- Publish Date
- Sunday, 5 April 2020, 12:18PM
With yeast disappearing off supermarket shelves up and down the country, many Kiwis are now turning to alternative baking recipes that don't require that precious ingredient.
Over the past few days, one recipe, in particular, got a lot of shares on social media as New Zealanders spent some of their lockdown time in the kitchen: Chelsea Winter's beer bread, which she has, very timely, renamed "lockdown loaf".
The bread recipe uses beer instead of yeast.
It's the perfect bread recipe for pandemic times but, in an ironic twist, there is one particular beer that doesn't seem to work for the recipe (and no one really knows why): Corona Beer.
"For a reason, I cannot understand, some people using Corona beer have produced a doughy, undercooked loaf. Go figure? In any case, don't get too fancy here," New Zealand's favourite cookbook author wrote on her website.
"Use the crappiest beer you have on hand – that awkward, long-forgotten bottle lurking forlornly the back of the fridge, probably leftover from some BYO you had 18 months ago, the one that could be expired and certainly no one will touch, not even your teenage son's half-cut mates. That's the beer you want."
A fresh loaf made from old beer - that's the pandemic recipe Kiwis want and need right now, judging by the popularity of the recipe.
The cookbook author told the Herald hundreds of thousands of people visited the recipe online over the last few days, "from all over the world, not just New Zealand".
"I'm just so stoked because I've always been about empowering people in the kitchen - that's why I write recipes in the first place and why people enjoy cooking them. And it just feels like there's never been as much need for that as right now, in a general sense it's a time where most people are feeling so completely disempowered," Winter said.
Winter is pleased so many people are taking advantage of the recipe to still make homemade bread even though they don't have any of the traditional ingredients for breadmaking in their house. She sees it as one of the ways people can show that the virus will not get them down.
"The fact that suddenly they can suddenly make their own bloody good bread using just a few ingredients, it's like 'hey, stick that in your pipe and smoke it, virus. We're okay, and you can't take our fresh bread away from us'," she said.
"I have received so many hundreds of photos of people's bread I haven't a hope of replying to them all, and usually I try to! But I absolutely love seeing them all.
"It's a very simple thing and you know, bread is the cornerstone of our diets - it's a feeling of comfort and home."
Winter says she will share "quite a few more recipes" over the lockdown period to ensure people can continue to create comfort food with what they have in the pantry.
These were recipes that were going to wait until the release of her new book next year but she feels the time is right to release them now.
"I know people need them now, so I won't make them wait. I'm so excited about it! The next one is going to be a doozy, keep an eye on Facebook and Insta for it."