Pioneering Today-8 Tips for Perfect Homemade Bread

There’s hardly anything I can think of that I like more than fresh warm homemade bread just out of the oven. The scent, warm and yeasty, melt-in-your mouth texture and homemade jelly smothered on top. Can you tell I’m hungry?

When I first started baking bread, I was often frustrated by breads containing yeast. Sometimes it would rise beautifully and others times it remained flat and sad. Along the way I learned some tips that bring success every time, no matter what type of bread or recipe I decided to bake. I’m sharing my 8 tips for perfect homemade bread with you because life is too short not to eat home-baked bread!Tweet this8 Tips for Baking Perfect Homemade Bread @MelissaKNorris #Pioneering Today Continue reading

Chicken Artichoke Heart Casserole and The Irresistible Table

I love making my family’s meal time special with home-cooked nutritional food. I believe spending time together around the table promotes a bonded family and makes each person feel important and valued.

When author Mary DeMuth announced her cookbook, The Irresistible Table,
was releasing, I eagerly awaited my early copy of the book. Mary’s a Christian author who shares the same belief as I do and talks about it in her new book. I’m excited to share with you one of her recipes. I know it was the first recipe I tried, but not the last.

Chicken Artichoke Heart CasseroleChicken Artichoke Heart Casserole Irresistible Table by Mary DeMuth @MelissaKNorris

4 whole chicken breasts

1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained (I used marinated-Melissa)

1/3 cup butter (I will use less-Mary)

1/3 cup flour (I will use less, more like 1/4 cup-Mary) Continue reading

Pioneering Today-How to Make Your Own Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce

We try to replace as many processed products with homemade ones as we can. When we’d raised, butchered, and roasted our own pig, I couldn’t very well serve it with store bought barbecue sauce. (Okay, I could have, but I didn’t want to)

Continue reading

Pioneering Today-Best Ever Flaky Pie Crust

Do you ever eat a pie and fork out the filling, leaving the crust behind? In less than 15 minutes you can have 4 pie crusts ready to bake or freeze and this crust is so good, you’ll be leaving the filling just to eat the crust! In fact, my seven-year-old did that tonight. You can also have home baked bread in less than 5 minutes a day.Best Ever Flaky Pie Crust in 15 minutes with two dairy free options. www.MelissaKNorris.com Pioneering Today

When I was little, we made the hour trip to go visit my great-grandmother. We didn’t get to go very often, but I remember her house and beautiful rose bushes even though I was quite young. My mother is an excellent baker and cook, but I never liked pie crust. Until I tasted this one. I had never eaten pie crust before and when I ate the entire piece of pie, crust included, my mom switched her recipe as fast as my great-grandmother could write it out.

And now I’m thrilled to share it with you.

Flaky Pastry

4 cups flour (your choice, I used a blend of fresh ground spelt and soft white wheat on pastry setting of my flour grinder, but all purpose or pastry ground whole wheat if you don’t grind your own, more on grinding your own flour and choosing a grinder here)

1 and 3/4 cup lard (learn how to render your own lard), butter, or coconut oil

1 Tablespoon sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)

2 tsp. sea salt

1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (You can use white vinegar, but I prefer apple cider in baking)

1 egg

1/2 cup cold water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in lard, butter, or coconut oil. Note: In order to achieve flaky crust, your lard, butter, or coconut oil needs to be cold. It’s the pieces of solid fat distributed throughout the flour which melt upon baking that create the flakiness. You can freeze your butter or lard before cutting it in. The large side of a cheese grater works great with frozen butter.

Cut in lard, butter, or coconut oil

Add your liquids

Fat all cut in, ready to add liquids

Chill for 15 minutes. Take out dough and divide into four equal balls. Wrap and freeze for later use or roll out and bake your favorite quiche or pie. I love this paired with a jar of my home canned apple pie filling for a quick from scratch dessert.

Ready to freeze

If you’re not baking today, take unbaked dough ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Toss in freezer. When ready to use, thaw in fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours. Lightly flour surface, flatten dough ball with hand, and then roll to desired thinness.

When freezing, be sure to mark your dough. I also freeze sugar cookie dough and Christmas morning, mistakenly used sugar cookie dough for my pastry crust in a sausage quiche. My brother said, “Does this have maple flavored sausage? It’s sweet.”

It was edible, but not a mistake I’d like to repeat!

Pioneering Today-Best Ever Flaky Pie Crust
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: Makes 4 crusts
Ingredients
  • 4 cups flour (your choice, I used a blend of fresh ground spelt and soft white wheat on the pastry setting of my flour grinder, but all purpose or pastry ground whole wheat work fine, too)
  • 1 and ¾ cup lard, butter, or coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (You can use white vinegar, but I prefer apple cider in baking)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cold water
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in lard, butter, or coconut oil. Note: In order to achieve flaky crust, your lard, butter, or coconut oil needs to be cold. It’s the pieces of solid fat distributed throughout the flour which melt upon baking that create the flakiness. You can freeze your butter or lard before cutting it in. The large side of a cheese grater works great with frozen butter.
  2. Fat is fully cut in when the flour is crumbly pea size pieces. Add in liquids until dough just holds together. You don’t want to over mix it.
  3. Chill dough in the fridge for 15 minutes. Use to bake pies or separate into four equal balls, wrap, and freeze.

This flaky pastry is excellent in traditional pies, savory meat pies, and tarts. If you’d like more traditional recipes, I have over 40 in my book Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way. You can read the first chapter for free!

Featured on Traditional Tuesdays link-up. Lot’s of posts on traditional cooking and how-to’s.