Tuesday, November 3, 2015

4 Essential Recipes for the Food Storage Beginner: BREAD

One of the hardest things for people getting started with food storage is knowing how to use it.  I believe strongly in storing what you eat, and eating what you store.  For people who don't cook, this can be overwhelming.
Today I am sharing 4 of my basic, (and favorite) bread recipes for the food storage beginner.  Each of these are tried and true, and I use them time and time again.
If you are new to food storage, or you have it and just don't know what to make with it, these simple bread recipes are the perfect starting point for you.  There is definitely something here for everyone.

4 Essential Bread Recipes for the Food Storage Beginner:
Recipe #1: Crusty Bread {No Knead}

Every person in the world should have this recipe!  Not only is it just 4 ingredients, but it doesn't require any special equipment; no wheat grinder, bread maker, mixer, or even a bread pan.  Easily the best starting point for anyone who is intimidated or scared of making their own bread.  This recipe is basically fool proof!

Crusty Bread:
makes2 loaves
6 c. all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. dry yeast (or 1/3 c. natural)
3 c. water, room temperature

In a large bowl mix flour, salt and yeast together (if using natural yeast, wait and add that with the water).
Pour water into bowl and mix with a spatula until well incorporated.

Lightly cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12-18 hours.
After dough has risen for 12-18 hours, it should be doubled in size, wet looking, and have lots of bubbles.
After dough has risen, put a cast iron pot or a regular pan, including the lid, in the oven while you preheat it to 450 degrees.  You will need to bake each loaf of bread in a separate pan, so you can either preheat two pans, or you can cook one loaf at a time in the same pan.
While preheating pan(s), heavily flour a work surface and your hands.  Gently dump your dough onto the floured surface.  Use your hands to roughly shape the dough into a ball.  Use a serrated knife to cut the ball in half.  Use your hands again to shape each half into a round, flat ball.
Remove hot pans from the oven and remove the lids.  Gently lift each ball of dough and lay it in the center of your pans.  You do not need cooking spray.  Place lids on the pans and return to the 450 degree oven.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.  After that, remove the lids and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Recipe #2: Pantry Secrets Bread

This was the very first bread recipe I ever used, and rightfully so.  It is basic, easy, and turns out great every time.  I actually posted a step by step tutorial on how to make this bread back in 2010, so feel free to follow that link for detailed instructions.
There are several reasons why I like this bread, but a major food storage benefit is the lack of oil.  This bread uses lecithin, which has a much longer shelf life than the oils usually called for in breads.
In addition, this bread recipe is easily customizable - it is a great go to for pizza crust, rolls or breadsticks, baked sandwiches or bread braids.  There is even a whole wheat version.  Basically any recipe that calls for a bread dough of any kind (particularly the prepackaged ones in the refrigerated section of the grocery store), this is a great substitute.  And the instant yeast makes this bread ready in under 10 minutes (of hands on time), which is a life saver!

Pantry Secrets Bread:
makes 2 loaves
5 c. Lehi Roller Mills Turkey Flour (or good quality all-purpose flour)
1/4. c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. salt
3 rounded 1/2 Tbsp. Saf-Instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp (quarter size dollops) liquid lecithin
2 c. HOT tap water

Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix to incorporate.  Add lecithin and water.  Mix for 6 minutes in a mixer with a kneading blade.  Lay out on a greased surface and knead to form a ball.  Cut dough in half.  Shape into 2 loaves, or 24 rolls/breadsticks.  Let raise for 25 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Recipe #3: Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I've gone through a lot of bread recipes.  They each have their place and purpose, but I haven't found a 'sandwich' bread that I love more than this one.  It doesn't dry out.  It holds it shape beautifully.  It freezes well.  And aside from it coming together start to finish in just over an hour, it tastes amazing.  It is also great as a half wheat / half white flour recipe.  You pretty much cant go wrong here.
It requires a few additional ingredients, but they make the bread what it is.  (**I have made it several times without wheat gluten (just sub the same amount called for with flour), and the lemon juice, and it works great if you plan to eat it in a day or two.)  But all in all, this is the current weekly bread recipe that I make.  The regular version is listed below, but I also have a natural yeast version you can view here.  

Honey Whole Wheat Bread: makes 2 loaves 
3 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. vital wheat gluten
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. instant yeast
2 1/2 c. hot tap water
1 Tbsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. honey (or 1/2 c. sugar)
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or 3 c. all-purpose)

Combine wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, instant yeast and water until just mixed.  Let sit for 10 minutes to 'sponge'.  Add salt, oil, honey and lemon juice and mix well.  Add remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Mix or knead for 10 minutes.  Dump dough onto a greased surface, and form a ball.  Cut in half, and form each half into a loaf.  Place in two large greased loaf pans.  Let rise until double, about 25-30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Recipe #4: French Bread
The dried out store bought french bread pales in comparison to this chewy home made version.  The trick to the crusty exterior and soft interior is time; so this is not the best bet for something you need right away.  However, this recipe makes its way onto my dinner table for soups and stews, spaghetti, french bread pizza, and basically anything else.  It goes with everything, and I always get lots of compliments and recipe requests.
It is the one I turn to when I make individual hoagie buns (as pictured here), sandwich rolls, crescent rolls, and is a definite crowd pleaser for the holidays and big events.  I've never met anyone who doesn't love this bread.
Better yet, it is comprised of basic ingredients contained in most anybody's pantry.  It is simply the method of preparation that makes it different. 

French Bread:

makes 2 loaves

7 c. flour
2 Tbsp. instant yeast
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 1/2 c. hot tap water
1/3 c. oil
1 egg, beaten (for coating loaves)
cornmeal (for dusting cookie sheets)

Put flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bow; stir to combine.
Add the oil and the hot water.
Mix with a kneading blade until a soft dough forms (6 minutes for white flour, 10 for wheat).  leave dough in the mixer.  Every 5 minutes, turn on the mixer and let it run for a few seconds.  Do this every 5 minutes for 25 minutes.
Divide dough in half and form into two elongated loaves (or 24 rolls, 12 hoagie buns, whatever you want to make).  Place on greased cookie sheets dusted with cornmeal.
Slash tops in deeply on a diagonal with a knife, as pictured above.  Using a pastry brush, coat each loaf with the beaten egg, applying multiple layers in needed.  Let loaves rise for 25 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Whether you are a seasoned baker, or a novice just starting out, I guarantee you will love these recipes!  Having food storage is a great step, but knowing how to use it opens your options exponentially.  branch out from the store bought bread varieties and try some fresh from scratch home made bread.  It's delicious, cost effective, fun, and cannot be beaten taste wise!
If you are looking for a little something extra, feel free to check out all of my bread recipes here.

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