Aug. 4 2008
This story is currently running in papers across the UK.
Bread baking author Peter Reinhart, has long spoken of a home baking renaissance as the interest in home cooking in general has grown in recent years.
This trend is gaining added momentum lately as food prices soar and sticker shock has us cringing as we make our way up and down the grocery aisles. While vacationing in Michigan a couple weeks ago, I coughed up about $6 for a loaf of La Brea “artisan” bread. The bread was decent, but I’d bet it was barely touched by human hands. Like the popular Panera breads, it was produced in large batches at a central location, frozen individually for shipping, then baked on site, in this case — a large grocery store.
It’s no wonder people are seeking relief by baking more at home. Even when factoring in the cost of cooking fuel, I doubt if I have two dollars into a typical loaf of no knead bread that was a breeze to whip up. Plus I’m usually getting a better tasting bread that also uses the highest quality organic ingredients.
I wonder if, as apparently is the case with petroleum prices, we’re witnessing the beginning of a long era of high food prices. I begrudgingly welcome high gas prices as it seems to be the best impetus for real change towards clean sustainable energy. Maybe I can convince myself to see high food prices as a blessing in disguise to further stimulate the trend towards more home cooking and the enhancement of our lifestyles.