Homegrown and Handmade shows how making things from scratch and growing at least some of your own food can help you eliminate artificial ingredients from your diet, reduce your carbon footprint and create a more authentic life. Author Deborah Niemann writes from the perspective of a successful, self-taught modern homesteader, in a well-illustrated, practical and accessible manual for a simpler life. In this excerpt, get tips for using your poultry to its full potential by making this recipe for brioche, a buttery bread.
You can buy this book from the GRIT store: Homegrown and Handmade.
• Cooking With Eggs From Your Backyard Flock
• Crustless Quiche Recipe
• Easy Homemade Noodles Recipe
• Farm-Fresh Chicken Soup Recipe
• Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
• Turkey Stroganoff Recipe
• Crème Brûlée Pie Recipe
This bread is a great way to use up nine eggs quickly, and it is the perfect bread for French toast and bread pudding, which will use up even more eggs.
1 1/2 cups warm water (temperature of bath water)
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
1/2 cup honey
8–10 cups flour
Put the first three ingredients into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer that has a 6-quart bowl. Melt the butter in the measuring cup, and add it to the bowl. Then use the buttery measuring cup to measure the honey and add it to the bowl. (You do this so the honey slips right out of the cup.) Add the eggs and 7 cups of the flour and begin mixing. The dough will be sticky when everything is thoroughly mixed. Begin adding flour in 1/2 cup increments, mixing thoroughly between additions, up to 8 1/2 cups. At some point, you will probably have to give up the spoon and start mixing with your hands. When you have added 8 1/2 cups of flour, add more in 1/4-cup increments until the dough is no longer sticky. If you are using a mixer with a dough hook, the dough is ready when the dough hook is pushing it around the bowl in a ball. Do not add any additionalflour once it reaches that point. Towards the end, you should add flour a couple of tablespoons at a time because it is much easier to make wet dough drier than the other way around.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 or 2 hours. Punch it down and separate it into three loaves for baking now, or pull off 1/3 of the dough to bake now and put the remainder of the dough in the refrigerator for baking in a few days. I never mix up a single loaf of bread for two reasons. First, it takes no more time to mix up three loaves than one. Second, my mixer has a hard time mixing up a single loaf because the bowl is so large. If you have a smaller mixer bowl, you can reduce the recipe by 1/3 to make two loaves at a time instead of three.
Butter or oil the loaf pans. If the dough is fresh, let it rise for about 30 minutes after shaping and putting it into the loaf pans. If the dough has been refrigerated, it will need 90 minutes to 2 hours to warm up and rise, depending upon the temperature in your house. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Yeast bread is done when you thump it and it sounds hollow. If you are not clear on that “hollow” thing, color is a pretty good indicator when you bake it at 350°F. If it is pale, it’s probably not done, so give it another 5 minutes. It should be golden brown. If you want a more scientific answer, you can stick a thermometer into the center of the loaf, and it should be about 200°F.
This excerpt has been reprinted from Homegrown and Handmade by Deborah Niemann and published by New Society Publishers, 2011. Buy this book from our store: Homegrown and Handmade.
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