The Quarantine Cooking Habit Giada De Laurentiis Picked Back Up

Have you wondered how celebrity chefs responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? They had to follow the same stay-at-home orders as the rest of us, and some of their favorite eateries were temporarily (but hopefully not permanently) shuttered. Giada De Laurentiis, for one, did what a lot of us did. She started baking bread.

Baking bread is an old passion of hers that De Laurentiis picked up again after what turned out to be a 25-year break. "I never had the time and I never made it a priority because you can get such great bread here in L.A.," De Laurentiis told Delish in June. Once the pandemic set in, De Laurentiis suddenly had a lot of time on her hands and no access to all that good Los Angeles bread. "When I couldn't get anything anymore and had all of this time, I thought what a great way for me to get out of a rut," she said.

Giada De Laurentiis says baking is therapeutic

Like any good chef, Giada De Laurentiis was able to think on her feet and respond to some of the ingredient shortages we all faced as we took to our kitchens to bake. So many of us were baking during the pandemic, in fact, that shoppers faced shortages of key ingredients, including yeast (via USA Today). In April 2020, De Laurentiis posted an easy homemade bread recipe to her Giadzy website that did not require yeast. Instead, she ordered a San Francisco sourdough starter online. 

De Laurentiis was pleased with everything about her home-baked bread: the taste, the color, the texture. "I am grateful for these moments right now in which I'm expanding my horizons a bit because of the limitations we're facing," she wrote.

De Laurentiis was not just baking bread during the pandemic. She confessed on Giadzy that she had been baking nonstop during the first month of lockdowns, and her daughter Jade was reportedly happy to see all the cookies and cakes coming out of the oven. De Laurentiis said she finds baking in general to be "therapeutic and calming." Speaking with Delish, she added that baking bread, in particular, was especially good for her mental well-being. "It's almost like babying something and it really was soothing," she said. "It was almost like a meditation for me and I really loved it."