German media slams bad bread
stern TV, a hugely popular show on German TV that fancies itself in the realm of cutting-edge journalism, had an interesting bit about bread production in Germany. The report, which was about 20 minutes long, criticized bakers that use bread pre-mixes and questioned concepts like pre-baking. One expert, a food chemist, said that the 70+ additives that are allowed in German bread (fats, enzymes, sugars, etc.) could not be claimed safe to eat, because they are tested uncooked on rats. In a hot oven these additives could turn into substances with completely different properties.
At the same time, the report praised artisanal techniques and the merits of sourdough. It was noted that good bread took a lot of time, but was more nourishing and healthier. In the studio there was a baker shaping loaves of bread and putting them into a deck oven. Towards the end he turned to the mixer and switched it on. “What are you doing now, the breads are already in the oven”, Günter Jauch, the host asked. The baker’s bold answer: “I’m preparing the sourdough for tomorrow.” He also said that he was forced to switch to sourdough baking, because a supermarket opposite of his bakery, offering even cheaper bread, had opened. When he began selling sourdough bread using the methods he once had learned as an apprentice, customers started flocking to the store of his bakery. He emphasized that the transition was effortless and that it did not result in more work or longer hours at the bakery.
The admin of a German forum on sourdough, “Pöt”, says that the number of page hits on www.der-sauerteig.de doubled after the show.