Baking Bread like the Amish

I move to a land where people ride in horse-drawn wagons and suddenly, I’m acting like Ma from Little House on The Prairie.  What’s wrong with me?

With temperatures soaring this summer, my kitchen was hotter than a toaster oven on broil, and yet I decided to bake bread.  Please refer me to the nearest psychiatrist.  I just cannot seem to get over my first love – a loaf of hard, crusty bread.  I tell myself that I am fairly open-minded; however, I am completely biased when it comes to food.  From the depths of my very being, I believe the best food on earth is in New York City and the surrounding area.  New Yorker’s know how to eat!

I still live in New York, but up here where corn stalks outnumber humans, the food is foreign.  For instance, we out for pizza for FringeMan’s birthday in July; however, we found ourselves sitting around a table and staring at a UFO (unidentified fattening object).  Although we are ‘dig in’ kind of people, we just sat and wondered.

This pizza was super tasty, but it was backwards.  What in the world?  The official pizza compiling order is dough, sauce, cheese.  I always thought that was a given.  I was wrong.  I shouldn’t complain, because at least the pizza had cheese.  Tomato bread is popular around here.  Tomato bread = dough + sauce.  Odd.  Cheese is the BEST part!

So do you see my dilemma?  I want real pizza and hard crusty breads.

One morning I must have sniffed one too many coffee fumes, because I decided to start baking my own bread.  I figured if centuries of common women have successfully baked bread, surely I can do this.

First attempt = FAILED

I was crying in my coffee until I read an article that said it’s always the yeast’s fault if dough doesn’t rise.  You know how easy it is to jump on the blame bandwagon?  The yeast did it or in my case, didn’t do it.  I decided to forgo the packets and buy the jar of yeast.  I read that you must always keep yeast in the freezer, only removing it momentarily for a recipe.

I am happy to report success.  Multiple times.

Uncooked, but fully risen cinnamon/raisin bread.

Sandwich Bread

People, I am nearly Amish!  Seriously, the Amish in New York are pretty liberal.  Although they drive a horse, they eat McDonald’s, buy Velveeta Cheese, and play Monopoly.  I thought taking a walk on Boardwalk was too risque, but apparently they loosen their bonnets every once in a while.  Not that I am spying or anything!  Let’s be clear.  I have no problem with the Amish eating processed cheese.  I like a little canned spray cheese every once in a while myself.

So, you should try this whole bread making thing.  It’s empowering in a Grandma Moses sort of way.

All my bread recipes come from the King Arthur website.  The truth is Fiona does all the work for me.  I love her!

What food will you sweat to prepare?


18 thoughts on “Baking Bread like the Amish

  1. Pingback: I said THAT? 2010 Blog Recap | the domestic fringe

  2. Pingback: Baking Bread like the Amish | Buford Corn Maze a Night of Family Fun

  3. Cathy

    I’ve been considering buying a bread machine. Maybe I should try it the old fashioned way and save money and not have another kitchen appliance to have to find a place for. Your bread all looks wonderful!

  4. Mom

    I am sure Fringekid loved all that bread!!! Give me a cup of coffee and a stick of butter and some of that bread and I am happy!

  5. Amber

    Girl I love anything amish!!! But I would sweat to bake. Anything sweet, decadent, and full of calories. Oh and I’ll sweat to make delicious soups. 😀

  6. Laura

    I don’t have an electric mixer, so I break a sweat when I do any baking…I convince myself it will taste better if I had to work harder for it, lol. My usuals are cookies (either choclate chip or peanut butter), muffins from a mix, and on the very rare ocassion I have baked bread….I must try again when it cools down.

  7. Mamma Buffa

    Charming’s Mama… I know all about Great Harvest too! Thank God, because I’m a disaster in the kitchen. Love the picture of your kitchen, FringeGirl! Looks like you put it to great use with your yummy breads. Maybe you should change your name to AmishGirl?

  8. Charming's Mama

    My mom used to bake bread all the time. Every time I smell that delicious aroma I miss her so much. She would always set aside a little bit of the dough to make indian flat bread (we called them scones) that she would fry in a little oil, then we would eat them warm with butter and honey, yummy, the butter would melt and the honey got runny and it would trickle down your hand, melty goodness. Good times. I have yet to make it myself.

    We have a store here called Great Harvest that makes fresh bread daily, almost as good as Mom’s and I will some times splurge and get a loaf. I like to go when they bring it out of the oven. And they always have a slice to give you for sampling of any kind of bread they make.

  9. Sara

    I laughed through this only because I’ve been on a bread-making kick myself. I made beer bread last week and sandwich bread this week. I thought I would save money by making our bread, but it turns out the kids would really just prefer Sara Lee. Oh well…I will continue on. My next project will be some challah bread. Then, I’d like to find a recipe for bagels. In a town of 1500 people, real bagels are non-existent!

  10. debbie york

    Oh my gosh…I’m Amish…just didn’t know it! Seriously, I love homemade bread fresh out of the oven smothered in butter! Good grief…now I’m confused. Am I Amish or just hungry? Your labor of loaves turned out beautiful!


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