Sunday, February 9, 2014

Time to bravely bake some bread!

Years ago, after I began the switch to cooking and baking with whole foods, I always had this fear when trying to make something new. I was always worrying about how it would come out and if it would come out the right way with gluten-free and whole food ingredients. Well after many experiments, I found that most of the time I, my husband, and any friends eating with us usually enjoyed all the food thoroughly. Of course I experienced trial and error, but mostly, I just grew better at making a dish the more I did it and I gained confidence each time I conquered something new. Well, I can say that finally, after trying and succeeding by just doing it, really, just do it, that I don't stress and worry when preparing new dishes. I know this is a great thing because I truly believe that the energy of the person preparing the food (whether it is you, your spouse, or a cook at a restaurant) all goes into that meal and directly into you or whoever is eating it. So, I always like to include LOVE and HAPPINESS in all the meals I create.

It is so easy for me to feel complete joy while preparing healthy food for myself and others. I am grateful that I have the time and energy to do this every day because eating is one of the most intimate things you do for your body. Everything you put in your mouth has a direct effect on your body and how it will feel short and long term, and that can be positive and or negative. One of the reasons my husband and I do not like to eat out is because, chefs and cooks work in the most stressful conditions and are expected to put out good food in really no time at all. All the emotions they feel during food prep are transferred into the food you eat. This is also true with the quality of food you eat, for example, when you choose conventional food over organic. An egg from a free range chicken is going to be much healthier because that chicken was happily able to roam in a healthy environment versus a chicken that is caged with other chickens like sardines and forced fed gmo grains to fatten them quicker than its normal growth pattern to get their meat and eggs in a shorter time frame just so the company can increase their profits.

When I prepare food, I want it to be positive every time and I like to eat every meal with the mindset that it will nourish and heal my body. I have confidence that it will do just that because I know where my food is coming from and I know how it is being prepared.

In this day and age, with the cost of living so high, and with everyone balancing multiple jobs, or working with raising a family, or working while earning a degree in higher education, it can be a serious challenge to find the time to prepare your own food. And trust me, I KNOW it takes time and effort but I am here to tell you it is worth it, it can be done, and you must do it  in order to begin to take control of your own health and the health of your family. So get over those jitters, insecurities, and don't procrastinate any longer. I have learned to start food prep the night before and to tackle longer food processes on my days off. Now build your mana (strength), get in a healthy mindset, and pick the right day to bravely bake your own bread!

Your body and belly will thank you! Most store bought breads contain preservatives, additives, corn-syrup, highly processed and refined ingredients, and canola oil. Yes, you should not consume canola oil, no human can break down this oil and it wreaks havoc on your digestion.

So here we go. Start as early in the day as you can. Bread should rise like the sun.

Millet Flaxseed Bread

Choose a small cast iron pan or loaf baking dish, the pictures below were for a double batch so choose a pan accordingly.

Get your ingredients ready to go:
1 packet active dry yeast
2 Tbs. coconut sugar or sucanet
1 cup warm non-gmo soy milk (you can use any nut or dairy milk)
tapioca flour for dusting
2 cups millet flour
1 cup fresh ground flaxseed (grind in a coffee grinder)
1 teas. salt
1/4 cup organic butter
1 teas. apple cider vinegar
seeds and herbs of choice: rosemary, sesame, nettle leaf

Add the sugar in a mixing bowl. Warm the milk and whisk in 2 teas.of that sugar to milk. Add 1 packet of yeast to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Make sure the milk is lukewarm, if too hot it will kill the yeast and the bread will not rise, I've done that before but the bread still came out delicious, hah!

Grease your baking dish with butter, lard, or oil then lightly dust with tapioca flour.

In the mixing bowl add millet flour, fresh ground flaxseed, and sea salt and mix thoroughly.

You will see the milk start to bubble and foam after about 5 minutes.

Add melted butter, milk, and 1 teas. vinegar to mixing bowl with dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Transfer dough to the pan with a spoon or spatula and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, rosemary, and nettle leaf.

Set next to the warmest window in the house and allow to rise for a few hours.

After it rises, about 2-4 hours, with a knife make 3 slits on top, then bake on 375 degrees for one hour.

I enjoyed mine with some homemade soup and more buttah of course. Oh Ono!

This recipe is dedicated to my mom, Becky Michaelis, who inspired me to bake my own bread. She is a mother to 12 children and an amazing bread baker and cook. When I was growing up, she would take my sisters and me to a cannery where we canned then stored whole grains that she later would grind into flours at home and then created the most beautiful healthy breads, waffles, and scones I have ever seen! Her birthday is this month, on February 27th, and after having and raising a family of 12 with my dad, she is more beautiful than ever.

This family picture was taken in 2008, it is very challenging to take family portraits when there are so many of us in different places now. I hope we can take another complete family picture soon!