Recipe Friday: Kathy’s Biscuits and Bread

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This is the recipe that I prepare most often. I make a double batch at a time so that in the mornings, I can have a smoothie and a biscuit with peanut butter and honey. Yum, and it’s just enough to tide me over until our main meal around noonish.

Before I talk about preparation, a note about flour: I HIGHLY recommend that you do not use the store-bought bleached white flour. It is wheat flour that has been poisoned by weed killer, soaked in glyphosate until it dies (wheat must die before harvesting), and processed-out of nutrients. The chemicals used for growing and processing remain in the flour, and then you eat them. Yech. Please search for organic whole-grain flours. Einkorn is an ancient wheat, still unspoiled by modern methods. Any flour you use should be organic (organic must be non-gmo and not use chemicals – but research the company that sells it).

I like to soak my flours before I bake them. I’ve done considerable reading about grains and the benefits of soaking, fermenting, and sprouting. (Note: if you can buy organic, pre-sprouted flours, that is the most convenient route.)

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One of the sites I found with lots of information was https://pamelasalzman.com/soak-grains/ . You can read even more interesting info if you scroll down past the article and read the comments and replies.

“Whole grains can definitely be part of a healthful diet, but they are much more nutritious and digestible when prepared the way our ancestors did by soaking, fermenting or sprouting them before cooking or eating.

“Whole grains contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid which binds with certain minerals (e.g.  zinc, phosphorous, calcium and iron) and  prevents them from being absorbed by the body.  Phytic acid is also very hard on the digestive system.  Most of the phytic acid is contained in the exterior bran and germ layers of the grain.  Ironically, whole grains are much higher in minerals than polished or refined grains, but we won’t receive those benefits unless we neutralize the phytic acid.”

And from this site: https://be-still-farms.com/blogs/healthy-organic-living-blog/29811009-why-soak-grains-before-cooking

“Pre-soaking grains also helps break down certain hard-to-digest proteins such as gluten. In addition, certain complex starches and fiber also become easier to digest as they are broken down further by the soaking process. As a result, individuals may notice that many of their gluten sensitivities or allergic reactions may be lessened when grains are soaked prior to cooking.

“Typically grains are soaked in warm water. Based on the type of grain, soaking periods can vary from a couple of hours to soaking overnight. For instance, grains like buckwheat, millet and brown rice do not have very high amounts of phytate, so they can be soaked for a few hours. Other grains, such as whole wheat, spelt, or oats, should be soaked overnight due to their high phytate content.”

Soaking is beneficial for seeds, grains, and nuts. The difference between seeds and grains? This is what I found, and I’m still chewing it over, trying to figure the difference:

http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-seeds-and-grains/  “A seed is an ovule containing an embryo while a grain is a fusion of the seed coat and the fruit.”

https://onsetworldwide.com/grains-versus-seeds/  “By definition, a seed is a ‘flowering plant’s unit of reproduction, capable of developing into another such plant’. Grains (cereals) grow from the seeds of grasses. Nuts grow from the seeds of trees. And seeds (pseudocereals or other ‘seeds’) grow from the seeds of non-grasses.

“For example:

      • “Wheat, corn, oats and rice are all seeds, further classified as Grains
      • “Amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are all seeds, further classified as Pseudocereals
      • “Chia, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin are all seeds, classified as Seeds.”

Here are two recipes. I created the biscuit recipe first, then the bread recipe sprang from it. They are quite moist and flexible (many whole-grain bread recipes are not) due to high oil content and the addition of flax and chia seeds.

Kathy’s Biscuits

Yield: 8-9 biscuits (Note: this recipe doubles easily, and the finished biscuits freeze well.)

Prep Time: 20 min + overnight
Cook Time: 15 min

Although these biscuits can be made all at once, instead of soaking, this recipe is best if the dough is allowed to soak, as described in the instructions, for 8 hours or overnight.

Ingredients:

The first day:

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed
  • 2 cups flour (whatever kind, gluten-free or non-gluten-free; I usually use two flours, such as spelt and barley, or oat and einkorn)
  • 3 teaspoons egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand, gluten-free)
  • 1-2 tablespoon kefir, (use an acidic liquid, such as apple cider vinegar, yogurt, lemon juice, or kefir)
  • 2/3 cup any type of dairy or non-dairy milk
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil (I usually use a combination of butter and olive oil to equal 5 tablespoons)

The second day:

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener (sucanat, honey, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

The first day:

  1. In a coffee grinder, or other similar device, grind the flax and chia seeds until well ground, 10 – 20 seconds.
  2. Add all the first-day ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well enough that all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.

The second day:

  1. Preheat oven to 430°.
  2. When the dough has soaked, uncover it and add the baking powder, sweetener, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Dump out dough and knead/handle into a ball. (I haven’t needed to sprinkle flour on the board or my hands, as this dough has lots of oil. But, do so if you need to.
  4. Knead a few times to bring it all together. For a more tender biscuit, knead as little as possible. (I use my biscuits as a sandwich bread alternative, so I knead it a bit more, like bread dough.) If it seems too dry, sprinkle with a few drips of milk or water; if it seems too wet, add some flour; and work in gently.
  5. Roll or pat out to ½ – 3/4  inch thick and cut with a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter/drinking glass top. Gently transfer biscuits to an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 13 – 15 min until golden brown on top.

Kathy’s Biscuit Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

Prep Time: 20 min + overnight
Cook Time: 15 min

This makes a lovely bread that keeps together well, and is flexible when sliced. It’s good for sandwiches or toast – whatever you use bread for.

Ingredients:

The first day:

  • 4 tablespoons flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons chia seed
  • 5 cups flour (I used 3 cups einkorn and 2 cups barley flour)
  • 2 tablespoons egg replacer (I use Ener-G brand, gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup kefir, or other fermented liquid
  • 1 1/2 cups any type of dairy or non-dairy milk
  • 10 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil or combination

The second day:

  • 1 tablespoon (scant) active dry yeast (exact measurement is 2-2/3 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener (such as sucanat, coconut palm sugar, honey, or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

The first day:

  1. In a coffee grinder, or other similar device, grind the flax and chia seeds until well ground, 10 – 20 seconds.
  2. Add all the first-day ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well enough that all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.

The second day:

  1. Proof 1 tablespoon active dry yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sweetener.
  2. Add the salt to the dough, mix in.
  3. Stir in proofed yeast. It is easier (and less messy) to let the mixer do the initial mixing, with a dough hook, even though you may have to babysit it with a spatula for a while.
  4. After the dough comes together, turn out onto a countertop (with all the oils in the dough, it didn’t stick, so I didn’t need to dust with flour).
  5. Knead until smooth and dough doesn’t crack or come apart (10 – 15 minutes).
  6. Return dough to an oiled mixing bowl, turn dough so it is covered with a sheen of oil, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm oven until double (about 1 hour, depending on your yeast).
  7. Turn dough out and punch down. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 10 minutes.
  8. Shape into 2 loaves and place into oiled loaf pans.
  9. Let rise in a warm oven until almost double (about 1 hour).
  10. Bake in a 375° oven 30-35 minutes. Loaves should sound hollow when thumped (internal temp of 200°).
  11. Turn out to let cool 15 – 20 minutes, then package.

BiscuitBread

Wisdom is the Principal Thing

WisdomIsThePrincipalThing

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4.7

Proverbs is something of a how-to book on how to live wisely (don’t mess with an angry man; fraudulent food ends up as gravel in your mouth; don’t get drunk and do stupid things; honor the king; don’t be a nagging wife, dripping incessantly on your husband; etc.). The entire book centers on wisdom. Chapter 8 especially lays out wisdom as the remedy for the simple, and outlines some of the many benefits of wisdom. Wisdom is

  • Excellent
  • Right
  • Truth
  • Plain
  • Better than rubies
  • Witty
  • Sound counsel
  • Understanding
  • Strength
  • Riches
  • Love
  • Creative
  • Blessed
  • Instructive
  • Life
  • Favor of the Lord

Wisdom is what leads us and allows us to obey God’s greatest commandment, Love:

Matthew 22.37 – 40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

James was the next-younger brother of Jesus. James grew up with the perfect role model in all things. He writes about wisdom in his book.

James 1.5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

From James we learn the importance of asking God for wisdom. I once heard a definition of wisdom: Seeing things from God’s perspective. There must be unimaginable peace when we see things from God’s perspective!

James 3.17, 18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

James tells us that wisdom (God’s perspective) is:

  • Pure
  • Peaceable
  • Gentle
  • Approachable
  • Full of mercy and good fruits
  • Without partiality
  • Without hypocrisy
  • Full of the promise of peace

I invite you to bow with me as we ask God for wisdom; and to study Scripture to learn what wisdom looks like, how God feels about wisdom, and the importance of receiving wisdom.

Dear Lord, I pray to be more like You. I desire to honor You in all I do, say, think, and feel. Your Word instructs me to get wisdom, and in order to get wisdom I must ask you in faith, not wavering. I do so now ask of You. Amen.

Holding it Together

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Do you feel sometimes that it’s getting too hard to hold it all together?

Let it go.

Yep, really. Let go. Take a deep breath. Talk to God. If you are stressed out about overload, you’ll need to have a deep conversation.

God is the One Who holds all things, and Who holds all things together.

Colossians 1.15 – 17 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

These verses in Colossians remind us that

  1. Jesus is God
  2. all things were created by Him – ALL things, whether seen or unseen
  3. All things were created through Him and for Him
  4. He has gone before all things (He knows what’s going on and what’s going to happen, and how it all turns out)
  5. He is holding it all together.

Consider also Hebrews Chapter 4, that famous passage dealing with resting in God.

Hebrews 4.10, 11 For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.

God desires, invites, us to enter His rest. We do that by obedience.

And then there’s that fascinating passage tucked right in there:

Hebrews 4.12, 13 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

God knows what obedience looks like, and He knows our hearts. Are you rushing around with a full plate, stuff spilling off in all directions? Are you feverishly covering that plate with all your might, trying to hold it all together? Are you trying to make that plate look pretty for anyone who is watching?

Drop the plate.

Let God clean up that mess. Kneel down on the floor with Him as He goes through each spill. HE KNOWS YOUR HEART. He designed you. He knows what delights you, what stresses you out, where your comfort zone is, where you need to go to strengthen your heart, and He knows your limits.

Things might look like a mess as you sort all this out with God. People might see you. They might smirk, or offer to help, or look away, or give a hug. Other’s responses are not your territory. That’s between them and God.

Deal with God. Find out what He’d like to see on that plate. Find out how He’d like you to divvy up your time and energy. His wisdom includes being able to see the Big Picture. Ask God why you cherish the things on your plate. Did you think you were doing them all for Him? Psalm 37.4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. It’s true; it’s always been true. Find your delight in God. Ask God what delights you. He created you and knows you; He wants to delight you. Ask Him to help you delete those things that are not delightful, but that are hard to give up. [You can try to find out why you like to hold onto them if you want, but it’s not necessary.]

Study carefully those things that God wants on your plate. The Holy Spirit will fill you with energy and a desire to accomplish those things. Lean on the Lord, draw from His strength, follow His guidance.

Find God’s rest. Delight in Him.

You don’t have to hold it all together; you just have to hold onto God.