Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baking Day

Home baked goods have been a great way to have great food on a reasonable budget. I was raised eating homemade cookies verses Oreos and the only time we used a box mix was when Grandma sent one to us as a "special treat" (at least we kids thought they were fun, mom wasn't so sure they were a treat) for our birthdays. We didn't always eat homemade bread but we were well aware of how yummy it was straight out of the oven. Now in my own home I continue to make homemade things like we did at home growing up.

Some of the benefits of baking your own stuff is:
  • You can have far healthier food. This is of course up to you, just because you make it at home doesn't make it automatically wholesome. Some of the ways we try to make things healthier are: Use lots of whole grains, use less sugar and sometimes use only natural sweeteners. Reduce fats and use healthy (like butter) fats. Add extra nutrition in the form of pureed squash and other fruit and veggies.
  • It is fresh! When you make it yourself you can eat it warm from the oven or at least within days of it being made.
  • You can save a lot of money. Especially if you would try to buy healthy commercial alternatives. If you are willing to buy white bread, etc. the savings might not be that much but really there isn't any comparison.
  • You can have a fun bonding time with your kids.
  • And much more!

One thing I do differently today than was done in my home growing up and that is having a special baking day. Life is pretty busy around here and I don't have time available all the time to bake. It makes it easier for me to just do it all at once around once a week. Some weeks we do a lot and other weeks it might just be bread and one other item.

Other benefits of having a baking day is being able to fill the oven and use less electricity, also I like to be able to use measuring cups (keeping the dry one dry and always using the wet one for wet stuff), mixing bowls and cookie sheets the whole baking time without having to wash them in between.
You would be amazed at how much kids can do when it comes to baking. Even I was impressed this last time at how well Megan could handle rolling out, buttering and rolling up the rolls. (She wanted to do the cutting into triangle too, but wasn't so good at that!) When having kids help it pays to not be much of a perfectionist.

This was a heavy baking day because we were making 8 doz. rolls and some pies for a church supper, plus making extra things for a biking trip and cheesecake for Jonathan's birthday. The kids thought it quite fun to be making so much and decided we were running a bakery.

Because our kitchen isn't real large, our dining room table became the Roll creating place and also where we cooled off much of our stuff.
For this baking day I started at around 8 am mixing up pie crust first because it needed to be refrigerated and then proceeding to bread and rolls that needed to rise. I first turned on the oven at 9:30 am and everything was baked and the oven off at 1 pm. (We also ate 2 meals during the 8-1 time period). By 2 pm we had the kitchen cleaned and everybody went down for naps. It was a pretty successful day.

An international friend of mine who is a perfectionist baker (she does a great job!) had offered to come help us but I ended up declining. I am quite sure I would have horrified her by my haphazard efficiency. Baking some things at wrong temperatures and using a bowl several times would have drove her crazy.
Here is what we made that day:
  1. 8 dozen butterhorn rolls.
  2. 3 loaves of bread.
  3. I batch of cheesecake which we put some in muffin tins and one in a small pie pan. The muffin tins ones worked well to take on the bike trip.
  4. A pumpkin pie
  5. A mince pie
  6. A raspberry cheesecake pie (a new invention, but we liked it pretty well.)
  7. A big batch of blueberry muffins
  8. Granola bars (which I substituted raspberry jam in the place of marmalade and they turned out pink!)
  9. Flatbread

    Do you like to have baking days? What is your favorite thing to bake?

    Find more frugal ideas at Frugal Fridays at Life as MOM.


All in a Day said...

I've been wanting to make granola bars to see how they go over since the kids like the granola so much. I'll be heading to the mill soon to get some oatmeal.

Frugal Sara said...

Wow, you guys did great! Everything looks beautiful. I love having baking days and plan to do one here in the near future.

Martha said...

I don't do baking days but it looks like fun. I think it is really awesome a butterfly came to help you with the work!

Abbi said...

Thanks Y'all! We did have fun and it was nice to have a fairy come to help. The girls aren't butterflys anymore - they are fairies. :-)


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