Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hunting Season and Fresh Bread

November 19, 07

It is hunting season again so we have all of the animals up in the front paddocks so that they won't be mistaken for "Big Game". My largest worry is that Shaniah (the calf) or Griffin (her mom) will step through the board fences and go off cross country. So far, so good.

Next year, I'm going to raise pumpkins again and put a bunch of them in trees out back so that when the hunters spot orange in the trees, they'll think that there are already plenty of hunters in the area. They say that there are around 700,000 hunters every year that kill about 460,000 deer. That doesn't include the road kill. I think I'll stick to killing fish for now.

On these cool, crisp fall mornings, there's nothing better than to walk into the house and be washed with the aroma of fresh bread in the oven. Over the years, we have settled on one basic recipe for all of our bread. It's not the greatest for sandwiches, but for a hot bread at the table, or for breakfast toast, its hard to beat. And it's easy.

Deb's French Peasant Bread

2 cups of warm water
1 Tbsp sugar (brown or white)
2 tsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast
4 cups flour (mix and match types at will)

  • In a large, warm bowl, place water, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir until dissolved. If you have any doubts about whether your yeast is any good or not, you can let it sit at this stage to see whether it will form a froth on top after about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in flour and whatever else you want to flavor the bread with. Experiment with herbs, granola cereals, cinnamon and sugar, nuts, seeds, grains, cheeses, etc. The dough will be sticky, but there is no need to knead it.
  • Scrape the sticky dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place 45 minutes or more until about doubled.
  • Stir the dough down and decide how you want your loaves to be. You can make flatter round loaves that you pass around and just tear hunks off for dipping in herbed olive oil at dinner, or you can use ceramic bowls or bread pans to make taller loaves that can be sliced for making some great toast in the mornings or for snacks.
  • For flat loaves, grease two baking sheets with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal so the loaves won't stick. Mounnd half of the dough on each sheet.
  • For bowls or loaf pans, oil and coat with cornmeal and then fill about 2/3 of the way.
  • In a small dish or glass, mix one egg white and a bit of water, and brush the tops of the loaves with the mixture. Set aside the remaining egg white mixture to use later. (This egg white glaze is just to make the loaves look pretty and maybe making it a bit crustier. There's no harm at all in omiting the glaze.)
  • Let the loves rise uncovered for 45 minutes or more.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Pull the loaves out and coat with more of the egg white glaze. Turn the oven heat down to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 more minutes. Put the loaves back in the oven as soon as you glaze them. The oven does not have to cool down before putting them back in.
And that's it. No kneading. No flour dust spread all over the place. No sticky fingers. And it's pretty darned good bread. When fresh out of the oven it has a nice crispy crust, too. Let us know what flavor combinations you come up with. We like to add rosemary, or crush up generic honey nut and oat type cereal to add, or ground flax seed and bran. The combinations are endless.

And speaking of bread, did you know that Chillicothe, Missouri is the home of sliced bread? The first time that sliced bread was ever offered for sale anywhere was smack dab in the center of the US. Old Otto Rohwedder sold his invention, the Rohwedder Bread Slicer, to the Chillicothe Bread Company, which put it into its first use back in 1928.

But for me, I just like tearing hunks off Deb's flat loaves like an old French peasant. I have officially vetoed the purchase of Otto's invention for our kitchen. I guess that says something about my social status.


  1. Hi. Thank you for becoming a follower of sixtyfivewhatnow blog. How did you find me?

    I love home-baked bread. This looks like a yummy recipe.

  2. What a cute little kid in your header. I like its sweater.
    Thanks for stopping by...

  3. Great bread recipe! Looking forward to reading your blog. Hope you enjoy reading my blog too. Keep up your posting!

  4. Thank you for the bread recipe! I am going to try it.

    I envy your farm life. I have a zoo at my house (3 cats, 2 dogs) but we are confined to 1/4 acre, ha ha!

  5. That bread sounds good...especially with a sprig of rosemary- yum. I think I will try the recipe. Thanks for coming over to Oasis Writing Link and following. I appreciate the gesture.

    I enjoyed the chat about your life too. Clever idea about the pumpkins- we used to grow them when I was a child. Now we have calabasa here...they are translated as pumpkins but taste more like Mother Hubbard squash. We use them to season beans-can you believe that?

    Your lifestyle sounds tempting...we live in the country too but we all rush about during the week...plenty of driving into the city. Today, I'm sleeping a lot...soon I turn in grades and will have a plenty of time to write. I hope to finish my dissertation this summer.

    My family and I lived in Tennessee for a year before we moved was quite isolated. I used to chase the hunters off my uncle's property eventhough he gave them permission to hunt. I was worried that the bullets would come our way! Now, I don't worry about hunters because that is not a popular hobby here...people like to ride paso fino horses in the country. It's become extreemly popular again.

    We have too many dogs...(rescued) and I hope that some find a nice home. People here (as in Tennessee too)take their dogs out for a Sunday drive and leave them! It's so difficult to just let them starve. They get sick too. The problem is that the dogs are often female and see the problem-save one and you save a litter!
    Take care <3

  6. I like your way of warding off hunters! I wonder, would that work for door-to-door salespeople and scouts bearing cholesterol-laden biscuits?!

    And thanks for the bread recipe. I too am a fan of ripping rather than slicing bread.

  7. Thanks for the comments on my blog. I have a lot of oyster shell for the hens:
    See this post for a photo.
    They free range during the day and have plenty of feed.
    I will try picking up the eggs more often.
    I don't feed them egg shells.
    I think it is just that goofy hen or maybe its Morgan? hmmm... Oh, I hope not! I wonder?

  8. I made the bread yesterday--garlic, basil, and oregano. Yummy!