My #1 Money-Saving Budget Travel Tip: Make Your Own Bread
We definitely fall into the category of budget travel. As we work to build up our location-independent incomes, it is crucial that we save money in any way we can. One of my favourite ways to save money while travelling – my #1 money-saving budget travel tip! – is making my own bread.
It’s not possible everywhere. You need an oven (although I’ve tried with a toaster oven!), and to be there long enough to make buying yeast and flour worth it.
And, as I discovered in Mexico, you need to be able to find yeast and flour that will make your recipes turn out! I had two failed batches of this bread there – both made exactly the same (as far as I could tell), and both failed in completely opposite ways!
One was so wet it flattened out completely and tasted and felt like rubber, and the other was so hard and dense it didn’t rise at all – Jonathan called it Hobbit Bread. It felt more like a mini football than my usual delicious loafs. But he and Aria still ate it. I wish I had taken pictures of both, it was so strange how differently they turned out!
Charlotte and I enjoying my first test batch in San Pedro, Belize – turned out very moist, almost sour-dough-like in texture, but we still loved it! We love it topped with avocado or margarine or jam.
Thanks, Charlotte for posing for once!
But, in general, it’s SO much cheaper than buying bread, and really helps us keep our expenses in the budget travel category. I also find it brings a nice bit of “home” into our travel lifestyle – something familiar and homey and filling in a world of constant change and sometimes strange food.
“For this simple budget travel friendly recipe, you only need all-purpose white flour, salt, instant/quick-rise yeast, and water.”
Making your own bread also means it is guaranteed to be vegan. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve picked up a loaf of bread, only to discover it’s full of milk powder (WHY OH WHY do companies insist on putting milk or whey powder in absolutely everything?!). And while we love buying from local bakeries, with the language barrier that we often have, it can be hard to know whether the bread is vegan or not.
For this simple money-saving budget travel friendly recipe, you only need all-purpose white flour, salt, instant/quick-rise yeast, and water. It’s probably worth a try with regular yeast, if that’s all you can find. I think it just needs to be activated in hot water first – I haven’t had success yet, but haven’t experimented much, either!
Just three simple ingredients! Plus water and oil for greasing.
This is the full recipe, but you could cut it in half to test it out. Our family will eat white carbs in almost any form, so I don’t worry about wasting it even if it turns out weird! Aria loved the hobbit bread, and Charlotte and I loved a batch in San Pedro that turned out more like sourdough bread.
- 6.5 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp quick rise yeast
- 3 cups warm water
- Oil/shortening/margarine for greasing
1. Mix warm water with yeast and salt – I mix right in the measuring cup if I have one large enough.
2. Add to large bowl (or any pot will work) with the white flour. Mix until it forms a loose dough and all flour is incorporated (I like using a firm silicone spatula, it helps keep it from sticking – but any kind of plastic or wooden spoon will work).
3. Leave to rise, covered with a tea towel, for 2 hours (or more – I’ve left it for up to 5 hours).
4. Grease two baking trays with shortening (or margarine or oil – whatever greasing option you have on hand).
5. After rising, cut dough into four sections (I use a steak knife, it will be sticky!). Using flour to coat your hands (and better yet, leave the oil/grease on your hands from greasing the tray before you flour your hands), make each section into a round lump or longer oval shape and set on baking tray (2 per tray). Let sit 40-60 minutes.
6. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. Watch it carefully, it should be golden brown – don’t over bake or you’ll lose that amazing moist texture.
Same batch of bread, two different cooking times as I adjusted to a new oven. The front loaves tasted SO much better than the back ones! Hence why it’s so important to watch carefully, especially with new ovens.
7. Move immediately to cooling racks and protect with your life if you don’t want your husband to smush them all trying to cut them too early!
These freeze really well (let cool completely before freezing), if there are any left to freeze.
For those trying to budget travel, I hope you have some success giving this a try! Let me know if this money-saving budget travel tip worked for you.
Even when it doesn’t turn out perfect, or sticks to the baking tray as I experiment with greasing options, it is still five-year-old-approved!
About Meredith Kenzie
I am a full-time traveling Mum of two adorably blond and mischevious little girls (isn’t it a good thing nature makes babies so damn cute?). I love to explore new places, finding the fun little places for my littles to play, and getting immersed in different cultures. I like to write and share about our travel adventures while keeping it minimalist and vegan as much as possible! Oh, and I love yoga, ballet, reading, baking, and time with friends.
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