Many people tell me that they do not have time to make healthy meals from scratch. I don’t have much time either. That is why for the past few years I try to do all my baking on one day of the week.
Occasionally I will have a freezer cooking day, but I prefer to do my meal prep for the week on one day.
Baking day looks different every week because it changes based on my menu. This week I focused mainly on breads because the other aspects of our meals were pretty simple.
The main thing to remember about baking day is you need to pick a day that you will be home. I usually spend about 5 or 6 hours from start to finish but not all that time is spent in the kitchen. When I am not in the kitchen I use that time to cut coupons, catch up on chores or hang out with the kids.
Make a List of Foods You Want to Bake
I usually make my menu plan first then make a list of any of the items I want to make from scratch. Remember when you are baking you can always double or triple the recipes and freeze them for later in the month.
Here’s a sample baking plan based on our weekly menu.
- Whole wheat rolls (for salmon cake sandwiches)
- 2 loaves potato bread (for French toast)
- English Muffins (for English muffin pizza)
- Sweet potatoes (for sweet potato muffins and dinner sides)
- Bread Crumbs (always good to have in the freezer)
Other items that are great to make on baking day are muffins, pancakes, waffles, and snacks. When you are baking you can take your free time and chop up fruits and vegetables for the week as well. I like getting as much done as possible in one day.
Gather and shop for ingredients
There’s nothing more frustrating that starting a recipe and realizing half way through you don’t have a very specific ingredient. This actually happened to me this week with chocolate chip cookies!
Make a list of ingredients you need to purchase and add them to your grocery list.
Pick your baking day and stay home
As I mentioned before, when baking you need to be able to stay home and monitor the oven. It’s hard to have a baking day if you are in and out of the house all day.
Schedule your baking
Some items on my list needed time to rise. Other’s can be made and baked right away. I like to plan out the order of baking so that I have room in my oven for all the food.
I also check the baking temperatures to make sure I plan out when things go into the oven. When baking temperature can matter a lot, so I don’t want to end up spending longer than necessary in the kitchen waiting for things to go into the oven.
This is my personal preference, but I like to get a head start on baking day. For example, I’ll make a large batch of pancakes or waffles while the kids are waking up and serve it for breakfast then freeze all the extras.
Also if I start early I’m usually able to be finished and have the kitchen cleaned up by early afternoon.
Sample Baking Day
Our family loves French toast made with potato bread. You can find the recipe I use at Allrecipes.com. I usually double the recipe to make two loaves for our family.
Since I was already using my oven I decided I would bake some sweet potatoes. We had them as a side that night for dinner and I used the leftovers to make Laura’s sweet potato muffins.
I had several lone slices of bread taking up space in my freezer so I made bread crumbs. I make them in my Vita-Mix, but they could easily be made in a food processor as well.
My favorite granola recipe is pretty simple but delicious. What I love about it is that you can add whatever ingredients you love to make it work for your family.
My biggest accomplishment of the day was English muffins. I had wanted to make them for a long time but kept putting it off. They were so easy to make, I will definitely make them again soon!
These taste so much better than store bought muffins and are easy to make!
After spending about 4-5 hours baking I have enough baked goods for the next few weeks. I try to double or triple every recipe so that I don’t have to bake weekly especially in the Florida summer.
It all looks delicious! Thanks for motivating me to do more baking!
Overwhelmed With Joy! says
I love your post! Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes! I made a sour cream apple pie tonight. I cheated and bought the pie crust but the rest was from scratch. It turned out quite yummy and my family was impressed. 🙂
I think I’ll have to try your English Muffin recipe first!
Overwhelmed With Joy! says
Oh, one quick question. I’m hosting a soup recipe exchange this Friday. Do you have any good soup recipes you’d care to share? I’d love it if you’d join in this Friday! 🙂
Mrs. Organic says
I am definitely trying out the English Muffin recipe – thanks for posting pictures , it really helps
The English Muffins never go in the oven? Only on the stovetop? I’ve never liked the hockey pucks that pretend to be English Muffins in the store but if they are stovetop only I am all for them! No oven on the boat, you know…
Julie Krukemeyer says
I’ve loved all the food posts! What type of bread maker do you use? I have a kitchenaid that I use for kneading but still have to shape my loaves so there’s a lot of starting, stopping, waiting, during the day while making bread. Thanks!
Your photos are making me drool! Thanks for sharing some great ideas. I need to do a baking day in Dec. for Christmas cookies, I’m thinking 🙂
I’m definitely bookmarking the English muffins. I haven’t had any in a while and haven’t ever made homemade. Thanks for sharing the recipe! 😀
Wow! You’ve inspired me to get baking today!! I agree with the others who can’t wait to try the english muffins. You’ve taken the “fear factor” out of that recipe. :o)
I am still in seach for a bread machine! I thought for sure I would find one at a yard sale this summer, but alias no such luck! I am curious what brand you use and size of loaves it makes. Is there anything that I need to look for in a bread machine? Thanks again for your wonderful posts! You are inspiration to me!
I wish you were my next door neighbor. Just stumbled your post for you, sweetie! Such great ideas. Maybe one day I can grow up and be just like you.
This morning, I made the granola recipe you have listed here. It tastes more like Carmel Corn than granola. I’ll have to find a recipe a bit more healthy, maybe without a full stick of butter. 😉
Oh my – it all looks so good.
I have a question. Do you HAVE to roll them in the cornmeal? I don’t really care for it on english muffins, so I’d like to know if it’s necessary. Thanks!
O.k., so you’ve inspired me today. I have got to make those english muffins. Would you, perhaps, make another post sometime on what you do on those meal-prep Mondays? I am assuming you peel or cut-up vegetables or make a salad or something? I would just love to know what you do. Thanks!
WOW!!! Again I am impressed! The english muffins look better than store bought.
I have a question, I know you make your own bread. How do you cut the bread evenly for sandwiches? I know it sounds like a stupid question but I have always wondered it. That is probably the one thing that holds me back from trying to bake bread.
Very inspiring – I really want to try the english muffins. Thanks for sharing!
I also make my own English muffins but I do the dough in the bread machine and it is true. They are so much better than store bought. I don’t think I will ever buy store bought again. I use mine for mini pizzas and for breakfast sandwiches. Yum!
Lainie@ Mishmash Maggie says
So this is probably going to sound totally dumb–instant yeast? Is that the same as quick rise in a packet or is that something that is kept refrigerated…
I would really like to make these soon !
Awesome baking day, I never would have thought to cook the english muffins on a counter top griddle, what a great idea!
Amy @ Finer Things says
I used to buy English muffins all the time. Gave them up all in the name of frugality… so glad to see this recipe! Thanks!
Prudent Homemaker says
I’ve been making Alton Brown’s English muffins. His are runnier and they are poured onto the griddle. I’m going to try yours next time and we’ll compare!
I will be trying out these English muffins tomorrow.
Christi L says
Looks beautiful! I’m going to make these for supper tonight to eat with our crock-pot Beef, Bean and Barley Stew.
Thanks for the yummy recipe. I followed a link here from the Safely Gathered In blogspot.
Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship says
Your photos helped me through the English muffin process this morning, an quick inspiration followed through on…and success! The best experiments in the kitchen are the successful ones, and even better when they impress hubby. He said, “They LOOK like English muffins!” with a note of awe in his voice, and then, “They TASTE like English muffins!” (more awe) Oh, yes. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
i make granola all the time but have a hard time with bread…i am going to change my thinking and really try to do it…
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I am planing on making bagels. I already have a recipe but your ideas on oiling the hand is great. I had a hard time with homemade pretzels i bet if i used that idea it would of helped. I plan on freezing pancakes with your method it will be a great morning time saver especially during school time. You have me pumped to make the homemade english muffins as well. I am so excited. I have a friend that cringes at the fact that i make alot of things homemade, she just doenst get it. Thanks again.
Okay, I tried them and they *are* easy! I needed a little extra flour to make the dough workable but otherwise everything went beautifully!
Tina (Mommys Kitchen) says
Made these and they turned out wonderful. Thanks Toni I was so surprised at how they looked just like the ones in the store.
Beth K says
Okay finally found the potato bread recipe, however you say you double it. How? Do you just have a bigger bread machine? I am wanting to use my bread machine and bake in the oven is there a simple way to figure out a conversion for this?