Baking, Baking Biographies

That Gluten Question

With so many people searching for answers to the ‘gluten intolerance problem’, I thought I’d share some of my research.  This video is a quick look at sourdough and why it’s The Healthiest Bread.

The process of making bread using the wild or natural yeast that is already around us is just an AMAZING thing.  Flour and water to start, add a little salt and more flour and watch the transformation!  Smell.  Taste!  WOW.

At This Granny’s House, we are happy to share bread with you!  Bread has been known for millennia as ‘the staff of life’.  The number one grain for bread is wheat.  And it is this grain that has come under the most attack.  Yes, there are chemicals now; yes, there are GMOs now; but slow fermenting natural yeast is still master over those nasty attacks.  To better help us, using organic, regional, and fresh milled flour, insures maximum health benefits.

There are so many wonderful folks out there who have learned so much more than I have on this subject.  In the course of my own studies, I’ve grown in my fervor to share great bread with as many people as possible.

Here are some excellent resources:

sourdough nutrition

health benefits of sourdough

top 10 reasons to eat sourdough 

I truly hope that this little glimpse into the world of sourdough has helped you.

 

as always,

your friend, Cristina

aka Granny

 

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Baking, Baking Biographies, Show and Tell

Singing Bread

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​I am beyond excited that the bread that I made actually sings!  You will have to turn your volume up all the way to hear it.  Listen carefully.  Did you hear it?  Oh, how I wish you could smell it!!

Let me tell you the story… a while back, when spending time studying about baking, I came across an article recommending great bread baking books.  I read the reviews and decided that this book was for me.   Secrets of a Jewish Baker: Authentic Jewish Rye and Other Breads by George Greenstein.  Immediately, I felt as if I was sitting in his bakery watching and learning.  Oh! the aroma!

Here’s what Master Baker Greenstein wrote to open his book,

The author of this book is a master baker who has spent his life working with his hands in pursuit of the perfect loaf.  What is the perfect Bread? How does one know when it has been found?  Who is qualified to judge?

One night, working alone while the others were asleep, a baker was standing in front of a huge oven.  Behind him was an wire rack containing more than 200 loaves, hot, just removed from the oven.  All was still in the bakery that very first time when he heard the rye bread sing.  He turned, stood listening, at first without comprehension, then he smiled, recognized the sound — for him, a melody!

Occasionally when making bread everything comes together in harmony.  The dough is flawless and the surrounding conditions are ideal.  When the rye bread is removed from the oven, the crust begins to crack in the cooler air and form a finely veined alligator-like appearance.  To the baker’s ear the almost imperceptible crackling, multiplied a hundredfold, is a song of praise for the perfect loaf.

So, yesterday, I made Mr. Greenstein’s Rye Sourdough bread.  The timer rang, and I took the loaves out of the oven and set them on the cooling rack.  I’ve made bread so many times, I really can’t even count.  (27 years worth)  And as I was preparing the next batch, I heard it!  The bread was singing!!  I ran and grabbed by phone to share with you. Never before had I even noticed.  Maybe, I’m paying more attention now or maybe as Mr. Greenstein wrote about.. finally… a perfect loaf.

Baking, Baking Biographies

Baking is . . .

love made edible bannerI love to read.  I’ve always loved reading.  When I was a young girl, I spent most of my summers reading.  And when I discovered a summer reading program my sixth grade year – I was overjoyed!  The school gave their students access to the library for a handful of hours each Friday to encourage the students to be better readers.  I saw this as a summer filled with adventures.

I happily walked my younder siblings to our little library and we carried full book-bags back home just in time for lunch.  It was a first in summer reading programs.  It was the summer of 1980.  I read Florence Nightingale’s biography and the entire “The Great Brain series by J.D. Fitzgerald.  (I don’t know why I loved that series, but I did.)  In seventh grade, I was enrolled in a speed reading class.  I really enjoyed that class!  I learned how to read the important words and disregard the rest.  I learned to retain the information to do well on comprehension tests.  I read fast.  I did well. I joined a Bible Quiz club and learned memorizing skills and studied with furvor. (my spelling, however, was always a struggle)  Math? Science? P.E. Class?  for the birds .. I did my best, but my best wasn’t so hot.  Learning about History or the biography of those scientists – wonderful!

Fast forward to a married young woman with little ones, homemaking, and cooking.. I could read at and follow a recipe with ease; but didn’t find much, if any, joy in cooking.  It was like science class of sorts .. follow the formula and get an edible outcome.  Boring.  But our little family  needed to eat .. every day.  The more I cooked the better the meals became.  I loved to set the table, talk at the table, and laugh with family and friends.  I saw that aspect as the enjoyment of meals more than the cooking.

Now our children are adults, many are married, and Curt and I are empty nesters.  I have time to reflect on how my cooking has progressed through the years and the course it will take in the future.  I have time again to read just for me.  During our children’s growing up years I didn’t really have the time for pleasure reading.  We homeschooled k-12 and read aloud for the children.  Now .. now the house is in a new season .. what could I read?

I found a book at the library with an intriguing title:  The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.  The title was so lovely — so splendid.

The greatest joy in this book has been the people who made it possible.  I want to wrap my arms around the entire region of Emilia-Romagna in appreciation.  She and her people shared so much, not only in tangible information, but in the intangibles:  the spirit of her hospitality, the way light moves across her plain and her deep passion for her own culinary heritage.      ~Acknowledgements, The Splendid Table

How could I not join the author on her journey?  This isn’t just a book of edible formulas; it is a beautiful adventure.  Immediately, I saw the countryside, I felt the warm sunshine, and could smell the aromas beckoning as breads baked, meats were grilled, and fruit ripened . . . can you smell the freshness?  The author brought to life a cookbook in a way I’d never read.  This wasn’t a list of ingredients like a ‘to-do’ list.  This was a rosy cheeked loud grandma with her sleeves rolled up, dirty apron, showing you the right way to cook.  Having you taste and taste again ..

And so I began to read about soups, breads, pastas .. such a familiarity .. Garlic, butter, tomatoes, beef, olive oil .. hey! these are my favorite foods .. hey! .. a light bulb .. my maternal grandparents cooked like this .. my mom loves these .. and then I knew it .. I had come home .. I suddenly realized that food was more than for survival.  There was something more than the nutrients it possesses, it is meant to bring JOY TO YOUR TABLE.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and the herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to mke his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.                                                                                                                              -Psalm 104:14-15

I began to search out cookbooks that told a story, authors and bakers that invited the reader to join their family dinners, hear the laughter, and taste the delight found written on the pages.  As I read, I learned.  As I read the more confident I became as a baker and it began to show at our table.  My perspective on food was brought back to where is should be .. making our table a place of joy and not getting through another meal with dishes and complaining; but rather taking the time to enjoy and cherish the moment with those whom we ‘break bread’.

I’ll leave you with the following hashtags for you to consider:  #slowliving  #bringbreadhome  #homemade  #freshfromtheoven #splendidtable #family #friends #gatheringtogether  #morethanjusteating #lovemadeedible #nosciencehere #allheart

Are your meals #madewithlove ??

until next time,

~Cristina

Baking, Baking Biographies, Show and Tell, thrifting

the Adventure Begins

the adventure begins

Hello Dear Reader! and thank you for joining me on my little bakery adventure as I have officially opened my online neighborhood bakery.

This blog has a two-fold purpose: first, to share with you my adventures in baking and life and second to encourage in the daily stuff.  We all need a little joy and encouragement to help us get through the mundane, stressful, or unsure days; as well as sharing the hopeful, cheerful, and good days. I hope my little blog can help you.

iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 724

homemade pretzels! gone in a flash!

 

I think I have a plan.  They say you should have a plan.  I grew up making lists, my dad is the king of list making.  So, I suppose that my plan can be like my list for the the blog.  It should keep me on track, right?

MONDAYS:  I’ll share a preview of the week .. upcoming bakes .. maybe a vlog .. something to get the week started right.

TUESDAYS:  Show and Tell! I love show and tell! PHOTOS! recipes .. links .. and some DIY

WEDNESDAYS:  The WORD on Bread :  seeking for and finding the substance and nourishment of God’s written Word.

THURSDAYS:  Thrify Nifty Reviews :  treasure finds, bakery tools, cookbook reviews, and dressing your mealtime table.

FRIDAYS:  Baker’s Biographies : I love to hear about and read stories of those who have paved the way for the next generation.  We’ll discover together the history of baked goods, stories from Grandmothers and Grandfathers, and even meet some of today’s sweetest bakers.

Along the way, you may have to humor me as I share bits about quilting or knitting, or posts about how much I love our children,  our grandchildren, and sheep.  There might even be a mention or two of my moto-adventures with my best friend, my handsome husband. 🙂

There will be affiliate links to Amazon in order for you to have easy access to some of the treasures we share here.