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A Loaf of Bread

The joyful and vital work of the baker is at the heart of this lovely little film about our daily bread.

But the baker can't bake without his flour, and no flour will be made without grain. And so it is that, to the sound of dramatic music originally written to describe the gruesome executions of the French revolution, we watch the harvest of wheat. The blades of a combine harvester scythe through the stems, lopping off the seed head. The thrashing process separates the seeds from the rest of the plant, and these are then collected in trucks that carry them off to the mill.

The mill you will see is hundreds of years old and powered by a magnificent great water-wheel. Inside the mill our grain is crushed between two great stones, one turning slowly over the other. Through this crushing the seed is turned into flour. The flour is brown because it was made with the husk still on the grain, which gives the narrator the perfect opportunity to talk about the difference between white and brown bread.

In fact it's a white bread day at the bakery, and to his white flour the baker adds living yeast, water, and salt. The processes of mixing, measuring out, kneading and baking are seen and described in fascinating detail, all to the accompaniment of a delightful music track.

A charming little film, and one that might inspire you to make your own bread at home, if you haven't done so already.

Duration: 4:50

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This film is also available on the DVD:
'The Magic of Making - Volume 3'.