Bread Baking's New Boom

As people stay indoors, more and more are turning to baking bread

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A quick look through Instagram or Facebook might make it look like everyone who can has started baking bread. It's led to a shortage of flour and even yeast at many grocery stores. But why are so many people turning to baking?

"If anyone's grandparents made bread, we definitely remember that time fondly," said chef and bread baker Kathleen Allenbach. "It's the joy of making your own bread, nurturing your family. Watching your bread come out of the oven, there's nothing like it."

Even people who haven't made bread before are giving it a shot. Google searches for bread recipes have skyrocketed.

"It's resulted in an unprecedented demand situation' for flour and other home-baking ingredients," the North American Miller's Association vice president told NBC News. "But (empty shelves) are the result of increased demand, not a lack of supply."

Allenbach has been teaching people how to make bread by phone, instead of her usual in-person classes. She says bread baking is a great activity for kids.

"They're learning science, they're learning math," said Allenbach. "They're learning to measure and to watch with their eyes when the bread comes out of the oven, there's just no joy that great."

Photos: Bread Baking’s New Boom

If you are having trouble finding yeast in a store, Allenbach suggests trying to make sourdough.

"Just get on YouTube and find an instructor that makes it clear," said Allenbach. "The health benefits of sourdough far exceed the health benefits of (regular) bread."

Several bakers have told NBC News that they have even experimented with using a sourdough starter as a substitute for yeast. You can find many recipes for a starter online, but making ones means creating a culture of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast. It then has to be mixed (or "fed") daily for nearly a week. It can be made with almost any type of flour.

For more information on Kathleen and her bread school, click here:

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