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Baking Bread #SkilloftheMonth

This time of year gives me the urge to retreat to the kitchen to bake. I love the contrast of the crisp temperatures outside and the cozy warmth and delicious smells from baking that fill my modest kitchen.

I am striving to break down barriers – particularly the intimation that come from trying something new – that keep me from learning new homesteading skills. It’s time to jump in headfirst with some of these projects. While I find that I do make a lot of errors this way, with persistence I am starting to meet some of my learning goals.

This month I really wanted to challenge myself to bake my own homemade bread. I have been following a simple Amish white bread recipe and have probably baked six loaves in the last two weeks, which I am going to take as a good sign since they haven’t even cooled before disappearing. Think warm toast and butter, egg sandwiches, French toast, PB & J…

With about twenty minutes of hands-on time and a few simple ingredients that I have in bulk around my kitchen, I can have two loaves of delicious white sandwich bread underway. I find that I enjoy the process of slowing down to make bread, taking the time to gather and mix ingredients and knead the dough. And the smell of freshly bake bread beats any candle. Not only am I enjoying this, but my busy toddler will even slow down to help. Baking with a toddler provides an enjoyable (and yes, potentially very messy) family activity, and also an educational one teaching chemistry, math, direction following and life skills. And there’s nothing like a science experiment you can eat with butter.

The bread-bug has bitten. The only thing to do is to keep baking and trying new recipes. Maybe making my own sourdough starter? Trying different kinds of wheat? Cooking in a wood-fire oven? Which means I need to build a wood-fire oven… And of course, I will need to make some fresh butter….

Interested in baking your own bread? Here are some links we found useful.

AllRecipes.com. Amish White Bread Recipe.

 King Arthur Flour. Learn to Bake.

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