Baking Bread Is Trendy, but Is It for You?

It can take a lot of work to make a homemade loaf of fresh bread. Some people find it's not worth the effort. (Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

Pinterest has released its Pinterest 100, the top trends for the upcoming year based on the website's searches. Pinterest defines something as a trend if searches for it increase each month and the "upward trajectory holds steady for 6+ months."

Bread baking is one of those searches that has risen steadily over the past year. Pinterest predicts it will continue to rise, naming it one of the 10 food trends for 2019. Searches for baking bread, especially fermented loaves like sourdough, rose 413 percent over 2018.

Is jumping on the homemade bread baking trend for everyone?

My experience

anadama bread
A loaf of Anadama bread from the challenge I did almost 10 years ago. The challenge had us make two loaves at once, and some of the bread went to waste. (Photo: Robin Shreeves)

In 2009, I joined an online challenge to bake every recipe in "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" cookbook. My reasoning for taking on this huge task was that I wanted to learn skills that I hadn't learned growing up. I also wanted to learn those skills with my children and pass down the new knowledge.

At the end of my blog post explaining why I was doing the challenge, I wrote, "Am I crazy? Sure. Is my house going to smell awesome? Yep."

My well-intentioned goal lasted about a month. I ended the challenge after the bagel-making week. The bagels I made were not good. The loaves of bread I had made in the previous weeks, while not bad, were too much for my family to finish before they spoiled.

Between the time it took to make the bread, the waste from bread we couldn't finish, and a really bad batch of bagels, I decided to leave the challenge. I wasn't crazy to take it on, but I would have been crazy to continue to do it just because others were doing it.

Pick and choose your bandwagons

Woman kneading bread dough
When influencers show picture-perfect examples of trends, it's tempting to think your end result will be picture-perfect, too. But that isn't always the case. (Photo: Alex Tihonovs/Shutterstock)

I jumped on that bandwagon because many other food writers had joined the bread-baking challenge. The desire to fit into that group influenced me as much as wanting to learn a new skill.

That was 10 years ago, and the word "influencer" is now part of our lexicon in a different way than it was then. Social media has given people with huge followings influence over those who follow them.

You'll be seeing a lot of predictions about what will be trendy in 2019 over the upcoming weeks. (Even I have a roundup about some of the predicted food trends that I found interesting.) When influencers show picture-perfect examples of trends, it's easy to assume your end result will be perfect, too — but that's not always how it works out, as I've proved. Fortunately, I didn't invest more than a few hours and whatever little money I spent on ingredients.

Fast forward to the present. Recently I started repainting the first floor of my house. In choosing colors, I spent some time on Pinterest. There were many pins declaring the color trends of 2018, and it was tempting to choose a trendy color. For a few weeks before I painted, I had varying shades of trendy gray paint chips on the walls of each room. But it's not as easy to change the color of a room as it is to stop baking bread. In the end, I ignored the trends and chose the colors that I wanted — none of them are gray. My end result is picture-perfect — at least to me.