Which trendy upper crust loaves are worth the dough?

From a personalised Harrods loaf that costs £17 to ‘Hackney Wild’… while Victoria Beckham pays £6 for bread made to a ‘Biblical’ recipe: So, which trendy upper crust loaves are worth the dough?

Well if your daily slice is affordable, you are off the breadline — but if you are paying £5.95 for a loaf, then you are clearly eons away from it.

This week former Spice Girl turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham, posted a snap of her breakfast on Instagram — a slice of the very Posh-est bread, Food For Life’s Ezekiel 4.9, lavishly spread with avocado mush.

‘We switched our usual bread for this — and even the kids like it,’ gushed Posh over the sliver of organic, sprouted, multi-grain bread.

Those who know their Bible will particularly appreciate this loaf. 

Rose’s speedy mixed grain and seed bread (makes two loaves and cost of ingredients just £1.93!). After soaking the seeds and grains, this bread takes only three minutes to mix before baking

In the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, chapter 4, verse 9, it says: ‘Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils and millet, and spelt and put them in one vessel.’

In short, the Beckhams’ daily bread is a 670g loaf containing six sprouted grains and pulses, drawing on this recipe.

The people who make it, the Food For Life Baking Company, are based in California, and ship the bread frozen (uh-oh, I smell a large carbon footprint!).

Given the cost of her loaf, the joke is on Victoria and her family. Because, no surprises, any wholegrain bread which has been made naturally with no artificial additives (see recipe below) is healthy — and they can cost a lot less than a £6 loaf brought all the way from La La Land.

Here is my pick of the best alternatives available nearer home.

This week former Spice Girl turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham, posted a snap of her breakfast on Instagram — a slice of the very Posh-est bread, Food For Life’s Ezekiel 4.9, lavishly spread with avocado mush

Harrods Personalised Loaf

All these breads are handmade and some weights approximate.

Hackney Wild

Hedone Brown Round

Daylesford Pumpernickel

Nutringo High Protein Bread-baking Mix

Harrods Personalised Loaf

2kg £17, harrods.com

Only Harrods could come up with a monogrammed loaf. 

Order in advance and this super-healthy, slow-fermented bread can be engraved with your initials, or those of a bread aficionado who would appreciate such an unusual gift.

Rating: 5

Hackney Wild

800g £4, e5bakehouse.com

Produced by the ultra cool E5 Bakehouse in London’s East End, this is a loaf made with a blend of ancient ‘heritage’ and modern wheat grains that are grown and milled in the UK. Chewy and open textured, with a tangy flavour.

Rating: 1

Hedone Brown Round

500g £4.50, bayley-sage.co.uk

Pioneering Nordic chef Mikael Jonsson, formerly of the celebrated Michelin-starred res-taurant Hedone in West London, has switched to producing bread many critics believe to be the best in the capital. 

His rustic, brown round loaf is made to a very slow process, is highly digestible and delicious. 

Rating: 4

Daylesford Pumpernickel

500g £3.49, daylesford.com

An award-winning, sumptuous, rich, seeded rye loaf with big fat juicy raisins, molasses and a touch of coffee; this is the best version of pumpernickel made in Britain and the ideal bread for open sandwiches or farmhouse cheese. 

Made by artisan bakers at the Cotswolds’ most glamorous farm shop, and available online.

Rating: 5

Nutringo High Protein Bread-baking Mix

600g £13.99, amazon.co.uk

A highly rated, convenient, gluten-free, high-protein bread mix made with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dark and gold linseeds and lupines, which are a sustainable variant of soya. 

Mix with vegetable oil and low-fat cream cheese to make a loaf.

Rating: 2

Poilane Rye Bread

900g £5.20, poilane.com

Parisian baker Lionel Poilane brought sourdough to London in the 1980s. He was ahead of the trend and his rye bread is still among the most sought after. 

Contains 48 per cent rye flour with conventional wholegrain wheat. 

Available from two Poilane shops in London and from Waitrose. If you want to be really posh, order from the Paris branch — at a cost: £33.75.

Poilane Rye Bread

Rating: 3

Bread Ahead Multigrain

450g £3.50, breadahead.com

Wheat, rye, pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds, fennel seeds and oat flakes are packed into this heavy, good value loaf made by Bread Ahead, whose smartest outlet is on Pavilion Road, the new food hub street in Chelsea, London.

Bread Ahead Multigrain

Rating: 4

Bertinet Bakery Seeded Sourdough

Bertinet Bakery Seeded Sourdough

550g £2.25, thebertinetkitchen.com and waitrose.com

Situated in an elegant street in Bath is the Bertinet Kitchen, a baking school run by teaching supremo Richard Bertinet who also runs a bakery supplying handmade breads on a commercial scale. His seeded loaf contains toasted seeds, adding an extra level of flavour.

Rating: 4.5

Bread Bread 100% Rye Loaf

900g £4.80, breadbreadbakery.co.uk

A rare loaf indeed, made in South London by Franco Manca co-founder Bridget Hugo with all British grown organic rye flour, molasses and lightened with potato to make a dark, earthy but outstandingly subtle bread. 

Baked in a wood-fired oven; so good sliced thin with smoked fish or cheese and honey.

Rating: 3

Bread Bread 100% Rye Loaf

Welbeck Bakehouse Vollkorn brot

Welbeck Bakehouse Vollkorn brot

Prices vary, welbeck.co.uk

Situated in one of Nottingham-shire’s famed Dukeries, the Welbeck artisan bread is sold in the estate’s farm shop and other local outlets. 

Their excellent, handmade Vollkornbrot is made with 100 per cent rye and sunflower seeds, but also try the sublime apple sourdough.

Rating: 5

Bake your very own Posh slice

Rose’s speedy mixed grain and seed bread (makes two loaves and cost of ingredients just £1.93!). After soaking the seeds and grains, this bread takes only three minutes to mix before baking. 

Making bread with spelt flour, an ancient wheat breed, is completely different from making conventional wheat bread. 

The grain reacts quickly with the yeast and does not have to be kneaded. There is also no need to leave it to rise as you do for conventional bread. 

You can adapt it using different grains and seeds to suit your own taste.

  • 500g spelt flour
  • 10g fast-action dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 55g pinhead oatmeal
  • 55g sesame seeds
  • 55g linseeds
  • 500ml warm water

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, adding the water last. 

Mix well, then turn the dough into a greased 900g/2lb loaf tin. 

Put in the oven immediately and bake for one hour, until the loaf has risen, it lifts out of the tin easily, and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. 

Once you have removed the loaf from the tin, put it back in the oven for 5–10 minutes to crisp up the sides and base, then leave to cool on a wire rack.

(Bread) Roll of honour

Ratings: 1 – 5

1 = Scary Slice

2 = A friend in knead

3 = R eal flour power

4 = Dough-knight

5 = Ultimate upper crust 

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