Making better bread not only tastes better, but it is ultimately better for us and our planet. John Graham is part of a community of bakers who are reviving the craft that is making bread—and it really is a craft, as it requires time, patience, knowledge, and work.
To make one’s own starter can take anywhere from five to ten days and requires feeding. So much time goes into John's breads that its no wonder you can taste and smell the difference.
Some of John’s loaves can take up to as much as 36 hours to make, including the preferment (starter/wild yeast) process.
John makes everything. He mills his own grains to maximize the nutrients in his breads and avoids eliminating the bran, germ, wheat oil, and other benefits.
Did you know that grains, even just a mere fifteen minutes after milling, start losing their flavour and nutrition into the air? In just 3 days they lose over 60% nutrients!!!
From milling his grains, to making his own starter, to mixing the dough, letting it rest, kneading, and finally shaping it and baking it, I can assure you that every loaf John makes is nothing but quality.
John’s bread speaks for itself; his bread doesn't even need butter, its simply that delicious!
One of his most popular loaves, which happens to be my favourite, is the Spelt Sprouted Rye Berry. This bread made me fall in love with Park Road Bread and gave me hope that there is still good bread out there.
The spelt makes it a lighter bread than wheat and the spouted rye berries give it a unique taste and distinct delicious smell. Plus its crust is firm--perfect for toasting or making a grilled cheese, yum!
John explains that the process begins with ”simply flours, water, and salt,” but with the right technique, care, and passion, you can get something really extraordinary. John has become a master at his craft, and now makes up to 620 loaves per week during the high summer season.
You can find John’s breads at various farmers markets. Here’s a link to a list of locations here.
Why Do We Need More Real Bread?
Nutrition, health, taste, tradition, I can go on and on.
You see in today’s world, commercial bread is made using “quick fixes.” From unnatural additives such as “flour” improvers, dough conditioners, preservatives, and chemical leavening (known as baking soda). This is ultimately bad for our bodies because we aren't digesting any nutrients but essentially just refined carbs.
It’s all artificial, its not natural leavened bread, the bread doesn’t go through its fermentation process as it’s true natures desires it to. To make matters worse, these breads have about 31-37 listed ingredients!
Wasn’t bread just water, flour, and salt?! Makes you wonder what exactly is the bread you are eating.
Most of us are consuming bread that due to their artificial production is missing so many of the benefits real bread gives us. Real bread's fermentation process (it's wild yeast), makes the bread more digestible for us and with the whole and freshly milled grains used, we are getting the most out of the bread.
Not to mention it's more delicious!
Also, do not be fooled and think that the “whole grain” or “multi-grain,” you see at grocery stores are what I am talking about here. The reality is they are probably as bad for you as white bread and made with enriched flour as well and thirty other ingredients that have no business being there.
If you want to learn more about real bread, The Real Bread Campaign is a fantastic site with great resources from quick facts to video clips and articles.
What Makes Park Road Bread Real Bread?
John is immersed in the whole bread making process from the start to its finish, ensuring the best flavour and true quality. After you taste John’s breads, I can assure you, you’ll never want to go back to store bought bread!