By Rick Nelson
MINNEAPOLIS (Star Tribune) — Would-be bread bakers, you’re not mistaken. The spike in demand for flour and yeast that you’re witnessing in supermarkets is real.
“At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, people worried about staying at home, and so they stocked up, a lot,” said Mike Oase, chief operating officer of Kowalski’s Markets, which has 11 Twin Cities locations. “People bought everything in sight. It was bigger than a Christmas week.”
Oase said that flour supply lines are returning to normal. “And yeast will be back in stock in the next few weeks,” he said.
The phenomenon of empty baking-aisle shelves did not go unnoticed at America’s Test Kitchen, the Boston-based publisher of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines.
The difficulty of finding yeast at the supermarket came up during an online staff meeting. That’s when senior editor Andrew Janjigian — known to his fellow staffers as “the Bread Guy” and/or “the Bread Whisperer” — offered a solution.