Google’s Year in Search Reveals 2020 Was the Year of Bread

We baked a lot of bread this year

sourdough bread
If 2016 was about realizing things, 2020 was about bread.
Getty Images/EyeEm

For a year of worldwide upheaval, 2020 was, in many ways, incredibly boring. As we found out, global crises don’t always mirror the fast-paced apocalyptic thrillers we used to watch on the big screen back when going to the movies was a thing. Sometimes, living through a massive catastrophe is just a lot of sitting around the house Googling bread recipes, as Google’s 2020 Year in Search report suggests.

Currently in its 20th year, the Year in Search report is an annual tradition charting Google’s biggest trends of the year. Each year, the search engine aggregates trillions of queries to bring us the top searches of the past 12 months. The results paint a collage of the people, trends, questions and ideas that dominated the collective consciousness, and in 2020, there was a lot of bread.

According to this year’s report, six of the top 10 recipe searches across the world were for bread. Sourdough, of course, was the most-searched bread recipe, coming in at number three overall behind searches for the TikTok-trendy dalgona coffee and ekmek. The sourdough fascination took hold early on during the pandemic, as house-bound quarantiners took to bread making to pass the time and, possibly, in an attempt to to establish food security in the event of a total breakdown of the social order.

Sourdough’s less trendy cousin, banana bread, also made the list of most-searched recipes, coming in at number seven after beer bread. Other breads that made the most-searched list include pita bread, brioche and naan. The only other non-bread searches to make the global top ten were pizza — which is pretty bready — and lahmacun, a dish also served on bread.

To be clear, 2020 wasn’t all bread. From coronavirus to Kobe Bryant, the top Google searches of the year included plenty of non-bread entities. But when it came to food searches specifically, the volume and diversity of our collective bread queries prove that when the going got tough, the tough baked bread.


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