Due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, I wasn’t going out for errands as usual. When we ordered groceries for delivery in March-April 2020, bread was being limited per customer.
In order to adapt, we decided to stock up on flour and I learned to make different styles of bread for different purposes. Biscuits for weekend breakfast, flatbread for Friday night pizza, brioche buns for weekday sandwiches and brats.
BISCUITS: I tried a few different recipes; they ran the gamut from terrible to just okay. I really wanted thick ones that rise. Then I tried these, and they turned out wonderful. The recipe is called Fluffy Cathead Biscuits at A Spicy Perspective.
The recipe asks for buttermilk; I didn’t have it on hand, but I did have evaporated milk and added in cream of tartar powder as suggested here. Rather than mix cream of tartar into evaporated milk, the cream of tartar is added to the dry ingredients, then the evaporated milk is added last. This dough is made during the week, split in half, put in gallon size freezer bags, and chilled in the freezer until needed for the weekend.
FLATBREAD: This recipe at Midwest Foodie has worked out well. I added a bit of olive oil to the half sheets pans with crushed cornmeal and any dough sticking to the pan totally stopped.
BUNS FOR HAMBURGERS & BRATS: This brioche recipe at House of Nash Eats took awhile to get right. I let them rise for 2 hours the first time and 45 on the second rise.
I don’t tightly wrap the rolls with greased cellophane on the second rise; they expanded but appeared squished when I did this. Instead the cellophane is loosely placed on top, then a kitchen towel is placed over that. Once it is time to bake them, I spray the risen rolls with cooking spray in lieu of brushing them with egg wash or milk. I found using my silicone brush tugged at the dough, and using runny wash could burn on the pan, or run under the bread and burn. The spray allows them to brown just a little. They are allowed to cool. They are frozen until they are used, and they brown a little more as they are warmed.
TOAST: We got a bread mix, you can use 12 ounces of soda pop in it. The side of the box indicates you can add eggs to make the bread more dense, like sandwich bread. I’ve also picked up Hodgson Mills bread mixes in the past and they are pretty easy to use as well. The box may say use with breadmaker/bread machine, but you don’t have to have one to use the mix. You do need a 8.5″-9″ loaf pan, or 2-4 smaller loaf pans depending on your preference.
Ingredients I’ve adapted to, when needed:
BUTTER POWDER: This works well in baked goods. If using it for a spread, add in extra virgin olive oil to help the flavor, then chill it.
EGG POWDER: Egg powder works well in baked goods. If they were needed for breakfast omelet or scrambled eggs, I suggest salsa, pico de gallo, or your preferred strong flavored condiment to conceal their bitter flavor.
INSTANT YEAST: This stuff is great. We refrigerate it. Back in the 80s and 90s we had active dry packets in the cabinet and they only seemed to work half the time, so baking anything with yeast was something I absolutely dreaded. I just didn’t expect it to work at all. So now it’s a nice surprise every time this works.
Oil Spray bottles: I have two spritzing bottles, one for grapeseed oil and one for olive oil. These are great for spraying frozen fries with grapeseed oil before putting them in the air fryer, lightly greasing a sauté pan, or adding olive oil to butter powder.