Product Innovation Award

Product Innovation Award

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We all like a good breakfast… and a cuppa and a tasty slice of freshly made toast usually does the trick for most of us… however, on Wednesday 4th September Cumbrian baker Aidan Monks, owner of the Lovingly Artisan Bakery, who claimed the Baking Industry’s top accolade – Baker of the Year 2019, might just have a little something to say on that topic… as he collected a Product Innovation award with a specially crafted Kombucha Sourdough using a secret Lake District ingredient

Aidan’s innovative bread is a Kombucha Sourdough made with an iconic tea, Lakeland Special – a secret 200-year-old blend of Ceylon teas crafted by yours truly.

The tea once brewed is then turned into a naturally fermented Kombucha specially crafted by Plucky Pickle, Altrincham and then combined with organic stone ground Emmer ancient grain flour grown and milled exclusively for Lovingly Artisan by Gilchester Organics in Northumberland.

It’s innovative because no other bakery in the UK is commercially producing a sourdough bread containing ancient grains and it uses a naturally fermented Kombucha so it’s also good for you…



Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a specific culture known as a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts). The bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. The acetic acid is what gives kombucha its distinctive sour taste. Kombucha contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and B vitamins B1, B6 and B12.

Emmer wheat flour has been in use since ancient times and is especially suitable if you have difficulty in digesting bread. This flour is obtained by milling the caryopses of the Triticum genus and is rich in proteins, mineral salts and vitamin B, but also contains methionine, an essential amino acid not found in other cereals. It helps produce carnitine, cysteine, lecithin, taurine and other phospholipids. Emmer wheat flour has a high fibre content, which helps regulate intestinal transit and preserve the ability to absorb water. It is rich in vitamins, mineral salts and proteins, and has a very high nutritional value. Its high protein and mineral salt content, especially iron, has a positive effect from a physiological and dietary point of view.

Combining these two main ingredients results in a product that provides a good cross section of vitamin composition, is high in dietary fibre and possesses excellent nutritional properties. In addition, it has a positive impact on diet and gut health, similar to other fermented foods Kombucha Sourdough bread like kefir and pickles, is fermented by using probiotic lactobacillus cultures.

As you may be aware fermented food has soared in popularity in recent years, in part thanks to the ever-increasing interest and research into gut health people are beginning to realise the importance of eating foods that aid absorption and increase healthy probiotics in the gut.

Like all other fermentation processes, the bacteria present in the Kombucha Sourdough starter eat the starch and sugars present in the grain. This results in a lowering of the starch or carbohydrate content of the bread, which is helpful for keeping blood sugar levels regulated. It also increases some of the vitamin and mineral content of the grain.

The bacteria present in the Kombucha Sourdough help to activate phytase, an enzyme that breaks down an anti-nutrient present in all grains, beans, and seeds – phytic acid. This may seem minor, but phytic acid is known to strip your body of minerals and can be hard on your digestion.

The lactic acid in the bread creates a lovely tang and predigests the grain for you. The acetic acid produced in the souring process helps the bread to store longer, inhibiting the growth of molds. Not only that the lactic acid also helps decrease the levels of phytic acid in bread which interferes with the absorption of certain nutrients. This in turn, helps other nutrients become more readily available, digestible and absorbable, which aids gut health and immune function… win, win.

So, tea and bread combined are a pretty good way of staying happy and healthy… a great way to start your day and pretty innovative to boot – no small thanks to Farrer’s Lakeland Special Tea, the Kombucha magic of Plucky Pickle and Gilchester’s rather special Emmer ancient grain stone ground flour…

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