I think we qualify. This is not a post per se but really a Public Service Announcement to say that nobody should be spending £4.15 (Gail's), £6.10 (Paul), £9 (some piss-taker on Etsy!) on a loaf of sourdough bread. We are still at it using the original starter that we were given during lockdown. Occasionally it explodes in the fridge, testament to its continuing vitality, but provided you keep an eye on it and use it, say, at least every three weeks, you can essentially keep it going forever. Although I am working from home less frequently than I used to, when I do it is likely that in addition to being on Zoom calls you will find me kneading and stretching dough. It is unbelievably cathartic, and between Mrs L and I we have it down to a fine art. She prepares the starter before she goes to work whilst I prepare the initial dough. During the day I then mix these together and do the periodic kneading and stretching between meetings. The following morning she applies the final touches such as scoring the top and adding an appealing flour pattern, and then bakes it. When it is done, I eat it. With gusto. The flour that goes into the loaf currently costs 88p. The small amount of salt is practically free, and then it is a question of heating the oven for a hour - ever more expensive but still barely 60p. Gail's saw you coming.
I am sorry if this comes across as crass to people who have never bought Sourdough from Gails. I have and it is very nice, but it is a) nowhere near as nice as our home made sourdough b) significantly overpriced for what it is and c) they get away with it because even mass produced sliced bread is approaching £1 these days, 'freshly baked' supermarket loaves are £2, and so maybe it does not seem much of a difference to upgrade to a so-called artisanal loaf. But if you make the effort, which to be fair is what defeats a lot of people, you can eat nice bread all the time for cheaper. And get nice pics for your insta*.
|The latest masterpiece
* I don't have an 'insta'. Or a tiktok. Or a whatever the latest thing is. And Twitter looks doomed. So I am just going to be shoving it down my own throat.