As the nation continues to bake its way through lockdown, these recipes will see off any bread-related blunders.

Since coronavirus ravaged our shores, we’ve taken up exercising at home, become a population of keen joggers and started baking our socks off. It is a way to fill the time. It is meditative. It is great for the soul.

In his column in The Guardian, the Australian baker and food writer, Dan Lepard, wrote recently: ‘My guess is that, in this sad and frightening coronavirus wave, (baking’s) longed-for skills offer some ballast to stop us falling completely.’

We think he has a point. Google searches for bread recipes and baking tips are constantly rising, while retailers across the board report increased sales of flour and baking equipment.

Iban Yarza, who is considered a bread-baking guru in Spain, says: ‘It is really interesting to discover how, in these moments of uncertainty, people are turning back to bread, as a certainty, and a place of comfort. I am sure that bread is playing its magic role here as a symbol, as it has done for more than ten millennia.’

Jump on the bandwagon or broaden your repertoire with these brilliant bread recipes.

Banana Loaf


There are a heck of a lot of great banana bread recipes around at the moment, many with a tweak or two to cater for millennial dietary whims. This one, from BBC Good Food, produces an old-fashioned, failsafe loaf. It includes raisins, which some people think is sacrilegious. Not a fan? Just leave them out. Have a slice of this loaf for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. A cup of strong tea is the perfect accompaniment.

Sourdough Bread


Through her blog, The Clever Carrot, the New York-based food writer, Emilie Raffa, teaches beginners how to make sourdough bread. In 2013, she made a resolution to bake more bread and began researching, practising and refining – and eventually mastered the Holy Grail: a loaf of sourdough. Now, through her step-by-step guide, she has inspired thousands of sourdough journeys. From how to create and feed a starter, through all the subsequent steps to a sourdough loaf, this blog post – which went viral when it was first published – will be your greatest friend in lockdown.

Oatmeal Soda Bread


Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer
Dan Lepard calls soda bread ‘the original, quick-and-easy, no knead’ bread. Which makes it the perfect loaf with which to start your baking life. This recipe begins with a sort of porridge made on the stove and only later becomes a true baking session. It’s a lot of fun and produces a delicious, savoury loaf.

Basic Bread


Jamie Oliver reckons that if you can ‘crack this super simple bread recipe’ then you can ‘conquer any loaf’. The method is not difficult, but it does involve six stages. Follow his instructions to the letter and you will fall into bread baking’s meditative rhythm. Your family will probably guzzle the lot the moment it comes out of the oven, but if they don’t, it freezes beautifully.

Ciabatta


Whether you actually want to bake bread or not, Paul Hollywood’s website is a total joy. Beautifully produced, it makes each of the King of Baking’s recipes look mouth-watering. Social media may have been ablaze with people’s sourdough stories – but why not raise your game and master the art of ciabatta instead? Hollywood describes this recipe as ‘relatively easy and satisfying to make’. Note: he does recommend that you use an electric mixer to get the best possible result.

Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread Mix Selection


OK, so this one – from the brilliant website, The Gluten Free Bakery – is a bit of a cheat because it is not so much a recipe as a fabulous bread mix. The result is a seriously tasty gluten-free loaf that is as easy-as-pie to make. The site also has a lovely blog and plenty of baking tips. They aim to deliver within three to five days.

Amazing Seeded Crackers


This recipe, from Anna Jones – the voice of modern vegetarian cooking and author of several beautiful books including A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook – is for all the virtuous people out there who are managing to avoid bread during lockdown. These seeded crackers are loaded with goodness, last for ages and make the perfect snack. If you’re the sort of person who looks at them aghast and says: ‘those look like bird food’, they probably are not for you. Head back to the recipe for Banana Bread at the start of this page!

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May 2020
By Becky Ladenburg

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

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