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Cat Bread, Perfect Sourdough Bread and NanoPack Innovation

There isn’t a country on the face of the planet that doesn’t eat bread. Some breads are pretty simple, like soda breads and basic flatbreads, others are complex affairs packed with unusual flavours. Some breads are baked to celebrate specific occasions, others are intended as everyday fare. No wonder there are always so many bread stories to roll into our news pages. Here are the latest and best.

Japanese cat bread

Japanese people adore a fluffy white breakfast bread called Skokupan. They are also a nation of cat lovers. Put them together and you get a new product called Neko Neko Shokupan, which comes in either plain, chocolate, cheese or red bean flavours and is created in the shape of a cat’s head. The bread is extremely fluffy thanks to the bakery using 100% milk to create a rich, milky flavour that comes ‘with extra fluff’.

What does the perfect sourdough look like?

Supermarket sourdough might not be the real thing. Some use vinegar to give the bread that unique tang you naturally get from a good, long fermentation process. The perfect sourdough bread, on the other hand, is both chewy and tangy.

The tang comes from the same bacteria you get in yogurt, Lactobacilli, which work on flour very like yeast does, breaking down gluten proteins as the bread rises. Fermentation helps lower the bread’s phytic acid levels, phytic acid being an anti-nutrient that affects the body’s ability to absorb minerals, and the human gut digests the carbs in sourdough more slowly, so you don’t get a blood-sugar spike. The real deal is incredibly tasty, very satisying, and absolutely jammed with wonderful, natural flavour.

The revival of a Lincoln band who were originally paid in bread

As struggling musicians, it’s great to be paid at all. One band from Lincoln, Pegasus, who were paid for their first gig with a loaf of bread back in 1969, are back on stage for a charity gig 47 years after they broke up.

In 1969 a loaf of bread cost around ten old pennies, less than 5p in metric money. Not a very good wage for a great night of live music! Inflation being what it is, this time around they’d need to be paid a lot more loaves than just the one. Imagine each band member gets £100 for a gig these days, which isn’t unusual. There are four band members. A modern supermarket loaf – ordinary crusty white sliced – costs around £1.10. And that means the band would have to be paid at least 36 loaves between them for a gig today. That’s one heck of a lot of bread… man!

Innovative packaging keeps bread good for longer

According to SciTech Europa, the EU-funded flagship NanoPack Project has delivered extended shelf life to a variety of perishable goods. The company’s antimicrobial packaging solutions are made from a blend of natural nanomaterials and essential oils that ‘inhibit mould growth’ in bread by 3 weeks. The nanotubes slowly release antimicrobial essential oils from the film into the headspace of the food packaging, which means oxidation, moisture changes and microbial growth are all reduced.

NanoPack launched their innovative film, which is set to eventually replace or at the very least cut right back on the preservatives used in foods, at the NanoPack Final Conference from 18th-19th November, held in Amsterdam. The innovation also just happens to improve food safety, which is always good news.

Test drive our own sourdough and loads more tasty artisan breads

Free bread. What’s not to like? Just ask and we’ll send you a big, generous box of free samples to test drive.