Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls!!

This yeast dough recipe is our standby recipe for dough.  We use it to make rolls, bread in bread pans, cinnamon rolls, bread sticks and so much more.  It is easy but especially easy, if you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer.   As if you have a mixer you have to touch this dough very little and the whole process is basically a baby sitting project to get great tasting rolls and bread.  (This recipe is for you Patricia!)

When I make this, I often make it twice back to back as I can either have twice as many rolls or as I am doing today, making rolls out of the first batch and cinnamon rolls out of the second batch. 

Fresh Ground Wheat Yeast Dough

2 cups very warm water
1/2 cup oil (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/2 cup honey, or succanut
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg
5 cups fresh ground wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt

In your Kitchen-Aid Mixer, with the dough hook on it, put in your bowl the water, oil and honey(or succanut if you are using this instead.  I am using succanut today).  

Then put in 3 cups of the fresh wheat flour, salt, yeast and egg.  Mix well. 

Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix well for a few minutes. 
This dough is going to be very sticky.  If you keep adding flour till it is not sticky your Wheat bread or rolls you are making will be heavy and dense.  The key to them being lighter for a wheat bread, is less flour and more moisture.  So try to hold yourself back from adding in more flour.

Now since I am making another batch I scraped out this batch into a mixing bowl and covered with a clean towel to let it rise.

I then repeated the recipe above and left that batch to rise in the mixers bowl.  I took off the hook and placed a towel over it as well.

Once the first batch rose to double.
I pour up a small bowl of oil and oil a cookie sheet and my hands to keep the sticky dough from sticking to my hands.
Then, with well oiled hands, grab a bit of dough and make it into a little log. Tie it in a simple half-knot: just cross through once.  Re-oil your hands as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
 If you do not tie or loop the dough, it is such a loose wet dough, it will spread while baking. 
Cover and let rise until double.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400 and once ready, bake these rolls for 12-14 minutes. (This size.)

I made huge ones because I was making meatball sandwiches that night.  But you can make them any size as long as they are all the same size.  So they bake evenly.   If they are big like these you will need to bake them 12-14 minutes.  If they are smaller bake them for 9-10 minutes.  To see if baked thru just stick a toothpick in them and when it comes out clean they are done.

I know this post is getting long but now for the cinnamon rolls.  Well worth the wait and not hard to make.  Just messy.  I took my second batch (in the mixer bowl) of the very same dough once it has risen to double.

This dough is very sticky but when making cinnamon rolls I try to keep my hands clean by using flour as I have to roll it out.  First oil or grease a cookie sheet.  Then scrape your dough out onto a well floured counter.
I flour the dough very well so I can roll it out with out it sticking to anything.
I then pat it out into a rectangle shape before I start to roll it out.

Now is the fun part.  If you have read here on this blog much, you know I don't use measurements a lot when cooking and baking.  This is one of those times.  Sprinkle succanut or sugar evenly all over the dough leaving about an inch of space around the edges.
 Do the same thing with the cinnamon.
 Melt a stick of butter in a sauce pan and drizzle over the whole thing.
Then roll it up!

Then slice off in inch and a half sections and place them on their side on the greased cookie sheet.
When you place them on the cookie sheet leave some spaces as they will rise some.  Cover them and let them rise till the look light and airy.
Bake in a preheated oven set at 400 for 15-20 minutes.  I always keep an eye on them as they bake according to how thick you slice them. 

Once they are out and cooling mix up your frosting.

1/3 cup softened butter
3 cups confectionery sugar
4 table spoons milk
1 tsp vanilla

Blend the butter vanilla and milk and slowly add in the confectionery sugar till you have a good frosting consistency.

Once the rolls are cooled a little spread the frosting over them.  It will melt some which sure is tasty!!!  These are great warm out of the oven or over the next few days.  But they don't last that long in our house!  Yum!!
I pray everyone is having a wonderful fall and holiday season!

Blessings and Happy Farming!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Good-bye Bluebell and Twinkie

We have been working hard at cutting costs and evaluating what we do around here to produce and bring forth food.  Grain is very high and just keeps going up.  I am getting older and can not work the way I did around here when I was younger and although I have a lot of children to help, we all have a lot to do each day and I try to make things as easy as possible on everyone. 

At our yearly family meeting we talked and brainstormed about what we needed around here and what we don't.  What things might improve how much work we do and how much  money we spend.  We talk about it not only in relation to our little farm but in our home as well.  Money is always tight with a family like ours.  Carolyn made the decision that she no longer had interest in raising geese so she made the decision to find homes for her four American Buff geese.  Our farrier had always showed interest in them so we called him and he seemed very happy to get them.  That decision has made Carolyn's work load smaller and will bring our feed cost down a little.   We don't feed them hardly at all in the summer when the grass and bugs are abundant but in the winter months we have to supplement.  So this will save on feed costs. 

We also had been doing the Great Goat Experiment.  Slowly, over the last several years, I have been moving our herd over from full sized Nubian and Lamancha Dairy Goats to the smaller Nigerian Dwarfs.  I had heard and read about the milk to feed ratio being so much better and I must say it is really true.  They don't need fed at all, if on good pasture, unless they are being milked.  And the amount of feed they need to produce a fair amount of milk is very good.  (I do have to share and say, I did buy from very good milk lines though, from disease free reputable Nigerian dairy goat farms)   It is always worth doing research and buying the best you can afford in my opinion, as they are an investment and give you good stock to work with in your breeding program.  I feel anyone who breeds any animal should try to better the animal they have and not just breed to have milk or pretty babies. 

I had hung onto my very best two, full sized Lamanchas, (Bluebell and Twinkie) just as a back up and just in case we didn't really like the smaller milk goats.  I have found the mid-sized crosses and full blooded Nigerians very easy to handle with my balance issues and am enjoying them very much.  They do give a good amount of milk as well with a smaller amount of grain.  Also, we no longer need gallons of milk a day, so these smaller goats are better for us in that area as well.  The other reason why I was keeping my two favorite full sized girls was because they were special to my dad and myself.  Very personalble sweet girls the results of years of breeding.  I had plans on just retireing them out here in the pastrue.  I soon saw that I was going to have to grain them to keep them in good body condition, plus the amount of work to care for extra animals that are no longer producing was going to be more on everyone.  (an extra stall to muck, extra hay to buy in the winter, and grain year round)  I had a talk with my dad and he agreed to let me give them to a friend.  (A close friend who has retired out goats for me before)  I know I can trust him and his wife to care for them well and keep them together.  Also should I ever want a baby out of either of them I know he would work with me.  I bred them for him before sending them over to his farm with his choice of buck.  It was yesterday he picked them up.  A very hard and sad decision for us all.  It helped a lot to know they were going to such a good place.

I by our feed once a month.  In that once a month order is every farm animals food from goats to cats and dogs.  For the last several years it has run me around $400.00 a month for all the feed.  Plus we have needed to buy between 100 to 150 hay bales a year depending on drought and what condition our fields are in for grazing.  (that is Bermuda square bales)  This is not counting round bales for ponies.  As I have sold off my larger goats and these smaller Nigerians have grown into adults, our feed bill has fluxed here and there.  But slowly come down.  I knew the last two large goats would be picked up soon so only bought what grain I knew I needed for the Nigrians and mid sized goats we have now and rest of the farm animals.  My feed bill was 198.00.  I am amazed.  I have not had a monthly bill that low in a long time.  I also had bought 100 bales of hay last year for winter and had 50 left still this year!  So I only had to buy 40 bales to full up our hay mow this year.  So all in all.  I know I might have to milk two goats instead of one if I need more milk for some reason or another.  But,  for our family...this has been a very worth while move and I am very happy with how the Great Goat Experiment has turned out.  Praise God for His wisdom and help.

On another non-related note... we have two ponies. 
We put them up into stalls at night with outside access.  Millie the black one is pretty much unflappable.  Nothing spooks her to much.  Even a dog running up barking will not usually faze her.  Two days ago the children went out to do their chores and Millie was not in her stall.  The children called me out and we found her in one of the goat upper pacocks.  As we got to looking something spooked her badly in the night.  She knocked down the fencing in between her pen and the goat pen next door totally sheering off, at the ground, a green metal T post!  

The below picture is after we started to pull up the piece broke off in the ground with a crow-bar.

I can not believe it. Metal T-post!!!  Snapped right off.  Then she was still so spooked she kept going and went over the hog panel of the next paddock.  Bending it down in the shape of her tummy.

That stuff is tough stuff!  We found her in the next paddock which is much larger and I guess she got calmed down once in there.  I am still amazed.  Totally amazed that praise be to God, she was not hurt at all!

Life is never dull here on the farm that is for sure!

Blessings and happy farming,