So I would like to introduce Jennifer. She is my latest guest writer, and I must say she makes the rest of us look bad. But that is why I like her writing, ideas, and her blog (http://militaryzerowaste.
wordpress.com) . Please read and be inspired, I am. I am inspired and might even dare to make something in the kitchen (not too scary). Please check out Jennifer's blog and please leave any other recipes you may want to share on this blog or hers.
Three years ago when my husband and I started our zero waste journey, I stood in the kitchen, a brand-new bride, determined to change all our habits, no matter how difficult. We already recycled and composted and our amount of consumption was miniscule. I figured ridding ourselves of the small amount of trash—mainly plastic---could be reduced to zero in a short amount of time.
It turns out the majority of packaging we bring into our home is what our food is wrapped in. This packaging is also the advertising for the brands we use, so in no way do these companies intend to go package-free anytime soon. Meaning, some of the brands we bought, we simply had to stop buying. In others, we hunted for more environmentally friendly packaging. But mainly, we simply had to stop purchasing the majority of store-bought products and make our own. I’m not working outside the home presently, and this equaled a full-time job. I became everything I always swore I’d never become.
My grandmother. Her name might as well have been Betty Crocker.
Once a habit is instilled however, it really does become easier. Unless we’re traveling or I’m sick, we’ve stuck to the program pretty well….mostly. I try to keep a stocked supply of homemade oatmeal, muesli, granola, or muffins for breakfast so that we don’t miss our favorite cereals. And it forces me to search for creative, new food ideas, especially when it comes to breakfast so we don’t end up with muffin burn-out. I’ve discovered in making everything from scratch: if I don't freeze it, it has to be eaten immediately. No preservatives here.
That’s one of the many reasons why I like making my own bread.
- It doesn’t take that long.
- There are dozens of different types of breads to try.
- No preservatives and words I can’t pronounce in the ingredients.
- I choose how much sugar I put in.
- NO PACKAGING!
Though I’ve heard the bread bags can be recycled, it might just boil down to where you live. The man at the recycling center in our area told me if there is no number on a product, it won’t be recycled as they cannot guarantee “which type of plastic” it is. And one wrong type of plastic touching all the rest can contaminate the other plastics = they all have to be chucked.
Yes, there are creative ways to reuse the plastic---wrapping food---including bread you might make yourself or as a convenient pooper-scooper for a dog walker, etc, but the bag will eventually have to be disposed of. I’d rather not use the plastic, if I can get away with it. And so, I’ll make my own.
This is the recipe for the bread we make the most. It’s still a tad crumbly (most likely due to the olive oil), so we haven’t quite perfected it yet. But it’s tasty and better than two other whole wheat bread recipes I’ve tried. If you have one that’s better, by all means, swing over to my site and let me know!
I found this bread recipe on the 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet website. It was sent in by Tejas in 2010. She got it from “Our Daily Bread” by Stella Standard, 1970.
1 envelope of yeast
1 envelope of yeast
1/4 Cup of lukewarm water
1/4 Cup of liquid honey (honey with a bit of water)
1 and 1/4 Cups of hot water
1 scant Tbsp. salt
3 cup of whole wheat flour
3/4 Cup wheat germ
1/4 Cup of olive oil
1. Put yeast, lukewarm water and honey in a bowl and let it become frothy.
2. Mix hot water with salt and let it cool to lukewarm.
3. Combine this with the yeast mixture and add to the flour and wheat germ.
4. Mix this very well, while pouring the olive oil over the mixture. Add more water if needed to make it malleable. Beat this hard (I use wooden spoon) in a kneading motion in a bowl.
5. Put the bowl in a pan of hot water and let the dough rise.
6. Beat it down and put the dough in an oiled pan (regulation bread size) and let it rise again.
7. Turn the oven to 425F for 10 minutes before you put the bread in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the heat to 350F and bake for 25 minutes more.
8. Placing a pan of water in the oven below the rack with the bread on it will give a nice crust.
Happy baking! And remember, each step each one of us makes creates huge footprints when you put them all together.