read the paragraph above you see Potassium bromate or E924 could cause problems to your thyroid and I know a lot of people who suffer from Thyroid related conditions have started to avoid wheat. (If you want to know more about Thyroid related disorder and autoimmune conditions and how to live with them, head over to Sarah Wilson's blog here >)

Soda bread, oysters and a pint of stout. A fisherman's tea.
I don't want to be the one screaming 'horse meat' but I wouldn't be surprised if this harmful E924 would still be circulating in our food chain. After all it isn't banned all over the world and still used widely in the US
The Chorleywood method is used all over the world and not exclusively for the iconic square shaped loaf but also to speed up the process of regular bread.
I've stopped eating store-bought bread unless I know it was made traditionally.

Oat and spelt biscuits - a daydream

Looking out of my office window and gazing over that white carpet of snow makes me wonder how much I would enjoy being snowed in for a few days.
It is minus 8 degrees outside but the sun is shining like she's declaring her will to fill the world with golden beams of light. 


I close my eyes, daydreaming of waking up in my small chocolate box cottage in rural England, my whole body warmly tucked under a mountain of gingham and flowery blankets. The sun shining through my frost flower stained windows, the glaring light showing off the fact that I haven't cleaned the windows in weeks - months - Who has time to clean the outside of windows?
With the blankets still wrapped around me I make my way to that window to look outside and see the snow halfway up the door of the cottage on the other side of the road.

Could we be snowed in?