Hobbs House Bakery has claimed it sells the most expensive loaf in the UK, at £21 a pop – if it’s sold in a gift box that is. Its Shepherds Loaf was created by Tom Herbert, a director at the Circencester-based bakery, as part of the BBC 4 programme ‘In Search of the Perfect Loaf’, which aired in March this year.

Herbert went on a tour of the UK to find the best ingredients he could to create a loaf worthy of winning at the National Organic Food Awards.

The spelt sourdough loaf weighs 2kg, and is made using Cotswolds spring water, organic spelt flour from Somerset, and Cornish sea salt, and takes two days to make. The loaf, minus the gift box, sells for £12 in Hobbs House Bakery’s shops - the equivalent of £4.80 for an 800g loaf.

Herbert admitted it was expensive, but said consumers would really notice the difference.

The Cirencester-based bakery sells around 100 Shepherds Loaves a week, with fans including celebrities such as Liz Hurley and Damien Hirst.

* The previous most expensive loaf was thought to be by French baker Poilane, which has a bakery in London Victoria. Its Country Loaf weighs 1.9Kg and costs £4.40 per kg (£8.36). In December 2008 The Telegraph ran a story which claimed the most expensive loaf in Britain was a Roquefort and Almond sourdough made by Paul Hollywood, which was on sale in Harrods for £15.