slow food

2 1/4 tsp of traditional yeast

1/2 cup warm water

3 cups organic unbleached flour {will be adding spelt and other flours to this in the future}

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon organic cane sugar

1 cup lukewarm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water in bowl of stand mixer. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until water is frothy.
Add all other ingredients and 1 cup of flour and start mixing.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time.
Mix on slow speed for about 5 to 6 minutes adding bits of flour or water until it is the smooth, elastic consistency.Coat large bowl with butter and place dough in bowl. Turn dough upside down so all of the dough is coated.Allow to sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size.  I turn the oven on low for a few minutes then off again to provide a warm, draft free place for dough to rise.Once doubled, roll out in a rope, and cut off 10-12 small pieces. Place balls on floured surface. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 deg F. and make sure rack is at the very bottom of oven. Be sure to also preheat your pizza stone (if you don’t have a pizza stone I have heard you can use an upside down baking sheet)Pat out each ball of dough into circles. Each should be about 5-6 inches across and 1/4 inch thick.Bake each circle for 4 minutes until the bread puffs up. Turn over and bake for 2 minutes.

Remove each pita with a spatula from the baking sheet and add additional pitas for baking.

Take spatula and gently push down puff. Immediately place in storage bags.

Delicious with homemade hummus and tzatziki

Our diet is one of extremes.  We eat a lot of made-from-scratch organic foods, but it is often bookended by total crap like Doritos and KitKat bars.  Around the same time I wrote my “evolve” post we were becoming re-inspired to take more serious steps towards our health + diet goals.  In order to keep on track and have something to return to when we become tired, uninspired or overwhelmed, we compiled a short list of what we wanted to accomplish.

 

Reduce packaging + waste

Lose weight

Balance mood + energy

Remove processed foods + sugars

Eat organic

Eat locally + seasonally when possible

Buy or grow as many raw materials as possible

Make it from scratch

 

I have been baking up a storm for the past 2 weeks making bagels, pitas, pizza dough, donuts, and bread while  making things like tzatziki and hummus from scratch as well as all of our meals.  I return to a couple quotes or thoughts I have come across from Michael Pollan:  “If your grandmother or great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize all the ingredients, don’t eat it.”   The thought of never eating a sweet treat again is daunting so our intention is to make it if we crave it as that helps determine just how much we want it or if we are eating to fill some sort of void other than hunger.

This type of diet and lifestyle has me in the kitchen for a good portion of my days which has been a wonderful lesson in letting go.  You see, I usually set out watercolour paints for the kids to busy themselves with, but they usually find time to tear the house apart and Silas always eats the paint.  I do have time while I wait for dough to rise and food to cook which is ideal time for reading stories or having tickle fights.  Poppy is showing interest in helping in the kitchen, but usually loses interest after stirring for a few minutes and eating stolen clumps of dough.  Someday soon though.

While doing all of this we are attempting to stay within our food budget.  I am not sure yet, but I think it will balance out if we can stick with not buying expensive, processed {not to mention, totally unnecessary} foods.  Organic butter, eggs {still buying eggs as our ladies have not yet begun laying}, and milk are expensive, but when you consider all that you can make with those raw ingredients the cost is manageable and worthwhile.

We have decided against going the wheat free route as it is not a necessity {as in Celiac Disease} and we found we were just replacing our flour with starch.  What we did like about it was that it kept us out of the processed foods and forced us to make it from scratch so we’re going to run with that.  I admit, I have been a bit bread obsessed of late, but I would like to keep those recipes tucked away for treats while we eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and organic, grass fed beef.   We are still contemplating getting more chickens in the spring for meat, but I just don’t know if I am there yet {a future post for sure}.

{these baked donuts  look decent, but I have a better recipe to share so hold tight}

Eating from scratch is labour intensive, messy, and oh so rewarding.  It requires good planning {not my forte} and patience {also not my forte}, but what we nourish ourselves and families with is important.  It is so much more than simple ingredients placed artfully together, it is about memory and scent and health.  It is teaching our children the importance of all things slow and measured.  It is about hands glistening with butter and the taste of food straight from the earth or vine.  It is about food in its finest, unadulterated state.  Food is a huge part of who we are and our rituals.   I want ours to be made of the good stuff.

If you have any family favourite recipes you’d like to share please leave a link in the comments or email me at applesforpoppyanne{at}hotmail{dot}com!

I also want to share this with anyone who hasn’t heard of it yet.  Heather of the lovely blog Beauty that Moves is offering what I am sure will be an enlightening and thorough online food workshop entitled Whole Food Kitchen.  Registration is still open!

 

go gently + be wonderful

 

e.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm by Stephanie K. | Permalink

    Your baking photos make me drool. I’m with you (short on time, patience, and time/ability to plan) but am learning to be patient with myself in this journey. Preparing good food IS time consuming esp. when you have little ones to please. A favourite “treat” of ours is “jello” made from knox gelatin and fruit juice. So much yummier than the dyed, sugary kind. I made it once with grape juice from our own grapes. It was INTENSELY purple and grapey! Keep on keepin’ on…it is a journey!

    • Posted January 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm by erin | Permalink

      You have no idea how inspiring you are!
      Thanks so much!
      e.

  2. Posted January 11, 2012 at 9:42 am by L.Bo Marie | Permalink

    You are living the life!!!! Seriously…

    I’m venturing into the meat chickens world this friday… one of my “hens” was just a really slow to mature roo. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Posted January 11, 2012 at 10:17 am by erin | Permalink

      Thanks Lesley…we still have our days…like today 😉
      Eep! Good luck with Mr. Hen.
      e.

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