#Bananabread and apple pie: Lockdown larder advice to continue creating the UK’s Top 10 quarantine bakes

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ingredients for Paleo grain and sugar free banana bread with walnuts and dark cocoa. Pic: GettyImages/connerscott1
Ingredients for Paleo grain and sugar free banana bread with walnuts and dark cocoa. Pic: GettyImages/connerscott1

Related tags: Real bread campaign, Portafina, Top 10, banana bread, Yeast, flour shortage, home baking

Baking has become one of the nation’s biggest boredom breakers to fill the days in lockdown – but this has resulted in shortages of flour and yeast – leading the Real Bread Campaign to weigh in with recipes and tips to overcome the challenge.

Before banana bread achieved overnight insta-fame – tipping over 1.4 million Instagram posts – research by pension advice specialist Portafina found the humble apple pie was still the nation’s favourite bake.

Cheesecake and rhubarb crumble rounded out the top three.

A third of the at home bakers tended toward more traditional treats, so it’s unsurprising that Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle also made an appearance in the top 10.

And, of course, bread. Everyone’s baking bread.

“Baking is a great way to unwind, pass the time and bring some fun into the household,”​ said Jamie Smith-Thompson, MD of Portafina.

“It’s great to see how culinarily creative the nation is getting. While one in five of the nation have been influenced to bake thanks to TV shows [like the Great British Bake Off], you shouldn’t worry if you’re no Prue [Leith] or Paul [Hollywood] on your first attempts.”

Top 10 favourite bakes in lockdown

  1. Apple pie (44%)
  2. Cheesecake (32%)
  3. Rhubarb crumble (30%)
  4. Victoria sponge cake (28%)
  5. Cupcakes (27%)
  6. Bread (26%)
  7. Chocolate chip cookies (25%)
  8. Lemon drizzle cake (25%)
  9. Savoury pie (17%)
  10. Rainbow coloured sponge cake (8%)

Interestingly, although topping the overall list, only 21% of 18-to-24-year-olds gave apple pie the thumbs up, compared to 66% of over-65s.

Millennials are more likely to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes They’re also the most likely to experiment with modern bakes like cake pops, although only 5% of at-home bakers named these as their go-to sweet treat.

Who’s baking in downtime?

The financial specialist’s research found that 25-to 34-year-olds are more likely to be the ones picking up wooden spoons and mixing bowls, with only 13% of respondents in this age group claiming they don’t bake.

However, nearly two in five respondents say they love to bake because it helps them relax, while a quarter of Brits credit the extra spare time as the factor to don an apron.

Women are more likely to bake than men, at 78% and 38%, respectively, but 26% of men are happy to get their hands into the mix with their partner.

Real Bread’s advice to support homebakers

With everyone baking bread at home, supermarket shelves are often stripped bare of flour and yeast. To help budding bread makers, the Real Bread Campaign has launched #LockdownLoafers,​ a crowdsourced platform of advice, including:

  • Recipes and tips for using less (or no) bread flour
  • Recipes and tips for using less (or no) baker’s yeast
  • Where can I find flour?

“It’s always great to see people making Real Bread,”​ said Chris Young, campaign coordinator of Real Bread, which is run by food and farming charity Sustain.

“We can’t wish away the terrible situation that’s driven so many people to start baking recently but we can, and do, welcome them to the activity – and delicious, nutritious results - we love. We’re here to help more people gain the knowledge, and confidence, to bake bread with what they can get their hands on.”

Recipes from Campaign ambassador Helen Underwood, among others, include using rice, couscous, breakfast biscuits, cornmeal and potato as yeast and flour alternatives, along with a simple sourdough starter.

The site also features online videos like Campaign ambassador and Bread Angels founder 'Jane Mason’s Covid Cookalongs' and ‘Bake with Jack Sturgess'. More live streams can be found on social media on #RealBread and #LockdownLoafers.

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