Posted in Food/Wine (and preserving), Non-Electric

Grain Mills and Rye Bread


The aroma captures you as you enter the house.  It instantly makes a home cozy.  When you make the soup too spicy (oops) it calms it down and fills you up.  It is perfect with a glass of wine and bit of butter and jam.  A must for a picnic.  Not to mention full of protein, nutrients, and fiber.  Ahh, fresh bread, how I adore you.

One of the lovely things about moving to a small town, opening a small business in a small town, and living simply around other folks that live simply is the community mindset of barter.  So when a couple we know wanted to take some of my herbal classes, they offered me a near forgotten treasure…a grain mill.  One that actually grinds whole wheat into fine, delicious flour.  What a gift!

Living at 6500 feet above sea level has provided me with years of baking cement blocks.  A few of you are laughing, cause you know what I am talking about!  I have perfected the simple loaf of bread with the help of some books like “My Bread” by Jim Lahey and “Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” by Hertzberg ad Francois.  They didn’t touch on high altitude baking but they catapolted me to the next level in order to master the humble peasant loaf.

Easy Scrumptious Rye Bread

2 cups of unbleached, organic white flour

1 cup of rye flour

1 Tablespoon of yeast

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1Tablespoon of caraway seeds

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 1/2 cups of warm water (1 1/3 cup for lower altitudes)

Mix well in a mixing bowl and place plate over it (you could use a towel, but I have cats, since cat hair is not really a necessary ingredient in bread, I use a plate) Promptly forget for 2-6 hours.  Take off plate, sprinkle with flour and knead 20 times in bowl.  Re-cover. Promptly forget for 1-4 hours.  Place in preheated Dutch oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove lid and bake for 15 minutes more.

You could also grease two bread pans and bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes with a ramekin of hot water.

Enjoy with rich butter, homemade choke cherry jam, and glass of red wine, a meritage or California red blend would be lovely.

Have a beautiful Sunday.  (Go Broncos!)


Katie Lynn Sanders is the author of seven books, has been a speaker on sustainable living, and loves all things wine, regenerative agriculture, homesteading, travel, food, arts, crafts, books, and finding enchantment and inspiration in the smallest things. She lives on a one acre farm and vineyard, Pumpkin Hollow Farm, with her husband, fourteen chickens, three ducks, a giant Pyrenees, two goats, five cats, and visiting children and grandchildren in southern Colorado.

9 thoughts on “Grain Mills and Rye Bread

  1. We love our grain mill! It’ll definitely add some arm muscle, but so worth it! A workout + true whole wheat flour. We are actually giving away a Country Living Grain Mill right now! Entries run through Dec 16 if you’re interested. Check out our Twitter post Good luck with your business. We can’t wait to see where it goes…and to try this recipe. 🙂

  2. A Dutch oven was a present to myself for christmas. I’d kill for a grain mill! I need to try this recipe and see how it works for me. Congrats on the buisness and hope it does well for you. Where do you get organic white flour? At the moment I can only get unbleached enriched…

    1. I order my flour in big bags from the health food store but I think we can get some online as well. I LOVE my dutch oven! I have been looking for one for my mom but they are not that easy to find. I lucked out finding mine at an antique store for $20!

      1. I order big bags too but I guess I haven’t tried organic..I assumed they wouldn’t carry it or at least the company they usually order from doesn’t have it. I bought my dutch oven at walmart for $60. I’m looking for one of those huge cast iron cooking pots you can put cook over a camp fire..kinda like a cauldron. Not sure where to get one of those but someone has to have one..they had them back in the little house on the prairie days!

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