Let’s Give Bread the Love It Deserves…
The anti-carb crusade of the last couple decades has given bread a bad name.
But that doesn’t stop 200 million Americans from eating at least one loaf a week. And with the holidays just around the corner, bread making is about to ramp up even more.
Bread takes center stage in our lives during the holiday season...but do you have a backup in place if supplies run low?
Let’s face it, we love the stuff…and why not? It’s filling and helps fuel our bodies with protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates (or at least whole-wheat bread does). And yes, it just so happens to be delicious, too.
…Even Though It Presents a Problem for Emergency Prep
It may last a few weeks in the freezer, but bread goes bad much more quickly than other items in an emergency food supply.
But bread and its ingredients are tricky to store long term.
Fresh Bread Doesn’t Last – Preserving prepared bread for more than a few weeks isn’t really an option unless you want to store hardtack, which is more of a flat, dry biscuit.
Some Ingredients Don’t Last Either – The ingredients for bread are hit and miss when it comes to shelf life (all listed below, aside from water).
- Sugar (Properly preserved) – 30 years
- Salt (Properly preserved) – 30 years
- Flour (Properly preserved) – 25 years
- Oil – About two years
- Yeast – About two years
As you can see, properly preserved sugar, salt, and flour last just about forever. Oil and yeast, on the other hand, do not.
Today we’re going to help you with that.
If you find yourself with spoiled yeast or oil in an emergency—or if the grocery store is in short supply—there are plenty of easy replacements you probably have lying around the house. Here are our favorites.
5 Yeast Replacements
Baking powder, baking soda, raw eggs, and raisin-based yeast water are all serviceable substitutes for baking yeast.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder is an especially good replacement if you’re making batter breads (the kind beaten with a mixer), pancakes, or pizza dough. Just add one teaspoon baking powder for every cup of flour. Add one and a quarter teaspoon for every cup of whole-wheat flour.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda will give you the same reactions as baking powder if it’s combined with acid. Some people like to use lemon juice and baking soda together, but for emergency preparation we recommend a mix of baking soda, powdered milk, and vinegar for a taste that’s closer to yeast-based bread.
- Beaten Eggs – If you have whole-egg powder in your emergency supply, then you’ve got a yeast replacement that will last 10 years on the shelf! Place the eggs in a bowl and beat them to fill the mixture with air. Add some club soda for a little more leavening power.
- Flour + Water + Raisins + Sugar – The caveat with this combination is that it takes a few days to make. Combine all the ingredients in a container like a mason jar and close the lid tightly. Shake well and set it in a warm area away from direct sunlight. When it’s complete, you’ll have a jar of wild yeast water. Click here for a more thorough walk-through of the process.
- Sourdough Starter – We’re putting this item last on the list because few of us have sourdough starter just sitting around the house…but if you do, it may be your easiest option, as it contains actual yeast. Best of all, some people report that it will last indefinitely in the fridge, making it a great food storage option! Use one cup of sourdough starter to replace two teaspoons of yeast.
5 Oil Replacements
Apple sauce (no sugar added), mashed banana, and melted butter all make delicious replacements for cooking oil.
- Butter – We start with our favorite oil replacement for one simple reason…it may actually make your bread taste better than oil does. Plus, with this butter powder, you’ve got an oil replacement that lasts 10 years.
- Applesauce – If you’re using applesauce, we recommend going with the unsweetened variety to get the taste closer to oil. The replacement ratio is one to one, so switching is very easy.
- Pureed Cauliflower – Of all the replacements we’ve listed so far, this will last you the longest…if you use this freeze-dried cauliflower, that is. Just rehydrate, puree, and it’s ready to go.
- Ripe, Mashed Banana – Some cooks tell you to go with a one-to-one substitution ratio when you replace oil with banana. But because of how dense and rich it is, we suggest a three-fourths replacement—for example, three quarter cups banana for each cup of oil. This will give your bread a slightly fruity flavor, and that’s not a bad thing.
- Mayonnaise – Like butter, we known people who prefer using mayonnaise in bread baking, instead of oil. It provides extra moisture and slightly creamy taste.
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