The Monday Make: Farm Days and Home Made Bread

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I welcome  the Stowe Hollow Farm to the blog for our Monday Make post, and I can tell you from the top, you won’t be disappointed.  We have spent many a good afternoon on the Farm with this innovative, hard-working, entrepreneurial family in Middle Tennessee.  You may recognize some of their property and faces from other posts where they held a Poetry by the Pond day,  the Lavender Tea, as well as in my Good-bye to Tennessee post (where I mention my friend making me a tea cozy made from a chair we owned), and then also in my January Tea Party for little girls where dear Ms. Manners joined us to speak on tea etiquette, and manners, with our young ladies.

Since leaving America, we have learned of their School of Agrarian Arts where they offer homestead workshops open to the public.  In their words, “some classes are agricultural in nature, while others are focused on healthy living and still others are simply enjoyable family crafts and activities from a bygone era.”

Their farm boasts a Three Sisters’ Tea Room with themed Teas for Twelve, allowing for a full afternoon of tea and a themed program.  In addition, they do custom graphic design work, modern calligraphy lettering, note cards, paper dolls, doll dress patterns, tea cozies, herbal salves, balms, you name it! And I will testify to the wonderful mild, organic soap I have purchased from their then eleven year old who was making this herself.  If I lived near y’all I’d still be your customer!

One of our lovely visits to the Hollow was to make bread (and butter with an antique butter churn!) together.  And I’m delighted to be able to share not just one, but many of the Stowe Hollow Farm bread recipes to enjoy for this Monday Make.

And I encourage y’all to take a peek at their website and sign up on their email list for farm happenings.  If you’re in their neck of the woods, you just may want to join some of those classes and learn those practical skills that are seemingly lost in our fast-paced culture.  Click here for their main page, and peruse the beautiful Stowe Hollow Farm and all they have to offer.  As I said, you won’t be disappointed!

And a huge thank you, Stowe Hollow Farm, for allowing me to post your bread recipes!  Thanks for beautiful memories!

Happy Monday Make to y’all!

100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD makes 2-3 loaves
Basic Bread Recipe:
3 cups warm water (115-120 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sweetener (sucanat, sugar, honey), optional
1 tablespoons salt
7-10 cups flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow to rest for five minutes or until yeast has grown slightly. Add remaining ingredients (except the flour) and mix well. Add flour until dough is soft and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Allow to rest for 30 minutes, or until double in size. Form into 2-3 loaves and let rise in a warm place (about 30 minutes). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter if desired.

Variations:
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
1 batch basic bread dough
5 tablespoons oil or butter
5 tablespoons sugar
Cinnamon
On an oiled surface, roll out one loaf of basic bread dough into a 24 by 12 inch rectangle. Brush with one tablespoon oil, sprinkle with 1 tablespoons sugar, and cover generously with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and place in greased bread pans. Allow to rise until double (about 30 minutes) and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Sun Dried Tomato Bread 
1 batch basic bread dough
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1⁄2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1⁄2 cup onion, chopped and sautéed
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
Add additional ingredients in dough along with the flour. Proceed as directed in basic recipe.

Rosemary Garlic Bread:
1 batch basic bread dough
3⁄4 cup fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
Add additional ingredients in dough along with the flour. Proceed as directed in basic recipe.

BASIC SOURDOUGH BREAD
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 3/4 cups warm filtered water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 to 5 cups flour of your choice

Combine starter with water, oil, salt and mix well.
Add 2 cups of flour and mix.
Continue to add flour just until the dough is no longer sticking to side of bowl.
Knead for approximately 8-10 minutes.
Oil a large mixing bowl and drop dough into bowl.  Turning once to cover dough with a thin layer of oil.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours (or longer, if needed) in a warm location.
Oil counter top and drop dough into it.  Divide dough into thirds.
Shape each third into standard loaf shape
Drop into oiled bread pans, cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours.
Remove plastic wrap and place bread pans into preheated 350’ oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.
Remove loaves from pans and cool on racks.

Feeding your starter:
Keep your starter in the refrigerator in a covered glass bowl.  Do not use metal bowls or spoons when dealing with your starter.  When you want to bake bread, take your starter out of the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature and start adding flour and water.  I start with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup flour.  Mix very well into  starter.  An hour or so later, when starter looks bubbly, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour.  After an hour or so, when starter looks bubbly, add 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup flour.  Repeat with 1 cup water and 1 cup starter.
Use starter in recipe, place remaining starter into a clean glass bowl, cover and return to refrigerator until you want to bake bread again.  Repeat process each time you want to bake bread.
If starter develops a liquid on top, just mix it back in, even if it is black or purple.  The only liquid that is bad is one that is pink in color.  Discard starter if pink liquid forms.

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