KJ's Kitchen,  Life Day By Day

The Power of Flour

More people during the coronavirus lockdown have discovered the power of flour. There is so much you can do with flour. Now that people are spending more time at home they are experimenting in the kitchen and making their own bread, cakes, pasta, or pizza.

If you have young children you can also use flour to make play dough. I made it for my son when he was young (he is now in his 40s)! The tactile experience of play dough is good for children. It enhances their fine motor skills, is very calming and develops their creative skills. It is an activity that grandparents could do with grandchildren, but not right now, given we are living with the coronavirus. Nonetheless, grandparents could make up different coloured playdough and send it to their grandchildren in the mail or put it in their letterbox – a lovely surprise from grandma or grandpa. However, firstly you will need to search around for flour, unless you were one of those people who did a little stockpiling due to the coronavirus lockdown. Here is a great play dough recipe from Allyson the domestic superhero.

We enjoyed these loaves of Ciabatta bread.

Prior to the coronavirus rush on flour, I bought my usual 5kg of flour. I make my own bread, pizza and occasionally, bread rolls. At our place we are not big cake eaters. If I make a healthy date loaf or banana bread then it has to be sliced and frozen. A few weeks ago, when grocery shopping I got the Fomo (fear of missing out) fever and began looking for flour. All I could find was a 1kg bag. With flour and pasta in demand has anyone else, beside me, noticed that the price of these staples has increased? But with my Fomo fever I did not care how much I paid for flour as I later searched online, including Laucke a well-known Australian flour producer. However, at present due to unprecedented demand for flour Laucke have closed their online store. Other online suppliers are only selling small quantities of flour.

When I lived in Maleny I always bought Kialla Flour from the Maleny Street Co-operative shop. After moving to Toowoomba, I found a store that sold Kialla Flour, but after they closed down I bought another product from the supermarket. However, now with my Fomo at fever pitch, after no success online, I went to a health food shop in Toowoomba. And there is was my 5kg bag of Kialla organic flour. Now I can relax for a while as the situation settles and the supply chain of flour gets back to normal – I hope! If you are kneading to relax, then you should bake at home. There is power in flour as baking is good for our mental health.

I bought my first bread maker over 20 years ago. It has always been my habit to bake, slice and freeze my home cooked bread. Early on, when bread makers became popular, I was told by a few people that they stopped making their own bread as they ate too much. Yes, home baked bread tastes exceptionally good. Perhaps it was also the sweet aroma of the bread baking that caused the over-eating? The smell is so good. Apart from the great smell of baking bread at home, it is satisfying and more nutritious. These days I still like to use my bread maker, but I also like to bake bread in the oven. This weekend I want to try a new loaf, the ancient grain bread with spelt and rye flour.

The joy of bread making is in the eating!

Next week I will post a photo of my loaf of ancient grain bread. Flour does have a shelf life and I am hoping my rye flour will still be okay given it is older than 12 months.

I am looking after my mental health. I am working away in the kitchen and baking bread. It is something I knead to do! If you want to discover the power of flour – you too can get in the kitchen and get baking!

Note: The majority of wheat grown in Australia is sold overseas. Western Australia produces around 50% of Australia’s total wheat production. But not all of it stays in Australia. More than 95% is exported to Asia and the Middle East.

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