Now You Know how to make bread without any bread flour! I got through January spending less than £30 on groceries for the household but ran out of bread and bread flour. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, so let's get inventive.

How to make pancakes

Running out of bread and bread flour is normally unheard of in this household but it can happen to the best of us, especially when trying to empty cupboards and stick to a grocery challenge budget of £1 per person per day, so I spent less than half my allocated budget just cooking from what is already here.

As long as you have ordinary flour, eggs and milk then you can make pancakes.

If you have just the flour and milk, you can make flour tortillas.

Better still, as long as you have yeast and good old-fashioned, all purpose, plain flour then you can make your own budget bread.

BARGAIN ALERT

Buy cheap groceries online

Brown Bread and Roll Mix only £1 for 3.5kg*

Here's how to make bread without bread flour

1 1/2 cups warm water (approx.)
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp oil
4 cups plain flour

I added a scoop of wheatgerm to mine, so it needed another spoonful of water, then made the loaf in my breadmaker. You do not need a breadmaking machine, this recipe will work equally well by hand in the usual way - knead the dough well for 5 minutes, rest/prove for an hour, knead for another 5 minutes, rest/prove for another hour, then shape and bake as normal, either in a lightly greased loaf tin or on a tray.

Making bread without bread flour

I was quite sceptical about whether or not this loaf would rise, as I have never learned the actual differences between each of the various flour types other than the obvious differences between grain types like wheat and corn but as you can see, the loaf rose as it normally would had I been using proper bread flour.

Freshly baked bread made without strong flour

The load was baked as normal white bread on the 1.5lb setting and this did it perfectly. The loaf turned out the tin without a problem and sounded hollow when tapped on the bottom. It got wrapped in a clean, cotton tea towel until it cooled enough to slice. Don't get me wrong, this isn't the first time I have baked bread with plain flour, as I do tend to dilute bread flour with plain flour to save money when handbaking or if the bread mixes aren't available on offer, but this was the first time I had tried baking a full loaf in the breadmaker without having any strong bread flour in the recipe.

Slice of freshly baked bread

Once cooled, the load sliced as any other bread would slice - so we had to sample it with some homemade blackcurrant and bramble jam. It tasted delicious!

From now on, I will not be paying extra for strong bread flour - I'll sit back and wait for the bargains to appear and, in the meantime, keep a better stock of cheap, all purpose plain flour, which currently costs 45p per 1.5kg bag from most big supermarkets. I have, however, managed to order 3 x 3.5kg of cheap bread and roll mix from Approved Food to replenish stock and I'll add on an extra couple of bags of plain flour next time I get the chance of it. I'm guessing that I'll can dilute the bread mix in similar fashion as long as I add an extra sprinkle of dried yeast.

You can add herbs, spices, garlic, sultanas, seeds, grains, nuts or whatever else takes your fancy - play about with it to find what you like best and don't forget to share your results and photos with fellow followers of frugal living in Frugaldom's forums.

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