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Breaking Bread: UK Residents Baked a Billion Loaves During Covid-19 Lockdown

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

A little over a third of adults said they had started baking their own bread this year, with almost half of them aged between 25 to 34. An amateur baker, on an average, baked two loaves a week, but 15 per cent said they churned out four or more.

With the time that most of the people spent during coronavirus-induced lockdown this year, many hidden talents and long lost hobbies were rediscovered. And one such national hobby in England was that of baking and cooking.

The social media posts were rife with people showing off their baking creations. The trend was uniform throughout Britain and there are facts to prove this claim.

A recent research has shown that the country baked almost a billion loaves of bread in domestic kitchens in the six months after coronavirus restrictions were first introduced. The number comes after researchers analysed soaring sales figures for flour, yeast and baking equipment, combined with customer surveys, revealing that 960 million loaves were baked at home between March and September this year.

To put the numbers into perspective, the figure represents an average of more than one loaf a week for each of Britain’s 27.6 million households.

According to DailyMail, a little over a third of adults said they had started baking their own bread this year, with almost half of them aged between 25 to 34. An amateur baker, on an average, baked two loaves a week, but 15 per cent said they churned out four or more. In the first weeks of lockdown, sales of flour in stores almost doubled.

According to new figures reported by DailyMail, the market for loaf tins, bread-makers and yeast soared by up to 130 per cent over the six months of lockdown.

DailyMail reports Lakeland, a Kitchenware company, came up with the 960 million figure and also found that 44 per cent of domestic bakers opted for hand kneading and shaping their loaves, while 19 per cent used bread-makers. Others used stand mixers. The news report quoted chief executive of Lakeland, Steve Knights saying that the baking mania was surging among consumers as they wanted to return to the basics and wanted to give their families nurturing, comforting food.

The exercise of kneading the dough has also been linked to reducing stress. Recalling the baking craze in the initial days of lockdown, Knights also mentioned how supermarkets ran low on bread flour, then yeast.

There were even reports of people selling yeast on the black market. Then there were pictures of sourdough that started to flood social media as more consumers made loaves from scratch.