ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – The stay at home time during this pandemic has resulted in a boost in the number of people baking over the past couple of months, so much so, that some baking basics has become harder to find.
When the World Health Organization first declared Covid-19 Coronavirus a pandemic, toilet paper wasn’t the only thing disappearing from store shelves.
“I guess people are like, ‘OK, well I’m gonna make my own bread because can’t find it on the shelf,'” said Amanda Greiwe, who has turned to home baking during the pandemic.
But baking bread is something Greiwe didn’t exactly nail on her first try.
“I failed miserably,” she said.
She describes one early effort as being, "flat like a hockey puck.”
A bread bust . . .
But with a little bit of butter, it was still edible.
The Orange County mom has been baking more especially since she has more time at home. Greiwe says before the stay at home orders she was busy seeing clients as a part of her training to become a certified therapist.
“You have to be home all day when you’re baking bread. And normally people aren’t home all day," she said. "So why not try something new?”
Many people have been baking bread and posting pictures of it to social media; from no-knead bread to beautiful banana bread.
As a result, bread baking basics are in high demand and have become harder to find. King Arthur flour says it shipped out three times the flour in March of this year compared to last year. Yeast sales are also on the rise.
Market research firm Neilsen says yeast sales increased 410% during the four-week period ending April 11, compared to the same time period last year.
But yeast is no problem for Greiwe. She happened to buy a huge bag of yeast before the pandemic hit. She’s even been sharing some in baggies with bakers in need.
“I kind of feel like I’m a yeast dealer,” she said with a laugh.
But she’s happy to share. The future therapist says baking is not only delicious it can also offer some things lacking in our lives under this new normal.
She says posting pictures of bread creations creates a sense of community.
“You have other people that are commenting on your post. They are maybe encouraging you. You are swapping recipes,” she said.
She says baking can also help you focus on things you can control right now, such as what to bake and what to eat. And she says baking can help you feel good.
Currently, she's working on perfecting sourdough. Her next challenge after that will be croissants.