The conversation usually starts as I load ten pounds of pastured butter into my cart.
Soon, the small butter talk turns to backyard chickens, homemade make-up, and raw milk. By the end of the conversation, the kind shopper once intrigued by butter, is convinced I live life from a chapter of The Little House on the Prairie.
Trust me, fellow shopper, our life is far from Little House.
I use a washing machine. It’s true. And the hard-working machine I dearly call “the dryer” is one of my best friends. Long flowing skirts are far from my normal attire. Hello, yoga pants. But, the deal breaker in all of this comes down to one little word. The “B” word.
Here’s the truth. I don’t bake my own bread. The one thing every all-natural, homesteading mommy should spend countless hours making for her family.
The last couple years, I’ve been delightfully satisfied with a local baker’s artisan bread . I look forward to waking early on Saturday morning to visit the farmer’s market and the booth where my favorite baker sets up shop. The organic sourdough selections stacked neatly on top of each other. Who needs to spend hours in the kitchen making homemade bread when warm loaves are awaiting every Saturday morning.
Sadly, last month, I had to say “good-bye” to my Saturday morning stops at the baker’s booth. The expense of $6 a loaf is more than my new monthly budget can handle.
With a bread-loving three year-old and three other humans to satisfy with a daily ration of gluten, I’ve turned to my kitchen and fully embraced the art of bread making. Embraced life “on the prairie”, modern day yoga-pant-style.
This whole wheat bread is soaked to make it easier to digest and nourishing for the body. Soaking grains breaks down the phytic acid allowing for easier digestion. In fact, many people who can’t tolerate bread made with wheat, can tolerate soaked grains, making for a happier gut. Read more about soaking grains here. The end result is an easy-to-make bread that’s fluffy and light, perfect for toast, sandwiches, french toast, or perfectly sliced with a big slab of pastured butter.
Note: This recipe makes two loaves of bread. I make one a basic sandwich bread and the other Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
Soaked Whole Wheat & Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Cinnamon Raisin Bread:
- 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup raisins
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a standard bowl using a wooden spoon), combine the milk, water, vinegar, and flour (one cup at a time). The dough should be sticky and a bit stiff. Cover the bowl with a towel. Allow to sit overnight 12-24 hours.
After soaking the dough, add the honey, salt, and yeast to the flour mixture. Attach the dough hook and knead dough for 8-10 minutes. Depending on the flour, you may need a 1/2 cup more to reach a stiff, workable dough.
Cover the bowl with a towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours. The dough will double in size.
Once doubled in size, gently punch down and form the dough into two equal balls.
For sandwich bread: Using a rolling pin, roll one ball into a rectangular shape. Roll the flatttened dough into a loaf and place in a buttered bread pan.
For cinnamon raisin bread: Using a rolling pin, roll one ball into a rectangular shape Spread the flattened dough with honey, sprinkle with 2-3 teaspoons (depending on preference) of cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of raisins. Roll the flattened dough into a loaf and place in a buttered bread pan.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cover the pans with a towel and allow to rise as the oven preheats (30 minutes.)
Bake for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Makes 2 loaves of bread.
Recipe inspired and adapted from The Earthbound Cookbook by Myra Goodman
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