Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Homemade Bread Basic Supplies

Because my bread making post will be lengthy and picture heavy, I decided to first give you a list of ingredients and supplies I use.  These are for my basic whole wheat bread recipe, which I'll be sharing in the next day or two.

I buy my wheat berries from Azure Standard.  I know you can find them various places online, and if you don't want to grind your wheat, azure standard also sells flour.  You can also find unbleached organic flour in some stores or whole foods markets.  I mix my wheat berries, half hard red wheat and half hard white wheat.  I get a fairly good hearty wheat flour, but still is soft and rises well.

The mill I use is the Nutrimill Classic Grain Mill.  There are several on the market, from hand cranked mills to fancy electric ones.  I kind of found a middle of the road mill and haven't regretted the decision.  It grinds wheat berries, corn, beans, and various other grains.

I absolutely LOVE my Bosch Universal mixer, which I bought 8 years ago.  Mine has the blender attachment, and you can buy many other attachments to go with it.  We use it for everything......... bread, cookies, cakes, smoothies, etc.   It mixes evenly, and I like that it has an open top with the mixing tools inside the bowl, rather than having to deal with the motor and tools being over the top of the bowl.  It just makes it easier to work with.

SAF Yeast is the best yeast I have ever used.  My breads rise beautifully every time.  The packages come vacuum sealed, so after I open them, I store them in my refrigerator.

I prefer coconut oil or olive oil for bread.  Usually I use coconut oil for my baking, but if it's winter, when my coconut oil is a solid, I use olive oil unless I have the time to melt the other.

I am blessed to have a local raw honey supplier about 10 miles from my house!  I don't use any other type of sugar in my bread, but you may prefer an organic unbleached sugar.

I line my bread pans with Parchment Paper.  It helps my bread cook more evenly and makes cleaning up simple!  The bread doesn't stick to the paper, and when you pull the paper out of the pan, it's clean!  Doesn't get any easier than that.

I have used several types of bread pans, but my favorite is just a simple stainless steel pan. 

If you're just getting started in bread making or using whole organic flour, don't feel like you have to start big. Start small, like I did.  I went to the store and bought an organic wheat flour, and used what I had to try my hand at bread making.  Over time, I expanded to where I am now.  Don't get overwhelmed, and take your time and practice!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why I'm Not Gluten Free Anymore

For roughly eight years, I was a wheat grinding, bread making, whole grain berry eating, machine.  When I was first diagnosed with thyroid disease, I had a difficult time adjusting to medications and eventually turned to real and organic foods.  Which included whole wheat berries and homemade bread.  The results were astounding to my health.

Fast forward a few years, to when I had my second set of twins, my mother was sick, my in-laws had moved in with us, and I had 4 children 3 and under.  I admit, in all of my stress, I was in survival mode, which introduced store bought breads, snacks, and and many other no-no's to my diet.  I started back on the downward spiral to poor health, weight gain, migraine headaches, fatigue, and frequent illness.  I knew better, I just couldn't get back on track.

Once I decided to make the necessary changes to get back to good health, grinder broke.  So, for a year, I tried my best to eat healthy.  And no matter what I did to change, I still felt horrible.  Which then led me to believe I had a gluten intolerance.  Because that's the popular thing to have right now, right?  More expensive specialty food.  Ezekiel bread, sprouted grains, gluten free everything.  It was getting pricey and annoying.

Then I had a light bulb moment.  For the many years I was grinding my wheat and making bread, I never felt bad when I ate wheat products.  EVER.  Yeah, I know, I'm a little slow sometimes.  So, I saved up and bought a new grinder, started over again, and I feel great.

Did you know that store bought bread is depleted of all it's natural vitamins?  The berries are ground and bleached and stripped of all vital nutritional value until it's left with nothing?  Vitamins and nutrients that are important to our everyday health.  Especially for women.  And then, back in the 40s, the government decided that synthetic vitamins needed be placed back in the flour after destroying it's original design.  So now we have "enriched" bread.  Meaning nothing really.

All of which makes it difficult for our bodies to process.  Mine especially.  So, I really didn't have an allergy to gluten.  Just an allergy to junk or processed foods.

I do believe that there are people who have a true allergy to gluten, but a gluten free lifestyle was not the best option for me.  My body needs the whole grains and all of the amazing health benefits they provide.

Next time, I'll share my basic bread recipe and how I grind my grains!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Homestead Journey is Coming Back...

After almost two years of silent fingers, I'm finally coming back to blogging.

I love sharing and learning with you all.  I've missed the encouragement, comradery, and blessings of giving you an insight to my dreams.

Our family has gone through many losses and struggled with adjusting and readjusting to new normals in our life.  But God is good and He has given us many blessings to be grateful for.  If there is one thing I've learned through these trials it's that there is always something to be thankful for.  And we have been given the strength numerous times to keep pressing on.  It's hard.  But rewarding.

I am excited to share with you the changes that have been taking place here on our little homestead.  That will all come in the future, but it's exciting to see how God is at work!

I'm already working on new posts including:  essential oils, my take on gluten, homemade bread, and many others!

Have a beautiful weekend and I'll share with you Monday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cute and Handy Clothespin Holder

I love to hang my clothes out on the line to dry.  Most days are still, but on the days when I deal with a lot of wind, clothespins are a must.  

Yesterday I whipped up this handy clothespin holder using a pattern I found on

Very easy design!  I had it cut out and sewn in under a couple of hours.  I used a decorator weight cotton for the main part of the bag, and then made my own bias tape from a quilter's cotton.  I figured it needed some fancying up, so I added the ruffle.  Anything to make wash day more fun, huh?

It should hold about 100 clothespins.  I may need two bags...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dear Homestead Journey, Where Have You Been?

I'm still here.  Over the last several weeks, our family has been through changes.

Without going into great detail, my dear in-laws have moved in with us.  Their addition to our household has brought joy and blessings to our family.  My children are such attentive servants, and they are being given the opportunity to learn a valuable character building lesson.  Their grandparents are leaving a mark on their little hearts that will stay with my children for their lifetime.

Almost three weeks ago, my sweet mother was diagnosed with lung cancer.  The news was shocking to us all.  I don't think I've ever cried so hard, nor have I questioned "why" so much.  My mother is one of the most healthy people I know.  She eats great, exercises, never smoked a day a day in her life and has never done anything harmful to her body.  I never imagined I would be going through this with her ever, especially at such a young age.  I trust the Lord and His healing.  I know my mom has been washed in an unexplainable peace that only God can give.  I praise the Lord that she is a Christian and, even though the diagnosis may look grim, she knows God has the power to heal and save and to give her long life.  I pray she will be with us here on the earth, for many years to come.

I believe she will be healed.  And I believe it is the Lord who has granted her peace and grace.  I know that through all of this, God will receive ALL the glory.

After battling a stomach bug that has lasted over two weeks, and dealing with the emotional roller coaster of my family members, I think I am finally ready to tackle life again.

If you think of us, pray for us.  My parents, my in-laws, and my family.

I promise this will be the beginning to posting here again.  I am grateful for all of my readers and those who are willing to stand in the gap for our family.

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