Whole-Grain Bread with Wildflower Honey and little girls with their hoes…

by Michelle

Yesterday, I was asked to participate in a discussion about providing content for a food blog about local food. It’s a wonderful idea about providing the public with an opportunity to have an on-line discussion about anything local-food related. During the course of the conversation, someone mentioned how important it is that our children understand how food is grown, where it comes from and how to cook it. Apparently this is a big problem for teachers today. When you ask a child where peas come from their answer is almost always, ‘from a can’. Yikes!

As a mom, I knew that it was my job to teach my children how to walk, speak, count, use a fork… I also knew that they did not come out of the womb knowing about food. They have been in the garden with me since they could walk. I taught them to pick rocks out of the soil, hoe garden rows [I still have their three-foot high hoes], identify weeds from vegetables, lug watering cans and harvest. I wanted them to appreciate the work involved in growing food.

Ralph lovingly refered to all of these chores as ‘Hooton family quality time’. Whenever those words were said, we would receive a resounding, group groan!

Now, twenty years later, I have three 25-year-old daughters that stock their refrigerators with fresh vegetables and herbs, make their own pasta and breads and never miss an opportunity to try a new recipe. It never occurred to me that the school system should teach my children to nourish themselves. Given the importance of good nutrition, if a parent is at all capable, it is absolutely their responsibility to ensure that their children are prepared to feed themselves well after they leave home.

Hmmm…that was a bit of a rant and has little to do with the recipe that I want to share today. I mentioned last week that I had developed a new bread recipe for Ralph, my whole grain lover. The bread is fantastic!!! not so humble but it really is good – right out of the oven, toasted, frozen then thawed – didn’t matter. This bread recipe rocks so I hope, on a day that you are puttering around the house, that you will give it a go.

Whole-Grain Bread with Wildflower Honey

makes 2 large loaves

5 cups multi-grain bread flour I used Robin Hood Multi-grain best for bread – cracked wheat, cracked rye and whole flax

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup boiling water

5 teaspoons active dry yeast softened in 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar – let sit for 10 minutes

Mix 3 cups of the multi-grain flour with the salt and set aside

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine buttermilk, boiling water, butter and honey…stir until butter has melted and mixture is lukewarm.

Add flour mixture and yeast mixture to the buttermilk and combine to form a sticky dough.

With the motor on low, add remaining flour one cup at a time until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. don’t worry if you don’t use all of the flour!

Increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and continue to knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in a large greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to raise until doubled in bulk. 3 hours

Punch the dough down , reshape into a ball, turn over and place back in bowl to raise again until doubled in size. dampen the tea towel again. 2 hours

Evenly divide the dough and shape into loaves and place in bread pans.

Cover with a damp tea towel and raise until you have a nicely shaped loaf…about 1 1/2 hour

preheat oven 375*F

Bake loaves for 50 minutes

Remove from oven and from bread pans then allow to cool on a rack.

Thanks for reading.