Established in 2010, the Real Bread Week campaign is an annual celebration of real, additive-free bread and the people who make it.  Real Bread week falls between 18th - 26th February 2023.  This campaign aims to encourage people to buy bread from their local and independent bakeries in order to support small businesses and local economies or, have a go and bake bread at home.  This may well have been common practice during lockdowns and something that you may have kept up with, but there is always a new recipe to try out.  

Sustain - The Charity Behind Real Bread Week

Sustain is a charity whose main goal is to encourage people to work together to improve food, farming and fishing.  They campaign for a healthy and sustainable food system which is publicly accountable and socially and environmentally responsible.  Their projects fall across many areas including good food for all, good food economy and the cost of living crisis.  

Identifying Real Bread

Real Bread will be made with all-natural ingredients and without processing aids, chemicals and additives.  Unfortunately over 95% of the loaves sold in Britain fail to meet this criteria.  

Bakers and retailers who are selling Real Bread should display the Loaf Mark either on the product packaging or shelf/basket of any bread product that they advertise as additive free.  If this is applicable to all bread products available then a poster or signage should make this clear.  For online shoppers, look out for the Loaf Mark which should be displayed appropriately on the retailer's website.  You can always look for a full list of ingredients, if it’s true Real Bread then the list will be short.  To find out more, head to the Sustain website. 

Getting Involved

Real Bread Week is a great chance for bakeries, schools, youth groups, care homes and beyond to hold events, activities and run classes to raise awareness and money for this worthy cause.  Making bread is great fun and it can be a useful skill that you will keep with you for life.  It’s affordable and avoids all of the nasty additives that are often in industrial loaf products.  Some people find making bread therapeutic and of course you can’t beat the smell and taste of freshly made Real Bread!  If you aren’t a baker, support your local bakeries by buying their Real Bread and share your reviews online.

Basic Real Bread Recipe

Baking bread may sound a little daunting but actually it only requires a few ingredients, a large mixing bowl and a baking tray or loaf tin.  


  • 500g stone ground bread (strong) flour – white, wholemeal or a combination of both
  • 340g hand warm (about 25°C) water
  • 10g fresh yeast or 5g dried active yeast (not instant, easy bake, fast acting etc.)
  • 5g salt
  • A little (about 1 tsp) oil, butter etc. for the baking tray



  1. Dissolve the salt in the water in the measuring jug (if using dried active yeast, dissolve this in the water first and then add the salt).
  2. Put the flour into a bowl, crumble in the fresh yeast (if using) and rub it into the flour with your fingertips.
  3. Add the liquid and stir around with your fingers until well combined.
  4. Cover the dough and leave it to rest for ten minutes.
  5. Work the dough by stretching and folding it over itself until it is smooth and stretchy.  This may take 10-15 minutes. The dough may seem a little sticky to start with but it will become less so as the flour absorbs the water. 
  6. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover the bowl with the tea towel or plastic bag and leave to prove (rise).  It should double in size and will take about an hour at room temperature (around 20-22ºC) but will be faster if the kitchen is warm or slower if the kitchen is cold.
  7. Oil the baking tray evenly
  8. Wet the work surface, get your hands wet and scrape the dough out of the bowl. Press gently until you have a square and then pull each of the corners in turn into the centre and press in the middle to make them stick.  
  9. Flip the ball over, tuck in any corners and round with your hands until you have a smooth ball.
  10. Put the dough on the baking tray and cover, either with the mixing bowl or by sliding the tray into the plastic bag, making sure that there’s plenty of space between the dough and the cover and leave to prove again for forty minutes to an hour.
  11. About 20 minutes before the end of the proof, turn the oven on to heat up to 230°C (450°F or gas mark 8).
  12. Uncover the dough carefully, making sure the plastic doesn’t touch it. You can dust the dough with flour or brush lightly with milk, beaten egg or oil for a glossy finish if you choose.
  13. Bake for fifteen minutes and then turn the heat down to 200°C. Continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes.
  14. Once baked, place the loaf onto a cooling rack and cover with the tea towel to cool. 

Bread Machines

If you still find the very thought of baking bread by hand quite overwhelming, then a bread maker could be a great choice for you.  They usually have several different settings allowing you to easily make a variety of different breads and doughs.  They often come with recipe books for inspiration as well as measuring guides and easy to follow instructions.  Take a look at our range of bread makers here and you’ll be baking homemade, Real Bread in no time.

Join the campaign, support this great charity and share your home baked Real Bread photos online, across social media and on our Facebook page, we’d love to see them!