Please note: This is part of a series of reviews we are doing on food storage, emergency prep, and self-reliance type books. For more reviews click here.
Bread in a Bag:
A Creative Way to Store Bread!
by Pam Emick
Background: We reviewed the book Dinner is in the Jar a couple of years ago … and when we were first approached by Pam Emick the author of Bread in a Bag we knew we would love her book too since it’s a similar concept. Rather than have to pull out all the individual ingredients for your bread every time you bake it, you simply stockpile the ingredients in the correct proportions all in one mylar bag or mason jar. GENIUS idea! She offered to give us a copy of her book to review and we were very happy to do so
What I Liked: Bread in a Bag is VERY thorough. It covers everything you will need to know, do, and buy if you want to use this storage method. There are a wide variety of different types of bread recipes in the book, and each one has detailed instructions on how exactly to store it, including if you need to put things in separate baggies for measurement purposes. There are also instructions for how to make the bread if you are using your “bag”, including what liquid or fresh ingredients you would need to add. Pam includes great labels for each recipe to make it SIMPLE when you pull out a bag or jar to bake your bread.
My Favorite Part: I love the recipes that are small enough to fit in a quart jar. I don’t keep mylar bags on hand so if I want to make this philosophy a big part of my storage I will need to get some materials for that. In the book it indicates recipes that can fit in a half-gallon mylar bag and those ones seem to work well in the jars too. I made the Hawaiian Bread (VERY delicious with the hint of lemon and the orange zest added in) and while I had everything out it was very easy to just measure the ingredients into a jar at the same time I was measuring them into my mixer. Then a few days later I had a FAST easy bread mix ready to go. LOVE!
Feedback: I think this is a great concept for making white breads, however I store more wheat than white flour due to the longer shelf life. We asked Pam about storing fresh ground whole wheat in the bags and she thought it wouldn’t be a problem. However, I would be concerned about the wheat going rancid unless I kept the whole bag/jar in the freezer. I think if you used commercially bought wheat flour you would be fine if you used it within the shelf life of that wheat. For me personally, if I’m going to do a jar for a recipe calling for wheat flour, I will just stick wheat kernels in baggies into the jars and then grind them up when I pull out the jar to make the recipe. This is still a very convenient way to do it and I won’t have to be concerned about my wheat flour going bad.
Summary: Bread in a Bag introduces a new way to think about your food storage and gives you all the tools you need to make these bread kits sooo easily. Her recipes look really great (I can’t wait to try the hamburger buns!). My plan is to go through the book trying a new recipe every few weeks and each time I do it just make a couple of jars or bags at the same time. Over a few months this should give me a GREAT supply of bread kits, ready-to-bake, and using foods already in my storage. If you are struggling with keeping up on making homemade bread consistently, or just want some new recipes to try out, I would definitely recommend Bread in a Bag