Welcome to a weekly series where we are going to help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I am going to share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.
This week I thought we would start off with a simple topic, that anyone can do, but some people are afraid to try….. Making your own bread. Making your own bread is one of the first, shall I say, gateway skills into being more self sufficient. Believe it or not it, is easy to do and the rewards? Well your house smells yummy and your tummy will be full of homestead goodness!!!
There are many types of bread in this big old world (and I do have a few different recipes on my blog) but I am going to start you off with something simple… a plain old loaf of white bread (or wheat if you wish.) It is quick and simple and even the oldest country kid (a 7 year old boy) can pull this one off, so lets get started.
2 packets of yeast (dry active)
3 1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar (we use cane because beet sugar is GMO)
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoon Shortening (we use lard)
In a bowl dissolve the sugar into the warm water. This is what is going to “feed” your yeast. When the sugar is dissolved add in your yeast, gently mixing it in. You want the yeast to eat and grow thus rising your bread, so be nice to it! Let that sit a few minutes so the yeast can get going.
Next add in your salt, shortening and flour. Add the flour in a few cups at a time so you don’t end up with a big old mess. Once everything is combined in the bowl, the fun starts. It is time to kneed that dough (which is both a workout and stress reliever!) Divide the dough into two balls and kneed each until they become elastic (not sticky) but don’t over do it or your breed will be tough.
Shape them back into balls and leave them in a warm place to rise for an hour. Kids love this next step, which is punching down the dough. You just punch it with your fist and it deflates! Now at this point you can either let it rise again (some times I do if I have time because I think it makes it just that much better) or you can roll each ball out into a rectangle with your rolling pin or anything else you might have around that is long and round. I have been know to grab a can of cooking spray and use it when I can’t find my rolling pin!
I grease my bread pans and dust with a little flour to get them ready. One you roll up the dough so it is a long log, you tuck the ends under so it fits in the pan. Plop them in the pans and put them some where warm to rise an hour. Now it is time to bake them up at 425 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Trust me, once you master this bread, which shouldn’t take long, your curiosity will take over and you will want to try other recipes. Making bread is the simplest way to start doing more for yourself and your family. So enjoy and I hope to see you back next week for another Homestead Tips on Tuesday.
|Bread bowls for soup made from this recipe,|
just divided into smaller balls and baked on
a cookie sheet.