//WIREDs Bread Making Tips & Supplies Guide: Yeast, Baking Accessories, and More

WIREDs Bread Making Tips & Supplies Guide: Yeast, Baking Accessories, and More

If flour is still scarce at your normal grocery store, try hitting up local bakeries, pizza shops, or other bread-baking restaurants. Many will sell you smaller quantities of flour from their own supply, but they can also be great tools to point you toward bigger suppliers, if you want to go in on a big bag with friends or family. If you have your own mill (or a friend with one), you can try local homebrew supply shops. They sell malted wheat, barley, and many other grains, as long as you can mill them at home—homebrew shops have mills, but theirs are designed to crack the grain, not pulverize it into flour.

You can also grab yeast at local bakeries, pizzerias, and homebrew supply stores (and even local breweries) if the grocery store is short on those. Be aware: There is a difference between quick-rise bread yeasts and sourdough; the two types of yeast can make similar bread styles, but they have different characteristics and flavors. General consensus among those I spoke to (and my shared personal opinion) is that sourdough can be tastier overall, but is a touch more work to make. Many people have sourdough starters around right now. A quick Facebook post or Instagram story may nab you some responses and fresh yeast to bake with.

If you don’t want to venture out to buy yeast, or you can’t find any, it’s actually very easy to make a sourdough starter. If you have a couple days, here’s my favorite sourdough guide.

Step 3: Time to Bake!

WIRED's Bread Making Tips  Supplies Guide Yeast Baking Accessories and More
Photograph: Alex Lau/Conde Nast/Getty Images 

Now that you’ve got the ingredients and tools, find a great recipe and get to baking.

The foody geniuses over at Bon Appétit put together this excellent list of bread recipes to get you started. From dinner rolls to whole wheat chapatis, there are tons of great options to pair with nearly any kind of food. Pick a recipe and go to town. Or, you may have family recipes collecting dust. Now’s a great time to get in touch with older members of your family and ask for them.

Baking is a fun activity to do with your kids. In a recent conversation with WIRED, Stephen Jones, who leads Washington State University’s Bread Lab, recommended a children’s book called also called Bread Lab. It’s a great way to get your kids interested into the science of baking.

Step 4: Bread Storage Tips

WIRED's Bread Making Tips  Supplies Guide Yeast Baking Accessories and More
Photograph: Lope Piamonte Jr/Getty Images