I don’t like wasting hard earned money on things I can make myself, especially on groceries.
I use breadcrumbs in many dishes, from meatloaf to chicken breading. Store bought is not only ridiculous in price it normally has additives.
I like using left over bread I’ve baked, but any stale (not molded) bread works fine.
I use my dehydrator to completely dry the bread after cutting it up into cubes. You can use an oven on the very lowest heat. You want to make sure there is absolutely no moisture left in any of the bread.
Next I toss the cubes into my ninja blender and pulse until the crumbs are the texture I prefer. You can also add in dried herbs or dehydrated onion, ramps and or garlic if you like for seasoning.
I keep one jar with an easy access Los for immediate use and other jars I will vac-seal to store in the pantry.
I hope you enjoyed this frugal tip for your kitchen.
Rarely will you walk into my kitchen and not see a quart (or gallon) mason jar tucked away on the dark part of the kitchen counter filled with sourdough starter. I use this starter for everything from breads, biscuits, pancakes pretty much anything bread based. Wheat and raw flours work much better than bleached white flour but you can use that too.
If you don’t know how to make your own sourdough starter: Here you go.
BASIC SOURDOUGH STARTER
In a mason jar (gallon or quart, nothing less), add in 1 tablespoon of plain real greek yogurt (this is your cultures), 1 cup of your flour (I like wheat), 1 cup of warm room temperature water. Stir but do not whip. Cover with a cheesecloth over the top, and screw on a mason jar ring. Tuck away in a nice warm dark spot on your counter. NOW Here is the important stuff EVERY DAY at the same time you MUST FEED your starter, kinda like a pet. It will die if you don’t. To feed it you add in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm (not hot, not cold) water. Stir do not Whip, put the cheesecloth and ring back on set aside. Do this for 7 days. You should see “bubbles” and it should expand a tad and have a nice ‘sour’ smell to it. It’s ready to use in your sourdough recipe of choice. If you have to let it go to sleep (aka not feed it for a few days) put it in the refrigerator where it will go to sleep. To wake it up, bring it out of the refrigerator and start feeding it again (you do not need to re add the yogurt).
Now onto the FLATBREAD.
But today, I thought I would share with you how to make flatbread. I love flatbread, it can be used as a soft sandwich shell, you can dip it in hummus or other dips, or use as a “slice” of bread with soup, stew or eggs. My favorite are whole wheat, and honestly from what I’ve seen in the stores around here, it’s expensive for all it is.
NOTE: Make your dough the night before, it needs to “rise” at least 8 hours to be perfect.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 7-8 flatbreads):
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of lard (yes, I use lard, you can use crisco or coconut oil if you prefer)
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups of sourdough starter
Fold all of your ingredients together.
Form into a large “ball” in a large greased bowl.
Cover with a “bread towel” and set in a warm place in your kitchen (not on direct heat) and leave it alone overnight (or 8 hours). Overnight is best.
The next morning, Punch your dough down and form a new ball and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so.
Take a mess of dough about the size of a small fist and form it into a ball.
Place on your rolling mat with a sprinkle of flour (as to not stick to your board or rolling pin) and roll out with your bread rolling pin until round and about 1/4 inch thick.
Carefully lift your dough and place it on a HOT skillet (a cast iron skillet greased is best). Cook for 30 seconds, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds, flip again, cook for another 30 seconds, and flip a final time and cook another 30 seconds.
Do steps 6 and 7 until all of the balls of dough are done.
They are great to eat immediately, or store them in a bread bag and eat throughout the week.
I have been asked for a basic homemade bread recipe, so here it is. This recipe is the very one I still use and was the one taught to me by my Grandma & my Mom. It also earned me blue ribbons during my 4-H years in Monroe County Ohio.
Basic White Bread – will make 2 loaves or 1 loaf & 1 dozen rolls.
6 cups sifted flour
1 to 2 cakes of compressed yeast
2 cups of milk, scald
2 levels teaspoons salt
6 level teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons of shortening
Crumble yeast cake, dissolve in a small amount of lukewarm milk.
Add rest of lukewarm milk, salt & sugar.
Mix well & add all of your flour.
When partially mixed, add melted shortening.
Mix well with your hands.
Keep the sides of your bowl clean.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board.
Knead dough until the dough is smooth, elastic & bubbly on surface.
Let stand in a warm place for 2-4 hours or until the dough is double in bulk.
Knead dough down, let stand 45 minutes.
Knead dough down again , let stand 15 minutes.
Divide dough for loaves.
Put in well greased Loaf pans.
Brush top with melted butter.
Allow to rise 1-2 hours until light & double in bulk.
Bake 400 degrees F (preheated hot oven) for the first 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake another 40 minutes until well browned & slightly shrunk in the pan.
Cool take out of loaf pans.
Keep in dry cool conditions or freeze for later. Homemade Bread does not contain the preservatives store bought does so it won’t last as long. But, let’s face it, homemade bread doesn’t need to!