Suburban Pioneers

The Adventures and Misadventures of Homesteading in 21st-Century America

Lauren: My Favorite Bread Recipe Made From Freshly-Ground Flour September 12, 2013

I’m embarrassed to admit that 6 months ago I had no idea what wheat berries were and couldn’t have identified them if you asked me to (“Weird-looking rice???”).

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But now I am one of those people–the crazy-grind-your-own-grain folk. It’s not as “out there” as I thought (or maybe I’m too far gone now to accurately judge). When someone first told me they had friends that ground their own flour, I pictured them threshing stalks of grain in their bathtub. Needless to say, things are much more modern than I had originally imagined.

This all started when I learned that in the 1920’s, millers began to remove the germ, germ oil, and bran from wheat so it would have a longer shelf life. They ended up taking out most of the nutrients (25+ including Vitamin E, Vitamin B, Iron, and Calcium). When people started to get sick, they put 4 nutrients back in and called it “enriched.”

We decided to give grinding our own grain a shot, found some wheat berries at a health food store, and ground them up in our juicer. The bread was amazing! I had been using whole wheat flour to make bread and it always ended up kind of dry and hard. Bread made from freshly-ground flour is moist and delicious. It’s completely superior! It’s so worth it–for the taste and nutritional benefits.

We used some credit card points to purchase a Wondermill. It’s pretty quiet and only takes a few minutes to produce freshly-ground flour. (The juicer worked okay, but it took a while and could only produce a coarse flour.) We buy wheat berries in bulk from Bread Beckers.

Now I grind the wheat berries, toss the flour into a ziploc bag, and put it in the freezer. You can use it “as is” from the freezer so it’s no different than pulling flour out of a pantry.

And here is my favorite bread recipe from a blog called Home with Purpose. The recipe only has eight ingredients and takes me about an hour to make (and that includes time to rise!)! I usually cut the recipe in half, which makes three loaves of bread. We eat one while it’s warm and slice and freeze one or two loaves for later. Yum.

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Lauren: Quick and Healthy Drop Biscuits (Five Ingredients!) March 18, 2013

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Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup salted butter

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour and baking soda. Cut in butter. Stir in vinegar and milk until dough is sticky. (Add additional milk if dough is not getting sticky.) Spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.

2. Enjoy!

 

Lauren: Homemade Cinnamon Bread March 11, 2013

There’s just something about homemade bread that’s magical. I think the heavenly smell has something to do with it. And if the bread is slightly sweet with cinnamon? Even better.

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Ingredients:

1 cup milk

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup butter

6 1/2 – 7 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour for a “wheatier” taste)

6 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 packages active dry yeast

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup honey (or more or less to taste)

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

*This recipe assumes the use of a Stand Mixer.

1. Combine milk, water, and 1/3 cup butter in small saucepan. Heat on low until 120-130 F (butter probably won’t be all the way melted).

2. Place 6 cups flour, 6 tbsp sugar, salt, and yeast in mixing bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 15 seconds. Gradually add eggs, liquids from pan, about 1 min. Mix on speed 2 for 1 more minute.

3. Continue on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl, about 2 min. Kneed on speed 2 for 2 more minutes.

4. Place in greased bowl, turn to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place (I put a bowl of hot water in my oven with the dough bowl and keep the door shut) until doubled in bulk (about 35 min.).

5. Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half to a 9 x 14 rectangle. Brush each half with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and then drizzle with honey. Roll dough (tightly!) and shape into loaves. Place in two 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pans.

6. Cover; let rise in warm place (back in the oven!) until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes (but check sooner). Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

7. Spread with jam or peanut butter, or turn into French Toast. . . delicious!

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*This recipe was adapted from the Kitchen Aid recipe book.

 

 
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