I'm very fond of baking bread~I adore the smell, the firm, warm, supple feel of dough in my hands, the endless choice of which to make; traditional white, baked in loaf pans until golden, so reminiscent of Grandma; Challah we make to share at Christmastime; whole wheat, beautifully brown and nutty in aroma and flavor; cheese bread with a tunnel of cheese and Italian seasoning made to go with our pasta dinners; French baguettes perfect to pair with creamy chevre, the list goes on...
I recently unearthed a book my father had given me several years ago titled "The Yankee Magazine Book of Forgotten Arts" by R.M. Bacon. It's very much a book I would turn to if I were homesteading~full of drawings, diagrams,recipes for everything from digging and stoning a well to keeping chickens to fireplace cookery and soap making.
I was drawn to the chapter "Whole Wheat Bread from Grain to Loaf" which outlines growing, harvesting and milling grain and gives several recipes for bread.
I've made this one two days in a row now and it lasts about 15 minutes here.
Whole Wheat Bread with Honey
three small or two large loaves
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons honey
1 pint milk
1 T salt
2 pkgs dry yeast (I use Hodgson Mills 25% more packet with great results)
6 c whole wheat flour (King Arthur is my choice for all flours)
Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup of milk that has been warmed to 110-115 degrees F.
Melt butter and honey in the remainder of the milk in a saucepan over low heat. When lukewarm add the yeast and salt. Stir while adding flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Knead on a floured board for 6 to 8 minutes. Put into a greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.
Turn out onto a floured surface and punch down. Divide into 3 small or 2 larger loaf pans and let rise again. Bake in a preheated 350-375 degrees F oven about 50 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.