Today I made Peasant Bread, which is part of my goal to get back into baking the family bread. We're doing the Hillbilly Housewife's $70 a week menu more or less, with a few minor changes. We did her $45 a week menu once before, but found that here in BC many of the items weren't available or were actually quite expensive. For example, you can't get greens in a can here. Food is much more expensive here and the $45 menu cost us about $80 a week which is still quite good, but we felt that we could eat better for that price. The $70 a week menu is much closer to what we actually eat and in order to get closer to the prices quoted on her website, we bought all the items in bulk from The Real Canadian Superstore (like Costco, but no membership). Rather than buying white sugar, I stuck with brown and also added honey and peanut butter and apples instead of applesauce. Eventually honey will replace the brown sugar. We also added a small carton of milk, and two cartons of soy milk. I also don't make her bread, I have my own recipes that have similar ingredients. We'll see how it balances out in the end.
Here's my Peasant Bread recipe. The molasses flavor is quite strong so you could substitute half of it with honey, which I'll try next time. I don't know where it came from because it's on a slip of paper but I'm grateful for it, whoever made it:
2 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk (soymilk works great)
2-3 cups white flour (I want to try substitute corn flour for this as well)
1 teaspoon salt
Mix water, yeast and 1 tablespoon molasses in a large bowl. Pour in wheat flour and mix well. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Add the rest of the molasses, oil, soy milk, and salt. Add white flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is not sticky. Knead 15 minutes. Form loaves and let double in size. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Rolls at 375 for 20 minutes.
This is a photo of Englishman River Falls taken by Kevin Ebi, who has done some great photos of Vancouver Island. This is the only part of the river I had been to up until today, but I took the girls to another part with the Errington homeschool group with a little swimming hole. Errington is an unusual little community that is immune from building codes, and has attracted many interesting people that like living simply and off the grid. There are many alternative houses and I saw one today that was an octagon and looked a little bit like a hobbit hole. It's also interesting that the lack of rules and the general possibility that everyone can build anything they like and get back to the land has created a very close-knit open minded community. It's also driven land prices sky-high. I am jealous though because just about everyone in that homeschool group is an unschooler or gradually leaning that way and they base all their weekly activities around nature and real life experiences.