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Wisdom

wis·dom n. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

Authentic Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread (In A Bread Machine!!!)

December 15, 2015

Authentic sourdough bread… start to finish… in a bread machine!  Yes, you really can!

And you can LOVE LOVE your results.

I grew up making homemade bread with my mother.  There is nothing like homemade bread coming out of the oven.  Then I became a teenager, young adult and then a young mother and discovered if I didn’t eat bread, it was much easier to maintain my slim figure.  After my family continued to grow… I started to realize how much easier it would make my life if I simply had bread to offer my growing and ravenous family (4 boys!).

I have done a gluten free diet in the past.   And we have done paleo.  Now we do THM (trim healthy mama).  We love it and it loves us🙂  It’s the best of all worlds.  They mention how you can use bread in your diet IF it is genuine sourdough bread.  Hard to find and expensive it is to buy from the store.  Check the ingredients, you have to make sure there is ZERO yeast and only sourdough starter in the ingredients to insure that it’s sourdough and not a “tastes like sourdough” bread.

I had 3 hurdles that I really hoped were possible:

  • I wanted a real sourdough recipe that I could make in my kitchen – that actually tasted good
  • I wanted to use 100% whole wheat (to gain full nutritional benefit)
    (*you are welcome to use all-purpose flour in place of whole wheat)
  • I wanted to make it start-to-finish in a bread machine

I was stumped at hurdle #1.  It was frustrating.  I couldn’t get my sourdough starter to work for me….THEN, I got my starter from Sourdo, (click on the link and check them out).
Now, I was starting to get somewhere.
I got the San Fran starter.  They have many to choose from, pick any of them.

Then I found this whole wheat sourdough site, explaining that you can do 100% whole wheat sourdough.  I was in disbelief.  I had searched and searched and it was really hard to find anyone saying that was possible.  At best, most “experts” say you can do 50% blend of all purpose with whole wheat.  And this guy offered a sandwich loaf style vs the artisan style.
(I love artisan sourdough, but it’s not as useful for a daily bread for a large, growing, hungry family.)

Third hurdle… can this be done in a bread machine? ? ?
Even though I have many children, homeschool, a husband I feed/cook 3 meals a day for, laundry, and all the other myriad of things a mom of littles must do every day… I was tempted to do homemade bread in my kitchen aid or bosch mixer  – oven style.

WHY?  because I would no longer run out of bread. I would always have something to feed my hungry people.
And it is less expensive than any other food and completely wholesome!

BUT – HOW VERY nice it would be to throw all the ingredients into a bread machine and not worry about burning it in the oven because I decided to take a nap with the kids or run to the park last minute…

Then I discover the Zojirushi Bread Machine.  I bought it with my fingers crossed.

Could this be too good to be true???

It was the only bread machine that had a “homemade” setting.  This setting let you customize how long you wanted to knead your bread and how long you wanted your bread to rise before baking.  Or you could turn off the bake option and let it rise for a long time in a cooler temp and then decide to bake when you were ready.  The description online, from every source I could find didn’t tell me it could do all those things listed above.  It did say it had a “sourdough” setting, but it was for the “fake sourdough bread” with yeast.😦

The Zojirushi arrived and I was in heaven.  It makes a traditional looking loaf vs the tall cylinder loaf most of us have seen from the traditional bread machine.

I went to work.  My first loaf turned out, I was amazed!…. but I tweaked and tweaked and pondered and pondered as to why some loaves were better than other.  Some were absolutely PERFECT.  Others were edible.
It took me about 4 months of making bread 3 times a week, before I settled on exactly how to make a predictable loaf.

Finally, here is the recipe – if you want to make Pizza Dough – simply don’t let the bread bake and use the dough for pizza.  It makes wonderful pizza!

WHOLE WHEAT SOURDOUGH SANDWICH BREAD
(yes, I did up-my-game and get a scale to weigh the ingredients… makes it precise and NO utensils to clean)

  • Put the bread machine pan on the scale, zero out, set to grams
  • Pour in 315 grams of sourdough starter (I like mine like pancake batter consistency – see below)
  • Zero out scale, pour in 270 grams of warm water
  • Zero out, pour in 450 grams of ground whole wheat (I grind my own)
  • Zero out, pour in
    10 grams of salt
    45 grams of honey
    45 grams of oil

Stick in bread machine.  Set to homemade setting #1. Let knead for 15 minutes.  (when the “add ingredient” beeping starts – I lift the lid and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then I add more flour if needed and shut the lid.  It almost always needs more flour.  Read this guy’s post about making whole wheat sourdough and learn about the “window pane test“.  He also shows pictures of how the dough will look when you are done kneading it.

I turn off the machine.  Turn it back on to setting #1.  Let it knead again for 15 minutes.  So now it will have kneaded for a total of 30 minutes.  If I have a busy day ahead, I leave it alone and it’s done whenever I return.

IF I have the presence of mind and the time and I’m around the kitchen/house…. (*grin*)…  I turn off the machine after it’s done kneading for 30 minutes and check on it in 4-5 hrs.  The machine is a room temp when turned off vs a warming/rising temp when in rise mode.  I think some say it’s best to let it rise 7 hrs to convert all the sugar out of the wheat.  I’ve been happy with my 4-6 hrs rise time.  You could set a kitchen timer for 7 hrs while your machine is off and then hit setting 3 (the just bake option) and let it bake when you tell it too.

This is how I have my custom setting:

Setting 1 (everything is off except the following)

  • knead 15 min
  • rise 1 hr
  • rise 3 hrs
  • bake 55 minutes

Setting 2

  • rise 4 hrs
  • bake 55 minutes

Setting 3

  • bake 55 minutes

**You can play around with these settings.  The first rise is the only one you can do for more than 3 hrs.  The second rise is maxed at 3 hrs.

FEEDING SOURDOUGH STARTER

As for keeping your sourdough starter happy from day to day… I have found it’s easier than I have read on most online articles.

Literally, this is all I do:
– I keep the starter in a wide mouth quart jar with a lid barely screwed on (so it can breathe).
It needs to eat a minimum of once a day.  It has optimum growth if fed twice a day.   And if you need bulk up your supply because you are going to be making bread every day or you want to make bread today and pizza tomorrow, then you can feed it as often as every 3 hrs.
– I feed it a couple heaping spoonfuls (of ground wheat per feeding and add some water.  I don’t measure the quantity of either, I just make sure it’s the consistency of pancake batter.  STIR WELL.
– If you are going to be away or are not going to make bread every couple days, simply stick the starter in the fridge.  Pull it out the day before you want to bake bread.  Feed it a minimum of twice before making bread.  This allows for the starter to be at full power.

 

 

NOTES:

I did the math… I can make a loaf of bread for somewhere between $1.00 – $1.5o a loaf… depending on how expensive your wheat is.  If grind your own, it’s cheaper.  Organic costs more than non-organic. But even with the highest quality of ingredients, all organic… this bread will be the freshest you can get and probably a 1/4 of the price of anything in the store.   #win

If you use the amazon link, I make a small affiliate commision off your purchase.

 

Standing Desk – DIY – Finally A Solution That Works For The Home & Is Affordable

April 2, 2013

I was on the hunt for a standing desk solution to using in my dining room.  (This would also work in a living room or any other room).  I just happen to have extra room in my dining room for a computer area and it keeps me close to the kitchen and my children.

So… I needed/wanted a standing desk solution that was cute, functional and had storage.  Most of the ones I found had ZERO storage… that doesn’t work for me.  I want a place to file away papers, hold desk related items and other office type things – like my camera, mailing supplies, etc.

After much brainstorming and pondering, I decided I would need to find a dresser the right height (or make simple adjustments to a dresser or keyboard so that it was raised high enough) and a couple of shelves.  I have a laptop as my main computer, but this would totally work for a desk top if you have a flat screen.

I found the dresser for $80 (at Ikea) and the two shelves with brackets were about $10 a piece (they simple pine boards that I stained to match the stain on the dresser).  I put the whole thing together for just over $100.  I already had the storage boxes.  You should easily be able to find something off of craigslist that would work if you don’t have an Ikea close by.  Make sure the dresser has space underneath so that you can stand as close to the dresser as you would like without running your feet into the bottom.

Here is it the finished product :)  Lots of storage and so cute!

DIY Standing Desk

DIY Standing Desk

DIY Home Standing Desk

DIY Home Standing Desk

ps. please ignore the crayola artwork on the walls :-/

PureWash – EcoWash – LaundryPure | Do These Systems Really Work?

December 18, 2012

If you are searching for information on the Pure Wash / pureWash system or the EcoWash or the Laundry Pure system – you are searching all the same products.  They all use the same technology and clean your clothes perfectly with cold water and no detergents.

Sound too good to be true?!

It’s not.

It’s simply technology.

The reviews are so fun to read!

Ozone is the working component in these machines and ozone is O3.  (3 molecules of oxygen).  These machines also alkalize the water and incorporate H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide).

Your clothes will definitely come out as clean or cleaner than when you used detergents and hot water.  Now you only need to use cold water and the pureWash (laundrypure or ecowash).

They all retail for about the same price $400-$700. And it is common to find free shipping.  The best price I have found is $397 for the PureWash and it ships for free.  Go to the website here and email them to see if they have any active c0upon discounts for the purewash.  

These guys will last you for years – doing one or more loads of laundry a day and pay for themselves in less than a year in all the money you save from not buying detergents and heating hot water.  Not to mention that your clothes last longer and don’t fade as fast.

You can read a bunch of reviews by clicking this link: purewash review/ ecowash review.

Now you finally can trust your husband and children to do laundry – it’s even safe to wash your darks and lights together because everything is washed in cold water.

Brilliant!

So if you are still asking the question, “Does the purewash laundry system work?”.  It really does work!

They have been using this technology in hospitals and day care centers for almost a decade because it cleans and STERILIZES the laundry!

For the best prices, check out the PureWash, click here.  And I’ll keep you up to date if there is a better price elsewhere.

Here is a video showing how the magic works:

Homemade “Healthy” Magic Shell Chocolate Ice Cream Topping

September 17, 2012

Do you LOVE the crunch magic shell that you get at the ice cream shop?

Who knew making this chocolate topping would only take seconds?  Unbelievable!

And… it tastes A.Maz.Ing.

All you need is:
1 1/4 Cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (measured when solid)
You can melt them together in the microwave – but I’m against using the microwave, so I put it in a glass bowl and put the bowl in water in a pan on the stove.  Kinda double boiler style.  Once it gets hot, it all melts together.

Simply pour over your ice cream and it hardens after a couple seconds.

Store the remainder in a pint jar.  Reheat it before each use.
It is definitely more on the healthy side if you use dark chocolate chips.  Coconut oil is really good for your body.  Here are some benefits of coconut oil.
You can experiment with butterscotch and peanut butter chips for a different flavor!

Chocolate Hard Shell

Best Chocolate Ever

Best Homemade Stain-Remover – Removes Stains Better & Cheaper!

April 25, 2012

Homemade Stain Remover

(you don’t need gloves to use, it won’t dry your hands out and it’s SAFE)

Okay,  so I am totally in love with this super simple and amazing stain remover. 

I finally got around to using it today on several of my children’s clothes.  I was so skeptical that I bought the ingredients two weeks ago and kept washing and drying the same shirts with the same stains.  Not sure where the inspiration came from, but I was finally up for the challenge.

• The first stain I tried it on was on my 3 yr old’s shirt.  This stain is over 6 months old.  Not sure what it was, but it would not budge.  I just pulled it out of the dryer and IT IS GONE! (the stain is :)  The area that was stained is the same color as the rest of the shirt (a cream color).

• The second stain was on my 1 yr old’s shirt collar.  He was self feeding (bad idea for keeping shirt clean).  This was much simpler and only took about 5 seconds to remove.  But I was happy because it was a brand new shirt *sigh*

• The third stain was a greasy ketchup like spot on a shirt that was white and the stain bugged me so much I never let my kid wear it again…so there it hung in the closet.  And, yes he stained it upon the first wearing.  I didn’t notice it until it came out of the dryer.  Now the stain is gone – perfectly gone.

So, you want the secret?  You won’t believe it when I tell you…

Original Blue Dawn Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide (3% solution – the regular stuff from the store)

Yep, you use one part soap and two parts peroxide. Mix up a small amount and keep in a dark container.

I thought maybe it was best to wet the shirts before treating.  Then I poured the “stain-remover” on the area.  Used and e-cloth to gently scrub the area.  And threw in the wash. Two of the three stains were gone before the washer machine even started.  The 3rd stain was 90% gone.  The rest disappeared in the wash.  (btw – e-cloths are amazing to use on any and everything.  I have a few spots in my carpet that I am excited to try this combo on!  I have a friend that used an e-cloth with just water and removed juice from her kid’s carpet – no lie)

I was so skeptical that I did not take any before and after pictures.

On the next laundry day, I will.

 

And if you are tired of buying or making your own laundry detergent, check out the latest technology that cleans your clothes better than soap… they’ve been using this in hospitals for over a decade:  www.buyecowash.com

E-Cloth Mop Wins “Best Washable Mop” In REAL SIMPLE Magazine

April 20, 2012

This simple product is a lifesaver for me! I’m able to clean all my floors – spotless – in less than 10 minutes.

Real Simple Magazine just gave it a thumbs up as the best washable mop. They sell them at MyEcloth.com

MyEcloth is also the only online retailer of the Professional Line (with silver embedded) of Microfiber Cloths.  Real Simple also said that E-cloth has the best Microfiber on the market!

 

E-Cloth Featured In Real Simple Magazine!

April 13, 2012

The E-cloth Mop, E-cloth Microfiber and scrubber (Washing Up Pad) are rated as some of the best ways to clean.  Check out the article below to see what Real Simple® Magazine says about the E-cloth® cleaning products.

 

Click the link below to see the REAL Simple article:

Real Simple Show Best Way To Clean – May 2012 E-Cloth Mop Featured In Real Simple Magazine

E-Cloth Mop Featured In REAL Simple Magazine

www.MyEcloth.com is the only place I have found that sells the Professional E-cloths with the Silver embedded.  Norwex also sells the Antibac Enviro cloth, but Norwex price is higher than MyEcloth’s prices.  The Norwex Mop is over twice the price compared to the E-cloth Mop.

Go to to the MyEcloth facebook page for a discount coupon for more savings!