The breaking of bread is a phrase often referenced by middle-class foodies when they speak of getting together with friends to eat. “Let’s break bread again soon!” they will cry, as they mwah-mwah each other upon leaving a restaurant while simultaneously uploading their digital diaries to seek a mutually convenient date upon which to do it again.

It may have been appropriated by the privileged few, but the communal breaking - and baking - of bread is an ancient custom that dates back thousands of years and has been practised by all, regardless of culture or class. Humble flatbreads are as vital to human life as the £5 artisan sourdough from the local upmarket deli.

It’s unfortunate that Britain succumbed to the Chorleywood industrial bread making process (CBP) in the 1960s because in my view it made bread the class issue it is today. The CBP corrupted the more natural, nutritious, slow-rising loaf of unprocessed flour, water, yeast and salt that we’d all been used to for so long. The new loaf baked much faster in greater volumes, and used cheap flour so it needed more artificial additives and hard fats to give it taste and substance. Hence the bright-white, cotton wool stuff too many people consume to this day.

According to Andrew Whitley, the evangelical founder of Scotland the Bread, a staggering 90 per cent of the bread we buy in supermarkets is made using the Chorleywood process. He says it’s “programmed for ill-health” because it is indigestible and is responsible for modern allergies, intolerances, obesity and other health issues.

The recent revival in traditional artisan bread making is a good thing, but it has hitherto been embraced by the privileged few.

Community bakeries are at last addressing that social imbalance, and their numbers are increasing. Bread Share in Portobello and the Dunbar Community Bakery are fairly well established.

In the west, The High Rise Bakers, a newly-formed group of residents of Glasgow’s Gorbals, use the kitchen on the ground floor of one of the last remaining tower blocks in the area to make the Gorbals Loaf using traditional methods and nutritious flour. They are the first community bakers to be taught by Whitely, who runs Bread Matters baking courses in his bid to democratise bread. The High Rise Bakers sell about 60 loaves weekly to local residents, and plan to supply nurseries, an old folks’ home and a care centre for former addicts – as well the newly-established Gorbals farmers’ market.

They and others will use Scottish flour, grown by Whitely and his team in various sites across Scotland, when it becomes available later this year.

John Vallance, one of the volunteer bakers, put it neatly. The Gorbals Loaf doesn’t necessarily make him feel healthier, he says, but it does have the feel-good factor. It fills him up more than the fluffy stuff. And since the delicious aroma of the baking bread floats up to the top floor of the tower block, it has the smell-good factor too. Others speak of the “visceral” power of getting together to make something so basic yet so life-enhancing.

Who knows? Baking bread could yet become a social movement of Biblical proportions.