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The Rise and Fall of British Baking

The programme ‘The Great British Bake Off’  moved last year from BBC 2 to a prime-time viewing spot in BBC1; showing the rise in popularity of home baking. At Real Foods on Broughton Street we have been providing for all your baking needs for 40 years and we are delighted that people are once again enjoying the pleasure of ‘baking your own’. It is the best way to be sure that the ingredients in your cooking are as wholesome as you want them to be.

TV Dinner Doldrums

Back in the 1960s the trend for baking was on a downturn. With the end of rationing still in the memory of many and the increased availability of mass produced goods in the supermarkets, the notion of spending time in the kitchen creating goodies for the family fell out of fashion and the concept of a housewife staying at home to bake for the man in her life was definitely falling out of favour.

Home Baking Brio

By 1974 when our Broughton Street shop opened, the trend for baking was turning a corner and starting to rise - the ‘real bread campaign’ of 1976 particularly had things on the rise - especially dough!

At Real Foods, Rufus the red squirrel was giving his seal of approval to lots of wholesome baking ingredients that could be hard to find elsewhere in the city at such competitive prices. Many of the ingredients that were unusual then are commonplace now, ingredients such as 100% maize flour, organic barley flakes, or wholemeal pasta (okay, you might not use that last one for baking, but it could still be hard to find).

Rufus the Red Squirrel was Real Foods’ brand logo from 1963 to 1979.

Proving to be popular

Throughout the 80s and 90s the popularity of baking continued to slowly rise with the introduction of recipes for tray bakes and simple one step cake mixtures that could be whisked together with an electric rotary whisk. During this time Real Foods kept up with the trends, constantly introducing new products to meet the growing demands fuelled by the new celebrity chefs like Delia Smith.

Rising to the challenge

Into the new century and the popularity of baking continues to rise and the recent popularity of programmes like ‘The Great British Bake Off’ has fuelled demand for many different and unusual baking ingredients as well as the old favourites. Whilst Rufus retired some years ago as Real Foods brand identity, he is still happy to give his seal of approval to today’s top quality baking ingredients.

You can find lots of delicious recipes on the Real Foods website, so why not join Rufus and us in store and continue your baking journey this month. Here's a photo of our Cinnamon Apple Polenta Cake.

Real Foods History of Baking

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