Category Archives: Baking

I Can Eat Bread Again

breadbeckersSeveral years ago I was told by a doctor that I shouldn’t eat bread or anything with gluten in it. So, I went on a Gluten-Free kick but still had the same stomach issues and “chicken skin” on my elbows. A good friend of mine introduced me to grinding my own flour and I’ve never looked back. I make yummy loaves of bread, bagels, hot dog and hamburger buns, cookies, cupcakes and more!

I had the honor of meeting Sue Becker a few years ago and I learned so much about the myths of gluten intolerance and the health benefits from eating bread from freshly milled flour.

Please join me this coming Saturday in Deland. It’s totally FREE and they aren’t trying to sell you anything. Sue has a passion for health and really just wants people to be made known of the amazing benefits of the flour. Make sure you email Pat on the flyer and let her know you are coming. If you don’t want to drive, I can take a few people with me.

I hope to see you there!!!

mysignature

signupfornewsletterweb

Make Your Own Hamburger Buns

MAKE YOUR OWN.png

There’s nothing like a big juicy burger, right?  I like mine with bacon, provolone cheese, avocado slices, lettuce, tomato and some mkm (aka mustard, ketchup, mayo)……oh, and of course a bun.  But I couldn’t have the bun for about three years due to my gluten intolerance.  I used to get this “chicken skin” on my elbows every time I would eat store bought or restaurant bread.  I started doing some research on where flour came from and found out that the problem is not with the gluten, but with the way the millers were removing all the vital ingredients (and adding bad stuff) from our flour just so it would stay fresh.

I was bound and determined to eat bread.  Like, who doesn’t love bread?  I can let go of the pasta and the refined sugar for sure.  But, I can’t live without bread.

I found this Co-Op and ordered some grains.  I didn’t even have a grain mill but I was going to grind my own flout and provide a delicious loaf of bread for my family.

I ended up going to my friends house to grind my first batch.  I came home and made the bread.  It was the most delicious bread I’d ever had.  Seriously, it was.

I started eating bread more often and my “chicken skin” started to go away.  Uhhm, maybe I’m on to something here.  I honestly feel better when I eat the bread.  No bloat, no itchiness like with the other kind of bread either. Read

HERE for more on grinding your own flour.

img_8173

After making loaf bread, I thought to myself, ” I wonder what else I can make?”  I had become used to eating pretty much anything without bread or a bun.  Man, I really missed having a bun on a burger or a sloppy joe.

So, I did some research ( can you tell I like to research things?) and found this cool pan to make hamburger buns.  I only bought one so a cookie sheet will suffice for now. Yeah, baby!

They aren’t perfect in shape like you would buy store bought, factory made with a perfect machine buns, but they got the seal of approval from my family and that’s what is important to me.  Besides, knowing that they are healthy for us is what really matters. I’m feeding my family good nutrition.

Here’s my recipe.  I’d love to see how yours turn out.  I like using Hard White wheat but you can easily use Hard Red for a nuttier flavor.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: Total: 3 hrs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is a basic dough recipe.  You can use it to make sandwich/loaf bread, rolls & hamburger/hot dog buns.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of hot water                                                2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt

1/3 cup of olive or coconut oil                                   2 tbsp. Flaxseed Meal           

1/3 cup of raw local honey                                         1 tbsp. instant yeast

4-4 ½ cups of freshly milled Hard White flour

 

Directions:

Combine water, oil, honey, salt and flax-seed meal. Add half the flour and mix thoroughly. Add yeast and enough flour to make a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5-6 minutes).  Cover with plastic and let rise until double. Now, shape into 12 balls on greased cookie sheets, cover and let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Tag me on Instagram with your photos – @lhsimpleliving

I love to share and see what others are doing in our efforts to have healthy families.  Enjoy your buns LOL and have a wonderful day!

mysignature

Why I Grind My Own Flour

why

Do you love bread?  Or anything made from flour for that matter?  Like, do you have to have a slice of bread from Longhorn every time you go?  Do you know what I mean?  Like a cookie or what about Chicken Pot Pie with a yummy crust!

For those that do not know, I was diagnosed about four years ago with an intolerance to Gluten so I stopped eating bread.  Yeah, it was pretty miserable.  I didn’t understand what was causing it.  I spent the next few years researching and trying to make some sense of it. After meeting an amazing lady a few years ago, she changed my entire outlook on flour.  well, that’s what bread is made from, right?  I learned that it’s not the Gluten that is bothering us.  It’s the fact that the miller’s from the 1900’s started to remove the vital nutrients of the Wheat Germ and the Bran and added in a few things to give the flour a longer shelf life.  Well. that stinks.  Why would they mess with our nutrients just to keep the flour from going rancid too quickly?  It’s more money in their pockets, that’s why.

This lady that I am talking about is named Sue Becker. Click HERE  for a little more info on Sue.  I learned so much from her and I joined her Co-Op and started buying my own grains in 2015.  I thought to myself, “I’m going to try the grains and see what it does to me”.  I use to have bad “chicken skin” on my elbows and I had developed a horrible rash on my neck that would not go away for anything.  I started making homemade blueberry muffins and I noticed no bloating.  Uhmm, that’s a good sign.  I then made a homemade loaf of bread.  No side effect there either.  What!!!

Move forward to today and I am making something with the flour almost every day.  If it’s not bagels, it’s bread or rolls or my new thing is hamburger buns.  Do you understand how much I missed a Hamburger Bun??

img_8279

I’m telling you I won’t go back.  Go back to eating any other bread than this.  I highly recommend buying a grain mill and grinding your own flour.  It is so worth it.

I know not everyone will do that, so I wanted to let you know that I am going to start grinding and selling 5lb. bags of fresh milled flour.  If you are interested in buying some, please email me at wendy@littlehousesimpleliving.com.  It’s easily kept in the freezer so you can pull it out any time you need it.

I want everyone to benefit from the nutrients from the grains.  It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals that our bodies are lacking.

While I am here and sharing all of this with you, I have had several people want my bagel recipe.  I have only branched out to plain and Cinnamon & Raisin but I will let you know when I feel a little more daring and try some other variations.  Just wait.  You are going to be telling Panera to move over cause your bagels will be so amazing, especially when they come right out of the oven.  I kid my family that the “Hot Fresh Now” light is on LOL.

Whole Wheat Bagels

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe comes to you from Sue Becker with a few twists of my own.  They are fun to make and freeze well; the recipe can easily be doubled.

INGREDIENTS:

2 ¼ cup of warm water                                  5 cups of freshly milled Hard White flour

2 Tbsp. of raw local honey                             2 tsp. Instant yeast

2 ¼ tsp. Himalayan salt

 DIRECTIONS:           

Combine water, honey and salt.  Add half the flour and yeast and mix well.  Add remaining flour and knead to form a slightly stiff dough (8-10 minutes).  Cover and let rise until double.  If you are using a Kitchen aid mixer or similar type, lessen the water by ¼ cup and only knead for 8 minutes.

 Divide the risen dough into 12 pieces and shape into balls, allowing them to rest.  Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water, bringing it to a boil and then add 1/3 cup of honey.  Working with only 6 balls at a time, take each ball and poke a hole in the middle with your thumb and twirl it around to enlarge the hole.  Let each bagel rest for 5 minutes.  Place 2-3 bagels at a time in the water for 1 minute. While these cook, prepare the next 6 bagels.  The bagels should sink and will rise.  After the minute, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and place side by side on a greased cookie sheet.  I put parchment paper down to make it easier for clean up.  Bake at once in a 425 degree oven for about 35 minutes.  Now, I have a convection oven and I back mine at 400 for 20 minutes.  You can cut them immediately and spread them with cream cheese or make a breakfast sandwich like we do.  Oh my holy bagel!  You won’t buy store bought ever again!!!

 Here’s a variation for Cinnamon & Raisin: Add 1 tbsp. of cinnamon and 2 tbsp. of honey after the dough has been kneaded.  If you want to make 6 plain and 6 of these, then just ½ the measurements.  Enjoy!

If you want to know more about grinding your own flour or just have questions, please comment here or email me at wendy@littlehousesimpleliving.com.  Happy Baking!

It’s Blueberry Pickin’ Time

Now that fair is over, I’ve been anxiously awaiting for the sign to go up for my friend Melanie’s, Sand Hill Blueberry Farm.  There is nothing like the taste of fresh picked blueberries.  Really, the store ones do not compare.

DSC_4994.JPG

So, my friend Michelle and I went today and had a blast.  She has an adorable 12 year old son and two more adorable twins, boy and girl.  How lucky is she?  I babysit my pastor’s daughter on Thursdays so I brought her along as well.  The kids had so much fun!  If only we could keep them from eating the blueberries (sorry, Melanie).  We ended up having a picnic lunch and then headed home to give the little ones their naps.

Prior to going pickin’, I already had in mind I wanted to make muffins this afternoon when I got home.

So, that is what I did.  I had several recipes, but being the “rule breaker” that I am (not in a bad way ha), I combined a few recipes I had and made it my own.  I love doing this because I can make adjustments to how my family likes things.

 

So, would you like my recipe?  Of course, I’m going to give it to you!

From Scratch Blueberry Muffins

  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 Cups of Fresh Milled Flour ( I used Soft White)
1 Teaspoons of Himalayan Salt
2 Teaspoons of Aluminum Free Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons of Homemade Bourbon Vanilla (Recipe HERE)
2 Eggs
1 Cup of Coconut Sugar
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter (softened)
½ Cup of Raw Milk (Crooked Oak Farm)
3 Cups of Fresh Picked Blueberries (Sand Hill Blueberries)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 and line your muffin pans. I used eco-friendly liners from The Fresh Market.
In a large bowl or if you are using your Kitchenaid Mixer, beat the butter until it’s all nice and smooth. Add in the sugar and blend together. Next, add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the flour and the milk at the same time. Try not to let it splatter everywhere like it did to me! Mix on medium speed until it’s all creamy.
Finally, coat the blueberries with a tablespoon or so of flour. This helps them stay all nice and firm. Now, fold them into the batter with a spatula.
Fill the muffin liners and bake for 15-20 minutes. I have a convection oven and mine took 20 minutes to bake.
Let cool just a little bit, open one up, put a sliver of butter and enjoy!!

So, do you ever go blueberry pickin’? What do you make with all of your blueberries?  Stay tuned for more recipes!!!

 

me

mysignature

Happy New Year and Our New Addition

Happy New Year!  I hope you and your family had a wonderfully blessed filled holiday season.  It went too quick, didn’t it?

My family and I had a wonderful time.  Baking, decorating ornaments, eating, hanging out and getting a new puppy! When my hubby Bill told me he was bringing home a new puppy, “I was like, what?”  How much is he going to cost and what about Boone?  He’s our almost four year old Australian Cattle dog.  I didn’t want him at first either.

DSC_2254

The “Pistols” begging for the new treats!

Well, needless to say, my hubby brought home the little puppy as he was given to him from one of his customers.  How could he say no? He’s a pure bread Black Lab.  He really is kinda cute.

I made sure I voiced my stance on taking care of him.  I’m too busy and don’t have time to care of a puppy is what I said.  I was also worried that he wouldn’t be accepted from Boone.  This is Boone’s house and he can get a little aggressive if he doesn’t know you.  Well, that didn’t happen.  It took about a week, but Boone and him are now little buddies!

I guess we settled on the name Duke.  I really like Tucker, but the majority wins.  I will just secretly call him Tucker LOL.

MAKE

So, what are puppies known for?  You guessed it…chewing.  It’s time to get creative.  I have been buying treats for Boone for a few years and boy does he have to work for it.  Duke is just not there yet and every time I go to give him a treat, he just grabs and eats my hand practically.  I also noticed that he’s having a hard time chewing them.  That got me thinking.

So, this morning I decided to make dog treats.  Yep, from scratch.  I only want to put the best ingredients in their bodies as well.

DSC_2223

I used a “Heart” cookie cutter, but you could use whatever you like 🙂

As soon as they came out of the oven, it’s like they knew and were both sitting and wagging waiting for one.  I’ve come to the conclusion that these two are pistols.  They really are.  Sweet pistols though if you know what I mean.

Here’s the recipe if you would like to make some of your own.

Organic Dog Treats

  • Servings: Varies
  • Time: 45minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
-3 cups of flour ( I use my fresh milled flour that I make yummy bread products with. Hey, they deserve the vitamins and minerals just like we do.  )
– 2 eggs
– 1 can of Organic Pumpkin
– 2 Tablespoons of NON-GMO Peanut Butter
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground flax meal
1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Directions:

Mix ingredients together. Roll the dough out onto a solid surface about a ½ inch thick. Then use a cute cookie cutter and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Should be slightly soft but crunchy. Store in a clear Mason jar or other clear container. If you are using fresh milled flour, these will last about a week. Otherwise, you could keep them in the freezer or refrigerator, which will make them last longer.

DSC_2224

The finished product!  They smell so yummy!

DSC_2244

Now fill the jar and watch them disappear!

I hope you enjoy making these.  From our critters to yours!

Many blessings to you in 2016!!!

Blog Pic

Wendy

It’s that time of year ya’ll…..

DSC_0747

I look forward to this day all year long!  Do you get giddy when the heat of the summer ends and you start waking up to cooler weather?  I sure do…..

It’s been a few months since I posted last.  Not that I haven’t had anything to say; I spent the summer hanging with my family and just really wanted to enjoy myself.

So, I am back and I have a bunch of new stuff that I will be sharing with you over the next few months.  But, for now, I have to share with you why I love this time of year…..

fallsubway

We aren’t fortunate enough here in Florida to receive God’s beauty of the blanket of leaves that happen in October.  I’m a WV girl and miss it so much!  I actually try and go somewhere north of here every fall so I can capture a glimpse of the vibrant colors!  They’res just something about the change of season from summer to fall.  My poor hubby doesn’t get it.  But, he’s a Florida boy so I guess I can’t expect him to (sigh).

I am excited to tell ya’ll that I have a trip planned in just a few weeks to go to my home state of West Virginia and then stop in North Carolina on my way back to visit with some more of my family.  I can’t wait!  With that in mind, I can’t help but think of my sweet Aunt Linda as I’ve always thought of her as a 2nd mother.  She makes the best Pumpkin Bread and you can find the recipe HERE.  You have to try it – fresh and hot out of the oven, it is just so scrumptious!

Aunt Linda's Pumpkin Bread

Fall Blessings!  I would love to hear about any activities you have planned for Fall.  Feel free to share them with me on my Facebook Page.

Blog Pic

WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR FLOUR?

flour1

Have you noticed that the word GLUTEN-FREE has popped up all over the place over the past few years? Why is it we never heard about this when I was a kid aka “the 70’s”?

Flour has been around since biblical times and if you think about it, people have been eating bread for centuries!!!  So why is it bothering people now?

flour2

Our ancestors were lucky!  They could just plant their wheat, harvest it and enjoy the smell of homemade bread.  The problem with the Gluten intolerance stems from the farmers being mandated by the government to spray their wheat with things like RoundUp and other pesticides.  Our bodies can’t tolerate it!  Our flour then becomes bromated.

Bromated flour is flour which has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in doughs. Some commercial bakers use this type of flour because it yields dependable results, and it makes stronger, more elastic dough which can stand up to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools. Home bakers may choose to use it for much the same reason, when they can obtain bromated flour. Ascorbic acid has replaced potassium bromate as a food additive in a number of areas.

Potassium bromate is classified as a potential carcinogen, meaning that it may be harmful when consumed. In theory, the substance is supposed to bake out of bread dough as it cooks, but if a residue remains behind in the bread, it could be harmful in the long term. A careful balance is required of manufacturers, since they must add enough of the substance to bromated flour to make it perform as expected while not adding too much. Many flour producers have switched to ascorbic acid, which has similar properties without the potential health risk.

Flour

In some countries, bromated flour has actually been banned out of concerns about health risks. In the United States, it flour is legal, although state by state labeling laws may dictate that a flour producer clearly label flours which contain potassium bromate. Some organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest have lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to ban potassium bromate as a food additive in the United States. Many bakeries and flour mills pride themselves on using unbromated flour, and market their products accordingly.

Typically, bromated flour is used in bread production. Adding potassium bromate makes the bread stronger and more elastic, and also promotes big rises of bread. The resulting bread tends to be strong and springy, well suited to commercial production especially. The substance also bleaches the flour slightly, creating the creamy white color which most people associate with flour. It tends to be used in low protein flours more commonly, since these flours do not develop enough gluten on their own.
Consumers who are concerned about using bromated flour can seek out flours which do not contain potassium bromate. When baking bread, a high gluten flour is very useful, and many flour mills formulate products specifically for bread production which will be clearly labeled as “bread flour.” A number of options including whole wheat and white unbleached are available.

*Source: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-bromated-flour.htm

I personally buy unbromated flour and I have hopes to get a food mill for Mother’s Day so I can start grinding my own flour!  My family just doesn’t know it yet!!

 

Blog Pic