51 million sourdough recipes, vitamin C, Celery hacks and more
We just typed ‘sourdough bread recipe’ into Google. It returned 51,000,000 results. These are the times we’re living in. Plenty of people are saying that Covid-19 has inspired them to return to the basics, the old fashioned, good things in life. The nation is busy recalibrating what happiness means, and finding it in simple things like a beautifully baked baguette, a hot slice of toast dripping with salty butter, or a burger bun so delicious it’s unreal.
Life these days feels like it’s more about friends and family, good times and good food than wealth, celebrity and luxury. Here’s the news.
Aldi’s amazing clear toaster
If you’re totally unable to create toast without burning the dratted stuff, here’s a treat for you. Apparently Aldi is selling a rather fabulous new toaster with a clear glass panel at the front, designed so you’ll never singe so much as a single slice again. Result.
Bread waste transformed into valuable Vitamin C
It’s magic. A research team in Illinois, USA, has created a way to harness bacteria to convert glucose from bread waste into vitamin C, used widely in food and drinks as well as by the massive pharmaceutical and personal care markets.
The team’s radical new fermentation process encourages bacteria to eat the glucose in bread waste and convert it into 2-keto-D-gluconic acid, a ‘platform chemical’ used to synthesise large amounts of erythorbic acid, ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid salts, and more. The food manufacture and industrial applications of the stuff are wide ranging, and the raw 2KGA itself is also seriously useful in making things like detergents, cements and herbicides.
A cool celery hack takes to the lockdown stage
There are ‘life hacks’ everywhere these days, created to help us do life better. And one particular bread hack is proving pretty popular right now. Allegedly secreting a humble stick of celery inside a bread bag acts to keep it fresh for a whole lot longer. Is it true, or merely an item of lockdown nonsense? If you’ve tried it, let us know!
Uttoxeter bread dumping mystery
When Karen Corbett found ‘piles of freshly made bread’ dumped in trays at the side of the road near Uttoxeter, she was baffled and angry. This is no time to waste food, after all. It looked as though the produce was not old or stale but fresh. There’s a story in there somewhere, and we’d love to know it… answers on a postcard.
Why baking is so popular in lockdown
Thanks to iNews for explaining why bread making is proving so popular during lockdown. As they say:
“Baking allows you to engage in a process – something with a beginning, middle and end – so you feel like you have accomplished something tangible, with a delightful carby end-product. People have noted that kneading dough can trigger a sort of zen-like calm, forcing the anxious mind into the present. These explanations as to why people have turned to baking ring true, but underneath them are less obvious but deep-rooted reasons.
The cultivation and domestication of wheat encouraged humans to give up their nomadic lifestyle and take up farming, forming settlements that gave rise to towns and increasingly sophisticated forms of society. Archaeologists have found evidence of human preparation of bread from over 14,000 years ago – the end of the Stone Age. Variations of it can also be found pretty much everywhere around the world, from South Asian parathas to Jewish Challah and every other flatbread and loaf in between.
For those of us stuck at home, part of the anxiety felt is due to feeling flung out of time itself – the world is on pause. As economies stagnate and public life ceases, baking bread allows us to reconnect to our place in history, and one another. In these unprecedented times, we need a common language to speak across the national and cultural borders this pandemic has traversed.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Bread sits at the beating heart of what it means to be human, to settle on a piece of land, to feed your family off that land, and to enjoy the warm, reassuring comfort of home-prepared food that’s good for your body and nurtures the soul.
If you’d like a generously-filled box of artisan bread samples, we’ll send one your way. You’ll wonder why you left it so long. In the meantime stay safe, stay sane, and let’s hope we can catch up in person, face-to-face, before too long.