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Today let’s talk to…


Founder: Rachel Cockerell

Location: London, UK

Roy Bread, one-woman sourdough delivery service, was launched in 2014 by Rachel Cockerell to prove that bread is no enemy when made properly. Rachel wants to show people how absurd and wrong the ‘gluten free’ trend is. In most cases the feeling you get after eating things like white bread is due to the amount of commercial yeast used (tripled in the last few decades for a ‘fluffier’ loaf) and the amount of white flour (created by removing all the nutritious parts of the grain). Even so-called ‘artisan’ bakeries often use three-quarters white flour in their loaves. Sourdough bread isn’t made with yeast, rather using a ‘levain’, which is a naturally fermented mixture of flour and water.
When you eat proper, wholegrain sourdough bread, you don’t get that bloated, uncomfortable, tired feeling. The wild yeast in sourdough ‘predigests’ the sugars and gluten in the flour, making the bread far healthier and easier to digest, and making it rich in B-vitamins.


How did you come to set up Roy  Bread? What inspired you to create your brand?

The idea for Roy Bread came when I was living in Venice. For some reason the bread there is pretty awful – they use really white flour and not much salt and the result is quite dry and tasteless. Plus it starts going stale the minute you cut into it. So I started making my own out of desperation, using wholegrain flour from the one health-food shop in the city. I soon progressed on to sourdough, after finding out about all its benefits.
When I got back to London I realised that organic, wholewheat sourdough at a reasonable price was almost impossible to come by – most ‘artisan’ bakeries use white flour (created by stripping away all the nutritious parts of the grain) and charge extortionate prices. So I decided to start selling my own.

What is a day in the life of your job at Roy Bread like?

I expected Roy Bread to be mostly about making bread but actually the whole thing of starting a business from scratch has been most of the work: designing the branding, building the website, running the instagram account, choosing the perfect brown paper bag… It has been so interesting seeing what it actually takes to start something from nothing.
The actual making of the bread is not very time consuming – you don’t need to knead sourdough because the long  rise develops the gluten structures anyway. It’s just a case of mixing together the flour, water, salt and levain (sourdough starter) and basically leaving it for 24 hours.

Favourite thing about your job?

When people tell me that they ate 5 slices of my bread in a row and didn’t feel any bloating. Also when people with gluten sensitivities try my bread and are amazed when they don’t flare up. When sourdough is done properly, all the gluten is broken down by the fermentation process before it enters your body.
I love hearing comments like this. To me it is the first step towards a future where wheat is no longer demonized, and people think of bread as healthy – which real bread is.


Where do you source your ingredients from? 

Because there are so few ingredients to my bread, they have to be of the highest quality. I use organic, English stoneground flour and French sea salt with no additives.


What is your favourite bread variety?

The walnut sourdough I make is a crowd pleaser. People also love the one with sprouted white, black and red quinoa – they are amazed that something so healthy-sounding tastes so nice and normal. It’s probably my favourite too.


What is your approach to nutrition? How do you keep healthy?

If you eat a diet of mostly whole foods that haven’t been messed with then you can’t really go wrong.

Fave kitchen staple: 

Really good butter. The two best butters in my opinion are Guernsey Dairy and Ampersand (cultured butter from a dairy farm in Oxfordshire) which you can (and should) buy at Druid Street Market.




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