life-Changing, Easiest Bread Recipe Ever (and why we're a plant-based farm)

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I'd like to start by saying thank you so much for your guys' support and interest in what I have going on here at Gray Acres. Branding our farm was born out of my desire to share my tiny farm life with anyone interested in what it means to slow down, attempt to live off the land, and living with livestock as pets, rather than raising them for food. While I know so many of you aren't vegan or vegetarians, I thought it'd be good for you to know where I come from and how I approach food and animal husbandry. 

I became a vegetarian as a teen. I was disheartened and concerned about the impact of commercial meat production. Being a vegetarian made me mindful of food production in general though, as I was noticing stories where people were even getting food poisoning from vegetables too, like tainted lettuces or spinach. I was also learning about the amount of top soil depletion, desertification and other forms of environmental degradation that were occurring as a result of commercial food production. As young teen, these realities were brand new to me, and hit me hard. I knew I had to change that way I lived if I could feel good about my place in this world. So that's when my journey towards a plant-based diet, and my ambitions in taking in livestock rescues began! And the story of adopting more animals is certainly still an unfolding one...

While I know we all depend on commercial food production (whether it's vegetables, fruits or meat), I have been trying to discover and support producers of food who try to do it differently. At the same time, I try to offset my own environmental impact by eating plants, growing food and trying to minimize my impact on nature in the ways we live and work.

However, I just want you to know that this is my story. This is my journey. I want to be a source of inspiration if you're curious about the same things. Or - I want to be a source of education if you have never heard of these things before. I in no way feel I have the answers. But I try to be mindful, and seek to encourage others to do the same. And, if you don't really want to read about these things, that's ok too! I just want you to know that the recipes I am hoping to share here will be entirely plant-based, and totally delicious.

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That being said, for my inaugural blog post (besides the previous welcome), I wanted to give you all something insanely delicious, for both herbivores and omnivores alike! Because who doesn't love a loaf of bread that's crispy on the outside, and perfectly fluffy on the inside. 

This bread recipe is the easiest, most simple, no-knead 4 ingredient bread I have ever baked, and it has become a weekend staple. I say weekend, because I have to limit how often I bake this so that Tyler and I don't turn into a giant loaf of bread ourselves. The recipe is dairy free and vegan, and can easily be converted to gluten-free by switching out the all-purpose flour. The one secret to this recipe? You need a cast iron dutch oven!

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I'm sharing this recipe from another blog, Lynne Knowlton. A fellow Canadian, and major design inspiration. I highly encourage you to look up her blog

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ½ cup warm water

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add water, stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest over night at room temperature.

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Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat the ball of dough with flour. Put dough seam side down, back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the Dutch oven in the oven as it preheats. Carefully remove pot from oven. Turn dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 20 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Please keep in mind that cooking times can vary according to your stove

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Happy bread baking!

Jen xx

Sources:

Lynne Knowlton

Le Creuset