Leftover porridge bread

Leftover porridge bread

Leftover Porridge Bread

My eldest brother and I share a love of baking (and eating bread), and I’ve learned a lot from him.  He’s bought me endless books because, chez Storr, all the best presents are rectangles. Learning that a loaf of bread requires only a ratio was eye-opening. So I could use up that remaining 165 grams of brown flour and yesterday’s porridge and top it up with strong bread flour?! Hell. Yes.

If you’ve got 250g of porridge or 100g it doesn’t matter: just make sure that the total weight of porridge & flour is 700g.  That’s it. The amount of salt and yeast will stay the same, the water might vary a little. Got 250 grams of porridge? You might want to go up to a total weight of 800 grams of porridge and flour (8 grams of yeast 16 of salt). It’s that simple. And – poof! – you’ve made something delicious out of a food you were about to waste.

Some people might query adding eggs, flour and fat to what is a cheap ingredient.  Those oats have been sown (ahem). You’ve spent money on them. Soil has been fertilised and petrol burned to transport. So have fun and use that claggy old porridge that you cared to buy and cared to cook to be the inspiration for tomorrow’s lunch. Or toast.

 

Leftover Porridge Bread

Turn cold, claggy, leftover porridge into soft buns
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proving time 3 hrs
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

  • up to 200 grams leftover porridge
  • up to 600 grams strong white bread flour (flour + porridge weighs 700 grams)
  • 7 grams fast action yeast
  • 14 grams salt
  • around 400 ml water or milk (it will vary depending on how much porridge goes into your dough)
  • optional: 1 egg

Tools

  • Scales
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Clean tea-towel
  • Roasting tin or oven dish
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Dough scraper or large knife
  • Wire cooling rack

Instructions
 

  • Weigh the porridge. Then add enough strong bread flour to take the porridge + flour to 700 grams. So, 150 grams porridge + 550 grams flour, for example.
  • Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in the large mixing bowl. Crumble the porridge into the bread flour so that there are no lumps.
  • If using an egg, whisk it into 200ml of the milk/water. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture. Give the ingredients a good mix with a metal spoon. or your hands. It should be quite a wet dough. Add more milk/water until you have a dough where all the flour is fully saturated.
  • Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured or wet surface * and *gently* knead it: push it away from you, pick that end up, pop it back on top, turn the dough 45 degrees and go again. Do this for about 10 minutes, or until you hear pops and crackles coming from the dough - that's the carbon dioxide forming.
  • Cover the dough with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave it to one side for about an hour. The dough need to double in size; in my cold kitchen takes about 2 hours.

Forming the buns

  • Lightly flour the counter and turn the dough out.
  • Weigh the dough; it should weigh around 1.2 kg, ish. Buns are around 100g and I like to weigh the dough. You can just eyeball 12 buns but I find it quicker to just through bits of dough into the scale and make sure that I will have buns of an equal size.
  • Line the oven tin with a piece of greaseproof paper.
  • Lightly flour your counter. Place each piece of dough on the flour. Once you have pieces of dough ready and waiting, take one and form it into a roll by turning it around your hands into a round ball. Tuck each ball into the tin, around 3cm apart.
  • When all the rolls are in the tin, cover with the clean tea towel and leave to rise again for about another half an hour.
  • Turn the oven to 180 degrees.
  • When the rolls have doubled in size, place them gently in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  • When they are cooked, gently slip them out of the tin and leave to cool.

Storage

  • I keep my rolls in a very un-sexy giant tupperware. They will keep fine for a couple of days.
  •  If you want fresh rolls every day, split the rolls and place in the freezer; they will defrost more quickly if you freeze them with the cut in place.
  • * Experienced bakers like to use the wet method where you knead over a wet surface rather than a floured. This is a great technique but takes a little practice.
Keyword eating on a budget

Leftover porridge muffins

Leftover porridge muffins

Leftover Porridge Muffins

During the ‘lean years’, childcare took most of my 3 figure a month salary. The nursery was necessary but so expensive. I couldn’t not work.  Life was dull. It was 2008. Food prices rose every week. One night, my ex and I went on a rare night out with child-free friends. This may or may not have been the night I found buttons in my purse rather than cash.

I started telling a friend about these amazing leftover porridge muffins that I’d read about and made for my family – “I don’t even waste porridge!”. “But porridge is so cheap!” he replied.  I talked about food waste but really, I was embarrassed to say that I didn’t have the money to be scraping any food in the bin – that I could see the money going into the bin. I couldn’t articulate that any saving like this, where old sad breakfast becomes warm and tasty tea-time, was necessary. I felt humiliated. I didn’t need to, but being skint is humiliating – if you’re there right now, I’m sorry, it’s shit.

As with the porridge pancakes you’ll be amazed at the softness. Use whatever chocolate, fruits or nuts you like/have handy; these are a template to hoover up little leftovers sitting around the cupboard.  I have used milk chocolate because my eldest has a sweet tooth to rival Winnie the Pooh. This batch were walnut and dried raspberry, which I loved.

Those skint years? The nursery was later closed for ‘financial irregularities’. I now have a talented friend who cuts hair for a good price. I no longer wear the maternity coat. I earn better money doing work that I love.  I still don’t waste leftover porridge.

Leftover Porridge Muffins

Based on Oatmeal Muffins by Molly Wizenburg & Amanda Blake Soule
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients
  

  • around 150 grams leftover porridge
  • around 225 grams plain flour
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams chocolate, nuts, or dried fruit
  • 1 large egg
  • 120 ml milk
  • 30 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Tools

  • scales
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring jug
  • muffin tin
  • muffin papers
  • whisk/fork
  • ideally, balloon whisk
  • teaspoon/measuring spoon
  • saucepan/oven-proof bowl

Instructions
 

  • Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Place the butter in an ovenproof bowl and leave to melt as the oven warms up. Remove from the oven once melted and leave to cool
  • Line a 12 muffin tin with liners or lightly grease
  • Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and add-ins together in a large bowl
  • Crumble the porridge through the flour mixture to avoid lumps
  • Whisk the egg, milk and butter together
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry; using a balloon whisk or spoon, mix together with between 8 and 12 strokes
  • Add spoonfuls of batter evenly to the muffin wells and bake for between 15 and 20 minutes
  • Serve warm

Storage

  • These really are best eaten warm and on the day. 
  • Warmed through, and maybe split with a little salted butter, they are good the next day or two - just store them in an airtight container.
  • If you can't eat 12 muffins at once, freeze when at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Leftover porridge pancakes

Leftover porridge pancakes

Leftover Porridge Pancakes

Okay, I hear that, for many of you, scraping up leftover porridge is a step too far. If it does then I suggest, gently, that you don’t have to worry about money. I’m sure you budget, but you don’t panic about the 10p going in the bin. I only had those worries for a couple of years, I was lucky. I don’t worry any longer. But I sure as shit won’t forget it.

Even if you don’t worry about 10p going into the bin, then what about the wasted oats that a farmer or its robots have sown? That farmers have harvested, milled and transported? The milk that the oats have simmered in and the effort it took to feed the cows so they were able to be milked? The honey or syrup that you chose so carefully or quickly from the cupboard? Yeah, don’t be dick. Don’t waste the porridge.

These are my favourite pancake recipe these days.  The oats make the pancakes light, smooth and creamy.  You do need to spend a second to make sure that there are no lumps or oats, so just crumble the leftover porridge though the flour. Then it’s the same as you’d make any American pancake, drop scone or griddle cake.

I made far too much batter for these last week so I wedged some foil on the jug, strapped it into the front seat and took my porridge pancake batter with me to a friends. Luckily her four kids and one of mine made short work of the pancakes.

I love these with a fried egg on top and, sue me, loads of ketchup. Or just butter and Marmite. Marmite with everything. I know. I don’t care. I hope you enjoy your porridge pancakes.

 

Leftover porridge pancakes

Perfect for slightly jammy, syrup-y smooshed up porridge leftovers - these soft, light pancakes will warm your heart, save you pennies and avoid food waste.

Ingredients
  

  • around 50 grams leftover porridge
  • around 100 grams plain white flour
  • around 125 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 15 grams melted butter & more for cooking

Tools

  • Measuring jug
  • Scales
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Non-stick or cast-iron frying pan
  • Flipper
  • Spatula

Instructions
 

  • Weigh your leftover porridge; you don't want more than 50% leftover porridge as it will make the pancakes too soft; if you have more than about 75 grams of leftover porridge, double up the recipe for more, or look at my other leftover porridge recipes
  • Add the salt, sugar and baking powder to the flour
  • Add the flour mixture to the porridge; using your hands or a spoon (preferably hands), rub the porridge through the flour to make sure that there aren't any lumps
  • Milk: how much you need again depends on the ratio of porridge to flour. Start with around 75 ml and whisk the egg into the milk
  • Pour the egg/milk mixture into the porridge mixture and whisk. You want a batter that's quite thick, like white sauce. 
  • I use the pan I'm cooking in to melt the butter; pour the melted butter into the pancake batter, so that the pan is already warm
  • If you need more milk, add it now. You can always add more - sometimes I make one pancake and realise that the batter is too think and pour a little more milk in. Go with a little less milk than you need until you are happy
  • I pour all the mixture back into the measuring jug and pour straight into the pan from there
  • Scrape the sides of the jug until there's nothing left - even a tiny pancake will make someone happy

Cooking the pancakes

  • Turn the pan on to medium hot
  • Add a pinch of butter
  • When the butter sizzles, pour some batter into the pan - around 10cm pancakes are easiest to manage
  • As the pancakes cook, I like to move them a little - ease the spatula under each pancake and just wriggle it around
  • You may need to turn the heat down and up as you go. The pancakes are ready to flip when you see lots of little bubbles
  • Once flipped, the pancake will only need about another minute
  • Place the pancakes on a plate or in a dish and serve warm

Storage

  • Pancakes are best eaten ASAP but you can store these in a lidded container in the fridge, for up to 5 days - I mean they will be edible but stale. Best is to keep the uncooked batter and cook as required. Batter will keep for up to 3 days, absolutely fine

Candied Lemon Peel

Candied Lemon Peel

Leftover lemon heart vinegar

I started obsessing about food waste when my kids were little and I was determined to give them as much organic produce as possible. Not everyone’s priority or privilege. I got by on spending around £60 a week on food and honestly, I was proud that I did manage.  Family or friends would raise their eyebrows and roll their eyes when I talked about my veg box, but I knew I was giving us good food. I learned to ignore the eye rolls. Using every scrap of a leftover lemon, half a sausage or pot of sour yoghurt made sure we could eat home-cooked food and I’m grateful that I learned to cook at home and school.

Lemons are so normal in our fridges but travel from Spain, Italy, Israel and, TBH, who knows where, just so we can put a little wedge in our gin & tonic or have a sweet and sour pancake. Leftover lemons deserve more than going hard inside your fridge door – let’s use every last scrap.

I came across this recipe in the James Beard Waste Not Cookbook. I have a growing collection of food waste books which makes me happy. Some focus on the scraps and others on how to cook one meal and then use those leftovers. For me it’s a mixture of both.

This ‘recipe’ is great and so thrifty. A 50p bottle of white vinegar. Lemon rinds. That’s it. You likely will use about 10 pence worth of vinegar in this recipe. You can use your leftover lemon vinegar in dressings, marinades or even mixed with sugar syrup and lightly poured over ice cream (especially good for those of us who don’t have the sweetest tooth).

The eco-cleaners out there know that distilled white vinegar is *the* hot cleaning product. I use mine in place of laundry detergent and for cleaning my bathroom (along with washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda). Eco often means cheap because a spangly new product isn’t necessarily going to do a better job than some cheap bicarb (I say this as a person whose mum bought her a ££dress££ on Sunday and I enjoyed every second). 50p well spent, no?

Using every last scrap of your food saves you money which sometimes means you can buy that nice dress (over time), or, for me, means I can buy the organic butter or lemons. Every purchase we make is a choice, one way or another. Every leftover we make the most of helps the planet one little choice at a time.

 

 

Candied leftover lemon peel

Adapted from 'Cooking with Scraps' Lindsey-Jean Heard
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients
  

  • at least 2 leftover lemons (or lemons you'll use for something else)
  • 200 grams caster sugar

Tools

  • Sharp small knife or speed peeler
  • Saucepan
  • Scales
  • Sieve/colander
  • Cooling rack
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Storage jar or box

Instructions
 

  • If using whole lemons: use a speed peeler or a small sharp knife peel the rind off and place the lemons in the fridge for another dish
  • If using lemons you've squeezed for something, it'll be a little harder but totally fine - you'll just need to take a little more time
  • Place the peels in a medium sized saucepan and pour in cold water until the pan is nearly full. Put on to boil & boil for 2 minutes then drain and repeat twice. This is how you'll get rid of the bitterness and make the peels tender
  • After the third boil and sieve, leave the hot peels until they are cool to the touch.
  • Mix 150g of sugar and 175 ml water in the saucepan
  • Slowly bring to the boil and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar
  • When the sugar is dissolved add the peels and turn the heat to medium
  • Simmer until the peels become translucent - anything between 60 and 90 minutes
  • Don't stir the peels! Every 15 minutes you can gently push the peels under the surface
  • Check the peels to make sure that they are simmering. You might need to turn the heat up and down to keep an even simmer
  • When the peels are translucent, get your cooling rack and place some baking paper underneath to catch the drips
  • Using tongs or a slotted spoon, gently place the peels on the cooling rack to dry - not all bunched up, in separate pieces. Let the syrup drip off the peels back into the saucepan before placing on the rack

The next day

  • When the peels are dry, add 25grams of sugar to a clean bowl and toss the peels to coat. Use more if the peels aren't fully covered
  • Take your airtight container and put a thin layer of sugar at the bottom and add some peels, trying to keep them from touching

Storage

  • The peels will keep for up to 2 months in the pot

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Squashed strawberry & banana muffins

Squashed strawberry & banana muffins

Squashed strawberry muffins

Fancy a nice, soft, double-food waste busting muffin??  Squashed strawberries AND brown bananas?!  Now you’re talking. 
I used to make these muffins a lot; when my youngest was tiny, she adored them.  One birthday I made them for her breakfast.  As with all muffins, they’re best fresh. I set my alarm, nice and early, get them done in good time for the school run.  Maybe I’d even pre-measured the dry ingredients (it’s a top plan if you ever bake for brunch). Anyway, the chopping and mashing of berries and bananas does take a little while and… well they were baked in time.  Candle after candle drooped and sagged in her little birthday breakfast, dripping wax all over the little muffins.  Knowing me, I picked off the wax and ate them all the same.
This is a super-simple recipe and you’ll love these for brekkie, lunchboxes or tea-time.  As I mentioned, they are best fresh, so if you’re not eating them all at once, pop them in the freezer and take out as needed.
These muffins are high in fruit and have a good, slightly dense texture.  Don’t let the few steps put you off; the time is more in prep than mixing. And enjoy the virtue of a double waste-busting, squashed strawberry muffin.
Happy breakfast!

 

Squashed Strawberry & Banana Muffins

Barely adapted from ‘Leith’s Baking Bible’ (old edition, now out of print), p261
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients
  

Ingredients

  • 250 g strawberries
  • 1 large ripe/over-ripe banana apx. 115g peeled weight
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 220 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Demerera or caster sugar for sprinkling
  • Pinch salt

Tools

  • Bowl/saucepan to melt butter
  • Scales
  • Colander/sieve
  • Kitchen paper/clean tea-towel
  • Small bowl
  • Two large mixing bowls
  • 12 dip muffin tin
  • Muffin cases
  • Potato masher
  • Balloon Whisk
  • Teaspoon
  • Cocktail stick/skewer
  • Wire cooling rack

Optional/Helpful

  • Measuring spoons

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Turn oven to 190C | Gas mark 5
  • Place the paper or silicone muffin papers in the tin, if using
  • Melt the butter either on the hob/in the oven as it warms/microwave
  • Whisk the eggs in a small bowl
  • Stir/sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together
  • Wash the strawberries and remove the hulls
  • Leave on the kitchen paper/clean tea towel to dry

Method

  • Cut the berries into 1/2 cm chunks. Place about 55g of the berries in a large bowl and add the banana
  • Using your potato masher, mash them up!
  • Add the melted butter, sugar and beaten eggs to the mashed fruit
  • Sift the flour mixture over the fruit mixture
  • Using your balloon whisk carefully fold in
  • USE NO MORE THAN 20 STROKES! Muffins can become tough when over-mixed
  • Stir the remaining berries in
  • Divide the mixture equally between the muffin cases and sprinkle with a 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or less) over each muffin
  • Bake in the centre of the oven or 20 minutes
  • Check them: push a cocktail stick into the middle of a muffin that’s in the centre of the tin. They are cooked if the stick comes out clean
  • If it’s not clean, pop the muffins back in the oven, put a timer on for a couple of minutes, clean the cocktail stick and check again

Storage

  • Serve warm or at room temperature
  • If not eating all within a day, bag them up and freeze. They will freeze for a couple of months.

 

 

 

Jam-Jar Scraping Thumbprint biscuits

Jam-Jar Scraping Thumbprint biscuits

Thumbprint cookies are a traditional American biscuit, and are a perfect way to use up those scrapings of jam.  Yes, English bakers will call for jam tarts, but they are a little trickier, as you need to make and roll out pastry.  These are easier to make with kids.  And, for those of us who don’t adore jam, the ratio of sweet jam to creamy, plainer biscuit, is better.

This cookie dough benefits from sitting in the fridge overnight, if  you can.

You can see here that I’ve used strawberry, raspberry and marmalade: because you only need a teaspoon for each biscuit it’s a great recipe for using up ‘odds and sods’ of jam. Okay, it’s not the tag line of the century!  But making a tea-time treat out of food that you were about to chuck will give you a wonderful feeling of pride.  Happy baking!

(Too much leftover) Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 16-20

Ingredients

35 grams unsalted butter, softened
50 grams caster sugar
1 egg yolk
110g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Tools

Essential

Scales
2 baking trays
Greaseproof paper
Scissors
Dessert spoon
Large mixing bowl
Whisk/fork
Wire cooling rack
Teaspoons
Knife
Chopping board

Time

30m prep
50 minutes making and chilling
A few hours – overnight chilling, if possible
20m baking

Level

Medium

Prep

Remove butter from the fridge
Line the baking sheets/trays with greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 180C

Method

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolk
Mix in flour a little bit at a time until a soft dough forms
Chop the dough into half, then each length into 8-10 pieces each
Roll dough into 5cm balls
If dough is too soft, chill for 15 to 20 minutes.  If possible, chill overnight
When ready to bake, place balls 8cm apart on lined baking trays
Use your thumb to make a thumbprint in the centre of each cookie
Fill the hole with 1/2 teaspoon of jam
Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes – check after 8.  If they’re not ready, leave them in
Use your flipper to wriggle onto wire cooling racks
DON’T EAT STRAIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN THE SUGAR WILL BURN YOUR MOUTH TO HOLY HELL.

But, you know, enjoy!

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

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