Maple Molasses Whole Wheat Bread

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This bread turned out delicious!  It has a touch of sweet and slices well.  I slice one loaf and put it in the freezer to toast or to use for French toast. The other loaf we eat fresh.  I used to avoid kneading bread.  I have mastered the art of bread baking without kneading but have realized, like so many other homesteading activities, that the actions become soothing and methodical, a type of meditation and calm.

We love grains and find that they provide the energy we need in our daily active life.  I always use organic, unbleached flour and organic, freshly ground whole wheat.  Real butter and rich molasses with sweet maple make this bread a real treat!

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Mama’s Maple Molasses Whole Wheat Bread

5 teaspoons of yeast added to 1/2 cup of warm water, set aside

Warm 2 cups of goat’s milk, 1/4 cup of molasses, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup of butter, and 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar over low heat.

Meanwhile blend 6 cups of white flour, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 3 teaspoons of vanilla salt, and 1 teaspoon of ginger as a fun surprise.

Add half the liquid ingredients, blend then add yeast and remaining liquid and blend.

Knead one cup of flour in for 6-7  minutes.  (Press palms of hand into dough, fold in half and turn a 1/4 turn then press palm in again.  Repeat.)

Let rise 1 hour in a greased covered bowl in warm spot.

Divide into 2 loaves and place in 2 oiled bread pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Brush tops with butter (and sugar and cinnamon if desired).  After a half hour or so pop bread out and let cool completely on rack.  (Without the cinnamon and sugar this bread can be used for savory sandwiches or meals as well as sweet.)

Grain Mills and Rye Bread

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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!)