Amish Bread

Today I made Amish bread! From the cookbook Stephen got me for my birthday – The Amish Cook’s Baking Book by Lovina Eicher. I modified the recipe only slightly and as my first time making bread like this, I think it turned out pretty well. It was extremely yummy. I kept pulling pieces off after I’d already had a couple of slices.

Lovina’s Homemade Bread (modified only slightly)

  • 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast (or 1 package)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Warm Water
  •  Lard  Vegetable Shortening (amount the size of a large egg)
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp Salt (I used 2 teaspoons, but mine turned out a little sweet – I liked it)
  • Enough bread flour to make a soft dough

I think I used about 4, maybe 5, cups but I really have no idea. I was too focused on adding 1/2 cup of the flour at a time and watching how the dough looked to see if I was doing it right.

Grease a 5 by 9 inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water with yeast to soften. In another bowl, combine 2 cups warm water, softened vegetable shortening, sugar, and salt. Incorporate the yeast mixture. Stir until combined. Add bread flour 1/2 cup at a time “mixing until the dough is elastic and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.” I was a little unsure of myself with this step because I haven’t made a lot of bread in my life but I did my best at guessing how it should look.

Once combined, cover and let rise in warm spot until doubled. Takes from 1 to 1.5 hours. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit while the dough is rising. Once risen, punch down dough and form into loaf shape (for me this required a lot of extra flour but perhaps I didn’t add enough to being with). Place in greased loaf pan and allow to rise an additional 30 minutes until the dough fills out the pan and is about level with the top.

Bake for 45 minutes. Lovina suggests coating the dough with oil before baking to keep the bread soft or brushing with butter when it’s finished for similar effect. I brushed the top of mine with honey before baking.

NOTE: My vegetable shortening didn’t really start to combine until I added the flour but the warm water eventually made it melt (sort of) into the mixture.

Sooo yummy.

Blueberry Bran Muffins

I use the same base Bran Muffin recipe ALL THE TIME. It is the best I’ve ever found.

I change up the recipe slightly almost every time I make it, sometimes I add cinnamon, sometimes a banana, other fruit, nuts, etc. I add apple butter, change up the amounts of liquid or dairy. It is really extremely versatile. You could use a variety of flours, spices, or even liquids. The important part is the relative proportions.

Anyway, I wanted to make some muffins for Stephen before he left today so the recipe below is the variation I used. I didn’t try them but I’ve never made a bad batch of these muffins, no matter the changes I make (they’re always reasonable!). And they smelled incredible. Sometimes I want to bake muffins just so the house smells cozy.

Blueberry Bran Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson via Holly & Rose.

  • 1/2 Stick Salted Butter, Melted
  • 3/4 Cup 0 Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup 2% Milk, hot
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Blueberries
  • 1 1/2 Cups Bran (Oat or Wheat – I usually use half and half, depends what I’m looking for)
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Flax Meal
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt (1 Tsp if using unsalted butter)
Warm milk until hot and add dried blueberries to help reconstitute. Let them sit for as long as you can until adding them to mixture, giving them time to soak. Combine melted butter, greek yogurt, eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar & vanilla. Add bran, flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
The batter is usually a bit thick so don’t worry but if you think it’s too thick, feel free to add a little milk, applesauce, water, or something else you’d like to use.
Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin papers and fill about 3/4 full. Oftentimes I have extra batter so I just fill the papers extra full rather than having to use another muffin pan.
Bake at 400 Degrees Fahrenheit for 15 – 22 minutes. The range is so broad because of the variations that could be made. They usually take about 18 minutes though.
Let cool (mostly) and bon apetite!

Two Firsts!

This is my first post on Pumpkin Honey and I’m extremely excited to write it. I’m especially excited because my first post is also about my FIRST attempt at Angela Liddon‘s famous Green Monster.

I’m trying to transition to a healthier and increasingly plant-based diet, cutting down on the dairy until it’s gone. As for now, I still have milk and yogurt in my refrigerator and I cannot just throw them away!

My first Green Monster:

1/2 cup frozen peaches

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup raw kale, massaged with fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp ground flax meal

1/2 cup 100% apple cider (no sugar or preservatives added)

1/4 cup greek yogurt

1/4 cup blend of 6 grain organic rolled cereal flakes (oats, rye, spelt, wheat, barley, kamut)

Directions: Add in blender with liquid on bottom and blend for several minutes until all ingredients are smooth. (For kale, i merely cut the end off of one lemon and rubbed the kale leaves into the pulp.)

In retrospect I should have either softened the cereal flakes or blended them into a powder before adding them to the smoothie. They did add a nice chewy texture if you’re into that but I would have preferred something smoother. Overall the flavor was delicious and I could hardly believe there was any kale. You definitely could not taste it. What an ingenious way to get all the benefits of the wonderful leafy green without the bitterness or rough texture.

I highly recommend you make your own Green Monster ASAP!



And her boyfriend who loves her very much, Steve