Coronavirus: Why is there a flour shortage in the UK?

Last updated at 16:32
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Have you been cooking up a storm in the kitchen while in lockdown? Perhaps you've baked some delicious bread, cakes or biscuits?

Well, you're not the only one. Flour - a key baking ingredient - has been flying off the shelves as more and more of us are getting into the home-baking trend.

This has led to shortages of flour on supermarket shelves and some people are now sourcing flour from local bakeries instead.

The National Association of British and Irish Millers (Nabim) says the industry is "working round the clock", milling flour 24 hours a day, seven days a week to double their flour production - but is still struggling to meet demand.

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Alex Waugh, director general of Nabim, says the issue isn't being able to make enough flour - but the lack of capacity to pack it into small bags for supermarkets.

Only around 4% of UK flour is sold through shops and supermarkets. The rest is produced in bulk and delivered to bakeries or other food manufacturers.

The flour industry is considering the possibility of shops selling larger bags - as it is better equipped to produce in bulk.

However, Mr Waugh says that could be some way off and for now it's just a question of waiting for demand to reduce enough for stock levels to be rebuilt.

Have you been baking at home? If so, please send in a picture of your creations. Whether it's a stunning showstopper or even a scone with a soggy-bottom, we want to know about it!

You can send your bake photos and videos to us using the links below:

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A parent can also help you upload your videos and pictures here.

How to bake without yeast or flour

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If you aren't able to get your hands on any flour, don't worry!

There are plenty of yummy recipes to get stuck into which don't rely on flour.

Why not try baking soda bread, no-yeast pizza dough, naan breads, potato scones, or dumplings?

How to make your own self-raising flour

If you have plain flour but no self-raising flour, you can make your own by adding two teaspoons of baking powder to every 150 grams of plain flour.

Sift it through to ensure the baking powder is evenly distributed. Store in an air-tight container.

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