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February18–26

Real Bread Week – February 18-26, 2023

Real Bread Week takes place from the second last Saturday to the last Sunday in February every year since 2010. This year, it occurs from February 18 to 26. It is the annual international celebration of Real Bread and celebrates additive-free breads and the people who make them. The week aims to encourage a future where everyone has access to good preservative-free ‘real’ bread by either making it themselves, buying it from local independent bakeries, or supporting the charity. The Real Bread Campaign was started by the Sustain Alliance that focuses on policies and practices that can better the relationship between food, farming, fishing, and the working condition of farm animals.

History of Real Bread Week

The Real Bread Campaign was co-launched by Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters and the Sustain Alliance on November 26, 2008. The Sustain Alliance runs the campaign as an annual international event. Real Bread Week also celebrates individuals and businesses that make organic and ‘real’ bread. 

What started as a community event went on to fund many projects under its name. The campaign started with the now-defunct initiatives Together We Rise — targeted at individuals living with mental health problems to cope through baking, Lessons in Loaf, and Bake Your Lawn, where more than 10,000 children from about 150 schools learned to make real bread.

After the initial runs, the campaign collaborated with Balcony Shirts to produce a limited run of exclusive t-shirts, aprons, and mugs, to sell during Real Bread Week. The proceeds went to the campaign and the Sustain Alliance. Community groups, care homes, mills, baking schools, bakeries, and youth groups have been involved with the campaign since the beginning, baking and promoting ‘real’ bread, and hosting various events and activities. 

Real Bread Week timeline

14,000 Years Ago
The First-Ever Bread is Baked

The bake, resembling a flatbread, is made of buckwheat and barley mixed with pulverized roots of plants with water and then baked.

1350 B.C.
Making Sourdough for Bread

 
The first yeast bread is made in Egypt from the yeast used to brew beer.

18th Century
The First Sandwich

The first-ever sandwich is invented by John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, when he asks his valet to bring him meat between two pieces of bread so that he can play cards easily without pausing to eat with a fork or getting his cards greasy.

2008
The First Real Bread Week

The Sustain Alliance organizes the first-ever Real Bread Week.

Real Bread Week FAQs

What is real bread?

Real bread is bread without any additives or preservatives. The bread is leavened using live sourdough culture, yeast, or baking powder.

When did bread become popular?

Bread became a staple food about 10,000 years ago when wheat and barley were first planted near the Nile in the so-called ‘Fertile Crescent.’

Why is commercial bread so soft?

Commercial bread tends to be highly processed and full of chemicals, which makes (and keeps) it softer for longer.

How to Observe Real Bread Week

  1. Bake bread

    You can celebrate Real Bread Week by baking preservative-free bread. There are many recipes available online to make bread without any additives or preservatives. Go on, have some fun and learn a new skill! 

  2. Buy real bread

    If you’re not a baker, you can head to a nearby bakery and buy some organic bread. But make sure the bread is additive-free! Once you have your bread, you can start the celebration by making some yummy sandwiches and posting your creations online. 

  3. Support local bakeries

    You can celebrate Real Bread Week by pledging your support for local bakeries that bake ‘real’ bread. You can buy bread from these independent bakeries, and post pictures and a nice review on your social media. You can also tag the bakery along with your review so that bread-lovers can find them.

5 Fun Facts About Bread

  1. Bread was used as an absorbent plate

      In medieval times, bread was used as an absorbent plate called a trencher, which could be eaten, given to the poor, or fed to the dogs after eating.

  2. The staple food of the Neolithic period

    Bread was the staple food during the Neolithic period around 10,000 years ago.

  3. Erase that

    Before rubber erasers were invented, people used rolled-up white bread!

  4. Prohibition of freshly baked bread

    During World War II, the sale of freshly baked bread was prohibited to encourage people to eat it immoderately.

  5. Only real bakeries in France

    France has a law that any bakery must make all the bread it sells from scratch to be called a bakery.

Why Real Bread Week is Important

  1. We learn to bake additive-free bread

    As part of the Real Bread Week celebrations, people post photos and recipes for different types of bread made completely free from preservatives. If you are a true bread-lover, you can find simple to really rare and customized recipes to try at home. The fun of making fresh bread from scratch without any additives is just the bonus.

  2. We meet like-minded people and exchange recipes

    Real Bread Week is an international celebration, so you’ll find yourself surrounded by like-minded people who have perfected or are working on various bread recipes. You can exchange your recipes with them and learn new and unique ways to bake bread. 

  3. We participate in contests and win rewards

    Various schools, bakeries, community centers, and companies hold contests and baking challenges as part of Real Bread Week. You can participate in these to win fabulous prizes and recognition. They also help you improve your baking skills. 

Real Bread Week dates

YearDateDay
2022February 19Saturday
2023February 18Saturday
2024February 17Saturday
2025February 15Saturday
2026February 21Saturday

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