This year I have been taking Caleb (4) and Hannah (2) to an activity day that meets twice a month. This is the first year I have done this, and we have met so many neat families! I have also had a chance to meet a number of moms in our community, and they are quickly becoming great friends.
All of these other moms are also stay at home moms, and boy do I have a lot to learn from them! I think every time we get together I learn something new.
Because of this, I sent out a cry of help among them. For Christmas this year, I received a KitchenAid mixer and a grain mill (both recommended by friends from this group). After I got my wheat berries, ran them through the mill, and made my first loaf of freshly ground wheat bread, I discovered that my bread was not nearly as good as theirs.
I tried and tried all kinds of different methods that I found on the You Tube and the internet, but it seemed like the harder I tried, the worse my bread got. So out came my cry for help, and to the rescue came my friend, Jennifer - on the left. (Check out her blog - she is great and cracks me up!)
In the middle of her busy schedule, she invited me over to her house to make some bread. I had a blast, and I learned a ton! She has the same mixer and grinder that I have, so she walked me through from start to finish. She showed me all of her tricks - things that I never would have figured out on my own or learned from the internet - things I had to see with my eyes and work with my hands. And then she sent me home with a beautiful loaf of bread and even a pan of hot cinnamon rolls (which she also showed me how to do!).
Ethan and I were in the middle of our our land buying process at this time, so I wasn't able to try bread at home right away. I did take notes though to help recall everything. When I finally got around to making my bread at home, it turned out beautiful!! I couldn't believe it. Neither could Ethan. He kept eating slice after slice saying, "This is amazing!" Hmmm . . . I guess my original bread was in need of some improvement!
So after much time on the internet, too many You Tube viewings of random people making bread, and countless loaves of confusion, I am now able to make a loaf of bread that "wows" my husband, thanks to Jennifer's help. This just goes to show, there is nothing like a good friend!
(I have both Red Winter wheat berries - which the bread shown was made from - and Prairie Gold wheat berries. I really like the taste of the Red Winter wheat, but it doesn't rise up quite as high as the Prairie Gold wheat - although it does now much better after my lesson! From my understanding, the Red Winter wheat is a bit harder than the others, but also has more nutrients. I'd like to try a combination of the two. Does anyone have anyone have any thoughts on varieties of wheat berries?)