Desert Homestead Bread: One of Life’s Little Miracles


Dave L HeadshotGood bread is no accident! While most bread recipes are simple and most bread ingredients are readily available in any grocery store, the fine art of baking great bread takes practice and mindfulness. No written directions can replace the knowledge of a good baker in determining when bread dough is ready. Watching Barbara work her magic in our kitchen is like watching an alchemist turning lead to gold.

As a kid in rural Minnesota, I often stayed at my Grandmother’s house. Each morning I woke to the smell of fresh bread wafting out of her kitchen. Those smells and my pleasure now are found in our kitchen.  I still react like I was 10 years old and can’t wait to eat that first warm slice with butter melting and honey oozing off the edges of the crust.

When Barbara and I were making the transition from a teaching career to homesteading, we began baking our own bread for healthy eating and low cost. We used a bread machine while we were teaching because of time constraints and now use a dough hook on a stand mixer prior to hand kneading. The results are incredible bread at a low cost either way.

While there are countless bread recipes, our default is simple, wholesome bread made from organic whole wheat that requires no exotic ingredients and is easy, especially if you are just learning the art of baking bread.

Basic Whole Wheat Bread Recipe 

Ingredients: 2 teaspoons granulated yeast 
1/2 cup warm water 
6 cups whole wheat flour, if possible stone-ground 
2 1/2 teaspoons table salt 
2 cups warm water 
2 tablespoons canola oil 
2 tablespoons honey 

Dave Larson
9/24/2011 12:02:33 PM

N Dave and Susan, Thanks for your visit and comments. Baking bread or pie and making a "from scratch" veggie soup are among the most satisfying and wonderful things about life. Have a great day baking and cooking real food.

9/22/2011 8:10:40 PM

Yum yum! I just put two loaves in the oven to bake and it smells soooooo good. I love experimenting with homemade bread recipes. Maybe one of these years we'll build an outdoor stone/brick oven--wouldn't that be fun for parties!

Nebraska Dave
9/22/2011 9:50:50 AM

Dave, baking bread smell is the best isn't it? Well, it's right up there with baking apple pie smell and well maybe the wake up call from bacon in the pan smell. Aw man any thing that's cooking in the old fashioned way leaves a good smell in the house. There's nothing like a good soup smell in the house on a cold winter evening. The bread machines are good in a pinch but there's just nothing like a good loaf of hands on kneaded and baked bread. I think it's the extra love that goes into the process that makes it taste so good. I'm with you on the melting butter oozing down into the crevices of the bread. I can remember when my older kids were growing up and I baked bread. They would stand waiting and watch the timer for the bread to come out of the oven. I had to bake four loaves at a time because one loaf was gone within minutes of being out of the oven. Then by the next day another was gone. So to have bread for a few days I had to bake the extra two loaves. I really should go back to baking bread. Especially during the winter months. Thanks for the reminder of country kitchen smells and how wonderful they can be. Have a great bread eating day.

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