Monday, October 11, 2010

The Best Aroma

I am so thankful for our 5 senses. 
God certainly had beautiful, lovely things in mind when he created them,
for our pleasure and enjoyment of this life. 
I particularly delight in the sense of smell. 
I love the smell a rose in full bloom,
a baby’s head,
a barn full of hay,
or an old book,
these are a few of the best smelling things on earth to me.
  However, I think that nothing beats the lovely aroma of bread baking

Homemade bread is one of my chief most delights in this life.
  I enjoy making it, smelling it baking, and relishing in the finished product. 
Making your own bread is simple once you get the hang of sponging the yeast. 
I teach our 11 and 12 y olds to make bread. 
Making bread is also very economical,
in fact, I don’t think there is any bad side to making bread. 
It is simply a wonderful thing to do.

Here are our best recipes for bread.
Amish Whole Wheat Bread
Rose is famous for this bread, which she makes regularly and sells,
earning money to go to Africa next year on an Evangelistic Mission Trip 
with our mentor Pastor Paul Hunter, Next Generation Ministry.

Grinding your wheat fresh adds wonderful flavor, texture, and nutrition to the bread.

Many stores that sell whole wheat kernels will also grind it for you. 
This bread rises three times, so it takes longer, which makes it’s flavor even better. 
It is the lightest, fluffiest, whole wheat bread I have ever encountered. 
I believe you could easily substitute Kumut if you have wheat problems.
  I purchase Kumut, as well as wheat, through a co-op, Azure Standard.
(We double or triple this recipe, all the time)

Amish Whole Wheat Bread

2 envelopes dry active yeast
3 Tbsp granulated sugar or honey
3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
1 Tbsp salt
1 ½ c warm water
½ c veg. oil
¼ c. mashed potatoes, plain
2 ½ c whole wheat flour
2 ½ c white flour, or a total of 5 c. whole white wheat flour

Combine all ingredients except flour, stir well until yeast is dissolved.  Let sponge for 10 minutes.  Yeast should get foamy (sponge)  Add flour, a few cups at a time until dough is workable.  Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Return dough to greased bowl, Cover with a cloth to let rise, 2 hours.  Punch down dough and rise again until  double , 1 ½ hours. Punch down again and form into 2 loaves.  Place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover and let rise until double in size, 1 ½ hours.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Bake loaves for 15 minutes, then raise the temperature to 350 and bake for 20- 25 minutes longer.  Remove pans from oven, brush the tops with melted butter, and tip the loaves out on a wire rack to cool.

Cinnamon Rolls
These are the most popular item to sell at a bake sale. 
If we want them first thing in the morning fresh, 
then we make up the roll dough, putting them in the frig overnight,
and bake them in the morning. 
We sometimes use half whole wheat, as opposed to straight white, 
and they are still nice and light. 
The trick to cinnamon rolls is to cover them with foil, like you would a pie,
until the last 10 minutes or so of baking, 
then take them out just as they are leaving the gooey- in- the- middle stage.  
You definitely do not want these over done.  
Slightly underdone achieves a more popular product.
3 c. flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. milk
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
1 ½ c. warm water
½ c. oil
2 eggs
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and sponge for 10 minutes.  Add enough flour to make a workable dough that is slightly sticky.  Turn out onto floured surface,  Knead for 5 minutes.  Return dough to greased bowl and let rise until double, 40 min.  Roll dough out into a large, thin rectangle.  Spread with 1 cube softened butter.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon, and then brown sugar.  Carefully roll the rectangle up into a long tube.  Using a string or good bread knife, Cut rolls off of tube every 1 ½ inches, placing on a baking sheet.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes, or place sheets in fridge overnight, then rise 30 min in the morning before baking.  Bake, covered with foil loosely,  at 375 for 20 min., take foil off and bake for another 5- 10 minutes.  Frost with a powdered sugar/milk frosting.  Makes about 3 dozen.

French Bread
Anna is usually making our French bread.  She has memorized the recipe. 
This one rises three times, and uses sifted flour,
resulting in a wonderful light loaf that is hands down better 
than a store bought loaf of French bread. 
I think that once you try it, you will be hooked. 
If we are feeling extra indulgent,
we will spread butter, chopped garlic, sautéed onion slices,
and grated cheese on the dough before rolling it up….oh my!   
Makes three good sized loaves.

4 c warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp salt
½ c olive oil
11 c. sifted flour

Combine all ingredients except flour and let sit for 10 minutes covered.  Add flour a few cups at a time until the dough is not sticky.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead 10 minutes.  Return dough to bowl and let rise until double.  Punch down and rise again till double.  Punch down and turn out onto floured surface.  Divide into thee equal potions.  One at a time, roll out into large rectangle.  Carefully roll dough up into a long tube, placing on a  baking sheet.  Repeat with the other two portions.  Gently slice 3 shallow slits diagonally in the tops of the loaves, cover with a light towel, and let rise 20 minutes.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then turn down heat to 375 for an additional 20 minutes.
Bread left over that has lost it’s freshness can be buttered and grilled to go with soups and salads.

If you enjoy making bread, 
I will be posting our special holiday breads in December,
so keep an eye out.
If you haven’t had success yet, keep on! 
Your efforts will be well worth it when you hit upon success.

May many happy bread baking days lay ahead for you and yours!


  1. Ohhhhh, I have tried and failed soooo many times. I'm not sure why I have such a hard time with bread?!:) For the mashed potatoes, is that dry/instant ones or just a cooked potato mashed up? Does it matter if the yeast goes in the water or dry ingredients? Thanks for the recipes. I will continue to try....:)

  2. Hi Julianne~ I stumbled across your blog and I live in Idaho too!!!!!! Where are you about? We are in meridian but praying to move on some land!!! We share a lot of the same beliefs. I am pregnant with my fifth. I will soon have 5 children 6 and under!!! Whew!!! Anyhow!!! I was excited to find a like minded believer that lives in Idaho!!!!!


  3. I've been enjoying your blog, Julianne! Thanks so much for these recipes, I'm looking forward to trying them out:)

    Kelly from the PW's group

  4. Dear finding Balance Mommy,
    When you add your yeast to warm water, with the sugar and salt and everything but the flour, just stir until the yeast is dissolved and let it sit, covered for 5 o 10 minutes. This is called sponging your yeast. If it activates, you will know because it will foam up. If you water was too hot, it will not foam up. Once the yeast is activated, the only thing you could do to ruin the bread would be to add too much flour. since I started sponging every recipe, I have never had the dough fail to rise. so matte what the directions say to do, I always sponge, then add the flour. Keep trying!

  5. Dear Jessica,
    Welcome, and blessings to you growing family! we live in North Idaho in the greater Coeurd'Alene area. I just love a kindred Spirit!

  6. Thank you! I think I've been using too warm of water. I'll try it with more lukewarm water. :-) Blessings on your day!

  7. I definately want to try the cinnamon roll recipe. Have you previously posted the recipe for those gorgeous looking dinner rolls?

  8. The cinnamon roll recipe is posted on "Cooking Big", under frugal recipes.

  9. Ok, with much prayer, patience, and help from my 5 year old....we were successful! My rolls didn't look like yours but they tasted yummy. Yours look much fluffier, but ours tasted yummy so I guess that means we were successful. Thanks for the encouragement.


Your comments and input are very much appreciate
- Blessings!

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