Homemade Bread - A Homestead Staple

Nothing says 'Homestead' quite like a couple loaves of homemade bread baking in the oven. Know what I mean? Pull those loaves out of the oven, grab the bread knife and slice while you watch the steam rising.

So many people struggle to make a good loaf of bread. So I want to share some of my favorite recipes - ones I use all the time - to make it simple. Let me know which one is your favorite!

YUMMY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD (1 loaf, hand-mixed)

11/2 C. warm water (mix half boiling with half tap water)
2 T. raw sugar, honey, or molasses
1 T. olive oil or coconut oil
1 C. whole wheat flour (I like to mix the Bronze Chief red and the Prairie Gold flours, freshly ground)
2 T. ground flax seed (can grind seeds with a small electric coffee grinder)
3/4 T. instant yeast
Mix well, cover bowl with towel and let sit about 15 minutes, then add 1/2 to 3/4 T. real salt and 1 C. more flour. Mix in well.

Then add:
2 T. more honey, molasses or maple syrup--optional
1 T. lecithin (liquid or granules)--optional
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes--optional
1 to 1 1/2 more whole wheat flour or more until dough is only slightly sticky and easy to handle

Mix well. Knead dough for about 5 minutes. (Optional: add in 1/1/2 to 2 C. raisins at this point for delicious raisin bread, or for garlic bread you can add in 1/2 c. sauteed onions and 4-6 cloves sauteed garlic and 3-4 tsp. dried herbs.)

Let sit for several minutes.

Coat standard bread pan with spray. Form dough into loaf shape on oiled counter top and place in pan. Cover with oiled Saran wrap. Let rise til double (30-60 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread pan in center of oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and turn bread pan over to release bread from pan. Check bottom crust for doneness--bread should sound "hollow" when tapped on bottom with knuckles. Cool thoroughly on rack. Best eaten next day. Enjoy!!

Recipe taken from Contemporary Artisans Collection Cookbook.

RUSTIC EUROPEAN BREADS

: Italian Ciabatta Bread

 (1 loaf hand mixed, no bread pans necessary)

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 tsp. raw sugar or honey
3/4 C. warm water (half boiling, half tap water)
1/3 C. olive oil
3 1/2 C. natural white flour or Prairie Gold whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. real salt

1. Mix together yeast and sugar or honey in warm water. Sprinkle flour on baking sheet.

2. In large bowl combine flour and salt. Make an indention in center of flour. Add olive oil and yeast mixture into this indention, and stir in flour from edge of bowl until dough is slightly sticky, somewhat firm but not dry or stiff (easy to work).

3. Knead for several minutes, but not as thoroughly as with regular breads. Form into an elongated rectangular shape. The shape can be somewhat irregular. Place on baking sheet that was sprinkled with flour. Cover with oiled Saran wrap and let rise in warm place til doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. After rising, sprinkle top of dough with flour. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Slice lengthwise for sandwiches, or in thick slices.

RUSTIC EUROPEAN BREADS

: Italian Focaccia Bread



1 pkg. dry yeast
1 1/3 C. warm water (half boiling, half tap water)
2 T. olive oil or coconut oil
2 tsp. raw sugar or honey
4 C. Prairie Gold whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
Olive oil for drizzling
Celtic sea salt
fresh garlic and fresh rosemary

1. Mix yeast, water and sugar or honey and oil.

2. In large bowl, combine flour and salt. Make indention in center of flour, and add oil and yeast mixture into this indention. Keep adding flour from edges of bowl into the center until dough is just slightly sticky but still a little soft. Knead briefly on oiled or floured countertop. Form into two circles of dough and place on oiled baking pan, or you can put the dough into a rectangular cake pan or casserole dish that has been oiled.

Let rise until double. Then poke "dimples" into top of dough. Poke slices of garlic into dough and fresh rosemary on top of dough if desired. Then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse crystals of Celtic sea salt. Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until light brown. Cut into large squares when serving.

RUSTIC EUROPEAN BREADS

: German Pumpernickel Bread

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 C. warm water (half boiling, half tap water)
1/4 C. molasses
2 T. olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp. real salt
2 T. carob powder
1/2 tsp. Roma--opt.
1 tsp. onion powder--opt.
1 C. rye flour
1 C. Prairie Gold whole wheat flour
1 C. natural white flour or as needed
2 T. cornmeal

1. Mix yeast and water, molasses and oil.

2. In large bowl, combine flours, salt, carob powder, Roma, and onion powder. Make an indention in center of flour and pour yeast mixture into this indention. Start mixing, and keep adding in flour from edge of bowl until you have a dough that is slightly sticky but firm. Turn out onto floured countertop and knead, adding more flour as needed. Form into a round or oval loaf. Oil or spray baking sheet and sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheet. Place loaf on baking sheet (or you can place loaf in an oiled 8" round cake pan sprinkled with cornmeal). Cover with oiled Saran wrap and let rise in warm place til doubled. Preheat oven to 350 or 375 degrees. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool thoroughly.

RUSTIC EUROPEAN BREADS

: Swedish Limpa Bread

2 pkg. dry yeast
2 C. warm water (half boiling, half tap water)
1/3 C. raw sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1/4 C. coconut oil (in solid state)
1 T. salt
Grated zest of 1 large orange
2 tsp. anise seeds
2 tsp. fennel seeds
3 C. rye flour
3 C. Prairie Gold flour

1. Mix yeast with water, raw sugar, molasses and coconut oil.

2. In large bowl, mix together flours, salt, orange zest, anise and fennel seeds. Form an indention in center of flour mixture, then add the yeast mixture into this indention. Gradually stir in flour from edges of bowl until dough is firm but slightly sticky and easy to work. Knead for several minutes on floured countertop. Form into two round or oval loaves. Place on baking sheet that has been oiled or in two 8" round cake pans that has been sprayed or oiled. Cover with oiled Saran wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.

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