It’s amazing to see that people staying home has created a fad for baking bread. Who could have imagined that yeast would be in short supply, perhaps one reason searches for information on creating sourdough starter is sky high. And to imagine, just recently hostility to bread, either the anti-gluten crowd or the don’t eat anything white crowd dominated the thinking about bread – now there is a shortage of flour.
I actually don’t quite get it. Making bread is not that time consuming so why now? Just because people are stuck at home unless you’re doing some complex shaping or other complexity in making bread it’s actually rather quick. People had plenty of time to make bread before being stuck at home.
I’ve been inactive about new posts on this blog, of recent, but meanwhile my hits, almost entirely on my blog posts, have really peaked. I guess some of my posts are high enough in search results people are stumbling on them, so I hope my posts have helped.
I don’t see a pattern and I’ve never directly said much about Jim Lahey’s method, but that is really quick. When I do it, it takes me under five minutes to make the dough (having a couple of special tools helps and a digital scale, plus lots of practice helps). Then shaping the dough is another five minutes (again a teflon scraper and a good board help a lot). A bit of preheating the oven, with my baker to get it hot, and then three minutes to put the bread in. Admittedly while the work is not much it is about a 1.5 hour elapsed time but that can easily be overlapped with some binge TV watching.
Even the other techniques are still fast. And I wonder how many people are just using machines which is even quicker.
So having time to do it is only part of the explanation. And homemade bread which necessarily doesn’t have preservatives only lasts two days so if you’re a bread fan and don’t want to buy pre-made bread, yep, a few hours a week.
I hope people enjoy this experience and then expand into many mores ways to bake. I can’t find any statistics but I wonder how sales of the better bread making books are going.
If any new bakers did get anything useful from this blog and are now looking here for tips, please do some comments about why now and if you’re enjoying it.