Northern Ireland artisan bakery Yellow Door has begun research into using ancient grains for baking healthier bread.

The company said there is a growing interest in bread baked without additives and preservatives among its customers, and particularly around the Dublin area.

“Great bread doesn’t need a host of ingredients,” said Yellow Door owner Simon Dougan.

“It just takes four basic ingredients –flour, water, yeast and a little bit of salt. We’ve been researching ancient grains for use in new breads we are planning in addition to our existing sourdoughs and rye, the latter becoming increasingly important.

“We’ve noticed a significant market move towards grain loaves and other breads which are regarded as healthier than some sliced white breads.”

Yellow Door has experienced significant growth in the Republic of Ireland over the past five years and has seen its sourdough and rye breads secure substantial business in foodservice.

“We do not use any additives or preservatives and haven’t done for a great many years,” Dougan added.

“Consumers won’t find flour improvers, dough conditioners, preservatives, chemical leavening (baking powder, Bi-carbonate of soda), any other artificial additive or the use of pre-mixed ingredients in our breads. Our flour is not treated with bleach.

“We intend to step up production of these grain breads for all our markets including the extensive catering services we provide,” he adds.