Saturday, 8 October 2016

first snow + whole wheat loaves

08 / 10 / 2016

The first snow fell yesterday. Patt is back from working up north, and we spent time together in our home as a family, reminding ourselves of the emotional warmth the snow can bring. Juliette and Louise were both in awe of the snowflakes falling, turning the ground around us soft and white. It wasn't long until Juliette was asking to go outside, and she was thrilled when I brought out her snowsuit from last year- it now just fitting her the way it should. While she and her Dad played outside I started making whole wheat bread and Louise worked on her new skill- walking! (She just started doing it within a couple of hours of her Dad returning home so he could see her first steps!)

Later I ducked out of the house to go to the pottery studio for a couple of hours while Patt spent one-on-one time with his girls. Driving through the neighbourhood as the snow came down gave me that sentimental thought that so many others are in their homes, fires crackling, people and pets finding the warm spots where they tuck themselves in with a hot cuppa and a good read. The first snow carries with it so many of the best moments that comes with living in a wintery climate, don't you think?

When I got home from the studio the rising dough gave our house the welcoming scent that only comes with wheat and yeast and honey. Juliette was so interested in the bread making process, asking "where's the bread? Can I see inside the oven?" We made three loaves, one for now, one for the freezer, and one for our turkey stuffing for Thanksgiving weekend.

We have a small dining room adjoined to our kitchen, and in there I sat with the girls while Patt made us sushi for dinner. The girls played with the gourds on our dining room table, and I read them books about dinosaurs. It was one of those days when nothing seems rushed or unattended to, when everything comes together just the way it was supposed to.

Three Whole Wheat Loaves

Adapted from Dinner With Julie's recipe for white bread.

I make this bread once every week or two, both because it's delicious and because its easy to make on days where I am back and forth running errands or being at the pottery studio. My two year old loves helping pour the measuring cup contents into the bowl and tearing the dough apart to make the buns.


2.5 cups of warmish water
1 tbsp raw, unpasteurized Canadian honey
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
1/3 cup softened organic butter


In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together 1/2 cup of the warmed water with the honey and add the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. Good yeast will foam by that time.

Add the rest of the water and the all-purpose flour, and stir by hand until well combined. Add the whole wheat flour, sea salt and butter and, with the dough hook in place, mix at a low speed for 8 minutes. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let rise for a half hour.

Butter 3 loaf pans (or use 2 loaf pans for making bread, and one muffin pan for making buns). Divide the risen dough into three parts. Shape dough into a rectangular ball for the bread pans, and into small 1.5 inch balls for the muffin pans. Cover again with a tea towel and let rise for another hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake buns for 15 minutes, and bread for 25 minutes, or until it sounds hollow coming out of the oven. Set on a rack to cool, then tear a piece off and slather with butter.

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