We've just got back from our usual Tuesday shopping trip to Asda. Now, for - quite literally - years, I've been eyeing up the bread made by The Polish Bakery and thinking "I must give some of that a go".
In the meantime, I've used various Polish foodstuffs and have been impressed by them all. I've come to realise that - currently, at any rate - if it's Polish, then you can pretty much guarantee that it won't have any additives, sweeteners or any of the myriad of things that we try to avoid in most processed foods in it. The same is true of The Polish Bakery's bread.
The loaf I brought home with me is a small round "Grandmother's Bread" or Chleb Babuni.
The ingredients list reads like a shopping basket of all the good things you are advised to get into your diet, where seeds and grains are concerned. With sesame seeds decorating the top, it not only looks good and has an interesting colour but smells good too.
However, the real winner is the flavour and texture. The texture is interestingly stretchy and robust that gives a lovely spring to the slices. There's none of that collapse which comes when you cut across a slice of commercially produced bread. This bread holds its own and bounces back. The flavour is really rich and, well, just bready! That'll be the sourdough influence, then, I expect. The additional seeds give such a lovely nuttiness and extra bite to the bread, it really feels as though it's doing you good as you eat it.
I went for a nosey around their website at The Polish Bakery and was hugely interested to see what they say as regards the bread - and I quote "Our products are hand-made freshly every day, and
our unique traditional Polish recipes contain nothing but the finest
Polish bread is a living thing. It is based on
Sourdough, which needs to be kept alive to retain the unique flavour of
our bread. This is where the love of real baking comes in. Our master
baker will not use sourdough kept alive artificially, he tends his
sourdough with great care, watching the temperature and balance of all
of the key ingredients as only he can. This means his sourdough has
years of history which gives the authentic taste and flavour so unique
to our bread.
We bake additive free, and that is why all the
varieties of the bread we make are healthy options. Many of them are
specially made to help our digestive systems, adding to the base of
sourdough with a wide range of seeds and grains".
I immediately fell a little bit in love with The Polish Bakery, having read that. :) The big tester will come within a few hours when I discover whether the Grandmother's Bread makes my tummy bloat - as so many commercially produced breads do. I couldn't wait for lunchtime and had a couple of slices of Grandmother's Bread as toast, so I'm crossing my fingers for a good reaction.
If you find more of The Polish Bakery's bread appearing on the blog or my Facebook page - you'll know it passed muster! If you find some, give it a try. Don't be put off by the fact that it's Polish, on current reckoning, it's an awful lot better than many of our bread offerings!