Baking on the rise, so are yeast sales and sourdough starter

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The baking aisles at most supermarkets around the country are looking a little empty these days as Americans bake their way through the pandemic.

Yeast has been hard to find as people stock up, much like they do paper supplies.

"I've seen it on social media and people have reached out to me that they're not able to get yeast, so I've shared a lot of sourdough starter," said Shayna Telesmanic of Clovis.

Telesmanic is a Clovis mother of two and food enthusiast, who's making sourdough starter.

"Sourdough starter is a wild yeast. So you're actually fermenting flour by mixing it with water. Let it sit out on the counter. It takes about five days to make your own," Telesmanic said.

She started her own home experience in November before the shelter in place was issued.

She explained how we can make it in our own kitchen. "You just need 3/4 cup of flour, maybe add two tablespoons into that 1/2 cup of water, mix it vigorously so its all mixed together. Cover it, let it sit overnight and repeat the process the next day."
She recommends you put in a bigger container and bowl as you watch it grow.

"It's kind of like a little pet, I think about it. Mine has a little name. Her name is Mabel and you feed with just water and flour to keep it alive. when you're ready, you can use it to make dough, pizza, cinnamon rolls, waffles. It's essentially a leavening agent, the same as yeast is," Telesmanic said.

She has gotten her daughters involved and calls it a science experience.
Also she says the dough can be sticky, so clean your utensils afterward.

Overall, the experiment has taught them lessons about creating food. "It takes time and it takes love and focus," she said.
A gift that Telesmanic hopes to keep giving by sharing her own starter or teaching others online.

So whether you use yeast or sourdough starter, many say its an effort that will help you enjoy the simple and tasty things in life.

She shared a recipe for chewy Italian bread here.
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