By Kevin Williams
Montana Wheat Bread: The pandemic lockdown has not made me spend more or less time with my daughters, I spent plenty of time with them before and that hasn't change. But how we spend the time has changed. Instead of our usual retinue of playgrounds, storytimes, and festivals, we've been doing a lot more hiking and baking, both more solitary activities, less dependent on other people..
I had never tried making anything with yeast with the girls and I thought they'd have fun doing it. So I went through my Amish cookbooks and finally settled upon a bread recipe that comes from the Amish settlement of Rexford, Montana. The cooking and baking is simple here, it has to be...the nearest grocery store is 20 miles away, although there is a small general store in the settlement for very basic staples.
Anyway, back to our kitchen...I showed the girls the yeast and explained what it is and how it would make the bread rise.
So, if you want to make this bread yourself, it's super easy. I added, by the way, a teaspoon of honey to the bread...There was a jar sitting on our counter, so I figured, why not? Not sure what it really did, if anything, to the final outcome of the bread, but it didn't seem to hurt anything. I chose this bread recipe because it was VERY easy instructions, few ingredients, and when you have restless kids, easy and simple is the way to go. Sometimes Amish recipes can be very sparse on instructions and this one was, but the recipe had enough instructions to make it workable. I seized upon her advice to knead as much as possible, so the girls and I had fun with that. You may have to add a little bit more flour to make the dough not so sticky, if so, that's fine, just add maybe a 1/2 cup at a time as needed. If you have not made bread before, or not made it in a long time, this Montana wheat bread is a great one!
- 4 cups lukewarm water
- 1 /4 cup sugar
- ½ cup oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 4 cups of white flour
- 4 cups of wheat flour
- Mix everything together in a large bowl. Knead until soft and elastic.
- The longer you knead the better your bread will be.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place for 90 minutes.
- Put into greased loaf pans and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
If you prefer just a basic Amish white bread, this is a good one too.