recipes

Slow Bread

June 8, 2015 · 4 comments

I’m one of the many people interested in slowing down the pace of their lives. If I were walking around and literally following Jesus while he was going from place to place teaching, he wouldn’t be asking me to hurry and keep up. Oh no, rather, he’d be constantly saying, “Whoa, Keri Mae! Not so fast!”

One thing that’s helped me to slow down to a more comfortable pace is to get in my own way. For example, if I want to decrease the time I spend on the Internet, I turn off the router each and every time I log off. That way, it’s kind of a pain to “just” Google something, or “just” check my email. In essence, I make it harder to do the things I don’t really want to do, in order to change the habit.

 

I’ve learned to appreciate slow food, with its slow preparation and even its slow availability. I just don’t like to buy my apples in June or my asparagus in October. Rather, I try to wait for the proper season, and then enjoy the slow pace of preparing foods from scratch. If I want to slow down my day’s tempo, it helps that I’m not *quickly* opening a jar of spaghetti sauce, but rather taking the time to chop the onions, brown the sausage, simmer the sauce. It means I have to be home. It means I have to be present. So I get in my own way to slow myself, and forgo buying the much-faster, far-quicker, ready-made jar. Does that make sense?

 

Here are some pictures of how we bake bread around here. You may find it insanely slow. But it’s pretty good at fostering a meandering sort of lifestyle. Baking bread around here takes a few days, so I can’t just decide on Monday morning for lunch bread that same day. But it also doesn’t take a whole lot of actual time in each step, either. Each day has its short task, but it builds to the finished food.

 

First, I soak five pounds of wheat berries in a large stainless steel bowl. I use a mix of hard red and soft white spring wheat berries. I don’t bother draining them until I see teeny tails sprouting, usually 24-36 hours later. Can you see that here? You can see how much plumper the berries are, too. You can read about *why* to soak and sprout your grains here.

 

IMG_5577

After the soaking is finished, I drain and rinse the berries and spread them onto the dehydrator sheets. Five pounds of wheat berries takes up all five trays in my dehydrator.

 

IMG_5578

I dehydrate them at 100 degrees for about 24-36 hours.

 

IMG_5587

When the berries are dry, I grind them into flour. My Vitamix does a good job, but I can only work with two cups at a time, and it does warm the flour a bit. I’m not real interested in owning another appliance, so this suits me.

 

IMG_5589

I use my sifter to make sure there aren’t any stray berries in the flour, and also to catch up any excess bran. I was happy to learn that sprouted flour does not go rancid like the unsprouted variety. Here is some more information about how to make flour from a great website on culturing foods. Into the bin the flour goes, on my countertop at room temperature.

 

IMG_5592

Meanwhile, I am getting my sourdough starter fed. It takes me a couple of days to feed it and to get the amount I want to use. I get my sourdough starters and directions on how to use them from Sourdoughs International. My favorite starter is the Russian one; it works well with the heavier whole wheat flour, and rises quicker, too (by “quicker” I mean 3-4 hours rather than 8-10 hours). Plus, it has good sourdough flavor, which we all appreciate around here.

 

IMG_5812

 

Then, it’s finally time for the bread bucket! I love using our bread bucket. It’s so easy, and my children love taking turns to crank for the three minutes after the ingredients are in it. Here is our recipe for four loaves of sourdough, whole wheat bread (which I’m sure you could make without a bread bucket!):

 

2 cups sourdough starter

5 cups water

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup honey

2 TB salt

13 cups whole wheat flour (which, by the way, is almost all five pounds)

 

making slow sourdough bread

 

After the three-minute crank, it’s time to let the dough rise. Many things are dependent on how long it takes to rise, such as the specific starter used and the ambient temperature. Lately we’ve been letting our dough rise overnight, and we love the extra tang of sourdough we get from the longer time.

 

IMG_5821

 

Finally, we plop the dough out onto the counter, let it rest for 30 minutes, and then divide it into four parts. It doesn’t take very much kneading at all to get it smooth and ready to put into the loaf pans to rise. Anyone can do it :)

 

making slow bread

 

Once the bread has risen in the pans, it’s ready for the oven! We bake our loaves at 375 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. It’s real important to remove the breads from the pans rather quickly afterwards (within a few minutes), as the sourdough really wants to adhere to the pan as it cools. Then, just let the loaves cool until you can’t stand it any longer and have to slice a bit and melt butter all over it. Eat on the porch swing in the lazy languishing late morning sunlight :)

 

IMG_5585

 

It’s really not that bad, this slow cooking, slow bread baking. Once a rhythm is established, fresh-baked bread can be another part of making a house a very comfortable, healthy, and a slower paced relaxing sort of home.

 

Blessings,

 

{ 4 comments }

Do you like homemade granola? I do, but I can’t seem to find time to make it. The bowls, the pans, the stirring, the oven…blah. Half the time I make a mess in the oven as granola spills when I try to stir it up. So now I make up a batch of quick granola, on the stove top, whenever I want it. It takes about five minutes, and I don’t measure any part of it.

 

First, I drop into my hot pan a heaping few tablespoons of coconut oil and then a glob of honey. After it’s all melted, I throw in a small bowl of rolled oats and whatever nuts I have on hand. I stir it up here and there, and when it gets as toasty as I want, I take it off the heat and put in whatever dried fruits I have on hand. Done.

 

blog2

 

The only real mess to clean up is the stove top, after the kids finish serving themselves up a topping for their yogurt.

 

blog3

 

I started to make some coffee this morning and I had to laugh. No time to make granola (“No time!” she says), but I make my coffee in probably the slowest way possible. Why? Well…I enjoy the process. It makes me putter when the clock is yelling at me to hurry. I tossed my wristwatch about 15 years ago because I wanted to arrange my days–my life–to follow my own tempo the best I could. So…some things I hurry along (like granola) and some things I make more difficult, in order to force me to slow down (like making coffee).

 

It takes me five minutes to stare out the window and grind the coffee. In the background, you can see my husband’s personal coffee-grinding tempo :)

 

blog4

 

In the cup goes a pat of unsalted butter and a spoonful of coconut oil. And then I make the coffee. We both love using our Aeropress Coffee maker. It’s inexpensive, really makes the most delicious coffee, and the only power required is your own hands.

 

blog5

 

While that’s steeping for a minute, I begin heating up some milk. I press my coffee, which melts the butter and oil, and then I whip up my milk. We both like the Aerolatte Milk Frother for that. I gently pour the milk into my coffee and top it all off with a sprinkle of vanilla powder.

 

blog6

 

I don’t feel like I need to rush the process. It’s about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on how often I need to stop for a child’s needs. But when it’s done, yum.

 

blog7

 

Any kind of handwork is a slow tempo. I haven’t even used my sewing machine at all for about a year, but I have gotten some embroidery and a quilt binding finished. I’m working to finish this lacey scarf before spring, and I have an apron with yet more embroidery to finish afterwards.

 

blog8

 

Using a camera is a way I slow down my tempo, to take the time to really look and see, but drawing and art journaling take me even longer. I find the process meditative. Sort of like grinding coffee. They are just little ways to slow my tempo to where I crave it to be.

 

blog9

 

How is your own life tempo? Are you traveling at a speed comfortable for you?

{ 2 comments }

How To Juggle Multiple Sourdough Starters

December 5, 2013

I’ve been feeling the need to update my post on whole wheat sourdough bread, mainly because baking with sourdough is far, far easier than the recipe I left there. And now that I’ve been at it for several years, I’ve also gotten to a nice rotation in juggling multiple sourdough starters. I get most of […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Dehydrating Sourdough Starter

May 13, 2013

UPDATE (4-16-14): This process is very, very easy, but I did not have success rehydrating the starter. You can read about my efforts here. I still plan to dehydrate, but I will be doing more research on resurrecting it, too. Please feel free to share your thoughts on either post!   ***   I rarely […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Mocha Without the Machine

April 21, 2012

I have no regrets selling my espresso machine.  It was expensive, it took up counter space, it took care, it demanded to be used, and it was just one more thing I needed to plug in and maintain.  I’ve been ruthless in decluttering my house and I know I’m not finished yet!  But I do […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Hot Cereal For Breakfast

January 25, 2012

Seeing as boxed cereals from the market (even the “natural” ones) are about the worst thing we can eat ever eat, much less serve our children, I thought I’d share an easy hot cereal recipe.  I generally use whatever I have on hand, and some of the ingredients are probably not the “best”, much less […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Natural Face and Skin Cream, Part Two

January 12, 2012

Well, I was so excited about the fabulous cream I made last night that I wanted to share it with you pronto!  And then….something was nagging at me….like….didn’t I blog about that before? YEP.  You can read how I did it here.  So I guess that makes this post “Part Two”. But…seeing as how I […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Healthy, Quick, Easy Schoolday Lunches

September 14, 2011

Update:  Today (Wednesday), we had leftover cabbage slaw (made w/cilantro and homemade mayo), tossed with leftover chicken (our own!) and mozzarella cheese, topped with crunched saltine crackers and onion bits.  It was delish! It is really difficult for me to craft a new lunch every day because, face it, lunch is in the middle of […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Spring Food

May 31, 2011

I can tell you that my second go at this post is going to be a whole lot shorter, what with Blogger losing the first time I wrote this up.  It was a good reminder that everything I do here is as the air that blows by, nothing will keep. What I wanted to share […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Homemade Green Mix

March 24, 2011

I was inspired to put together my own family’s green mix after watching one of the homesteading videos in which they did the same. Her mix was far larger than mine (and also I assume way more costly) and I didn’t want to end up with more than we would use within the year, so […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

January 13, 2011

No oil. No yeast. No honey. No extra gluten, vitamin C, or extra white flour. Just bread. Simple bread with whole wheat, water, salt…and starter. I’m very, very happy with my new kitchen passion: whole wheat, sourdough bread. The flavor is amazing. The health benefits are incredible. And the process is slow. Slow, to me, […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Fast Food: How to Feed People on the Quick!

January 3, 2011
Play

Have you ever had meal preparation time delayed? Or last minute unexpected visitors to feed? Listen in as we delve into the challenges, discover some new ideas of how to prepare for this inevitable hurdle in the kitchen, and what sorts of snacks and meals can be easily put together with just a few raw ingredients. You don't have to send people away from your home hungry!

3 comments Read the full article →

Hours in the Kitchen?

December 2, 2010

I recently read a comment about how preparing and eating healthy food sounds like a good idea, but this particular person didn’t want to spend “hours in the kitchen”. I do find it curious that activities such as cooking (and exercise for that matter) that foster good health typically have a bit of dread involved, […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Hot Dog Buns: First and Last Time?

November 11, 2010

Well, I was pretty satisfied making these hot dog buns (for the first time!) because I had already figured out hamburger buns. I basically made the dough, stretched them long, and grilled it on both sides (rather than baking). You can google “make hot dog buns” for lots of different recipes. Then I cut the […]

1 comment Read the full article →

What’s in Your Pantry?

August 8, 2010
Play

What's in the pantry matters! You do have control over the food you provide and prepare for your family. Learn to create a health-promoting, wholesome kitchen, learn to cook from scratch, and learn to take control of your families bodily AND financial health. It really matters!

4 comments Read the full article →

Homemade Seasonings 2010

July 17, 2010

It’s harvest time, for whatever there is to actually harvest this year. We’re enjoying salad from the garden, at least. One of the things I enjoy doing is drying the seasonings I want to use in the kitchen throughout the year, but it is a little bittersweet. Is it too much to ask that someone […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

July 3, 2010

It may not look like summer outside. We may keep on eating warm lentil soups and crockpot casseroles. Sweaters are still within reach. But……I am still going to make PIES. That is one of my *summery* things, and I’m stickin’ to it. We harvested some rhubarb from the garden but the strawberries are sad little […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Marshmallows

March 17, 2010

The more time I spend in the kitchen, the more I figure out that a lot of the foods I buy at the market are overpriced, tasteless, and full of stuff I don’t want in my body. I couldn’t believe it the first time I figured out how to bake bread. The loaves coming out […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Herbes de Provence

January 27, 2010

I was following a crockpot recipe from a cookbook written by a fellow blogger when I came across an ingredient I didn’t have on hand: herbes de provence. I used to have available to me every spice and seasoning available (or so it seemed), but over the years I’ve weeded out the ones I hardly […]

0 comments Read the full article →
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...