Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Homemade Bread: The Food Of Love

Forget squishy, industrial loaves, margarine and sugar free jam. In our house, bread, butter and jam are the real deal with sugar and fat.

loaf of freshly baked bread

Photo: adactio (flickr)

I realize that bread is known as the Staff of Life, but for our family it is the food of love.

The guys are installing the fans in the greenhouse this week. Working all day in a greenhouse sounds heavenly, but if it is an unfinished house in the middle of winter, things can be uncomfortable.

By mid-morning it is stuffy and moist without the fans. The constant going in and out to the cold air, makes them damp and chilled by the end of the day.

Longest Days Of Winter

These are the longest days of winter: They are anxious to get the winter chore list finished and I am anxious to get them out of the greenhouse, so I can start seeding the trays.

When they come home for lunch, the smell of fresh bread will welcome them. While they are working in the greenhouse, I am in the kitchen making bread.

I realize that bread is known as the Staff of Life, but for our family it is the food of love. I make 6 loaves at once, while the family comes into the kitchen and checks on my progress the whole time.

Bread, Butter And Jam

A slice of homemade bread with butter and rhubarb jam, is a bracing early breakfast snack before going out to do chores in the freezing cold.

Forget squishy, industrial loaves, margarine and sugar free jam. In our house, it is the real deal with sugar and fat. Trust me, you will work it off in the hour and a half you will be hauling water to the barns.

My bread also makes great hot pockets and buns, pizza dough and breadsticks. Use the older bread to make croûtons or stuffing. Bread really is one of the most important foods to make from your pantry.

Try this recipe for handmade bread. No bread machine needed.

Recipe: Real Bread

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups warm water
  • 7 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup lard
  • 4 cups flour (if making whole wheat, use this now)
  • 10 cups flour

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in water-proof for 5 minutes
  2. Add remaining water, sugar, salt and lard
  3. Add 4 cups flour, stir and stand for 45 minutes
  4. Add rest of flour by hand, kneading until it feels moist but not sticky to the touch. Grease large(very large) bowl, add dough and cover
  5. Let rise for 1 hour
  6. Punch down
  7. Let rise for 1 more hour
  8. Punch down, divide into 6 loaves and let rise until double. Proceed with your desired recipe(either freeze individual loaves or make pocket sandwiches!)

This makes 6 loaves of excellent bread. If you don’t need all 6 right away, simply freeze the extra dough before baking. Form each loaf and freeze separately so they do not stick. Then thaw a loaf of formed bread, right in the pan, until it rises as usual and then bake.

More Bread Recipes

Amy Jeanroy

Amy Jeanroy lives on a small family farm in Nebraska. She and her family raise organic produce, milk, eggs and meat for sale. When she is not tending to the goats and gardens, Amy works as a freelance writer on gardening and green living topics, with a frugal touch. She is the Herb Gardens Guide for About.com, as well as the author of Canning and Preserving For Dummies, 2nd edition, 2009.

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  • http://homemadecanning.com Homemade canning

    Years ago in Sacramento, California, I ran across an old man selling pickles at a swap meet. He made the pickles in his own kitchen in large plastic barrels and sold them on week-ends. I went to this swap meet every Saturday all during the summer and noticed the lines of people gathered in front of his booth, but I always walked by.

  • http://www.easypeasybaking.com/ Jen

    It’s always cozy to have a loaf of bread and hot tea in the middle of winter morning. This is an absolute easy bread recipe. Thanks for sharing Amy!

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