Friday, May 20, 2011

Bread Making Class at Hilltop Hanover Farm with Ruth...

I somewhat recently started reading the Yorktown Patch for local news and lo and behold I noticed that Hilltop Hanover Farms is now offering different classes to the public to try to raise money to restore the farm and make it a community hub. 

I came across a bread making class that sounded like a nice girls day out so I asked my good friend Ruth to join me. The crowd was a nice mix of other women, a couple of dad's with their kids, an a few couples.

Our Instructor was the lovely Margaret von der Meden. Margaret first gave us a little history about her journey in bread making as a hobby. She explained about how you can make your own flour with an attachment to the Kitchen Aid

The attachment serves as a miniature flour mill...


Some of the children at the class demonstrated how to make whole wheat flour from wheat berries...

   
Margaret shared some of the books that she found inspirational....

    
For the sake of proper rising Margaret had pre-made a few of the dough's in advance of the class.

The class helped to make this wheat dough. We put it to the side to rise and then went on to practice kneading sweet bread.


Here are some of the kids kneading the dough...



Here is a picture of Margaret...


We all braided the sweet bread into little wreaths that you can also add an egg to the center of.




 Here is Ruth enjoying the fruits of our labor...


Margaret has her own line of hand made goods that she makes with honey from her bees. The  goods can be seen at beehive goods. She had a sampling of her lip balms, salves, creams, and a beautiful candle.


The salves are so pretty ...

The lip balms were so beautifully and simply wrapped...


      
   And the candle was gorgeous...  

While the bread baked Ruth and I checked out some pots that were being decorated to make mothers day herb pots that would be sold the following weekend. The planters were made by volunteers from Another Step, a group of developmentally disabled adults who help on the farm.



Letting the Bread rise in the basket helps it to keep a nice shape. To the side you can see some of the honey butter that we made with Margaret's own honey!


Margaret dusting the dough with flour...


The rye dough does not rise very much because of the density of the whole grains...


We knocked on the bottoms of the loaves to check for readiness. This rye loaf was one of my favorites despite the fact that I don't normally love rye bread. This rye had a nice natural taste to it.


Here is the honey wheat loaf that we also ate with the honey butter. Cutting the loaf before baking allows for it to easily expand in the oven.
  

Here I  am helping to slice the rye loaf.


Here are the recipes that Margaret e-mailed us.:

1. SWEET BREAD/Braided

5 cups bread flour
5tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk


1package yeast (Red Star)yeast

3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)



* Dissolve yeast with 5 tbsp warm milk, 1 tblsp sugar in flour



* wait until yeast bubbles and then work all flour in, either by hand or

machine. (when using machine, not not over knead.



* let rise for about one hour



* quickly knead again and form into braids as demonstrated in class



* let rise again for 30 min



* glaze with eggyolk/milk and bake at 375 for about 30 min (check as we

discussed)



2. RYE BREAD with Caraway Seeds



2 cups milk, scalded

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 cups rye flour
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)



proceed as above.


3. HONEY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD


3 cups warm water

2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour



proceed as above



TIPS: what we covered in class



1. Heat oven to 500F and place a water bowl into the oven while bread is

baking.



2. turn down heat after 10 min to 375 or 350 (depending on oven)



3. Bread bakes between 30 min and an hour, depending on type.



best way to check is to turn it over and do drum-test.

(do not peek into oven as often as we did ...:)



4. POOLISH: start with about 4 TBSP Flour, Yeast, warm water at ANY time

you wish. this is your starter. add all ingredients and let it rise.
if you do not get around to baking, place dough into fridge and do it later.

Now I just need to find some time to bake at home!

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April Hike at Hilltop Hanover Farm


Despite the cool spring we have been having we have to get the boys out hiking. Since I was scheduled to take a bread class at the Farm that same weekend we decided to check out the trails across the street from Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown. With the wind blowing I was almost tempted to jump back in the car but once we got into the woods the wind was broken by the trees and it was not too bad!


They have this cute little farm stand...


We to a look around the farm before the hike...


The farm is made even more charming by the free range chickens running all over...


Joshua had to get his rock picture in the fray...



There were bunches of native daffodils blooming in the woods...



I couldn't help but wonder how these picnic tables got here! Thank you for a quiet spot to snack...


The splashes of green coming up were so pretty...


Brett loves the old rock walls...


They boys love climbing on fallen trees with the help of their walking sticks...


Jacob brought his backyard safari walking stick...


We even climbed over some streams on stepping stones...


Cattails...


Some wildlife...


Land locked driftwood...



My three adventurers...


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