Foods That Are Cheaper to Make at Home

Being a student can be expensive, so here are some recipes that you can make at home in bulk and then freeze, making it much more inexpensive than buying things in each week. These recipes are well worth the time if you can!

Pizza dough

 

I follow this Martha Stewart recipe for perfect pizza dough every time. I make a double batch of this and then freeze it in individual portions (wrapped in clingfilm), and then all I have to do is defrost it in the fridge on the day you want to eat it! 

I love the simplicity of this recipe because it can be used for pizza, but also for a number of other things, for example, focaccia bread.

Ingredients

2 envelopes of yeast

2 tablespoons of sugar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing

2 teaspoons of salt

4 cups plain flour, plus more for dusting

Method

1. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy - about 5 minutes.

2. Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until a sticky dough forms. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and brush top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using.

3. The dough can be stored in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic, in refrigerator up to 2 hours. To freeze, wrap the dough in plastic and freeze in a resealable freezer bag up to 3 months. If you plan to use it in a recipe that calls for half a batch, divide it before freezing.

 

Bread Rolls

Another very simple recipe that works wonders every time, all you need is a little bit of time to allow the dough to rise. With a BBC good food recipe, it is difficult to go wrong. I also like to sprinkle a little bit of flaky sea salt/ Himalayan salt on the top of these for a little more flavour.

Ingredients

500g Bread flour (white or wholemeal)

7g (One sachet) Fast-action yeast

1 1/2 tsp Caster Sugar

2 tsp Salt

300ml Luke warm water

3 tbsp Olive oil

 

Method

  1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl. I like to mix the mixture with a regular knife. Once combined make a well in the center of the flour in preparation for the wet ingredients. Measure 300ml of luke-warm water and add 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Pour the water and oil into the well of flour and gradually mix the flour in until it forms a dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to the worktop and start to knead. Do not be intimidated if your dough is quite wet. Many people tend to then add to much flour and this will result in a denser bread. Persist in kneading for ten minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place your dough into a lightly oiled, covered bowl and leave to prove for an hour. If you have made your dough in the evening then you can leave in the fridge overnight.
  5. Once your hour prove has finished knockback/ knead for 10 minutes, then roll into a long sausage shape and divide into 8 sections. Form these sections into small rounds and place on covered baking trays for another hour. Whilst proving, preheat the oven to 220C/fan.
  6. Bake your rolls in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Once out of the oven transfer to a cooling rack, tapping the bottom of the rolls to check that they sound hollow. Cover with a clean tea towel when cooling. This will absorb the moisture from the heat coming off the rolls

These rolls also freeze well.

 

Flatbread

 

In my eyes, a good flatbread is an essential, but often an underappreciated carb. This recipe is vegan, yummy, and super easy – as long as you don’t mind standing by a stove for a little while. I also like that this recipe uses garlic powder for flavour – but you can easily add any other flavours you want. I personally like adding a bit of fresh chilli for that extra kick, but you could easily add honey for a sweeter taste. 

Ingredients

2 cups white whole wheat flour plus extra for rolling.

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground sea salt

1 tsp ground garlic powder

Ground black pepper to taste

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup water

Method

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper together until well combined. Add 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil and water and stir until it becomes a solid piece of dough.
  2. Remove from the bowl and knead on a clean floured surface until it becomes stretchy and smooth approximately 1 to 5 minutes.
  3. Flour a smooth surface and tear off a golf ball size piece of dough (see note) and form a ball with your hands. Roll the dough out into a thin disc. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat (the skillet should be dry, no oil necessary) and add one piece of flatbread dough. Cook for one minute and flip and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and repeat with the remaining dough
Cinnamon Rolls

 

This recipe is a fan favourite amongst my friends and flatmates. Healthy? Not really. But delicious? Absolutely. These also last for a while (if they aren’t eaten first) so I tend to make then Sunday night, let them prove overnight, and bake them on Monday morning for breakfast the rest of the week.  If you only try one of these recipes, let it be this one.

Ingredients

For the dough:

¾ cup warm milk (110 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons active yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

3 cups bread flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ cup unsalted butter softened

For the cream cheese frosting:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Method

  1. Add warm milk to a bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. You’ll know your yeast has activated if it begins to foam after a few minutes. If it hasn’t, then start over; your milk was either too hot or too cold.
  2. Once yeast begins to foam, add in sugar, egg, egg yolk and butter. Mix until well combined. Next, stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  3. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a well-floured surface.
  4. Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. After the dough has doubled in size, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14x9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough, then gently rub in into the butter a little. Tightly roll the dough up, starting from the 9-inch side and place seam side down making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. Cut into 1-inch sections with a serrated knife or floss. You should get 9 large pieces.
  7. Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9x9 inch baking pan or round 9-inch cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling leaks out.) Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Remove plastic wrap and towel and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown.
  9. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.
  10. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before frosting.
Soups

This list has been very carb based, so I wanted to throw in some of my favourite soup recipes to make sure you have something to go with your flatbreads and rolls! These can all be frozen to get the most out of the recipes.

Tomato Soup

 Lentil soup

 Spicy bean soup

Have fun cooking!

 

All images from Google.