For the Love of Bread

In our family, we’ve had to deal with food sensitivities to eggs, dairy, gluten, and all other sorts of fun things.  Thankfully, we’ve been able to work through most of these through long-term healing diets and overall dietary changes and by keeping as much processed foods out of our diets as possible.  The last remaining sensitivity is gluten.  My daughter and I have been gluten free for a long time and recently started testing out using ancient grains to see if we can tolerate the gluten content in those grains.  So far, so good!

The thing we really missed is a good bread.  Gluten free breads really aren’t very nourishing.  Often, they’re made with high glycemic flours that equate to eating a bowl full of sugar…not exactly the best alternative!  Even when they’re homemade, they use a lot of starches to create a bread that is similar to the favorite conventional white bread.

Einkorn is our grain of choice to reintroduce gluten.  We’ve been culturing einkorn sourdough.  I was very excited to purchase a grain grinder recently so we can have a truly nutritious, fresh ground whole grain flour.  I’m loving working with the fresh ground flour and knowing I’m feeding my family the most nutritious food available.


Happy Sourdough Starter

Here’s my happy little bubbly sourdough starter.  It takes about a week to nourish a true, healthy starter and I think she loves our house because we keep the wood stove going all winter long!  I feed the starter every 12 hours or so, throwing in about 3/8 c. einkorn flour and 1/4 c. water.  If I don’t have a need to build it, before each feeding, I dump off half so I’m not feeding so much, however we use it to make sourdough pancakes, bread, and all sorts of goodies, so I’m often building a larger starter batch.  It smells so fresh and good!  Mmmmm.

When grinding grains, it’s best to measure by weight for recipes instead of by cup because fresh ground grain is often fluffier than store-bought flour.  If I have extra flour, I just store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  This whole grain flour contains lots of fiber from the bran, as well as the healthy oils that grains naturally contain, and it’s naturally low-glycemic compared to white flours.  Store-bought flour also has to be specially processed to treat the oils because they go rancid very quickly (not healthy at all!)

I use a very easy no knead method of making sourdough bread with Einkorn.  This grain makes a very sticky dough, so the less you can touch it, the better!  Using the right tools is also really helpful!


Shaggy Sourdough Ball

I weigh out 720g of flour, stir in about 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 c. starter, and 2 c. of warm water.  I just roughly mix these ingredients together using my favorite danish dough wisk, cover it with plastic wrap (so the top of the dough doesn’t dry and get a “crusty” layer on top), and let it sit and sour for about 8-12 hours until it’s risen some.  A true sourdough probably won’t double in size…mine usually grows by 2/3 or so.  Einkorn dough looks far more “golden” in color than traditional wheat.

After the dough rises, I liberally flour the counter and dump the dough out onto the floured surface.  A handy trick I’ve learned that really helps the sourdough action is to then sprinkle a tsp. of baking soda onto the dough.  Fold the dough over (with liberally floured hands) about 20 times or so to mix in the baking soda, adding more flour as needed.  The less folds, the better, but do thoroughly mix in the baking soda.  Wrap the dough in a floured linen couche (the stick dough doesn’t stick to this genius linen cloth!) and let rest for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and put your dutch oven into the oven to preheat as well.  After approximately 30 minutes, pull the dutch oven out, flour the bottom and plunk in your rested sourdough.  If desired, put slits in the top of your dough to give it a break point while it rises during baking.  Reduce the heat of the oven down to 425 degrees F.  Bake the loaf for 45min – 1 hour (longer for high elevations) or until the loaf is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  For a softer crust, wrap the loaf in a tea towel while it cools on a rack, but if your family prefers a crustier loaf, don’t wrap it.

The souring of the dough pre-digests the grains for you making them more nourishing to the body, not to mention that this bread tastes AMAZING!  It’s really simple to make and really doesn’t take much hands-on time…just a little planning ahead.  It’s soft and chewy and gives you all the nutrients of the whole grain.  Let me know if you try it out…and if you’re in the area…I’ve got plenty of starter to share so swing in for some toast and tea and starter to take home!

♥ Trish


Life is Fleeting

Today, our sweet little blue-eyed buckling, Blue Suede, entered an eternal sleep.  He was fine last night and this morning when we went out to feed he was unable to get up.  We brought him in the house and warmed him up and administered thiamine, but he was not improving.  As we were on our way to the vet, he drew his last breath.  The end of a precious life.  He will be missed.  =(img_1715


Look how sweet my poodle is with him.  He is usually my shadow, but he just wanted to be near this little guy.  He kept licking him and laying by him.  I think I will change his name from Driggs to Dr Driggs.img_2007img_2013img_2009

Happenings on the Farm

We had quite an adventure yesterday with our beautiful little 3 1/2 month old buckling.  It was wet and chilly and he kept crying out to us.  We brought him in the house and he fell asleep, but he kept getting weaker and weaker.  Next we tried a couple of home remedies, but nothing was helping, so we ended up taking him to the vet for a Thiamine shot.  His temp was so low he should have been having convulsions and near death, but HalleluYah, he is now home and doing well!  So we have a little goat in the bathroom!


He’s very sweet and quiet and well-behaved.  A couple of times a day I let him out to walk around the house.  I think he and Driggs are going to be best buddies before he goes back outside.  By the way, Driggs has been so sweet!  He gets along with all of our animals – the cats, the kittens, the adult dogs, and the goats.  Plus he loves people too!  He’s a bit of a goof-ball and still has a lot of puppy in him, but he certainly has a lot going for him!  Just look at those sweet eyes (and the long eye-lashes!)




On another note, I purchased a lovely little vintage 1969 Roadrunner Camper Trailer a couple of days ago.  I really like all the original paneling! I will be uploading more pics and giving more details later on, but we are going to break it in and sleep in it for Sukkot!  The plan is for it to be my home office when I can make it warm enough!  =)


The Kids are Here!

I am so excited to report that our sweet little doe had her kids on June 8th.  Three beautiful, blue-eyed kids.  A gorgeous little buckling, a beautiful brown doeling with black stripe on her backbone and a tiny little brown doeling with white splashes on her face and sides.  The mama is an excellent mama!  Very attentive and loving.  The babies are frisky and thriving.  All is well.

Our little ducklings should be arriving soon too!  We are getting some Indian Runner or Penguin ducks.  They are prolific egg layers and they don’t need a huge body of water.  I’m super excited!  We will add that to our menagerie or goats, chickens, dogs and cats.

Speaking of cats… we haven’t seen one of our kitties for a couple of months.  =(  He was such a great cat and only 13 years old, but he had a great life and in the wild anything can happen.  We are probably better off not knowing!  Thankfully, we still have two cats and they like each other!


I am also *considering* getting a couple of bum lambs.  They are Icelandic and you can keep them with goats.  Here is what they look like!  They can be used for milk, meat or fiber.


In a week or so I hope to be traveling across the country for about 10 days.  My daughter and/or my dad will probably be with me.  I plan to stop along the way to see many people I haven’t connected with in decades!  I’m not crazy about being gone so long, but I know it will be fun to reconnect with everyone!


I wanted to give you all a little update on our farm.  Due to our recent trip out of the country, we are building it up again slowly, but thankfully we have several years of experience to assist with that!

What do we keep on our farm?

Raised bed gardens using the Back to Eden method of gardening.   Eventually we hope to have a greenhouse too!

Heritage breed chickens – our favorites are Buff Orpingtons, Barnevelders, Cuckoo Murans and Auracanas.  These are all multipurpose birds that are very versatile in the surroundings they can thrive in.  We love to let them free range on our 10 acre property.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats – these are the smallest dairy goats ~ with the sweetest milk. (can give up to a gallon per day – or MORE) We love that they are easy to manage because of their size. Their personalities are amazing and they eat less than the larger breeds.  In addition to all of that, they come in a variety of colors! This one has blue eyes.


We buy the best goats we can – from well-known lines and with strong pedigrees for milk.  If you want to know more about our little wonder goats, use the contact form and let us know!  We’ll send you a link to our website.  Every year we have some of these cute little nigerian dwarf goats for sale!

We are valiantly attempting to have some fruit growing as well – we presently have strawberries, raspberries and a start of a wild plum tree.  Our beautiful apple tree died last spring when we got a deep frost after it had begun budding.