Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baking Day: Introduction


I'm going to use this blog to help me get motivated to do Baking Days again. Helps with accountability.  I've gone over the Freezing Cooking basics here already and how it helps me with preparing regular, homecooked meals and keeping our grocery budget to around $40/week. Freezer Cooking is only one part of this strategy, which also involves regular Baking Days as well as Menu Planning. I'll go over Menu Planning in another post.

What are Baking Days and Why?

I guess the name is pretty self explanatory, but on Baking Days I make large batches of homemade baked good to use throughout the month.

For months before I was pregnant I was baking pretty much everything from scratch...bread, bagels, rolls, pizza dough, english muffins, soft pretzels, pita bread, muffins, granola, granola bars, etc. and it was really fun, frugal, easy, satisfying, and everything tasted SO much better than store bought. It's so great knowing and controlling everything that's going into your baked goods..and scary when you realize how basic everything should be and all the junk added to everything in the stores.

By dedicating a few hours once or twice a month, I get the mess all over with at once and can store extras in the freezer to use in our meals. This saves a lot of both time and money and helps us stick to our $40/week grocery budget (I'll be honest, it's closer to $50/week now that I'm making homemade baby food..but still, it's pretty low compared to the national average I think!)

If you've never baked from scratch before, I'd highly recommend giving it a try, even just starting with one recipe. You can use a bread machine (which you can use to make just dough, like for bagels), the dough attachment hook for a KitchenAid mixer (my preferred method), or the old-fashion way kneading by hand (which I don't know how to do exactly. Would love to learn. I bet there are some good instructional videos on YouTube).

Here are the recipes I'm planning on making today or tomorrow (baby permitting!)

Whole Wheat Bread (x2) (that's optimistic, I'll settle for 1)   I'm still looking for the perfect wheat bread recipe. May experiment a little.

Homemade Bagels

Bread Machine Buttery Rolls

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls (not sure if I'll get to this..but I had a huge craving for cinnamon rolls this morning..I had to take some leftover cornbread (because we are out of regular bread) and put some butter and cinnamon and sugar on it....I swear, I have more weird cravings now than when I was pregnant)

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

This is overly ambitious, I realize. Oh well.. we'll see how it goes!
I'll share my results in another post when I'm done, with some more instructions and tips.

I challenge you to join me in making one baked good from scratch..even muffins count (which make great freezer breakfasts by the way!). I'd love to see your results.


Stephanie said...

mmmmm bread machine cinnamon rolls. Ever since I made those sticky buns at Christmas I've wanted to make them again. There is nothing better than cinnamon rolls (or sticky buns) scrambled eggs and a cup of coffee for Breakfast. I might need to make those for Valentines day or something....

Tiffany said...

Oooh...Valentine's Day cinnamon roll breakfast. Nice!

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