For the latest research shows the sales of sourdough loaves have soared by a third in the past year at Waitrose supermarkets.
The big boost in popularity of sourdough is being attributed to the growing appetite for brunch as more Britons enjoy preparing the meal at home as well as tucking into it in High Street restaurants and cafes.
And one artisan bakery now sells 4,000 take-home sourdough loaves a week – a massive rise from just 200 a week six years ago.
Data from bakery firm Kara shows that the UK’s brunch market is now worth £13billion making it one of the fastest-growing food trends. In addition, a report by food brand Lamb Weston found that young adults are most enthusiastic about the meal with almost half of 18-24 year-olds eating breakfast or brunch out once or twice a month.
Baker Aidan Monks told Waitrose Weekend magazine: “The phenomenal success of sourdough is undoubtedly tied to the expansion of the brunch market which has grown considerably. More people are treating themselves to brunch and this is inspiring them to recreate their favourite dishes back at home.”
Mr Monks, who runs the Lovingly Artisan bakery in Kendal, Cumbria, said that the trend which started in London has now spread across almost every part of the country.
“We sell 4,000 take-home loaves a week – up from just 200 six years ago. ” he said.
Sourdough is the best bread for brunch, according to Mr Monks.
“It is flavoursome, has a nicer texture and retains its structure perfectly when served with classic brunch foods like poached eggs, mashed avocado or roast tomatoes ” he said.
Waitrose, which offers a range of 11 sourdough loaves on its shelves, said that sourdough is slowly leavened with a ‘starter’ made by fermenting only flour and water – a process that gives the bread its trademark tang.
The supermarket’s bread buyer Jade Symonds said: “All of Waitrose sourdough loaves are slowly fermented using yeast derived from both the environment and what is found in the starter culture. While a conventional loaf might take 40 minutes to leaven, our sourdough-making process can take 48 hours or longer, resulting in a waxy texture and delicate sour flavour.”