Tag Archive: recipe

1840 Farmhouse Brioche

I first made brioche bread about a dozen years ago. I made it out of necessity. I loved the taste and texture of brioche bread, but didn’t have a local bakery that turned out those lovely golden loaves. While Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine creates fantastic brioche, driving two hours for bread (no matter how delicious) seemed a bit extreme.

Photo Sep 28, 9 47 42 AMSo, I went to the farmhouse kitchen armed with one of my favorite cookbooks: Baking with Julia. I read the detailed recipe and followed its instructions to the letter. It was a somewhat disarming undertaking giving the precision of the directions. I pressed on, inspired by the promise of creating my own brioche loaves right here in our farmhouse.

Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a stand mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a residential kitchen’s mixer.

My first few batches of brioche were made with great success. They were delicious in every way and a big hit with my family. It seemed that I 10336599_733865503347292_2681057661619279851_nhad conquered this dough and learned how to make loaves of delicious brioche bread. I delighted in the knowledge that we would have brioche whenever we wanted without the need for a two hour road trip.

I continued to mix up batches of brioche dough regularly. I heeded the warning within the recipe. I took care to judiciously pace the half hour of mixing, stopping if the mixer seemed to be approaching the point of overheating or causing damage to the motor.

And then, one day as I was finishing a batch of dough, the motor ground to an abrupt halt. It cried uncle and refused to do anything other than emit a high pitched grinding noise when I turned the motor on. My mixer had seen its last batch of brioche dough. I was afraid that I might have also seen mine.

I tried in vain to repair the mixer’s worn gear to no avail. Next, I did what any serious baker would do. I started saving for a new mixer. When the day finally came that Mr. 1840 Farm treated me to the wonderful surprise of a replacement mixer, I couldn’t wait to make a batch of brioche bread.

I was a bit hesitant. I worried that working my beloved dough would put my latest mixer in jeopardy. My fear of a repeat performance led me to wonder if I might be able to simplify the brioche recipe to require less precision from me and less muscle from my mixer’s motor.

Photo Aug 04, 9 19 31 AMI tried several times to simplify the recipe by consolidating steps and simplifying the recipe without sacrificing the flavor and texture of the traditional brioche that I love so much. Most of the loaves were edible, but did not resemble brioche at all. A few of the loaves were painfully dense and decidedly inedible.

While I am fairly confident in my baking abilities, I began to wonder if it was time to give up. Thankfully, I didn’t. Instead, I decided to abandon most of what I knew about the techniques that I had used to create traditional brioche.  I focused on the dough itself. I set out to create a heavily enriched dough that would yield a baked loaf with brioche’s hallmark golden, papery thin crust and rich, airy texture.

Gradually, I made minor changes to the proportions of the ingredients and the method I used to create the dough. Several batches later, the loaves were exactly as I had hoped. The crust was golden and flaky and surrounded an interior that was light and punctuated with the rich flavor of eggs and butter.

My mixer had survived this bread experiment and so had I. Better yet, my family had delicious brioche bread to enjoy that was everything we hoped it would be. To celebrate, I did what any dedicated bread baker would do: I started working on a new recipe.  I’m hoping to develop a brioche recipe that will incorporate our freshly milled whole wheat flour. Don’t worry; I’ll share that recipe with you as soon as I finish testing it!

1840 Farmhouse Brioche
Makes two loaves

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to extend the shelf life of my homemade loaves by several days, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can omit it from the recipe.  The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter.  You can learn more about the dough enhancer on my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm waterPhoto Aug 03, 9 32 44 PM
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer
840 grams (7 cups) All-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Photo Aug 03, 10 52 09 PMMix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry.

Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.10600412_733618986705277_6540797265334883724_n

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/farmhouse-brioche/

Book Review – Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails

Photo Aug 31, 6 35 22 PM

When I was offered the opportunity to review a beautiful new book about seasonal, handcrafted cocktails, I didn’t need to be asked twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to take a look at Shake:  A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.  I was already a fan of their Mason Shaker and couldn’t wait to read more about their inspiration to create a cocktail shaker with the Farmhouse Style that I love.  The promise of an entire book of cocktails created to celebrate each season of the year definitely caught my attention.

When the book arrived, I was not disappointed.  The photographs throughout the book are stunning.  They highlight the cocktails, the simple tools used to create them, and the seasonal ingredients that inspired them.  The photos inspired me to want to make every cocktail in the book.  Each one seemed to be more beautiful and interesting than the last.

It wasn’t just the photographs that appealed to me.  I loved the style of this book.  It was best summed up by this line which appears on the title page.  “Cocktails should be fun. Cocktails should be simple.  Cocktails should be social.”  I couldn’t agree more.  While a delicious cocktail is a wonderful way to celebrate the day, it’s certainly more enjoyable with a equal parts of fun, simplicity, and friends.

Photo Sep 12, 11 14 06 AM

I’m drawn to anything that highlights what is fresh and seasonal throughout the year.  That’s our goal here at 1840 Farm:  to enjoy what is at its seasonal best all year long.  I don’t think that I have ever had the pleasure to peruse a book about cocktails that did the same.  Sure, there are plenty of frozen drinks for the heat of the summer.  Yet I have never encountered a book that so clearly gave consideration to the four seasons when creating each cocktail.

In this book, you’ll find winter drinks featuring sage alongside a recipe for ‘Nog that I can’t wait to try once our New England winter roars in.  The fall cocktails highlight apples and spicy fall flavors.  Spring is represented with fresh berries, blooms, and herbs.  While summer might seem like the easiest season to pack full of standard cocktails we’ve seen a million times before, prepare to be amazed.  Instead, the summer cocktails in this book are innovative twists on old favorites and completely unique cocktails that would be the perfect way to spend a summer’s day right outside on our farmhouse porch.

I can’t wait to work my way through this book, taking it a season at a time.  As we celebrate the last weeks of summer and watch the leaves begin to turn and the temperatures begin to drop, I wanted to work at least one great summer cocktail into the season.  We love bourbon, so the recipe for The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour seemed like the perfect place to start.

So, on a Sunday afternoon, we gathered Shake, the Mason Shaker, our favorite bourbon, and a healthy dose of rosemary fresh from the garden.  We followed the simple steps to create this beautiful cocktail and toasted a great summer and growing season here on the farm.  The drink was delicious and perfect for the occasion.

I think that you’ll find that the cocktail recipes in this book will be a welcome companion to your celebration of each season of the year.  You don’t need to take my word for it.  You can catch a glimpse of their great content by following Mason Shaker on Facebook and Instagram.  They constantly infuse my newsfeed with beautiful photos, interesting articles, and fantastic cocktail recipes.

I couldn’t wait to share the recipe for the first cocktail that we enjoyed from this fantastic book.  There’s still plenty of daylight in our summer to enjoy one (or two) of these.  Cheers!

The Rosemary Maple Bourbon SourPhoto Aug 31, 4 11 01 PM
makes two drinks

3 shots bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace)
1 1/2 shots freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 shot dark amber maple syrup
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
2 slices fresh lemon for garnish

Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand and add it to the Mason Shaker.

Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Strain the mixture into rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs.

 


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/book-review-shake/

Refrigerator Dilly Beans

Refrigerator Dilly Beans at 1840 FarmFor the past several years, I have been making refrigerator dill pickles using the cucumbers we harvest fresh from our garden. Making those simple, fresh pickles is a great way of pickling cucumbers without needing to spend hours standing over the canning pot.  In minutes, I can prepare several mason jars full of cucumber pickles that will be enjoyed by the whole family.

I do make several batches of pickles each summer that are canned for long term pantry storage. With luck and little planning, those water bath processed jars of pickles last us well into the winter. They’re delicious and we enjoy every last bite. Yet, there’s something altogether wonderful about a pickle that can be made in minutes, kept cold in the refrigerator, and eaten fresh during the season when heirloom vegetables are so plentiful in our garden.

Once I mastered the refrigerator cucumber pickles, I started experimenting with other fresh garden produce. These dilly beans are now just as beloved at 1840 Farm as the cucumber variety. Because these quick pickled green beans will be consumed within days instead of months, the vegetables require no cooking and stay crisp and brightly colored.

Much like the cucumber pickles we look forward to each summer, these dilly beans are quick and easy to put together. Simply prepare the brining liquid as you prep the fresh green beans. Once the beans have been trimmed to remove the ends and sized to fit in the mason jars, simply fill the jars with the brine. Within hours, the beans will be infused with the flavor of dill and vinegar. By the next day, they will be dilly bean perfection.

I keep several wide mouth canning jars full of refrigerator dilly beans in our refrigerator.  As one jar is emptied, I simply prep enough fresh green beans to refill the jar, add the beans to the brining liquid, and return the jar to the refrigerator I use plastic canning lids and write the day that the fresh beans were added using a dry erase marker.  That way, I always know which jar been brined thSeedsOfTheMonthClube longest and can serve those dilly beans first.

I find myself making more refrigerator dilly beans and refrigerator dill pickles almost every other day during the summer. They are both irresistibly fresh and vibrant in color and flavor. We can’t seem to get enough of them.  Rest assured, I will be planting more cucumbers and green beans in our garden next summer!

If you’re interested in expanding your garden, visit our sponsor and join the Seeds of the Month Club.  Every month, you’ll receive non-GMO seeds to add to your garden just like we do.  Better yet, you can save 25% off the price of a membership by clicking on the “join now” button.

 

 

1840 Farm Refrigerator Dilly Beans
makes two wide mouth pint jars

Because these dilly beans are refrigerated instead of prepared for long term storage, the recipe can be adjusted to your preference.  If you prefer a sweeter dilly bean, more sugar can be added.  If you like your pickled beans with more zing, reduce the sugar to intensify the flavor of the vinegar.  If you like a little heat, a small dried pepper could be placed in each jar before adding the trimmed green beans. I reuse the brining liquid several times during the course of a few weeks before making a fresh batch and starting the process all over again.

12 ounces white vinegar
4 ½ Tablespoons pickling salt
3/4 cup (144 grams) sugar
12 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bunch fresh dill
fresh green beans, washed and drained

Prepare the brining liquid by combining the white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.  Simmer gently over medium heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.  Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Gather two pint sized glass jars with lids.  I prefer to use wide mouth jars as they are easier to fill, but any clean jar will do.  To each jar, add 6 whole peppercorns, 2 clove of peeled and quartered garlic, and 1 generous handful of dill.

Trim the ends from the green beans before placing vertically in the prepared jars. Trim longer beans as necessary to fit in the jar. Continue to add trimmed beans until the jar is full.

Once the brining liquid has cooled to room temperature, pour approximately half of the liquid into each jar.  Cover and swirl slightly to disperse the spices.

Refrigerate the beans until ready to use.  These dilly beans must be refrigerated.  They are not intended for long term pantry storage.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/07/refrigerator-dilly-beans/

Strawberry Jam

 Strawberry Jam at 1840 FarmStrawberry Jam
yields approximately 4 pints

Most strawberry jam recipes call for adding pectin in order to properly gel the jam. Strawberries have very little pectin, so a source of pectin must be added. I StrawberriesJamWMprefer to use the natural pectin in an apple rather than add commercially produced powdered pectin. I find that an apple adds plenty of pectin along with a touch of tangy flavor that offers a nice counterpoint to the sweet earthiness of the fresh strawberries.

The grated apple softens as the jam cooks, releasing its pectin and becoming nearly unrecognizable in the finished jam. The apple peel should be removed before canning the finished jam. At our house, the apple peel coated in rich strawberry jam is a delicacy. It’s like the best fruit leather on earth and is happily devoured by the whole family!

1 ½ pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed, and cut into small pieces
2 cups (384 grams) granulated sugar
1 medium apple, prepared as directed below
Juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Place several plates or large spoons in the freezer for use in gel test. If you are planning to can the jam, ready your canning pot, jars, lids, rings, and canning equipment. I like to use 4 or 8 ounce canning jars when processing this jam.

StrawberriesAppleWMUsing a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the apple in long strips. Core and quarter the apple. Use a grater to grate the apple quarters. Add the grated apple and apple peel to a large non-reactive pot with the strawberries and sugar. Stir gently to combine and place the pot on a burner over medium heat.

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent the sugars from burning. Using a slotted spoon, remove the strawberry pieces from the pot and transfer to a medium bowl. Removing the strawberries will help them to maintain a firmer texture in the final jam.

Continue to boil the liquid in the pot for another 15 minutes. Return the reserved berries to the pot and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine and continue to boil gently for another 15 minutes or until the mixture passes the gel test when allowed to cool on the chilled plates or spoons set aside in the freezer.

While the gel test may sound like a daunting scientific experiment, it is actually a simple, visual method for determining if your jam has reached the ideal consistency. This test will allow you to measure the finished consistency of your jam. If the mixture is too loose, it can be boiled further to allow a bit more of the liquid to evaporate. If the mixture has boiled too long and is slightly too thick, a small bit of liquid can be added to loosen the mixture before canning.

Performing the gel test involves placing a bit of the hot jam on a plate or large spoon that has been StrawberryGelTestWMchilled in the freezer. When the mixture has been allowed to cool, the consistency can be accurately gauged. When cool, the jam should form a cohesive mixture, forming a wrinkle as it moves when pressed with your finger. If you run a finger through the small puddle of jam, it should split apart and then return to a cohesive puddle moments later.

Once the mixture has passed the gel test, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the apple peel and stir in the vanilla.  Ladle hot jam into sterilized 4 or 8 ounce jars leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles from the side of the jar.  Using a clean cloth, remove any residue from the rim of the jar.  Place a lid on the jar and tighten with band.  Gently lower the filled jar into the boiling water canner.  Repeat until all jars have been added to the pot.  Place lid on canning pot.  Return water to a boil.

Once the water has returned to a boil, process half-pint jars of jam for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and remove the lid from pot.  Allow the jars to rest in the water for at least five minutes.  Carefully remove jars to a towel lined baking sheet.  Allow jars to cool up to 24 hours before checking the seals and labeling the jars for storage. A properly sealed jar of strawberry jam can be stored and used for up to one year.


June 2014 From Scratch MagazineThis recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/strawberry-jam/

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake

Strawberry and Rhubarb at 1840 FarmEarlier this week, the June issue of From Scratch Magazine was published.  The issue is filled with great seasonal content including three of my favorite strawberry recipes. In its pages, you’ll find my recipe for Strawberry Jam, Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries, and Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake.  We have been enjoying the crumble cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden.  You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.

The other two recipes in my article are equally delicious.  I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were fantastic. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.  I can’t wait to try a few of the delicious looking recipes from this cookbook.June Giveaway at 1840 Farm

When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon.  Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

I don’t want you to simply take my word for it that this cookbook and cinnamon are fantastic.  Thanks to the book’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, you can win a copy of this beautiful cookbook and find inspiration to add whole grains and natural sweeteners to your family’s favorite recipes.  Flavor of the Earth has also generously added a one pound bag of their Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to our giveaway.  I wanted to join in the fun, so I added one of our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits.  The winner of this giveaway will be ready to bake something amazing using this prize package!

One lucky reader be randomly selected to win:

You can enter by leaving a comment on this post sharing what you love to make using cinnamon and by liking a trio of Facebook pages.  Don’t worry, if you already follow 1840 Farm on Facebook, you can simply confirm that status with a click of the button below and claim your entries.  The contest closes on Thursday, June 12, 2014.  Good luck to all who enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble CakeRhubarb Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake at 1840 Farm
makes 6-8 servings

This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long term storage.

While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan.  Set aside.

Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.

Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly.  You will notice a slight change in color and aroma.  Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.

Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan.  Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened.  Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.


June 2014 From Scratch MagazineThis recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/

Strawberry Puff Pancake Recipe

I have many fond memories of this dish from my childhood.  My mother made this recipe for countless holiday morning breakfasts.  It was always topped with fresh strawberries, sour cream, and a sprinkling of brown sugar.  It was always called Strawberry Puff Pancake.

The name made sense given that the dish was topped with strawberries and the batter puffed dramatically while it baked in the oven.  It seemed magical to me that you could pour a thin batter into the pie plate, slide it in the oven and watch as it transformed into an airy, delicate concoction.

For a chicken keeper, this is a delicious celebration of the fresh eggs that we collect from our heritage breed hens.  The resulting pancake is full of the fresh, rich flavor of fresh eggs.  The flavor is paired with the beautiful golden color of the yolks provided by hens that enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of fresh green grass and treats.

I know now that this dish bears a remarkable resemblance to the German Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake.  No matter its name, the recipe is similar to a popover and yields a light, eggy, custard-like pancake that is delicious when topped with fresh fruit. While the combination of sour cream and brown sugar with the fresh strawberries may seem curious at first, I promise that it won’t disappoint.  We have tried topping this pancake with whipped cream and syrup, but this is our favorite trio of toppings.

This is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm and sure to become one around your family table.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it just as much as we do!

Strawberry Puff Pancake (German Dutch Baby)
serves 4-6 as a main course topped with fresh fruit

3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) butter
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk
6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
¾ cup (90 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the butter in a glass pie pan, 9 inch cast iron skillet, or similarly sized casserole dish and transfer to the warm oven as you prepare the batter.  I like to place the baking dish or skillet on top of a cookie sheet to catch any excess batter that might overflow the pan as it bakes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk until they are light and frothy.  Add the milk and whisk until well combined.  Add the sugar, flour, and salt and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.

Remove the warm baking dish from the oven.  Pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are puffed and lightly brown.  When the pancake is fully baked, a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the pan will come out clean.

Remove the pancake from the oven and serve topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar, fresh sliced strawberries, and a dollop of sour cream.  Enjoy!

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/strawberry-puff-pancake-recipe/

Valentine’s Day Favorites at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on the Friday before a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the weekend is through.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/02/valentines-day-favorites-at-1840-farm/

Candied Ginger Slices and Ginger Simple Syrup

How to Make Candied Ginger and Ginger Infused Simple Syrup at 1840 FarmAs a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I have been learning about the use of herbs to promote good health and well-being.  As part of my second unit of study, I was asked to make an herbal preparation that put the unit’s curriculum into practice.

The second unit of the course focused on food.  The central theme was that the food we eat every day holds the ability to be used as a powerful force for promoting good health.  I have subscribed to this theory for years and couldn’t wait to create a recipe to share.

In fact, I was so happy to be in the kitchen using my new-found herbal knowledge that I couldn’t seem to narrow my focus down to a single recipe.  Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing a collection of recipes with you that are packed with beneficial properties and delicious flavors.

The first recipe is simple and delicious. Using only a few ingredients and simple techniques, you can create lovely candied ginger slices and a ginger infused simple syrup.  I have been using both the slices and syrup for a few weeks.  I am still amazed by their incredible flavor and the myriad of uses I am finding for both in our farmhouse kitchen.

I love the flavor and health benefits of candied ginger.  We live and eat around food allergies here at 1840 Farm and were never able to find a brand of candied ginger that was safe for us to eat.  Luckily, our search is over.  This homemade version is delicious and safe for the whole family to enjoy.

Boiling the ginger helps to produce a finished product with a lovely texture and not so much as a hint of bitterness.  Discard the water after each boil in order to achieve a deliciously smooth and sweet flavor with that lovely zing that ginger is known for.

Ginger can be used as a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and to calm an upset stomach.  It can also simply be eaten for its delicious, unique flavor.  No matter the reason, I’m sure that you will enjoy having these candied ginger slices and delicious ginger simple syrup at the ready in your refrigerator just like I do.

 

Component

Characteristics

Actions

Ginger   Warm to combat chills associated with cold or flu, soothing to digestive system Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antibacterial, fever reducing, analgesic, carminative, intestinal spasmolytic
Honey Powerful humectant, helpful in soothing dry and sore throat Antibiotic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, immune system stimulant

 

Candied Ginger*

8 ounces fresh ginger root
2 cups water plus more for boiling
1 ½ cups (288 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup honey

Peel the ginger root.  I like to use a spoon to easily scrape the skin away, but a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler can also be used.  Using a sharp paring knife, slice the peeled ginger root thinly.

Place the thin slices of ginger in a nonreactive pot.  Add enough water to cover the slices and place the pot over medium heat.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and continue to simmer for fifteen minutes.

Drain the ginger slices and discard the water.  Return them to the pot and cover with cold water.  Repeat the process of bringing the water to a boil, reducing the heat to a simmer, and cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain the ginger slices and discard the boiling water.

Return the ginger slices to the pot with 2 cups of fresh water along with the sugar and honey.  Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Adjust the heat to continue cooking at a low boil to gently reduce the liquid.  I like to reduce the liquid until it coats a spoon and is the consistency of slightly thickened maple syrup.  How to Make Candied Ginger and Ginger Infused Simple Syrup at 1840 Farm

When the syrup has reduced to your liking, remove the pot from the heat and allow the ginger slices and syrup to cool to room temperature.  At this point, the ginger can be removed from the syrup, drained on paper towels, coated in granulated sugar, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

I prefer to simply transfer the ginger and the syrup to a mason jar and store it in the refrigerator.  The slices are delicious on their own and the syrup can be used to flavor recipes for cocktails, desserts, and even with a slice or two as a topping for toasted bread with butter.

As the slices and syrup are stored, the sugars will begin to crystallize and form crunchy little bits on the ginger slices.  Look closely at the photo above and you’ll see those tiny crystallized gems clinging to the surface of the ginger slice.  They’re beautiful and delicious!

 

Sources and Related Content:
http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/the-best-herbs-for-pain-relief.aspx

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

 

I invite you to learn more about the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England. Registration for the self-paced course is still open, so you’re welcome to join me and the other students as we learn more about the benefits of the natural world around us.

*This information is presented solely for general informational purposes only.   Nothing contained on this site is intended to constitute medical advice or serve as a substitute for the advice of a physician or health care provider.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/01/candied-ginger-slices-and-ginger-simple-syrup/

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam

When life hands you lemons you can choose to make lemonade.  But what do you do when life cruelly hands you a corked bottle of wine?  Well, I mean what do you do after lamenting the fact that the nectar of the gods has been replaced by a liquid with the aroma of a musty, flooded basement?

I used to simply bemoan my bad fortune and pour the offending liquid down the drain.  Moments later, the empty bottle would clink to the bottom of the kitchen recycling bin and I would sigh, knowing that this imperfection is the chance you take when drinking a bottle of wine.  It simply goes with the territory.

Wine becomes corked after coming into contact with a cork that is contaminated.  An infected cork can contain millions of microorganisms called trichloroanisole (TCA) lying in wait to feast on a perfectly processed bottle of wine.    Because cork is a natural product, there is no way to completely guarantee that one will not carry this offensive contaminant into a bottle of wine.  For this reason, many wineries have moved to screw tops and synthetic corks.

After I had learned the how and why a bottle becomes corked, I learned that corked wine could be used for cooking.  No, I wouldn’t use it to flavor a light sauce as I feared that the corked aroma and taste would surely impart its funk to whatever it touched.  Instead, corked wine was suited to cooking over a longer period of time.  As it cooked, its offensiveness would evaporate away leaving the rich flavor that the wine was meant to bring to my glass when it was opened.

It was hard for me to believe that I could turn a musty, overpowering liquid into something edible, but my curiosity was piqued.  I had nothing to lose.  The wine in its natural state was, ironically unnatural and unpotable.  It was time to get creative and get cooking.

My goal was to make a caramelized onion red wine jam that could grace our weekend cheese platter.  It seemed fitting that I would turn corked wine into a condiment for a cheese course that would accompany a glass of perfectly delicious and uncorked wine.   I began gathering ingredients and mentally forming the recipe.  In minutes, the onions were cooking down in a heavy bottomed saucepan and I was reaching into the cabinets for ingredients that would help round out the flavor.

 I was shocked at how delicious this savory jam was.  I removed several types of cheese from the refrigerator and we went to work testing the onion jam with each of them.  Raw milk cheddar and an aged Piave were good companions for the jam, but a beautifully crafted Bayley Hazen Blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont was its soul mate.

It’s been several years since my initial corked red wine experiment.  In that time, the wine gods have smiled on us and we have not been handed many corked bottles of wine.  When it does happen, I no longer cringe.  Instead, I get busy making caramelized onion jam with red wine and break out the Bayley Hazen Blue.

I have even taken to making a delectable Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich out of this misfortune.  The melted blue cheese sings when paired with the caramelized onion red wine jam.  It’s as if they were meant to be together.

This savory jam and the resulting sandwich are as close as I can get to making lemonade from a bottle of red wine that could literally be labeled a lemon.  Maybe 1840 Farm needs a lemonade stand.  I am sure that it wouldn’t be long until there was a line forming for a Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam and warm Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam
fills four half pint jars

While I typically use a bottle of less than perfect wine for this recipe, any red wine will do.  I have been known to freeze small portions of leftover red wine until I have enough to make a batch of this jam.  Frozen, corked, or leftover:  it just doesn’t seem to matter.  This jam comes out delicious every time.  The finished jam can be canned by processing in half pint jars with 1/2″ headspace for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

1 pound yellow onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons honey
18 ounces red wine
4 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried or 4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.  Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 20 – 40 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened and caramelized.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the honey and stir to fully incorporate.  Add the remaining ingredients and return the pan to medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes or until the liquid is thick and syrupy.

Taste for seasoning, break out the blue cheese! You can also use this jam to make my recipe for a Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  It’s a showstopper!

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    Tags: wine, jam, red, cheese, onion, blue, corked, farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/caramelized-onion-and-red-wine-jam/

Cinnamon Babka

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the holiday season at your family breakfast table, look no further.  You simply can’t do better than homemade Cinnamon Babka.  While I have made this loaf innumerable times, my family still gets excited at the promise of a loaf of Cinnamon Babka on our breakfast menu.

Babka is a European delicacy and seems to be made in as many different versions as there are countries in Europe.  References to Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, and Israel are abundant.  Different fillings are used and different shapes are made of the finished loaves.  You’ll even find it called Baba in some countries.

No matter the geography where it is found, this is a bread used to celebrate holidays and mark special occasions.  Once you have tasted it, you’ll understand why.

I can’t claim that this is a truly authentic version of Babka. I can promise you that it is delicious and sure to please the family and friends gathered around your holiday table.

 


These are the tools that I used to create this loaf in our kitchen.  I have provided these links to enable you to learn more about the tools and specialty ingredients that I personally use on a daily basis.  These links will take you to exterior sites in order for you to learn more about each product.  Some of these links are of the affiliate variety.  Those links have not influenced my honest opinion or recommendation of these products.


Cinnamon Babka
makes one standard sized loaf

I like to use my stand mixer to work this dough.  I find that it does a wonderful job of incorporating the butter evenly.  While I use freshly milled whole wheat flour, you can substitute a high quality store brand of flour if you don’t have access to a mill.  If you don’t have Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer or vital wheat gluten, you can omit it from the recipe.  The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter. Cinnamon is my favorite Babka filling, but fresh preserves or chocolate ganache can be substituted with equally delicious results.

DOUGH
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon honey
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (150 grams) Whole Wheat flour
1 1/4 cup (150 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes
FILLING
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) softened butter
1/2 cup (96 grams) brown sugar

If you are using a dough proofer, which I highly recommend, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey.  Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water and allow to rest for approximately five minutes as you assemble and measure the dry ingredients.

After five minutes have passed, add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt to the bowl with the yeast and whisk gently to combine thoroughly.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir to form a shaggy dough using the dough hook on a stand mixer.

Continue to mix the dough until it begins to transform into a smooth ball of dough and pull away from the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer running, begin to add the small cubes of butter individually and slowly, allowing each cube to be smashed against the side of the bowl by the dough before the dough seems to absorb the butter.  Should the dough break, or fall apart, during this process, don’t panic.  Simply stop adding butter and allow the machine to knead the dough until it is again a smooth, elastic ball of dough.  Add the cubes of butter until they have all been incorporated.  Continue mixing until the dough is smooth and shiny, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.  If you prefer, you can perform the final kneading by hand.  At the end of kneading, the dough should pass the windowpane test.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it is ready to be shaped into loaves, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, form the dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Place this bowl in your proofer or another warm, draft free spot in your kitchen.  Allow the dough to rest and rise for approximately one hour.  To determine if the dough is ready to proceed, simply poke your finger into the dough until it touches the bottom of the bowl.  Remove your finger and observe the ball of dough.  The indentation made by your finger should remain.  If it does, proceed to the next step.  If not, allow the dough to rest and rise for another 30 minutes before attempting this test again.

In a small bowl, combine the softened butter and cinnamon.  Stir to make a smooth paste.  Measure the brown sugar and set aside.  Prepare a loaf pan by applying a thin coat of butter, oil, or pan spray.

When the dough is ready, place it on a dough mat or a lightly floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 10 x 20 inches in size.  Using an offset spatula, gently spread the cinnamon butter over the surface of the dough taking care not to stretch or tear the underlying dough.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the cinnamon butter.

 Using both hands, begin to roll the dough from the long side, keeping the dough taught.  If you have ever rolled a batch of cinnamon rolls, this is the same technique.  Continue to roll the dough and filling, keeping the roll as tight as possible.

Once the dough is in an even roll, form it into an “s” shape.  Using your hands, roll this “s” towards you, pressing the dough together.  Pick up the ends of the roll and twist the dough several times before placing it in the prepared loaf pan.  Place the pan in your proofer or warm, draft free location.  Allow the bread to rise until it is approximately 1 inch above than the sides of the pan.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone and oven thermometer, this is a great time to put them to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.  An oven thermometer allows me to ensure that my oven is heating to and holding the correct temperature.

Once the loaf has risen sufficiently and the oven has reached temperature, transfer the loaf to the oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaf is fully baked, it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and the surface of the loaf will be an even golden brown.  Remove the fully baked loaf from the oven to a wire rack.    Allow the loaf to cool for ten to fifteen minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely before storing in a plastic bag or container.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.


This recipe is part of The Bread Baker’s Series, a collaborative series of posts from Kitchen Kneads and 1840Farm.  It’s easy to make sure that you don’t miss a single post in The Bread Baker’s Series. Subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter or join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to Kitchen Kneads Email updates and follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.

By following Kitchen Kneads and 1840 Farm, you’ll be the first to see each post in our collaborative Bread Baker’s Series. If you have a great bread baking tip or recipe to share, we invite you to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/11/cinnamon-babka/

Oatmeal Bread

I first made a version of this recipe back in the 1990s. In March of 1995, a recipe for Oatmeal Bread from Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont appeared in Gourmet Magazine.   Gourmet was my source for culinary inspiration and I decided immediately after seeing this recipe that I would give it a try.

At the time, we called Kansas home, but I was drawn to all things New England given my fond memories of time spent in New Hampshire with my Mom visiting my Great Grandparent’s home in the White Mountains.  Fast forward to the present and we have been living in New England for over a decade.  I have even been fortunate enough to enjoy la meal at the Trapp Family Lodge while visiting Stowe.

So many years have passed, but we still enjoy this bread recipe just as much.  I have made a few changes to the original recipe over the years.  Some of them are subtle like my addition of vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer to lighten the final loaf.

A few other changes are more recent and significant.  They both involve the use of our WonderMill.  Lately, I have been including our own freshly milled organic, non-GMO whole wheat flour and oat flour when making this bread.  The resulting loaves have a lovely rich, earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness from the oat flour.

I am always amazed when a recipe can hold our attention through the years.  This one certainly has and it is a permanent fixture in our homemade bread rotation.  I can’t predict what the next decade holds for me or my recipe collection, but I am willing to bet that I’ll be making this bread in 2023!

Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from Oatmeal Bread Trapp Family Lodge from Gourmet Magazine, March 1995
makes 2 loaves

There’s no need to pass up this recipe if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour.  I made these loaves for years using store bought flour with excellent results.  You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour and  for both the whole wheat flour and increase the All-purpose flour by 1/2 cup as a replacement for the oat flour.  If you don’t have Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer, you can omit it from the recipe.  The resulting loaf will still be delicious, but the texture will be slightly more dense and the shelf life will be several days shorter.  You can learn more about the dough enhancer on my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter, melted
1/4 cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (120 grams) old fashioned oats
2 1/2 cups (20 ounces) warm water
5 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
1 cup (60 grams) oat flour
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups (300 grams)All-purpose or bread flour
4 teaspoons Grandma Eloise Dough Enhancer
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
beaten egg or melted butter for brushing the dough if desired

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, oats, and hot water.  Mix to combine.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside for five minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients.  When the five minutes have elapsed, stir the liquid ingredients and then add the dry ingredients in one addition.  Mix using a spoon or clean hands until a shaggy dough forms.

Remove the ball of shaggy dough from the bowl to a floured surface.  Knead the dough, adding more flour as necessary, until it passes the windowpane test, approximately ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it is ready to be shaped into loaves, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, form the dough into a ball and allow it to rest on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes.  After the dough has rested, divide the dough into two even balls.  Shape each ball into a loaf and place in a lightly oiled loaf pan. If desired, brush the top of each loaf with a little beaten egg or melted butter.  A few oats can be sprinkled on top to garnish the finished loaf.

Using a sharp knife, make several slits in the surface of the loaf.  Scoring the loaf will allow the dough to rise and bake evenly without breaking the beautiful top crust.  Set the loaves aside to rise in a proofing chamber or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of approximately one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one hour.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaf has risen sufficiently and the oven has reached temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, turning at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the fully baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack.    Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.


This recipe is part of The Bread Baker’s Series, a collaborative series of posts from Kitchen Kneads and 1840Farm.  It’s easy to make sure that you don’t miss a single post in The Bread Baker’s Series. Subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter or join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to Kitchen Kneads Email updates and follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.

By following Kitchen Kneads and 1840 Farm, you’ll be the first to see each post in our collaborative Bread Baker’s Series. If you have a great bread baking tip or recipe to share, we invite you to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/10/oatmeal-bread/

Wholegrain Buttermilk Biscuits

Fall is in the air here at 1840 Farm and another homeschooling semester is underway.  This year, one of our homeschooling goals is to spend more time together in the kitchen baking and cooking.  We’ll be learning the basics and adding in a few family and holiday favorites for good measure.  We’ll also be sharing many of the recipes and techniques with you so that you can try them in your kitchen.

I decided to start with a simple recipe and a bit of kitchen science for good measure.  So, we gathered around our kitchen table to learn more about baking soda and baking powder.  You can learn all about the subject by reading my post:  Kitchen Science:  Baking Soda vs Baking Powder.

In my opinion, few recipes highlight baking powder in the way that a great homemade biscuit does, so we started gathering our ingredients and preparing to make a batch of buttermilk biscuits from scratch.  In moments, we had our ingredients and tools.  We were ready to mill a batch of organic, non-GMO flour, make our own baking powder, and finish the biscuits by using a biscuit cutter that had been passed down from my Great Grandmother.

 First, we milled a batch of whole wheat flour using our WonderMill.  If you don’t mill your own flour, a high quality whole wheat flour can be substituted or you can use All-purpose flour if you prefer.  We mixed up enough fresh baking powder for each child to make their own batch of biscuits and started weighing our ingredients.

Then it was time to mix up the dough and break out our rolling pins.  We talked while we rolled out the dough.  We couldn’t help but discuss the generations of our family that had come before us as we used a biscuit cutter that showed signs of wear from its decades of use.  I watched them fill with pride as they gently transferred each round of biscuit dough to the baking pan.

That evening, we gathered around our family table and enjoyed the biscuits as the centerpiece of our meal.  They were delicious used as the bread for our heirloom Green Zebra Tomato BLT sandwiches.  They had a light, flaky texture that was just as delicious when enjoyed for breakfast the next morning, warm with a pat of butter and drizzle of our own maple syrup.

These biscuits were so popular that we have already enjoyed them a second time.  I’m quite certain that we’ll be making them again soon.  I hope that your family will enjoy them as much as mine did.

Buttermilk Biscuits
makes 8 biscuits

The key to making a light, flaky biscuit is to mix the dough enough to break the butter into very small pieces without mixing it so much as to develop the gluten in the flour.  Don’t worry, there’s a simple trick to ensuring that you achieve that state consistently when making biscuits.  Simply grate the butter before adding it to the dry ingredients.  While it may sound unconventional, grating the butter makes all the difference.  The butter will be in small shards and easily distributed through the dry ingredients with little effort.

Take care not to over flour the dough while rolling.  Too much flour will create a dry, heavy biscuit.  I like to use a seasoned french rolling pin or silicone covered rolling pin and rolling mat when making biscuits.  Both are less likely to need excess flour in order to prevent sticking.

1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (120 grams) All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons baking powder
6 Tablespoons butter, grated
3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, and baking powder..  Use your dry fingers or a whisk to combine the dry ingredients before adding the grated butter to the bowl.  Using your fingers, gently toss the grated butter and the dry ingredients until the small shards of butter are evenly distributed through the dry ingredients..

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients before adding the buttermilk all at once.  Use a spoon or your hands to mix the dry ingredients into the buttermilk.  Continue to mix until the dry and wet ingredients are fully combined .Take care not to overmix, stopping as soon as the dough is evenly moist.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Add a sprinkling of flour to the top of the dough and pat into a rectangular shape.  With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 1/2 inch thick. Fold the top third down to the middle of the dough.  Fold the bottom third up to the middle of the dough.  Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll until 1/2 inch thick.  Repeat this folding and turning two more times.  The folding and turning will help to create buttery layers in the dough and yield a very flaky biscuit.

Roll the dough into a final rectangle 1/2 inch thick.  Dip a biscuit cutter in flour and cut out each biscuit, disturbing the dough as little as possible.  Gently transfer each round to a baking tray or pan.

Place the pan of biscuits in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the butter to solidify.  Take any remaining scraps of dough and gently shape into a rectangle before wrapping with plastic wrap and placing in the refrigerator.  If allowed to rest, this dough can be rolled and cut into biscuits or pressed into the bottom of a pie pan to serve as the crust for sweet or savory dishes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the biscuits from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature as the oven preheats.  Transfer the biscuits to the hot oven.  Bake for 12-16 minutes or until lightly browned with a dry exterior.  Remove from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter if desired.  Serve warm.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/09/wholegrain-buttermilk-biscuits/

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