After mulling over the possibility of doing a documentary on bread for a few years, I was somehow put in touch with Andrew Whitley, founder of Scotland the Bread, the Real Bread Campaign and author of Bread Matters among many other things, and went to the Bowhouse in Fife to meet him. I then started the documentary interviewing and filming other participants and it seemed that virtually everyone had been trained by Andrew or had some other connection with him.
It also became apparent how much artisan bread makers, sourdough in particular, formed a community. People may have been friends and acquaintances in other food sectors, but they did not share the same companionship, baking together, sharing techniques and secrets and helping others out. As Andrew says, the word company comes from the Latin com (with, together) and panis (bread).
Real Bread Bakers. Trailer 3, with Andrew Whitley, Scotland the Bread and John Castley, Wild Hearth Bakers
I started off at Bridging the Gap – High Rise Bakers, a community baking project in the Gorbals, interviewing Catriona Milligan and Marie McCormack, both being trained by Andrew Whitley. I then went on to Rachel Smillie at The Glad Cafe, organisers of The Crossmyloof Bread Festival with historical connections to the place High Rise Bakers are situated in the Gorbals area of Glasgow.
Real Bread Bakers. Trailer 2, Neal Thomson and the Crossmyloof Bakery
I then interviewed Andrew Whitley and Scotland the Bread’s miller Connie Hunter, and John Castley at Wild Hearth Bakery that gets some of their flour from Scotland the Bread, about how sourdough is directly connected to nutrition, local food, a sense of community and sustainability, from rural Fife to urban Glasgow.
I’m always interested in the stories and people that create a complex woven fabric that enables food to get to our plate, and every documentary is a learning experience, but even so, I wasn’t expecting that so much lies behind a loaf of bread.
The full 28 minutes can be seen here – https://gumroad.com/l/psrqH
Real Bread Bakers. Trailer 1, High Rise Bakers