I’ve been inspired by a few blogs out there. 100 Days of Real Food and MOMAbles has recently inspired me to try making my own homemade uncrustables. Here’s why. SG is allergic to all things dairy and eggs…and now possibly peanuts! Lunches are a BIG struggle for me. I’m talking- HUGE. I never know what to feed her for lunch.
To even be able to make SG a simple PB&J sandwich, I first have to make the bread. I have not found a safe pre-made bread out there. I purchased a Black and Decker bread maker from Target and used my friend Jill’s recipe for bread. Here’s the simple, yet yummy recipe:
Dairy and Egg Free Homemade Bread
1.5 cups hot water
3 Tbsp oil (I use canola)
3 Tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour (We use King Arthur Bread Flour) Update: Now I use regular all purpose unbleached flour and it works great
2 Tbsp quick rise yeast (I buy the kind that says it’s good for bread machines.)
Put everything in the order listed in the bread machine. Before you add the yeast, make a little well in the flour with your finger and then add yeast. Close machine and cook. Our machine has an option to bake the bread in one hour and that’s the only way we’ve ever done it. It works great.
Now go take a shower or something. Burn a little time. Relax. Build a tower with blocks and watch your child gleefully knock it down- over and over and over and over…
Once the bread is done, you’re ready to start making your uncrustables! I ordered this handy dandy bread sealer from amazon.com. This blog post from MOMAbles also shows you how to seal the sandwiches with a jar. I wanted the little gadget. It’s just cuter. And since I do lots of grunt work, the Huzz happily ordered it for me. It’s the little things, ya know?
The hardest part of this whole thing was cutting the stinkin’ bread. Really. I have a great knife but cannot cut a straight slice to save my life. Once I got past the wacky widths, I was ready to make my very first uncrustable!
I gently pressed the red box on the slice of bread to be my guideline of where to put the “peanut” butter and jelly. I call it peanut butter, but really it’s SunButter. It’s a good peanut butter substitute. Anyway, I loaded the slice up with first SunButter and then jelly. I put the top slice on and followed the directions from the bread sealer label. Just press the white outer square first and then the inner red box. Easy. Done. Tip- pull the crusts away while the bread sealer is still pressed down. Save the crusts on a plate. I’ll tell ya what I did with my crusts in a bit.
You now have your very own truly homemade uncrustable! :::Insert cheering crowd::: I think I immediately texted a pic to the Huzz, my mom, sister, and brother. I was very proud.
The second uncrustable was beautiful. The others were kind of ugly because the bread broke right in the middle. I solved it by tucking little bits of leftover bread in the cracks. Not pretty, but really, who cares? She’s two. And I made the homemade bread and uncrustables. I’m giving myself some grace here.
According to the MomAbles post, they recommended flash freezing the sandwiches for two hours. I did three because I forgot. I double wrapped the sandwiches and put them in a freezer safe gallon baggie, labeled and dated. Now toss in the freezer for future lunches!
The only stinky part is I could only get 5 uncrustables from this loaf. I think it’s because I hacked the bread. Next time, the engineer Huzz will pre-slice the bread for me. And he’ll do it perfectly. 🙂 With his help, I think I’ll get more sandwiches out of this recipe in the future. If you can use pre-made bread, you can make as many as you want!
After making the sandwiches, I had a big plate full of funny looking crusts, which I thought about throwing away. However, I remembered back to when we first discovered SG’s food allergies and needed bread crumbs for a recipe. I hadn’t yet discovered the safe brand we now use. So, in order to have bread crumbs, we made a loaf of bread, toasted it in the oven with the broiler, and then used the food processor to make bread crumbs. It was a pain to do all of that JUST for breadcrumbs. But today it was easy and perfect!
Here’s how I make Homemade Bread Crumbs:
Turn on broiler. Mine automatically goes to 500 degrees so I left it there. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread out the crusts and leftover bread pieces. Toss in the oven. I set my timer for 2 minute intervals. It only took 4 minutes to brown one side. Take out, flip the crusts, and repeat. Throw the browned crusts in the food processor, (shriek when your toddler tells you she licked a crust and then tossed it in) and voila! Homemade bread crumbs. I have no idea how long these last. I’ve only done this once before. However, I have two safe recipes that call for bread crumbs: meatloaf and meatballs. I plan on preparing some stuff for the freezer to use up these bread crumbs.
So there you have it. Dairy, egg, and peanut free homemade uncrustables. Yes, I wish it was less time consuming to make. But a little time and effort gives us more options and freedom when lunch time rolls around. I can’t wait to throw an uncrustable in her little backpack, along with some fresh fruit and a drink, and know I’m providing the very best lunch I can for my little SG. Convenient, homemade, safe, and since I already did the hard work- easy!