When my kids were growing up, I took my eldest son to a Summer Camp at Frying Pan Park, here in Virginia. It was close to our house and a lovely place with farm animals, fields, and more. So many things to do. He was probably about 4 years old at the time. One day he came home from camp with a recipe for Farm Bread. He immediately wanted to bake some, describing it’s deliciousness to me in great detail. I was pleased to see his enthusiasm (they even made homemade butter by putting whipping cream in a baby food jar and shaking it until it was butter)! If you are dubious about this butter-making process see the following link:
It was awesome to taste that homemade butter on the freshly baked bread!
I realize if you are gluten-free this recipe is not for you. If you wish to add some wheat or other type heavier flour, I would say make the heavy flour only 1/3 of the total flour used in the recipe. Otherwise, you will have a bread that is too dense with a less delicate texture. Having said that, I am using just a few ingredients to make two wonderful loaves. The original recipe was for four loaves but I paired it down so it was more usable. Here is a picture of the few ingredients required to make this heavenly stuff:
Winter is a great time to bake so let’s get started! I know it can be daunting to work with yeast and knead dough, but have faith. It is easier than you think and quite gratifying. I will walk you through the process. As a side note, you may have some questions about proofing yeast (how and why). Here is a great link to explain:
This article recommends a slightly lower temp than the one I use but basically it is all within the noise. If the water is barely warm to the touch you are in a good place. For more details on how to knead bread, here is a great little King Arthur Flour video for you:
Place honey and warm water together in a large bowl and stir until honey dissolves. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit or "proof" for 5 minutes. It should bubble and rise a bit as the yeast grows. Add oil and salt to this mixture.
Start adding flour a cup at a time, stirring it gently into the dough a few minutes before adding another cup. Continue with this process until a cohesive dough forms, it might be a little sticky. At this point add flour a little at a time until you can handle the dough without too much of it sticking to your fingers.
Place the dough on a clean counter and, adding flour as necessary, continue kneading. I like to put it either on top of the dough or on the counter and roll the dough over it to incorporate the flour. See picture.
Continue to knead 5 to 10 more minutes until the dough is smooth. You will know you are done when you push your finger gently into the top of the dough and the small indents stays, versus popping back out. See picture.
Place dough in a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise, per photo.
Let the dough rise until about double in size, as you see here.
Punch the dough down, knead a few times, divide in half and place in two greased loaf pans, cover with plastic wrap, let rise until it puffs up over the top. Here I used two different pans to see how well each would bake, and they both worked equally well. In this image they are ready to for the oven.
Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes (depending on your oven). Mine were done at 40 minutes. I used an instant read thermometer to test for doneness. The internal temperature should be between 190-200 degrees to be perfectly done. If you do not have an instant read thermometer you can thump the tops gently to see if they sound hollow. This usually means they are done. They should be well browned as in the featured photo.
Take the loaves out of the pans and place on a wire wrack to cool. I liked to slice it and eat it while it is still somewhat warm so the butter melts all over it. It's delicious!
If you would like more detailed information on testing bread for doneness, please see the following Cook's Illustrated link: