Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:21 PM
carlb is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palmetto Bay, FL
Posts: 1,318

What's the smallest amount of bread I can bake?


I don't bake much or very often, mostly because if I did I would bake all the time, eat all the things, and be even...well, doughier than I am now. I don't buy bread very often because it is just two of us in the house, and we're trying to watch our carb intake (see, "doughy," earlier). Still, sometimes I'd like to have some bread on hand, particularly to make a sandwich. If I buy a whole loaf of sandwich bread, either some of it goes to waste, or I end up consuming the whole loaf (again - see earlier discussion).

So, what is the smallest quantity of bread I could realistically bake that I could use to make sandwiches? I think I could probably scale a recipe down to make a reasonable number of pitas, but I'd really like something I could slice and even toast. Any ideas? Or is there just no good way to accomplish this goal?
  #2  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:45 PM
Petek is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 80
You could make a regular-size loaf, slice it into individual portions and freeze whatever you won't eat in a couple of days. Be sure to let the bread cool completely before freezing. Wrap tightly (I use plastic wrap plus aluminum foil) to avoid freezer burn.
  #3  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:48 PM
Inner Stickler's Avatar
Inner Stickler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 15,296
I don't see any reason why you couldn't take a bread recipe you like and half it or even quarter it. My concern would be more along the lines of will it feel worth it to go to the effort for 1 loaf? I would instead suggest that you make a regular recipe and freeze the dough after shaping. When you want a loaf of fresh bread, take it out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge and then do its final rise on the counter at room temperature. Bake according to the recipe.
  #4  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:49 PM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 45,592
You can make individual biscuits and cut them in half.

When I was in Boy Scouts, we used to make up a single (soft) biscuit by mixing Bisquick and water and baking it over a campfire. You could do the same in an oven (or, better still, a toaster oven -- less waste heat).

If you really want, you could buy a "roll" of Pillsbury Grands or a similar generic, undo the entire pack, and keep them in the refrigerator, baking one at a time on a small sheet in the oven/toaster oven. Then you don't even have to mix anything.
__________________
The makers of the GoPro have to come out with a model called the "Quid"
  #5  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:54 PM
Sunny Daze's Avatar
Sunny Daze is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bay Area Urban Sprawl
Posts: 13,717
We use the "freeze" method here. Bake the loaf, slice off the amount you don't want to use right away, and freeze it. When you're ready for more bread, defrost it. I usually just move it into a cabinet and let it defrost at air temperature.

You can also make "mini" loaves. Here's an example of one of those.
  #6  
Old 05-12-2020, 01:04 PM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is online now
Isaiah 10:1-3
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 52,495
Freeze it, or just make tortillas or flatbread. There is no law that says sandwiches have to be made with leavened, just like you buy in the store bread. Biscuits are also an excellent option. Drop biscuits recipes are uber-simple and you can make what you need at will.
  #7  
Old 05-12-2020, 01:33 PM
Aspenglow's Avatar
Aspenglow is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,914
Never mind. I simply repeated Inner Stickler's excellent advice.

Last edited by Aspenglow; 05-12-2020 at 01:34 PM.
  #8  
Old 05-12-2020, 01:43 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 30,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlb View Post
So, what is the smallest quantity of bread I could realistically bake that I could use to make sandwiches? I think I could probably scale a recipe down to make a reasonable number of pitas, but I'd really like something I could slice and even toast. Any ideas? Or is there just no good way to accomplish this goal?
Let's think about this...

I think the smallest written-out recipe I've seen for bread is for two loaves, which also conveniently is matched to the size of one of those yeast packets you buy at the store. You could just use half a packet, which would work out to 1 and 1/8 teaspoons of yeast. Or if you buy it in a jar it is, again, 1 and 1/8 teaspoons of yeast (you can refrigerate the unused portions for later). Halve the rest of the ingredients and that's 1 loaf.

Or you can just bake two loaves, skip the math, and freeze what you don't immediately use. You can either slice up individual portions for a couple sandwiches, freeze half a loaf, or freeze whole loaves. As already noted, be sure it's cooled to room temperature before freezing. Bread freezes really well, whether it's commercially made or home baked.
  #9  
Old 05-12-2020, 06:51 PM
needscoffee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7,752
Never mind

Last edited by needscoffee; 05-12-2020 at 06:52 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-12-2020, 08:36 PM
VOW is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NE AZ
Posts: 4,290
Ziploc makes a sandwich-sized bag. The plastic is much lighter than a regular or freezer Ziploc bag.

Bake your bread, let it cool completely, then slice. I bought a nifty bread slicing guide from dajungle that's made from bamboo and has guides for slicing three different thicknesses of slices.

Place one slice per sandwich Ziploc bag, then fit as many slices as you can without crowding in a gallon Ziploc bag; then freeze.

Warning: have your freezer organized enough so that the Ziploc bags of bread rest undisturbed. Frozen bread is extremely fragile, and just gently moving it from place to place can turn it into a bag of crumbs.


~VOW
__________________
Klaatu Barada Nikto
  #11  
Old 05-12-2020, 08:40 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boonies??
Posts: 23,412
If it crumbles you'll have the best breadcrumbs for coating chicken.
__________________
Bad, bad, bad!
  #12  
Old 05-12-2020, 08:59 PM
N9IWP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Southeast MN
Posts: 6,538
Not what the OP asked but can you make bread with a single grain of flour?
What's the smallest amount of bread you can make?

Brian
  #13  
Old 05-12-2020, 09:18 PM
Kent Clark's Avatar
Kent Clark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 28,013
Get a box of hot roll mix. Instead of making rolls, dump the dough in a bread pan. It rises about halfway up the pan, so it's a half-loaf. If you want loaf-height bread, use a smaller pan.
  #14  
Old 05-12-2020, 09:22 PM
Kimstu is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 23,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post
Not what the OP asked but can you make bread with a single grain of flour?
What's the smallest amount of bread you can make?
Depends on what sort of bread you want. If you're using "bread" to include "any sort of flour-based dough or batter baked to produce a browned crust and fairly dry crumb", then sure, you could make "bread" out of a tiny bit of flour moistened with water.

If you want a bread containing some kind of rising agent, such as yeast or baking powder, there's probably some minimum quantity of the rising agent and proportional amount of flour to make it work, but I don't know what that quantity might be. I have seen recipes for a single "mini-loaf" of bread calling for no more than half a teaspoon of yeast and one cup of flour, but I bet you could reduce those amounts somewhat.
  #15  
Old 05-13-2020, 06:08 AM
carlb is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palmetto Bay, FL
Posts: 1,318
Thanks, everyone. For some reason, I had it in my head that bread doesn't freeze well; I appreciate you all disabusing me of that notion.
  #16  
Old 05-13-2020, 11:00 AM
Kimstu is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 23,427
Bread dough also freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for at least a couple of months. If you prefer your bread always fresh baked instead of baked-frozen-thawed, then make up a batch of dough and divide it into one-loaf-sized pieces (or however big you want the individual finished products to be). Put the extra pieces into separate storage containers, such as freezer bags, allowing some room for the dough to expand a bit as it starts rising before the freezer immobilizes it.

Then the next time you want fresh-baked bread, pull out one of your frozen dough lumps and let it thaw thoroughly before rising and baking as usual. I tend to think that post-freezer bread dough has a bit more of a sourdoughish tang than the non-frozen version, but I might just be imagining that.
  #17  
Old 05-13-2020, 01:57 PM
Dorjän is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Euclid, OH
Posts: 2,293
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlb View Post
Thanks, everyone. For some reason, I had it in my head that bread doesn't freeze well; I appreciate you all disabusing me of that notion.
Bread freezes extremely well, it's refrigeration that you want to avoid!
  #18  
Old 05-13-2020, 03:03 PM
Quondam Mechanic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 314
<old_joke>The elementary particle of bread is the crouton.</old_joke>
  #19  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:13 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5,964
FWIW, we have a bread machine, and it calls for 2 cups of flour, and the three of us usually consume one of it's little loaves in a day.
  #20  
Old 05-14-2020, 12:10 PM
Mama Zappa is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,833
The "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" books have instructions for making a single loaf-pan-sized loaf at a time - though that uses only 1/4th of the dough you make (you use up the rest over the next few days / weeks). My experience with trying to make something for sandwich-slicing was that it didn't work all that well, but I only tried it once or twice.

Depending on your desired usage though, a loaf doesn't last more than a day or so. Fresh bread just out of the oven is gorge-worthy.
  #21  
Old 05-14-2020, 05:31 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 30,517
Eventually, though, the gorging slows down.

I go through about a loaf-worth of bread a week - usually a half an actual loaf and a few dinner-rolls. I've been freezing half the loaf and the dinner rolls until I finish the first half because I don't reliably eat it all before it gets green and fuzzy.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017