I spent a good ten years looking for a bread recipe that was easy and that I really liked and that turned out well every time. A few years ago I found it, and with a few tweaks, made it my own. I cheat and let the bread machine mix and knead it for me, but I always bake it in the oven.
One Loaf Recipe
1 cup warm water
1 T yeast
1 t sea salt
1 T local raw honey (or organic sugar)
1 T extra virgin olive oil (or sunflower oil)
2 C organic white, unbleached all-purpose flour
1 C organic whole wheat flour
Mix together. I do it in a bread machine on manual or dough setting. I let it rise in there and then it is kneaded and then I take it out and put it in a large loaf pan and let it rise until it is about an inch or two over the bread pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. The bottom should make a thunking noise when tapped with your knuckles. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool. Brush top with melted butter while still warm.
Two Loaf Recipe
2 C Warm Water
1 T yeast
1 1/2 t sea salt
2 T raw local honey (or organic sugar)
2 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil (or sunflower oil)
3 C organic white, unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C organic whole wheat flour
Mix together in bread machine. Let rise and let machine knead then divide dough in half (I never get this quite even so one loaf is always a little bigger than the other, but they both turn out fine) and place in two loaf pans to rise until an inch or two above the top of the pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from pans and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush tops with melted butter while still warm.
You can use all white flour and no whole wheat flour for either recipe, but if you try to substitute more whole wheat flour than what I’ve got above it will be too dense to rise properly.
We have been pretty busy the last couple of days. Yesterday we got Fort Duck moved to its new location. It sure makes things go faster and easier to have my father-in-law and my niece’s boyfriend helping with the heavy stuff. We did have to build steps because we put it up on cinder blocks this time. The ground we moved it to was a little mushy and we figured the weight of the coop needed more support than the small bricks we’d used the first time. But it still put it up higher than the ducks could jump. We used pavers to build steps and they were able to get into it fine last night. It did take all four of us to herd them to it and block them off from escape routes. Today they were acting like the duck house has always been there.
We only had one problem and thankfully we found out about it before it was dark. One of the doors had been rehung too low for the steps to work in that position and it still be able to lock. We had to raise that door and adjust the locking devices, which took about twenty minutes. Now one door is higher than the other, but there are no gaps. We will eventually rehang the other door for aesthetics, but it is not a problem for functionality and we’ve got other stuff on our plate that takes priority.
Today we began work on the run for the Gobbler Garret. The turkey poults and chicks are more than ready to be able to go outside. It has not got very far yet. Some redesigning of the plans, some digging, and some picking up of supplies is all that has been accomplished, but weather permitting we are going to be working on it all day tomorrow. I will take photos as we go along.
We did get the grocery shopping for the week done today, though. I’ve planned out the next 3 dinners, bacon cheddar (Tillamook) cheeseburgers with Walla Walla onion slices and simple homemade cole slaw, teriyaki flank steak with onions and bell peppers on the side, and barbecue chicken wings with baked potatoes and green beans. Usually I menu plan for the whole week, but I need to root around in the freezer still and see what we have. I got some lovely, huge kohlrabi for snacking and the rabbits will be delighted to eat the leaves.
We bought our chest freezer today and it will be delivered on Monday. It was on a really good sale, we saved $200. It’s 24.6 cubic feet and made in America. I am excited to finally be getting it. Our current chest freezer is like 1/3 the size. Now we will be able to purchase a half a beef, and a half a pig, and have room for rabbit, duck, chicken, and turkey meat that we raise ourselves as well. Plus a place to freeze water bottles for the summer for the rabbits.
In other news, I made the decision to purchase the pasteurella vaccine for my rabbitry. It is well worth it to me to have that peace of mind. I’ve watched videos on how to do the shots, so hopefully it will go pretty smoothly. As smoothly as things can go when you are poking things that have teeth and claws. I got enough to do the initial shot and the 30 day booster shot. It should be here by Thursday or Friday. After that the vaccine needs to be given once a year.
One of Phoebe’s brown kits died two days ago. It was the really dark chocolate one with the nicest coloring. I was bummed. Now one of the other babies in that litter is sneezing. We’ve been treating the whole litter and mama with Rabbit Remedy and putting it in everyone’s water as well. I hope it works. Phoebe is sneezing, too, which worries me. I hope it is not contagious, but I am worried, since she is next to Andromeda and her babies. The other litter seems fine, but who knows? It’s one of the main reasons I decided to go with the vaccine. To have one less thing to worry.
It seems that vaccinating can help even if the animal has already been exposed, too. I know it might be a simple cold, but I can’t be sure. I’ve stopped all sales in the meanwhile. I won’t sell a breeding rabbit that might even have the possibility of a sickness. I think it may have come in on the boots of a guy I sold to, so if things get to the point where I can sell again, I will bring the salable rabbit up to the driveway in a cage, not let anyone back into our animal area. I only found out today that his animals had gotten sick.
I do not know if this is what killed Lola and Piper as they had no symptoms, it does sound like it is what killed Lola’s 3 kits, but the dying began a week after this guy came in and right around a week after he lost his first animal, which he did a week before he bought one of my bucks. In fact the only healthy animal he has is the buck I sold him and that’s because he had it out in quarantine away from the rest of his herd. He was actually emailing me to see about buying a couple of females to replace a couple he lost and then admitted his were sick when I said mine had been dying.
I am frustrated, but I’m not sure there is much point in laying blame. It feels somewhat better to realize it wasn’t anything I did other than letting someone back into the rabbitry with contaminated boots. From now on I will ask and make sure that all animals are healthy on their homestead before even letting anyone come onto my property. Or maybe I should do what the lady who sold me Firefly did and meet in a parking lot. No risk to my animals that way at all.