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Can’t find flour? This Highland Park bakery now offers bags and bread starter kits.

Mr Homles, Mr Holmes Bakehouse, bread, starter kit
Photograph: Courtesy Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

Who knew that in a time of crisis our country would turn to bread?

As Americans seek refuge in home baking and online tutorials for making the pillowy carb, bags of all-purpose flour—and packaged yeast starters—have begun disappearing from grocery shelves. In Highland Park, at least, we now know one place you can still find the means to make bread.

The San Francisco-founded Mr. Holmes Bakehouse just launched a new item in its online store, and if you’re on the Eastside, you can pick it up in person: The Highland Park outpost just off Figueroa now sells bread kits, complete with a loaf mix and instructions on how to keep your starter alive so you can enjoy unlimited fresh bread for who knows how long we’ll all be in quarantine. 

If you’re social distancing in another part of L.A., the bakery also offers delivery through most apps, and if you’re even farther, it’s shipping kits to 15 states around the country. But if you’re on the Eastside, stopping by might be worth your while: Owner Aaron Caddel recently flipped the location to a corner store featuring, yes, bags of flour, plus other home staples such as toilet paper, eggs, sugar, milk, jam kits and deli meat, as well as a pay-what-you-can section of the shop, for those in the neighborhood who need it.

The process for the new kit, which costs $25, is simple: Start by washing your hands (come on—this should be second nature by now), then empty half of the starter into a large bowl. Add ice cold water (with optional oil) into the bowl and incorporate it into the starter, then add the bread mix and stir until it becomes a dough. Knead it by hand until it becomes a smooth ball, then place that ball into a bowl, cover it, and let it proof (sit) for around two hours. Roll it some more, let it proof for two hours more, then dust it with flour and bake it around half an hour, and then you’re good to go. 

In the coming week, look for even more DIY options from the bakery, including a cheese kit, a sausage kit, a pasta kit and a way to make your own mead.

Mr Holmes Bakehouse is located at 111 S Ave 59, with new store hours of 10am to 3pm daily; delivery is available 9am to 4pm daily.