Growing up in a small market town in South Wales, a visit to the bakery was always top of our list for Saturday morning activities. The queue would often spill out of the shop, and several metres down the street if you caught it at the right time. And you didn't even think of trying to get a seat in the cafe at the back. I can remember, my mum would always choose a bloomer or a tin loaf from the wooden slanted shelves which spanned the wall behind the counter, and then request to have it sliced. This always meant waiting a few more minutes while the assistants in the bakery queued to use the industrial sized slicing machine, which used to rumble loudly as the bread was pushed through it.
And these habits continue within our household today. It has now become a rare treat to have 'bakery bread' in the house. Whenever there is a farmers market or food festival nearby, one of the first stalls myself and the Mr will visit, is the bakery stall, purchasing several loaves to take home. One for tea, and one to freeze. Don't even get me started on the butter. This Cardiff boy once raised on 'Is it really butter?' imitations, will now refuse to have anything but the proper yellow stuff on his toast in the morning..and it must be salted.
Go on, I urge you to try it. All you need is flour, yeast, water and salt. That's it...really!