Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Weekly Baking Day

The last time I shared about a baking day, a reader (I wish I remember who)  shared that she had made baking day a weekly part of her routine. I loved the idea and ever since then, I've had a baking day each week. Some weeks I simply bake bread. Another week I may made granola and three kinds of cookies. But having a deliberate time each week set aside to bake has been a blessing.


I'm not sure why I had not thought of doing it sooner. I like having a specific time each week to do laundry. Whether we've run out of clean socks or not, each Monday and Thursday, I launder ever dirty item in the house. Keeping up with laundry consistently means we always have something clean to wear in the drawers.

Since my goal is to make most of our baked things from scratch, I spend more time baking then most. When I waited to bake until there was no bread for breakfast toast, or no cookies for Ed's lunch - I felt like I spent my life reacting. My time was not utilized in the best way possible.



Benefits of a Baking Day

  1. Since establishing a consistent baking day, we are rarely out of baked goods. I do hide them in the freezer and ration so that we don't just eat them more frequently - especially the sweets.
  2. I'm less stressed when we have spur of the moment guests since I can always pull out a loaf of bread and cookies to add to a quick meal. 
  3. My time baking is maximized since I go from one recipe to the next without stopping to wash the mixing bowls and utensils. 
  4. Electricity is saved since multiple things are baked in the oven together.
  5. Since the baking day is planned, I can check for needed ingredients and those "oops, I'm out of that ingredient" moments are rarer. 
My usual goal is to bake on Wednesday, or occasionally Thursday. I typically begin on Tuesday to build up my sourdough starter if I plan to bake with sourdough.


In the evening, I lay out all the recipes that I plan/hope to make. I often add an extra recipe just in case the day goes better than planned - though with children, I rarely make it through the whole list before stopping for the day. This is also when I double check that I have the ingredients needed. If I marked down the ingredients I used up last week, I am usually in good shape for another baking day. Sometimes I go ahead and grind my wheat to give a head start in the morning.


In the morning, I typically start my sourdough recipes first, that way they have time to sit and rise while I work on other things. If I don't have too many interruptions, I'm usually washing up dishes by lunch time. Sometimes I let each child help me with one recipe. That way each one gets a chance yet I'm not overwhelmed by too many cooks stirring the pot! I'll have to change the routine when school begins again, but for now, I'm loving a weekly baking day.


The pictures in this post are all from this week's baking day when I made whole wheat sourdough bread, chocolate zucchini bread, chocolate chip zucchini bread, soft pretzels, and sourdough bagels.

16 comments :

  1. Such a lovely post. Love the pictures.

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  2. Wow! Great job! Thanks for the motivation.... I too would like to declare a specific baking day, but it just doesn't work for me right now... soon I will get there! I also believe that doing all the baking at once saves energy because you only have to do that initial preheat of the oven once instead of doing for each item you bake. Love the pretzel shapes!!

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  3. What a good idea!! I have been taking a little break from bread baking due to lack of time and sleep. :) When I go back to it I would like to have a baking day too. I would like some tips on freezing homemade bread so that it does not taste stale when you thaw it. Am I doing something wrong?

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  4. What a great idea! I would love the recipe for soft pretzels. :0)

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  5. Rebecca-
    Do you thoroughly cool your bread? And seal tightly in a plastic bag? Frozen bread isn't quite as good as fresh but it should still taste very good.
    Gina

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  6. Great post Gina. I'm going to try it. Sure makes perfect sense!

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  7. fantastic post! great pictures!
    ive always had a baking day myself its on mondays here! smells so good inside and outside those days!
    debbie

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  8. I am glad you posted this! I have been praying for solutions to my reactiveness in order to live more proactively! I am working on a draft for a schedule. We are similar in that most of our cooking is from scratch and our schedule is keeping us mostly at home. I find that if I don't have some sort of schedule I am sadly always feeling behind and more down and discouraged. If I stay ahead of tasks then when the unexpected things arrive I am not as thrown for a loop. It is by the grace of God. But He is helping me! I am glad you are working in it!! What a great skill for your kids to see!
    Annie

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  9. This is a fantastic idea, thanks - so simple but makes a difference. The biggest challenge for me would be not having everything eaten in one day!

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  10. this is the kind of post I love to read - educational, full of good ideas, and just sweet too. thank you.

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  11. I see the comments about frozen bread - I always slice my bread when it's cool and freeze it. When we want some bread, I put a few slices in the toaster over to warm. Lovely.

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  12. I find that I bake in the afternoon or at night but I think it would new nice to bake in the morning one day a week. Thanks for the motivation!

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  13. I have a weekly baking day too. I sorta have to, my daughter is a Celiac and she would not be able to eat baked goods otherwise. So I bake sandwich bread, cakes, cookies, Hamburger, Hotdog and sandwich rolls, pizza crust, etc. I want to get a tortilla roller (now that you got me thinking) and add those to my list too. :-)
    Currently that day is Mondays but I'm thinking of switching it to Fridays.

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  14. Thank you for the call to good stewardship of our time as well as our resources. Not eveyone punches a timeclock, but everyone benefits from wise management of time in performing the duties God gives. This post is a good reminder to me in how I can better serve and obey God.

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  15. I would love the recipe for the sourdough pretzels. Is it posted anywhere? Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. No, it is not. I should share it sometime.
      Gina

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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