Why is bread Britain's most wasted food?

All about bread

Postby jenny_haddow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:06 pm

My Panasonic bread machine consumes 505-550 Watts. My oven is around 3500Watts. I use the rapid bake setting because I use bread improver. So I get a loaf in 1hour 55 minutes. I think the machine has to be more economical under these circumstances.
As regards freshness of flour, I buy wheat which I grind. My 20kg order of wheat lasts about a year and I mill it at about a kilo a time. The wheat keeps well in an airtight container, but I wouldn't want to keep ground flour for too long. I used a bag of flour I had in storage for about 4 months in France and it wasn't so good.

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Postby Ruralidle » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:00 pm

Perhaps it was the French flour, Jen :) or was it a wholemeal (or high extraction flour) that you had the problem with? It is the oils in the wheatgerm of wholemeal flour that can go rancid (and heat speeds this process up) but the flour I buy in bulk is an organic untreated white flour (Shipton Mill No4). Even in a kitchen warmed by a large Aga this flour has stayed good for the 3 to 6 months it has taken me to use it up.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:46 pm

It was some wholemeal that I had milled. I usually take out a fresh lot everytime, but I had some over which I left in a lock and lock container thinking it would be OK. It made a loaf, but the taste just wasn't there. Shipton Mill make great flour. When I lived near Chepstow they sold it there and I used it all the time. Another good one is Waitrose Extra strong Canadian bread flour. Well worth the extra pennies.

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Postby Ruralidle » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:18 pm

There are a good number of decent artisan mills in the UK now. As well as Shipton Mill there is Little Salkeld Water Mill near Penrith http://organicmill.co.uk/ (I like their 4 grain flour), Bacheldre in Wales http://www.bacheldremill.co.uk/ and Gilchesters in the North East http://www.gilchesters.com/ to name but 4. Waitrose do a good range of flours and their own Leckford Estate bread flour also produces a good loaf.
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Postby jloaf » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:30 am

This place http://www.walkmillflour.co.uk/ is quite near me. Might give it a try.

So as a rule of thumb, white flour should last?
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Postby Ruralidle » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:40 am

Hi Joe

White flour tends to have a relatively long use by date - perhaps 9 months - but wholemeal flours are more of a problem. As I said before in this thread, it is the oil that are still present in wholemeal flours that causes the problem when it goes rancid. It's all a balance between what speed you will use the flour and the transport costs etc.

As for Walkmill, it is just up the A41 from me and I have visited them. It is a nice place with a decent cafe. I think that the white flour that they produce is quite low in gluten because it does not stand up to overnight refrigerated fermentation or proving using my sourdough starters in the same way that Shipton Mill No 4 does. Indeed, the dough virtually "pancaked" but the flour is good to work and should be fine for bread formulae that use commercial yeast. It may well also work with a more gentle sourdough leaven build than my usual straightforward approach (an experienced pro baker friend suggested the Detmolder (?) process but I would need to see what this involves) but I haven't tried it yet).
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Postby jloaf » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:28 am

Ruralidle wrote:Hi Joe

White flour tends to have a relatively long use by date - perhaps 9 months - but wholemeal flours are more of a problem. As I said before in this thread, it is the oil that are still present in wholemeal flours that causes the problem when it goes rancid. It's all a balance between what speed you will use the flour and the transport costs etc.

As for Walkmill, it is just up the A41 from me and I have visited them. It is a nice place with a decent cafe. I think that the white flour that they produce is quite low in gluten because it does not stand up to overnight refrigerated fermentation or proving using my sourdough starters in the same way that Shipton Mill No 4 does. Indeed, the dough virtually "pancaked" but the flour is good to work and should be fine for bread formulae that use commercial yeast. It may well also work with a more gentle sourdough leaven build than my usual straightforward approach (an experienced pro baker friend suggested the Detmolder (?) process but I would need to see what this involves) but I haven't tried it yet).


Thanks. I may try a smaller bag first then to see if it works for me. I appreciate the explanation regarding the oil in the flour.
Will try Shiptons as well - just looked and boy do they have a big range of flours.
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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:51 pm

If 4.4m tons means 4400 metric tonnes it means that each of 62 million UKers wastes 7 Kg per year or 0.6 Kg per month or 20g per day.
Is that correct?
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Postby wheels » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:15 pm

The article says:

But despite its ease and enduring appeal, 32% of bread purchased by UK households is dumped when it could be eaten, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) figures show.

According to research by anti-food waste organisation Wrap, 680,000 tonnes of "avoidable" bakery waste is disposed of each year at a cost of £1.1bn, about 80% of it from packs that have been opened but not finished


HTH

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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:47 pm

Now I am confused by the figures. Is it 4.4m ton (whatever that means) or is it 680.000 tonnes? Are we talking about metric tonnes?
I mean the "wasting bread thing" really irks but let's get to the numbers. Shall we? This green manifestos are notorius for dishing out lots and lots of organic fertilizer. Wasting food is unacceptable, it's disrespectful to nature and so on, but how much bread per person is being wasted? Moreover does it include the food that's removed from the shelves because of expiration dates? Few years ago they did the same thing with Milan and it turned out that the waste was less than 1/2 Kg per month per family.
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Postby wheels » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:38 pm

Dunno

The article's her FWIW:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17353707

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