Real Bread Week: February 18-26, 2023

Bertie Matthews of speciality flour producer Matthews Cotswold Flour has a few suggestions of how to celebrate Real Bread Week this year: 

  • Test out the theory that baking is a great form of relaxation and mindfulness 
  • Get the whole family, including kids of all ages, involved in making bread 
  • Compare the ingredients in your home-baked loaf to those listed on your shop-bought loaf (and see how healthy and cost-effective your home-baking is by comparison) 
  • Try adding grains or swapping in a speciality flour to add new flavours and extra nutritional value to your bread 
  • Pick up a loaf from your local artisan baker and appreciate their expert craftsmanship 
  • Try a new recipe such as the one below for a delicious Cotswold Crunch Bloomer 
  • Join an online baking community, such as the Cotswold Flour Baking Club, for inspiration, recipes, discounts, competitions and baking support 

Bertie Matthews, MD of Matthews Cotswold Flour says, ‘Real Bread Week is the annual, international celebration of additive-free loaves and the people who make them. Real bread is bread made using just the four key ingredients of flour, water, yeast and salt. This is a great opportunity to celebrate these natural ingredients, the fantastic bread that can be made using them and the artisans and home bakers creating amazing loaves all over the country. 

‘Making Real Bread is such a rewarding activity. It is an incredibly positive and creative experience, which many find extremely relaxing and therapeutic. It can also be a fun challenge for the whole family, including kids of any age. It is a great opportunity for everyone to learn what actually goes into making bread and a cost-effective way of avoiding the cocktail of additives that turn up in industrial loaf products. By experimenting with healthier grains, you can add exciting flavours and improve the nutritional value of your loaf, too.’  

Great British Life: Bake your own Cotswold Crunch BloomerBake your own Cotswold Crunch Bloomer (Image: Matthews Cotswold Flour)



100g Traditional Regenerative Strong White Flour 

200g Organic Cotswold Crunch 

3g Salt  

10g Fresh Yeast  

60g White sourdough starter  

130g Cold water 



  • Place water in the bottom of a standing mixing bowl. 
  • Add all of the other ingredients on top of the water, making sure to weigh the yeast and salt in different areas of the bowl ( salt will kill the yeast if it comes in direct contact with it)  
  • Knead the dough with a hook attachment, for around 15 minutes. 
  • The dough should feel warm to the touch and will be very smooth and elastic.  
  • Rest the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface.  
  • Once rested, shape the dough into a ball 
  • Flatten the ball out with your hands and fold one side into the middle, pressing down the edge, and repeat this again. Roll it to an oblong shape.  
  • Let prove on a baking tray until springy to the touch  
  • Preheat your oven to 220 degrees, place a couple of ice cubes to create some steam into the oven.  
  • Score your bread how you require and bake for 30-35 minutes.