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Bread: A Loaf Affair

Episode 6 of 9

Documentary about the rise of the popular loaf in Britain. After the holy grail of affordable white bread was achieved, dietary experts began to trumpet the virtues of brown.

The aptly-named Tom Baker narrates a tale of aspiration, industrialisation and plain old-fashioned snobbery in a documentary which unwraps the story of the rise of the popular loaf and how it has shaped the way we eat.

Historically, to know the colour of one's bread was to know one's place in life. For centuries, ordinary people ate brown bread that was about as easy on the teeth as a brick. Softer, refined white bread was so expensive to make that it became the preserve of the rich. Affordable white bread was the baker's holy grail - but almost as soon as it became possible to achieve, dietary experts began to trumpet the virtues of brown. Not surprisingly, the British public proved reluctant to give up their white loaves, and even a war couldn't change their eating habits.

23 days left to watch

59 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:19

    Toots & The Maytals

    54-46 Was My Number

  • 00:51

    Billy Bragg

    There Is Power in a Union

  • 00:56

    Marvin Gaye

    Let's Get It On


Role Contributor
Narrator Tom Baker
Director Merryn Threadgould
Producer John Das
Executive Producer Michael Poole