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Wednesday
Jan042012

Convenience, from scratch

Yes, this hip trick might sound like an oxymoron, but hear me out. Even for a seasoned, weekly baker, pulling out all the ingredients involved in from-scratch baking can be a deterrent. Admittedly, some weeks we’ve gone without bread because I’m too lazy to pull out all the stuff.

For any regular projects with more than 3 dry ingredients, try preparing make-ahead bags. I do this for our gluten-free oatmeal millet bread, a weekly-made loaf, so all I have to do is whip up the eggs, molasses, cider vinegar and butter whenever I bake. On the occasion pictured above, I combined and stashed the dry ingredients for 4 loaves of bread, 2 pie crusts, and 1 batch of muffins, a higher yield for the same amount of mess!

Words to the Wise: If pre-making muffins, pancakes or quick breads, I’d wait to add the leavener to the dry ingredients until just before you bake. Exposure to air and moisture (in some flours) can decrease the potency of baking soda and baking powder. Also, I stash my make-ahead bags in the fridge as an added precaution as some flours and meals can go rancid at room-temp.