The Chorleywood Bread Process, the method that makes bread production possible on a large scale, was invented in 1961 and ranks as one of the most significant inventions of the last five decades and actually is ‘the greatest thing since sliced bread’.
According to research, 57% of us believe the process should be celebrated as an iconic invention, alongside the likes of the internet, space travel and the mobile phone – despite nine in 10 of us actually not knowing the name of it!
Since the household favourite was introduced into our homes in 1961 – we’ve been hooked. The system uses the finest British wheat to produce over nine million loaves of bread each day – revolutionising breakfast, lunch and dinner times across the country in the process – from toast, sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and coating dishes in breadcrumbs.
What’s more; despite the proliferation of ‘trendy’ artisan bread – the sliced white loaf is still the only choice for three quarters of us (76%) when making a sandwich or packed lunch.
Not only do we love the taste – it saves us time. For one in ten (11%) adults it saves between 4 and 10 minutes every day or an astonishing 43 hours every year – just by buying a sliced loaf.
It is environmental and ecologically sound too – as it reduces the level of waste, by staying fresher longer. Four in 10 claim that they would waste the bread if they didn’t buy wrapped sliced.
Celebrity chef, Antony Worrall Thompson said “Whilst it is great that there is so much choice when it comes to bread products on the market, sliced bread is the first choice for families who are looking for a versatile and healthy foodstuff. Toast it and serve with marmalade or marmite to make a quick breakfast, use it to make sandwiches or as an ingredient in puddings. There are so many different ways to enjoy bread, so why not get creative in the kitchen.”
So, what’s different about the Chorleywood system?
The main difference is that is replaces the slow mixing and kneading process of traditional breadmaking with a much faster mix and a reduced first proving time. After that, the dough is treated in the same way, being moulded and proved for about an hour before baking.
This reduces the amount of time required to bake a loaf by about an hour compared with traditional bakeries. It also means that flour with less protein (ie gluten) can be used, helping the mills to use more British grown wheat, which is naturally lower in protein than Canadian or US wheat which had been used previously.