Flour Supplies in Lockdown and Soft Pretzels

Flour
If you're wondering where to buy flour, in lockdown, I have good news. I know where the flour supplies are. *Taps side of nose and winks*

I have also made pretzels, which counts as more good news because they are delicious, moreish, and adaptable: you can make them savoury or sweet. Would you like them sprinkled with seasalt, glazed with sugar and cinnamon, dipped in chocolate or...? Scroll along for the recipe. But not so fast!

Where To Buy Yeast In Lockdown

Yeast
It seems that yeast is not readily available in supermarkets. Yeast online tends to be in tiny portions at crazy prices, or weeks away, travelling from afar. What to do? In this post, I have some options for you: reasonably priced yeast, available stocks and supplied from within the UK*. Sound good?

Baking In Lockdown When You've Got No Yeast

yeast
Yeast! Where are you? Lots of people are emailing me about yeast, this week. It seems that yeast supplies are dwindling fast. I have a few ideas for baking without yeast, which I will share with you. And a (maybe?) helpful link for possible yeast purchasing, though who knows, with the vagaries of supply and demand.

*** Also see Where To Buy Yeast In Lockdown ***

For me, the problem is not yeast. I have a large bag of Fermipan Red on the go and one unopened, but I'm finding that it's pretty hard to bake bread without flour. Bread is impossible, in fact, without flour. I have planted some wheat in the back garden but so far it isn't doing much. I fear that decent, wholemeal bread is months away.

Baking With Pasta Flour - Easter Buns

Hot Cross Buns
Flour shortages meant that this year's Hot Cross Buns were made with pasta flour. This was a first for me. Never, in the ordinary course of things, would I choose organic durum wheat pasta flour, at three times the price of my usual flour. But, it was either that or gluten-free.

When I went to the shop, we had a little discussion; the shopkeeper, another customer and I, about whether pasta flour would be any good for white sauce, or baking in general. Upon studying the label (Protein: 12g per 100g) I decided that it seemed reasonably 'strong' and bought a couple of bags, to give it a go. Better than nothing, eh?

How To Bake An Amazing First Loaf

Homemade Loaf
My husband baked bread. This lovely loaf was made by him. And very delicious it was too. He's working from home (you know, The Virus) and, frankly, I think he was tired of my healthy wholemeal bread. So, upon finding a dearth of bread in the supermarket, he took matters into his own hands. The children were delighted to have white bread, of course, and it was gone within a few hours, but now that someone else has successfully baked, there's every chance it may happen again. Lovely to be baked for. Hint hint.

Bread Too Crumbly? 5 Little Secrets You Need To Know

Is your homemade bread too crumbly? You wanted a soft-textured, springy loaf and you got crumbs? It's a common problem. We can fix this.

When you've spent precious time and effort making bread, you really want it to be WOW! And yes, it's very frustrating when it turns out to be more like 'meh'. So, if your homemade bread is underwhelming, don't worry. You've come to the right place.

If your bread is tending to be drier and more crumbly than you would like, I have five 'secrets' of success for you.

Simple Sourdough Solution

Sourdough baking hack
Have you tried to make sourdough? Did you once have a sourdough starter, named and nurtured at the back of your fridge? What happened to him (or her)?

If the answer is, "Marvin the sourdough is alive and well, thanks. He makes delicious sourdough every time and I love him!" this post is not really for you.

If, on the other hand, your forays into sourdough have been less than Marvin-marvellous (sorry), I have a suggestion for you. It's a Cunning Plan, of sorts, that may or may not be cheating.