Bread Making Day: Meat Pie & Cinnamon Raisin Bread

29 Feb

The first step after bringing wheat home to store is learning what to do with it.  The second step (and possibly the more difficult one) is getting to work and using it.  So lets talk daily bread — probably the biggest place your wheat could go!

As far as taste, you’d pick homemade bread everyday if a magic fairy delivered it to your door and made you choose between it and a loaf of bread from the grocery store.  So…if you’re storing wheat but buying bread I’d bet it’s only because of how much time it takes.  Learning how to make the bread is easy.  Where it becomes overwhelming is in constantly adding “making bread” to your already crazy busy life.  Who has the time to do that??

I’ve discovered (atleast for me) the key is making an event of it once every 2-3-4 weeks and making enough all at once to keep in the freezer.   Today’s post is about what I do to turn out 11 – 15 loaves of bread plus dinner that night and breakfast for the next morning and still keep my sanity.  True, it makes a mad scientist mess of my kitchen for a few hours, but in the long run it saves me time and work.

So this is what a day in my life on a bread baking day looks like.  Sorry to disappoint, but you don’t get to see all the dirty dishes.  The dinner meal I make on bread day is a favorite of ours, Meat Pie (both a 3 month and long term meal), and cinnamon raisin bread is made for breakfast the next morning.  If you want to see the bread recipe itself and my step by step on “how-to-make-bread” you’ll want to read this post.

The Why of it… My Own Reasons 

For me, just like everyone else, the reality is that I don’t have time to make bread every day.  I just don’t.  At the same time I know that if I do have homemade bread in the house there are some big time benefits that make the work of it worth it.

At the top of the list is the fact that my family will choose to eat it over processed foods because it tastes great.  They prefer using it for toast in the morning to boxed cereal, the kids would rather have a sandwich made with it for lunch than have hot lunch at school and will then come home again from school only to choose it to go with their afternoon snack!  That kind of thing just doesn’t happen at our house with store bought bread.  Another thing,  (kind of a mom control issue here) is that since it’s something that’s eaten so frequently it makes me happy to have control over the ingredients in it.  I remember a loaf of bread I bought one time that sat on my counter for two whole weeks without ever molding(!)  I don’t even want to know the ingredients that went into that bread (some sort of plastic maybe?) but with homemade bread I don’t have to wonder.  Another reason I do it is because it keeps the staples in my food storage constantly rotated.

“Bake Big” so it’s available when you need it

You want to know how to keep yourself from being tempted to buy grocery store bread??  Keep enough homemade bread in the freezer so that it’s a no brainer.  Make it just as convenient to pull out of the freezer and use as buying it from the store and you’ll never buy grocery store bread again.  Some people freeze their dough to bake for later —  for me that doesn’t work because when life gets crazy {which seems to be 99% of the time} I have to remember to bake it and instead I’ll end up just going out and buying bread from the store.

Making the Bread:

On a big bread baking day I’ll make 3 or 4 batches of my favorite bread recipe.  * See the recipe, ingredients and”how to” by clicking here .  The only difference in the process I use here is that I’m baking the bread in my oven rather than my sun oven.  In baking it in my oven I do let it rise a second time in the baking pans, while in the sun oven I don’t, and it bakes at 350 for 35 minutes.

Other Ingredients:

Egg Wash (for bread)

either 1 egg  -or- 3 tsp whole egg powder to 6 tsp water (per 8 loaves)

Meat Pie (serves 8)

*In this post I made this as a 3 month meal since I had vegetables that needed to get used up.  It works easily also as a long term recipe.  In parenthesis you’ll see some suggestions of long term ingredients you can use.

1 layer of rolled out bread dough to top

1 TBS oil

4 potatoes, diced (or equivalent freeze dried or canned)

1 onion chopped (or 1/2 cup freeze dried onion flakes rehydrated)

2/3 cup flour

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 can beef broth

2 cans canned roast beef

4 carrots, chopped (or equivalent freeze dried or canned)

1 cup frozen green peas (or equivalent freeze dried or canned)

–taste toward the end for your own personal preference,  but I always add about 1 tsp. salt

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Sugar

Cinnamon

Raisins

Instructions:

To start I grind a whole #10 can of wheat using an electric grinder (my Vitamix blender).  Sometimes I’ll get this done the day before — it takes about 15 minutes.  I always sift the wheat through a colander before using it and try to have the vegetables chopped for the meat pie ahead of time (if I’m using fresh) or any rehydrating done ahead of time for freeze dried vegetables.

Next, I make my batches of bread dough, one by one, letting them rise two batches at a time. Grease all bread pans.  Once the dough has risen I set the oven to heat, form them into loaves, let them rise again and bake 4 loaves at a time.  Usually by the time I’ve just finished forming the last of the 8 loaves (each batch makes 4 loaves) the first batch of 4 loaves is ready to go into the oven.  Just before baking, brush loaves with an egg wash.  While those loaves bake the second batch is rising and I start making the next one or two batches of dough. After allowing the dough to rise for the first time with the second round of dough batches, reserve about a loaf and a half’s worth of dough for the meat pie dinner. Form remaining loaves of dough and while baking make the meat pie filling. Roll out the bread dough needed to top the meat pie and bake as directed.

Grinding and sifting the wheat…

Two batches of dough begin rising (first rise) …

2 batches, after rising, cut and divided into 8 equal portions for loaves

Brushing a loaf with egg wash made with powdered egg before baking

Just so you can compare these two finished loaves — the loaf closest to the camera had been washed with the powdered egg mixture egg wash while the one behind it had been washed with just plain egg.  Really the only difference is that the powdered egg’s wash doesn’t result in as much shine on the bread but it still allows it to brown nicely.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

(*I make 3-4 loaves of this favorite bread for breakfasts and snacks.  One loaf is always for the next day and the rest to freeze for later.)

After rolling out the dough, form into a loaf as usual and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon sugar and raisins.  Roll and form into a loaf just the same as with the other bread loaves and place into a bread pan.  After rising in the pan, brush with egg wash, sprinkle again with cinnamon sugar and bake.

Sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar and Raisins…

Roll and form into a loaf as usual…

After rising in the pan, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake.

Meat Pie Filling

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and potato and cook just until the onion is soft, not browned.  Add the flour and spices and combine.  Pour in beef broth and all broth from canned roast beef  and stir.  Add carrots, beef and peas.  Bring to a boil.  Transfer the mixture to baking dish(es) and place rolled bread dough over the top.  Cut slits in the dough to vent and brush with egg wash.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cook onion and potato in heated pan with oil until onion is soft.

Add flour and spices, stir well.  Add broth and mix together.  Add beef and remaining vegetables and bring to a boil.

Pour meat filling into baking dish(es)…

Using a pizza cutter, cut rolled out bread dough to fit dish size.

Lay dough on top of filling, turn the edges over (crimp if desired) and make venting slits.

Brush with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Ready to serve!

The End Result of 5 hours of work… 

In exchange for 5 hours in the kitchen (three batches of bread made here) I ended up with dinner made, breakfast for the next day ready, 7 large loaves of regular bread and 4 loaves (2 large sized and 2 small) of cinnamon raisin bread.

Plus my house smelled pretty good :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Notes:

  • To bag the bread with I buy bread bags.   You can find them either by asking your grocery store bakery or through a bakery supply store.  The grocery store bakery will sell them to me for between 5 and 10 cents a piece — so they’re not expensive at all.  They work better than gallon sized bags for the larger loaves.

In my book this recipe (Meat Pie) is used as a:

*Long Term Recipe

*3 month Recipe

2 Responses to “Bread Making Day: Meat Pie & Cinnamon Raisin Bread”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Where I store our food storage « My Food Storage Cookbook - January 24, 2013

    [...]  The numbers on the top are to help me rotate the flour, I go from container 1 to 2 to 3.  For all the bread I make I have no problem keeping this much flour rotated.  Also, I keep extra flour in the bedroom closet [...]

  2. Working food storage into the day to day menu plan « My Food Storage Cookbook - January 28, 2013

    [...]  I’m constantly using some of my biggest food storage mainstays (wheat, flour, yeast, honey) to make our day to day bread. [...]

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