To Do: Bring down 4 bales of straw from the back barn and mulch the strawberry bed and put down a bale for the chickens, clean their nest box. This is all in hopes they will decide to lay again before spring!
Chickens in general: Note to self.....start a fresh bunch each spring or at least every other spring.
The mincemeat is ripening in the stainless steel pot on the back of the stove and tasting better every day. I am using it like jam on my breakfast toast. When I was a child, I wouldn't touch it.
Bread Making: Yesterday I used my standby recipe but added lots of extra goodies to it. I am calling it Health Bread Recipe No. 1.
2 pkgs yeast (I use SAF that I keep in the freezer)
1/2 cup warm water
2-1/2 cups warmed milk (original recipe called for water but this is healthy whole foods remember)
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups Oat Bran Cereal (found in supermarkets...brand Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup either honey or sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/4 cup melted butter
6 cups 50/50 flour (half whole wheatand half AP)
2 cups Bread flour (I used AP with gluten added)
shortening to coat 3 loaf pans. Or can be baked in rounds on oven stone.
1/2 cup chia seed jell
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/3 cup wheat germ
Add yeast to 1/2 cup water to dissolve
Combine lukewarm milk, melted butter, salt, oat bran cereal, sugar and 2 cups of the flour mix and beat well (I used a KA stand mixer).
Add egg, yeast mixture, chia jell, mix well.
Add dry additives to the couple of cups of bread flour and mix. Add this to liquid ingredients and mix well, I beat with the mixer for a couple of minutes and if it is too thin, I add flour until it is like thick pancake batter. Then begin adding flour until you get a nice soft dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl or, if by hand, until you have a pretty stiff dough. Either knead with mixer 6 minutes or by hand for 8-10 minutes. If using a mixer, turn out on floured board knead a minute or so to get the feel of the dough and to form a nice smooth ball.
Place in bowl for first rise. Cover with damp towel and put in a fairly warm area.
I don't grease the bowl for rising and I use the same bowl I mix it in. Let raise until doubled, about l hour. Gently turn out onto board and fold a few times. Divide into three loaves. I usually weigh them to get them even. Form into nice loaf shape and put in pans for second rise.
Don't cover. Let raise for maybe l hour. I use the old poke in corner of loaf test. If the dent stays it is ready.
Bake 375° for approximatly 40 minutes. I test with instant thermometer until internal temp reaches at least 185°
Note: If using oven stone for rounds, I form the ball, sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and use it to slide the rounds onto the hot stone.
Note: Just to show that I am a bread junkie, I took a picture of all the various ingredients I keep in the freezer for various breads.
Believe me all this isn't necessary; all you really need is flour, water and yeast....it's a hobby for me so I make no excuses!