Bread is a staple of the British diet, paired with almost every meal and a constant in every household, and as such disappeared off the the supermarket shelves has fast as they could be restocked. But while supermarkets witnessed wholesale panic buying, Britain's independent bakers are ready with the supply to meet demand

Shirley Rider from The Craft Bakers Association, an organisation that has been supporting bakers since 1887 and which has over 400 members across England, Ireland and Wales, said the panic buying is completely unnecessary.

“Our members do not seem to be experiencing any difficulties within the supply chain and are continuing to produce high quality, freshly baked products in all their shops, which are available daily.”

So avoid the busy supermarkets with their empty shelves and go to your local independent bakery. Not only will you be supporting your local community, but you’re more likely to find a range of interesting products to tempt you.

And if you can't leave your home, a local independent baker, who is a member of The Craft Bakers Association might be able to help.

Said Shirley: “Many of our members are also undertaking to deliver to those who are vulnerable, wherever possible.”

Why not have a go at baking your own bread, with most of the ingredients regularly found in people’s cupboards. Chris Young, coordinator of the Real Bread Campaign, who’s decade-long mission is to find and share ways to make bread better for everyone, is, quite naturally, an advocate for baking your own bread.

“Bread that you make yourself or buy from a local, independent bakery, is delicious and nutritious. There is a growing body of evidence that there are even more health benefits of bread made using the sourdough process. Bakeries are also great for the health of your high street and local economy.”

It’s also well worth it to bake your own, with the length of time available to eat tending to be longer than store-bought.

“A well-made loaf of genuine sourdough can be great to eat for a week or more, and any loaf can be sliced and stored in the freezer for months, taken out a piece at a time when you need it.”

Baking out of necessity now could result in you discovering a new hobby that will give you great pleasure for years to come.

A simple white loaf


500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp salt

7g sachet fast-action yeast

3 tbsp olive oil

300ml water


1. Mix 500g strong white flour, 2 tsp salt and a 7g sachet of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.

2. Make a well in the centre, then add 3 tbsp olive oil and 300ml water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water and mix well.

3. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins.

4. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.

5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough (punch the air out and pull the dough in on itself) then gently mould the dough into a ball.

6. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.

7. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

8. Dust the loaf with some extra flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

9. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.