Sunday, 18 February 2018

Living on Rations - Day 6 - Bread and Pastry

Another day,  another breakfast. 

Again we had a small bowl of cereal and a slice of toast each ... the question we asked ourselves was 'will our spreads last the week' ... they might but only just!!

I made some more bread, a 450/100g mix of brown to white now ... we are inching towards totally wholemeal but I do have to use up the white bread flour that is in my 'bread bin'.

(Those of you who know my usual recipe is listed with a 500g weight of flour might question the extra 50g, but this is something I do if my yeast is pretty fresh.  It can cope with rising the extra 50g and that is what gives me a couple of extra buns or sometimes an additional pizza base.)

Then I weighed out some wholemeal flour and started to make some pastry to wrap around the saved stews from last night.  I used the last of the Trex, there was just 2oz left ...

... so I had decided to follow a recipe using mashed potato in the pastry.

As I didn't have any mashed potato saved I quickly made a baked potato in the microwave, then peeled it and chopped off enough to get to the required weight. 

I ate the peel and excess potato with a bit of my dairy free spread on ... chef's perk  ;-)

Once mashed up it was added to the already rubbed in fat and rubbed in again.  I then added cold water, just a small amount as it was amazing how the mashed potato added to the moisture content of the pastry.  It was then balled up, covered in clingfilm and left to rest in the fridge for half an hour.

I followed this recipe for the pastry from my Victory Cookbook.
(If you click on the photo it will open larger, so you can read it.)

Once it had rested I rolled it out between two pieces of clingfilm as it is a very delicate and soft to handle pastry.  I cut round one of our small bowls ...

...and then topped with the mixture.

I was going to make pasty shapes but the pastry really is so soft I couldn't fold it over the filling, so I had a brainwave ... I do love it when they come to order ... and rolled out the trimmings, placed the little flat piece of pastry over the filling, brushed the edges with milk and folded them over.

So they ended up looking like two flying saucers. 

The slits in the top are to let the steam out as usual but also done for identifications purposes ... V for vegetable and C for chicken.  I left them on the tray covered over with the clingfilm I had rolled out the pastry in, in the fridge.

And we went out for lunch, our Valentines treat two days after the event when silly prices and 'special offers' have gone back to normal.  We went to one of our favourite places The Rabbit Hole in Llandudno, a lovely little café that actually has some decent vegetarian and vegan choices at extremely reasonably prices ... or maybe it was a British Restaurant  ;-)

Much later, nearer to suppertime than teatime, we had our 'flying saucers' served with a jacket potato and some peas ... a bit of a cheat vegetable but we had both been really missing peas. We usually have them on most meals, and as cheats go it really wasn't a cheat too far ...  I think they were available in tins in the 1940s. 

Later with our cups of coffee and tea we had what I had made with a bit of the pastry, little Potato Pastry Apple Turnovers.  I thought it might taste strange but it was absolutely delicious.  Potato pastry is definitely a winner if you have lots of patience with the handling.

Sue xx


  1. Yum! I'll have to try your recipe.

  2. I've printed off the pastry recipe and once the medical stuff is all over, I shall give it a go. It looks very versatile although is it any cheaper that just using flour, I wonder? Also I wonder about using other root veg instead of potato. Parsnip pastry? :-)
    J x

    1. Helen @ the 1940s Hub1 March 2018 at 20:32

      I bet that would work well for sweet fillings. Not so sure about for savoury, might the pastry taste too sweet?

  3. Good brainwave! My pasties always come out looking 'interesting' shapewise, as I'm a bit rubbish at rolling out and crimping anyway - but who cares, it's good food, we're at home eating and I'm not cooking for people in a restaurant. And my OH isn't really bothered what it looks like, so long as it's tasty and fills him up.

    One of the things that's really stood out for me in my wartime rations reading is just how inventive housewives were - well, they had to be didn't they?

  4. Many years ago an aunt of mine gave me a couple of her recipe books of which I still have one. The other one was for Albatross Flour (I think) and there was a lot of war-time recipes in it. One of them which I tried was for cornish pasties, but using corned beef instead of the usual meat. They were delicious and I wrote down the recipe before I gave the book to a charity shop (foolish me). My father-in-law loved them and even now my mother-in-law mentions the fact.

    I also had the Victory Cookbook, but gave that to my daughter's partner as he is a keen cook and used to collect recipe books.

    Joan (Devon)

  5. I really like the jug with the green pattern in the first picture holding your spoons etc...

  6. Num to the potatoes. Very interesting.

  7. Glad to hear the potato pastry is a goer...I will soon be making some as all our stocks of butter are sorely depleted now! x

  8. They probably had 'Surprise dried peas', Sue. They had to be soaked before cooking. My mum still used them when I was a little girl in the late 50s/early 60s. I've made potato crust pastry and used it to top pies. I like it but can imagine it's difficult to wrap .
    I remember that my grandmother told me that she used to whip the butter ration with some milk to make it go further.

  9. Joy!! Parsnip pastry!! Whatever next!! Swede pastry!
    Sue, surely peas you have grown - or substituted for produce you have grown - would not count in the rations? The people living in the big industrial towns must have had a much tougher time than country-folk who could grow their own, and raise and share (illegally) a few animals for meat.

    I don't recall potato pastry, but my mum made super "Whitebait fritters" with grated potato and egg. Not as good as the real thing, but a tasty supper.

    You're doing well.

    I remember Surprise Dried Peas, but that was the 60s rather than earlier, and my earlier memories are of disgusting GREY tinned peas. Yuck!!

    1. even more disgusting was a (never buy THAT brand again) tin of day glo green peas. I was afraid to eat them. Grey I can forgive, if they taste OK.


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