As we hunker down during this time of social distancing and staying home unless absolutely necessary to go out, we may find that we are running out of things that we commonly buy as needed. One of those items may be bread. In our previous life, we might have made a run to or a stop at the store to pick up a loaf or two. Maybe NOT today. There are ways to get bread ‘in a pinch’ with basic pantry ingredients at minimal cost—and no yeast needed as it might not be a staple in everyone’s pantry. Further, the recipes are so easy that the kids can get involved with the making, too.
Idea One–‘Magic’ Dinner Rolls or Biscuits. This recipe was shared by a friend. The ingredients needed include flour, baking powder, salt, milk and mayonnaise. Here’s the recipe:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients and spoon into a greased muffin pan. The recipe makes 5-6 rolls. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15 min or until golden brown. After you take the rolls out of oven, brush butter on top.
I experimented with this recipe a bit by adding some raisins and a small amount of cinnamon and sugar for a quick breakfast treat. One could also add a little cheese, herbs, and bacon bits for a savory flavor. If the latter is added, the biscuits should be eaten out of the oven rather than stored. I also plan to experiment with gluten-free flour.
Idea Two—Indian “No Fry” Fry Bread. I’ve had Indian Fry Bread in Arizona where it is usually deep fat fried. Since I don’t personally deep fat fry, I sought to find a recipe that could be baked. Indian Fry Bread is a very simple bread made with flour, baking powder, salt, and warm water resulting in a tortilla-style or flat bread. After trying several, I liked Indian “No Fry” Fry Bread published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I used my indoor electric grill to bake them. An outdoor grill could be used as well. I topped my fry bread with strips of meat, onion, pepper slices, black beans, and grated cheese to make a quick lunch but anything—savory or sweet–could be used. Further, they are very tasty and would make a great accompaniment to soup or salad. The directions that come with the recipe are excellent.
Idea Three—Tortillas. Homemade tortillas are nothing new for me as I’ve made them off and on for years. Ingredients are very similar to Indian Fry Bread with the addition of shortening. One thing that I learned from a very good YouTube video, How to Make Soft Flour Tortillas (recipe included in the video), was that kneading the dough for a longer time made the tortilla dough much easier to handle. Tortillas are best baked/prepared on a hot skillet or griddle; a cast iron skillet is best but definitely not necessary. The finished tortillas can be used in all of the same ways that one might use purchased tortillas but know that they do not keep as long. They are best used freshly made or within a day of making.
As I experimented with the recipes, I liked the suggestion of making balls before resting the dough as shown in the Flour Tortilla YouTube video for both the Indian Fry Bread and Tortillas. I also found that I could get thinner tortillas and fry bread if I let the rolled dough rest a few minutes after the first rolling and then rolled them a second time.
Do you have ideas for getting by ‘in a pinch’ when a staple just can’t be had? I’d love to hear from you.