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Research report
7 May 2020

Yeast to rise again on shop shelves

Home bakers can breathe easier: an end to the lockdown-yeast shortage is in sight.

If you’ve been lamenting the shortage of yeast on supermarket shelves, there’s hope on the horizon.

Yeast products flew out the door as home bakers stocked up for the lockdown and manufacturers were caught short.

Goodman Fielder, the company behind Edmonds, said the timetable for making ingredients such as yeast and baking powder is scheduled months in advance. So, when supplies are suddenly depleted, it’s not a simple matter of just making more.

Fresh supplies are now on the way to stores. A new consignment of its Edmonds Active and Surebake yeast was manufactured on 1 May.

Tasti also confirmed it’s increased its yeast production, though yeast was selling faster than stores can order and restock.

However, you might need to wait to top up your baking powder supply. Goodman Fielder said it has no manufacturing dates for baking powder yet, so there will continue to be a shortage.

Flour supplies were hit hard at the start of lockdown but this has started to even out. In most stores you can now buy flour – although you might need to stump up for a five or 10kg bag.

Food swaps

If you’re desperate to get baking, try these swaps.

Yeast: you can replace yeast with a combination of half baking soda and half acid. Acids that replicate the leavening action of yeast include lemon juice, buttermilk, milk and vinegar mixed in a one-to-one ratio, and cream of tartar. You can also replace yeast with an equal quantity of baking powder (if you can find any).

Another option is making a beer bread, such as Chelsea Winter’s Lockdown Loaf (everyone can eat it as the alcohol evaporates in the oven). Bread made with beer won’t be light and fluffy like a regular loaf.

Baking powder: to make the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder, mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with ½ teaspoon cream of tartar.

Flour: try rice flour, coconut flour or chickpea flour. Almond meal and oat flour are also good substitutes. You can make both by blitzing whole almonds or oats in a food processor until fine.

To DIY a self-raising option, add two teaspoons of baking powder for each cup of flour and sift together to make sure it’s well distributed. It’s also fine to use self-raising in place of regular flour. Just leave out raising agents such as baking powder or baking soda in the recipe.

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