Baking using Stored Foods
This is what I do for storing ingredients for baking. First I buy a bag of wheat and preserve it in gallon size containers. This will provide you with top rate whole wheat flour. You will also want to store soft white wheat if you want some good pastry flour (it is still whole wheat, just a different variety of wheat). You already have a wheat grinder of course, right? That comes right after a cook stove in my opinion. There is an old saying that calls bread the “staff of life” because it is a very basic food that supports life. You can find some form of bread in virtually every society.
Before the end of the 19th century, most bread was made at home or in very small local bakeries. When factories started making bread around WWII, a whiter flour was introduced that very successfully took out all the vitamins and minerals from the flour to the point that the US government required them to be replaced artificially beginning the era of the enriched white bread.
It is not hard to use whole wheat to make baked goods. You can make a wonderful artesian bread for much less than you can buy it and you don’t even have to replace vitamins. If your family is only used to white bread, start by making bread white and slowly adding more and more whole wheat flour.
You can easily store sugar for your baked goods and it is not likely to go bad unless it has been contaminated. If exposed to humidity, it can become a hard lump but that can also be dealt with by breaking it up. Honey, molasses and other syrups can also be easily stored. Powdered eggs work great in baked goods and I would suggest storing them as well. Lots of dried milk, too. Do you have salt and soda stored? Look for these in large quantities where pool supplies are sold.
Spices can be bought in quantity or in smaller packs. I normally purchase spices from a mexican distributor that often sells them in small bags at the grocery store. You can buy whole spice like cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, and nutmeg to process yourself for a better price. Cocoa stores well.
One place you may have problems is in storing baking powder. I noticed that the muffin mixes, cake and other such mixes we had bought from emergency provision providers got a bitter taste after storing for more than 5 years. I figured out that it was from the baking powder aging. It no doubt, was still viable nutritionally but didn’t have as good a taste. Some think it is because of the aluminum used in some baking powder. I have a plan!
The reason one uses baking soda in some baked recipes and baking powder in others is the acid factor. If a recipe has acidic ingredients like sour cream or lemon, baking soda will bring about leavening. If the recipe doesn’t have acidic properties, you need to use baking powder. So what is baking powder?
For one teaspoon baking powder = mix 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
The above is not a double acting leavening agent so get the baked good into the oven asap. Cream of tartar has an indefinite shelf life and so that is what I now store. I do not store baking mixes any longer because it is no problem to add the ingredients, for me. I make an exception for cake mixes for birthdays.
The other difficult to store item is yeast. Keeping a sour dough answers that problem. Fats, I use butter while I can and lard. YIKES! (Did she really say lard?) Fat is fat. Google it and make your own decision. It stores well for a year or two and is far superior in many ways to other options. It is also an easy start to making soap.
I think that we need to sort all of this out now while we still can easily obtain supplies. Learn to cook with the food in your storage and have several alternative cooking/baking sources. Put together a cookbook (hard copy) that uses these foods. Now is the time to adapt, not when you are having to live in survival mode. In fact, make as many sustainable changes as you possibly can to your style of living right now. That way you won’t be subjected to so much change, and not be such a hardship. Think about what you can obtain easily yourself without processing from a plant somewhere. Those other things, may not be available without the trucking, freight or other transportation means later on. Regardless, gas promises to continue to go up in price and take the price of food along with it.
We would love to hear your plans for baking and alternates, substitutions for ingredients or means of baking. Will you be able to cook with wood or other renewable resources?
This article written by Sandra Bockhorst originally published on American Preppers Network