Homemade Verses Store Bought
When we began a journey on a fixed income we started making our own bread, pizza, calzones, rolls, bbq beef ( from a roast), and so much more. So I needed to justify buying all these large quanties of flour and such. ( at least in my mind as it seemed like so much money all at once)
With the price of gas soaring the cost of basics like flour, milk, oil and eggs have increased. So is there a balance? Is is cheaper or just a lot of fun!
Here is what I learned so far:
Bread: A loaf of bread ( not cheap white but good white ) cost $2.89 a loaf here. I can make almost 6 loaves from scratch for that price. Here is our favorite recipe. It is ours alone as we kept tweeking and playing with it till we found what we liked.
3 Teaspoons a yeast
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup oil ( olive is best)
1/4 cup butter
6 Tablespoons Sugar
Mix above ingredients in small glass bowl ( metal reacts with the yeast incorrectly)
Beat three eggs add to your mixing bowl or if doing by hand on your board. When water cools enough not to par cook the eggs add to eggs. Begin adding flour and mixing untill mixture pulls aways from sides of bowl. Then knead for ten minutes.
Put in oiled bowl and cover with towel. Place in a warm dry place to rise. Should at least double in size.
Punch down and knead lightly. Form loaves and place in oiled/floured pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Makes three large loaves. Or two loaves and a large pizza for lunch! Works for rolls too.
Making bread does not take alot of time once you are set up for it. We start ours before breakfast and it is done before lunch.
Pizza! We love our homemade far more than store or establisment. A pizza with all the fixings is about 2.00 to make. It depends on the fixings! Here is a great site: http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/pizzapage.htm#cost
Our favorite store bought roll is 3.27 for a bag of 8. So we embarked on how to make our own. This took a while to figure out the size of the roll. Hubby finally went to the hardware store in search of a cutter. ( we women would have just used a large glass!) He found a plastic drain cover in the plumbing department that works just dandy! ( we ran it through the dishwasher first)
We recently had a bbq and the buns were a hit!
BBQ Beef: Here is the south ( okay we are at the top of what is in the south but in the south non the less) folks take BBQ anything very seriously. We do pulled pork in the crock pot and love it. Recently we bought a chunk of tough meat very cheaply. Its just too hot to do a roast. So we trimmed it of all fat. Ran it through our food processer ( by chunks). We steam the meat till browned. Then run it through the processer one more time. ( yes it is messy). Steam some more. You will be amazed at how much liquid comes out of this meat! Season to your liking. We divide the meat into: BBQ and Plain. The plain goes for philly style sandwices or sloppy joe meat mix. ( add onion and chunky sauce). The BBQ is easy. Add your favorite sauce and let bake for an hour. The BBQ is always such a big hit with company. They always ask where we got it. We typically get three meals out of a roast this way.
Homemade Biscuit Mix
10 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
2 cups shortening that does not require refrigeration
In large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. With pastry blender cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Store in covered airtight container up to six weeks at room temperature. To use, spoon mix lightly into measuring cup; level off with a straight edged spatula. (For longer storage, place in a sealed freezer container and store in the freezer for up to six months. To use, allow mix to come to room temperature.) Makes 12 1/2 cups.
Biscuits: Place 2 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix in a bowl; make a well in center. Add 1/2 cup milk. Stir with fork just till dough follows fork around bowl. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 to 12 strokes. Roll or pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough with floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Bake on baking sheet in 450 degree oven 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 10.
Muffins: Combine 3 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix 1 beaten egg and 1 cup milk; add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir till moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till golden. Makes 12 muffins.
Pancakes: Place 2 cups Homemade Biscuit Mix in a bowl. Add 2 beaten eggs and 1 cup milk all at once to biscuit mix, stirring till blended but still slightly lumpy. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle. Cook till golden brown, turning to cook other side. Makes 10.
Here is a site on how to calculate the cost of making bread:
http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/c0769/c0769.pdf ( good for homeschool home ec and math)
Here is a site that shares on the ABCs of storing Bulk Flour.
Go here to see a mini unit we did on yeast: http://sierradreamersci.blogspot.com/ ( scroll down a bit)
All in all we enjoy the homemade product so much more than the store bought item. So even if it does cost a bit more from time to time it is well worth it as it is all eaten! We to date have found that homemade is cheaper, requires a bit of planning ahead and more time in the kitchen. We have come to love pizza night as we all gather around to make our own personal pizzas. Nothing makes a home smell better than fresh baked bread!
Visit Mary at http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Canadagirl/ to see more tightwad tuesdays entrys.