Cost of living crisis: Farmer warns food prices will rise
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With inflation hitting a 40-year high in the UK, prices of kitchen cupboard essentials are rising fast. The Office for National Statistics has been tracking the price of a loaf of bread for decades, and its records show an 800g loaf of white sliced bread cost just 9p back in 1971. In April 2022 (the latest figures available), the price was nearly 13 times that as an average loaf now costs £1.15. But, here’s how you can make a 900g load of white bread, for less than 50p worth of ingredients.
Classic white loaf recipe
500g white flour, plus a little extra for dusting
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
One teaspoon salt
Up to 350ml of lukewarm water
A little sunflower oil, for greasing
1. Make the dough by tipping the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and making a well in the middle. Pour in most of the water and using your fingers or a wooden spoon, mix the flour and water until combined to a slightly wet, pillowy, workable dough – add a splash more water if necessary.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Then place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
3. Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas mark seven.
4. Knock back the dough by tipping it back onto a floured surface and pushing the air out. Mould the dough into a rugby ball shape that will fit a 900g loaf tin and place it in the tin. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 30 mins.
5. Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour and slash the top with a sharp knife if you want. Bake the bread for 15 mins, then reduce the heat to 190C/fan 170C/gas mark five and continue to bake for 30 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the tin and tapped on the base.
6. Leave the bread on a wire rack to cool completely. The loaf will stay fresh in an airtight container for three days or can be frozen for one month.
Express.co.uk scoured the supermarkets for the cheapest ingredients to make this loaf of bread for less than 50p.
ASDA Smart Price White Plain Flour 1.5kg for 55p or Tesco’s Stockwell & Co. Plain Flour 1.5kg for 55p (500g = 18.3p)
ASDA Easy Bake Yeast Sachets 6x7g for 75p (One sachet = 12.5p)
Tesco Table Salt 750g for 27p (One tsp = less than 1p)
350ml of water – According to United Utilities, one litre of water costs less than 1p
ASDA Sunflower oil 1l for £1.75 (“A little for greasing”, equals less than 1p)
Cost of running an electric oven in the UK
According to Chefs Pick, standard electricity costs are 28p per kWh for the price cap period from April 1 to September 30, 2022.
Therefore, the average electric oven in the UK would cost 24p to run for one hour.
To bake this loaf of bread, the oven needs to be on for 45 minutes, so it would cost 18p for the duration.
Most households will have salt and sunflower oil or an equivalent already in their kitchen cupboards, but the total sum of the ingredients plus the use of the oven is around 50p for the loaf.
Bake more than one loaf at a time and it will reduce the cost to make each loaf.
Or simply place the loaf of bread in the oven when other things are cooking to minimise the cost of it being on.
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