"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Rye bread

All good wishes for 2017 to all my followers.  I hope it contains all and more than you hope for.

We had a wonderful, relaxing family-filled Christmas, but, all good things must come to an end, and work looms on the horizon again from next Monday... 

So, back to more mundane matters.

I have been disappointed in my bread machine.

Not because the bread it produces is inedible, but because the bread doesn't stay as fresh as shop bought bread. 

Well, duh, there are no added chemicals / improvers in my locally manufactured stone ground flour, homemade bread, Dani!

But, I was feeding the chickens / chucking away too much bread - RMan and I can't eat a loaf in 2 days.

I have, however, made some other excellent recipes in my bread machine - such as four ingredient corn bread, chocolate cake, banana bread.

Then I had a thought.  RMan and I love rye bread.  So, after contacting our local stone ground flour manufacturers, Eureka Mills, they kindly sent me a recipe for 50% rye bread to bake in my bread machine.
Too much dough which couldn't cook properly and caused the
 loaf to sink.
The recipe they sent was too much for my machine and caused the bread to sink in the middle as it couldn't cook properly.
The consistency of the 50% rye bread is great!!
I then tried halving the recipe, but, although the appearance of the baked loaf was better, the resulting loaf was teeny - barely enough to sink your teeth into.  Dainty sandwiches are great, but, sometimes you need a decent sized sandwich clutched in your grubby paws - do you know what I mean?
Half the recipe resulted in a teeny-weeny loaf
So, I finally tried 3/4 of the recipe.
This one is slightly misshapen, but 3/4 of the recipe gives me the best
That was much better :)
Soft, delicious - with an extended "shelf" life - without the
chemicals :D
If you would like to try out the recipe for yourself, here is the (adjusted) recipe with the quantities I use in red.
My 50% rye bread recipe for the bread machine
This rye bread stays "fresh" for a good 3 - 4 days, which is perfect for RMan and I.  I have taken to tossing in a handful (tablespoon) of fennel and caraway seeds together with all the other ingredients.

Yum :D

Wrapping my bread in towels doesn't keep it fresh in our dry climate, so, once the loaf is properly cool after baking,  I store it in a clear plastic bag which gets cleaned (washed out and hung to dry) out prior to another (new) loaf being deposited into it.  I think I have recycled the same plastic bag a good 4 dozen times thus far... ;)

Fresh bread in the house means we'll not go hungry this year... :D

For info on how you can obtain your own Foothills DryAway please click the link.


  1. I don't have a bread machine, so will try the recipe full. I've been looking for a good soft rye recipe--similar to our "Beefsteak Rye"--but without all the chemical goo.
    Hope you have a terrific New Year....lots of health and happiness (and good bread--teehee!!)

    1. Sue - I love the texture of the 50% rye - not too heavy, and it stays fresh for longer than white or brown bread in the machine. Would love to know how you find it as a "normal" loaf...

      Health - hmmm - I've started the year off badly. Just come back from the Dr and he's diagnosed bronchitis. < sigh > guess I've been respiratory infection free for 4.5 years so I can really complain, but not a nice way to start off the year :(

  2. I only make single small loaves because they dont keep, two small loaves a week, I keep mine in recycled plastic bags.
    Did you get my e-mail by the way

    1. Dawn - Bless you, and thanks.

      Yes, I did get your mail. Need to think the logistics through because we have such a "difficult" customs situation here < sigh >. Will contact you as soon as I'm feeling "normal" again and can think clearly, if that's OK?

  3. I slice my wholemeal bread and put the slices in the freezer. You can take out as much as you need for the day or toast from frozen.

    1. I do the same. I wrap in brown paper until the next day, slice thin and freeze. Yum, home made bread and it lasts for two weeks. The bakeries in my town make these HUGE loaves, HUGE. Very silly to make bread that can't fit in any human toaster.

    2. Red Biddy - Welcome - you're my 1st new follower in 2017 :D (at least I think you are a new follower lol) Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      I find that freezing bread takes away that "soft, fresh" sensation normally. I will try freezing some and see how it turns out. Thanks for the tip though.

    3. pqsa - What I love about using Eureka Mills bread flour is that it doesn't contain all those flour improvers / chemicals / preservatives, etc that store bought bread and flour does. Although I probably need all the extra "preserving" that I can get at my age, I prefer things as natural as possible as far as food is concerned. Why shove unnecessary chemicals into the bod if I don't have to?

    4. Here's something terrifying Dani, apparently Glysophate, ie, Roundup is not only used as a herbicide, but also to ripen wheat quicker!! So not only are my town's gardens drenched in the stuff, but the surrounding fields as well, not to mention that dratted crop sprayer. No wonder the funeral parlours do so well. Eureka flour is definitely the way to go.

  4. Your bread looks really good. Glad to hear you have found the right mix for you. I freeze my excess like Red Biddy, but only because it doesn't get eaten quick enough in our house. We are not big bread eaters.

    1. Tania - My problem is I married RMan who has German roots. Germans are big on bread, so we eat a fair amount of it. But, even given that, wiping out a 700 - 900 gm loaf of bread in 2 days is not a feat we wish to lay claim to. The waistline would certainly disapprove... ;)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.