So fun! Thank you to everyone that attended the Bread, Butter, & Cheese Workshop! Here you'll find the recipes that we used as well as links to the products we discussed. If you missed this event, no worries - sign up for our email list here so that you don't miss the next one!
Step 1: Bloom your yeast. Fill your measuring cup with one cup of water. Add your sugar and yeast and mix a little. Let this sit until it “blooms” at least one inch above the waterline. I prefer 2 inches but 1 is enough.
Step 2: Start mixing your other ingredients while the yeast is blooming. I use a large bowl and add 4 cups of flour, the other cup of warm water, salt, and oil. I mix this lightly. Don’t fully incorporate everything until your yeast mixture is ready to add. You don’t want to form a dry ball of dough. So just lightly stir the ingredients.
Step 3: Once your yeast mixture is ready, add this to your bowl of ingredients and mix them thoroughly until a dough is formed. At this point it will be very wet an sticky. Now you’ll start to use your hands. Remove your stirring spoon and add another half cup or so of flour to the edges of the bowl so that you can work the wet dough away from the edges of the bowl and start to form a dough ball. Add a bit of flour as you go until it is loose, pliable, elastic feeling, but not too sticky. You want it to be light and rubbery. You don’t want to add too much flour because your bread will be dense. Remember, at this stage it’s better for your dough to be too wet than too dry. If you aren’t sure, stop! You’ll be able to add a bit more after the first rise if it’s too sticky.
Step 4: Form the dough into a rough ball. Oil the bowl and roll all side of the dough lightly in the oil. Set the ball in the middle of the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. This will hold in the heat and help the rising process. In around 45 minutes or so, your dough should have doubled in size. Don’t stress over the exactness of this. You just want to see that the yeast is doing its thing.
Step 5: Add a bit of flour to the edges of the bowl and work it away from the sides again. Kneed it lightly, adding a little flour as needed to make it not sticky. Don’t add too much, just enough to make it not stick to your hands. You still want it to be light and elastic.
Step 6: Break it into two pieces and shape it into your greased bread pans.
Step 7: Let it rise a second time. Don’t cover this time. I like to sit it on the stove under the hood light. This is a good temp for rising. You should see it nearly double again. This takes about 30 minutes.
Note: The temperature in your house, outside, and the current humidity can change your rising times as well as the amount of flour you have to add to get it to the right consistency. That’s why I don’t have exact amounts or times here. You really just have to watch it and learn over time what you are looking for.
Step 8: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake your bread for 30-40 minutes. Mine usually takes 35 but it depends on your oven and the weather. You want to see a medium brown top that you can knock on and hear a hollow thump. When your bread is finished cooking, remove it from the pans and leave it on a dry rack for an hour. This step is really important because your dough will be moist and not the right texture if you cut it too soon and it doesn’t properly air out. After an hour you can slice it and enjoy!
Step 1: Dump cold cream into the blender (You can also use a mixer or a jar if you like a good workout!)
Step 2: Blend on medium. Within a few minutes it will turn to a heavy cream. Let it go. When you see it break apart in the blender you need to let it go another minute. You’ll see the butter starting to stick to the sides and this is when you should stop.
Step 3: I like to dump this broken cream into a large jar and shake it a bit. This helps it form into a ball. It finishes the breaking process.
Step 4: Strain out the liquid. (We like to save this buttermilk for pancakes)
Step 5: Put your butter into a bowl with ice and cold water. Let it sit for a few minutes. You do this so that you can wash the buttermilk out of it without the fats melting.
Step 6: Kneed the butter and drain and replace the water until it runs clear. You are kneading it because the buttermilk hides in bubble pockets in the fat and can cause your butter to sour. You want to get as much out as possible.
Step 7: Get as much of the moisture out of your butter. You can even pat it dry with a cloth if you want to lay it on a cutting board. I usually just get as much as I can out in the bowl. I store the butter in a glass jar. You can freeze it like this and take it out as you need it.
Farmer Cheese Recipe
Step 1: Heat the milk to around 190 degrees. You should see foam forming on the top of the milk but not boiling bubbles.
Step 2: Turn off the heat and dump in the vinegar. Mix from the bottom up and you’ll see the curds breaking from the whey.
Step 3: Cover for around 15 minutes.
Step 4: Strain whey and put the curds into the mixing stand or bowl that you can mix in.
Step 5: I use a kitchen-aid mixer and turn it on medium to start to smooth out the curds. Once smooth, I add in a ¼ cup or so of whey at a time until it is a moist and smooth consistency. It will dry out in the refrigerator so you want to make it a little wetter than you’d actually like it to be in your finished product.
Step 6: Add salt. You will definitely want to do this or it will be very bland.
Step 7: You can then store this in a glass jar or Tupperware.
Active Dry Yeast:
Our adventure with Maddy...
There is something really special about a dairy cow. You rest your head on their side every single day as you fill your bucket with milk that will feed your family. They trust you and you trust them. It is special. It's also unlike any other animal that I've raised or cared for. I was naive when I first jumped in because I was an experienced livestock owner and I thought I knew cattle. I had no way of understanding how different it could be. I learned some things the hard way and maybe I can save you some heartache by telling your things I wish I knew.
Did you know?
Commercially raised chickens are housed in large indoor facilities. They have little to no room to walk around and usually never see daylight. That's how their meat is kept tender, they never get to work out their muscles 😔. This, combined with a very poor diet, are the reasons why the meat is so light in color and the fat is a gelatinous white/clear color.
Our chickens are raised on green pastures, full of grass and weeds and delicious bugs. They get to stretch their legs, run and play and feel the sun on their feathers. They are happy and healthy and fed a high quality diet of non-gmo grains.
Things you'll notice with our whole chickens:
You'll need to watch the video to learn the why, how, and when. Below you'll find the ingredient list and links to purchase a few of them. Enjoy!
Our pasture raised, non-gmo chicken is hearty in flavor and rich in nutrients. Making the best chicken starts 1-2 days before you plan to serve it!
2 Days before you plan to cook:
Two days before you plan to cook your chicken, pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw completely. Once thawed, place the unwrapped chicken in a bowl or pan and season it liberally with whatever seasonings you enjoy. Consider the marinating stage. Cover the chicken and place it in the refrigerator. This step allows the flavors to soak in AND it allows the chicken to become more tender as it sits. We like to do this 2 days before we cook but even 1 day will make a big difference!
There are so many great reasons to buy bulk meat from your local farmer. You might not have considered many of these! Time-to-table and transportation are a few that can be shocking!
1. Save money
When you buy meat by the quarter, half, or whole animal, you are saving the farmer time and money.
When a farmer sells meat "by the cut", they have to pay a very expensive USDA processor to butcher the meat, package it with special USDA approved labels, and then store the meat in a regulated and inspected freezer. There are permits, strict regulations, and health department inspections involved and this process is very expensive as well as time consuming.
When you buy bulk, the animal is sold to you, delivered to the butcher to be processed and then it's yours. The savings to the farmer are passed on to you in the form of bulk, "on the hoof" pricing.
It's a good deal for everyone!