discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 13 January 2014

this simple life ~ Part 2 The beautiful benefits of baking


It isn't any secret that cooking and baking from scratch will save you money and give you a new world of pleasure.  Making your own bread alone can save you $10 a week, then add to that making your own cakes, muffins, lunchbox snacks and you are probably up around $20 a week, if not more.  I know some of you out there will be thinking who has the time? Seriously, I challenge you to put aside 2 minutes at night to get your bread mixed, less than 5 minutes in the morning to get it in the oven, 20 minutes on the weekend to get a banana loaf or 2 while you are at it,  mixed and into bake and some cookies or muffins made and you are done.  Two trays of muffins (if they are 12 capacity) will give you a muffin a day for nearly a month.  Not only will your family love you for it, it will be healthier for them as they will be preservative and additive free.  There are many easy recipes on my blog, look under lunchbox dazzlers or sweet treats and go your hardest.  I promise you the recipes are so super easy and quick, you will never buy a $5 muffin again.  





Baking snacks for your child's lunchbox instead of buying pre-packaged ones, making one large slab of cake cut up into portions and frozen or a few dozen muffins or biscuits will surely save you money.  Not to mention, they are just as convenient in the freezer as they can be grabbed at a moments notice at the shops or supermarket and can be defrosted in time for snack/recess or lunchtime at work or school and act as a freezer brick to help keep other things cold in the lunch box.  

I bake bread every other day, something that is now a lovely ritual that never ceases to thrill me each time a gorgeous loaf comes out of the oven.  
I love that going from this 
to this
to this
becomes this
or this

or this! Just remarkable.
I really have fallen in love with baking.  The gentle act of measuring, mixing and then baking I'm finding addictive.  I think too, not working for money or a boss, baking provides me with an outcome of the day, a sense of completion and purpose that goes with paid work.  
Until my introduction to the simple life, I rarely baked sweet treats.  I never dreamed I'd be making breads or even pizza dough for that matter.  A voice in my head had convinced myself that I couldn't do it or it was too hard.  But that story wasn't true.  To this day since I took those first steps at getting out of my comfort zone, I've baked most days of the week and I've only had one failure.  My first step was bread.  Bread is one of those things that provides us with breakfast, lunch and dinner if we want it too.  
It is the cornerstone of our lives really isn't it.  It was the thing that got me started on this simple life (you can read more about that in Part 1 of this series here) as I'd wanted to try it but was stopped by fear of failure.  It seems silly now, who cares if we waste a bit of flour and water in the name of trying something new?   After many trials I've settled on the Laucke Multigrain 10kg bread mix.  It contains the yeast as well (with enough over to make my pizza bases too! as its right purpose is for bread machines and recipes that call for more yeast then I need for my recipe :)) to make around 10 loaves of my double batch or 20 loaves of the original  no knead bread recipe.  


I double this recipe now, as making a bigger loaf works better for hubbies beloved toasted sandwiches.  So its 6 cups of flour, 1/2 tspn of dry yeast and almost 4-5 cups of water. (the salt is already in the bread mix, I learnt that quickly :)) It works out to being $2.30 a loaf, so around a dollar for the single recipe which I think is a bargain for bread that has no preservatives  and is a pleasure to make.  I can tell you I genuinely smile every time I get that bread out of the oven and I must have made dozens and dozens by now.  At the risk of sounding like a preacher, it is so simple I feel a bit of a fraud when friends and family ooowww and ahhh over it.  I can make a white version using organic flour for less than $5 a loaf which isn't bad considering I've seen them fetch up to $8 or $10 in speciality stores. 
Baking is also a way of sneaking in some fruit to your blissfully unaware cherubs.  I micro-plane, blitz or chop apples, bananas, pears, frozen berries, rhubarb, oranges, lemons or whatever is in season into as many sweet goodies as I can.  I do try and buy organic as much as I can but, if I'm honest, its hard justifying spending big $$'s on a box of organic fruit that will only last a short amount of time as much as I'd love too.  I know the obvious benefits health wise but, but, but....if you are like us and on one income, you understand my dilemma.  What I try and do, is when I get my organic produce I make the most of it by eating some raw and baking cakes and muffins with some for the freezer...but its hard to go past a big bag of over ripe banana's for $2 at the fruitier that I can turn into a banana and chocolate loaf, muffins or smoothies to feed us in snacks for a week.  i just try and do my best, thats all I can do.



















Baking from scratch will provide not only a monetary winfall but also the aromas, sense of pride and satisfaction on feeding your family will linger as long as the smells from the oven.  They will be preservative and additive free and thats certainly a huge incentive to crank the oven up and get baking!
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It's also week 3 of our money challenge so get too and plonk you're $3 in the money bank.  I've added an extra $20 this week to it and marked it off one of the later weeks in the year.  It's not too late to start if you haven't already, you can read about it here.


Ciao, Jan.

5 comments :

  1. Another fab post, Janis. I have a 14yo sourdough starter that a friend set me up with a few years ago and have not stopped baking bread since. Like you, I thought i could never do it. But it is such a wonderful weekly ritual. Would you like me to create a starter for you?

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  2. Louise thats wonderful about the bread ritual & that's very kind of you, I'd love you too!! Could you book me in for a lesson too!!
    Jan x

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  3. Delicious looking baking, Jan. I bet your home is the place to be for morning tea. :- )

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  4. It looks much better with the adjusted widths. Easier to read too. :- )

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    Replies
    1. Rhonda thanks again for your help with widths :) Very much appreciated, Jan x

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