Monday, January 13, 2014

Old Time 4H Whole Wheat Bread...Monday's with Mom

4H was a special part of my childhood. I not only had a lot of fun in 4H, but I met so many great people, and learned so many valuable life skills! It also provided me with many happy memories of times spent with my mom. I have blogged before about how my mom was the food leader for my 4H club, but I have not shared all the awesome recipes we made at our events. Today I am sharing a simple whole wheat bread recipe I learned to make when I was about 10.

I could hardly wait each month for mom to take me to our 4H  meeting. It was always a good time. Before every meeting we said this pledge, which I still remember...complete with the actions of course!!!!

After saying the pledges, we had our meeting. The meetings were run by us, with our adult leaders also there. We all had to participate, and were assigned which part we would do each meeting. Some of the jobs included giving a demonstration on one of our projects,or leading the pledge, providing snack, leading an activity to do, things like that.  I LOVED making the snack, and HATED giving a demonstration. It always made me so nervous to get up in front of everyone!  Afterwards we got to go outside and play games. Our favorite was Ante I Over. We played until it was time to go. I remember many warm summer nights playing until it was to dark to see!

Summer was an exciting and busy time for anyone involved in 4H. Especially county fair time. Fair time was when you reaped the rewards of all the work you put in on your projects. Kids had so many things to choose from for, animals, photography,wood working, gardening, food....just to name a few.

I always chose food and gardening. I don't really like to garden, but since one of my chores was to help weed and pick the veggies, I decided I may as well. I always entered a vegetable box in the fair, and always won a ribbon. BUT the real blue ribbon winner was our rhubarb. It won every year! It was a sure dollar in your pocket. Our sweat pea flowers always won,too. (Blue ribbons were worth a dollar, red seventy-five cents, white fifty cents and green was  for participation.)

For food, I entered as many categories as I could. I always entered bread, and each year I tried a different recipe. This recipe is one of them.( another tasty 4H recipe you can find here)

Mom always tried to have a practice run on any new 4H recipes we were going to enter at the fair. Several of us in her food group decided to make whole wheat bread, so she had the group over to our house. What a fun day it was! She taught us some tips and tricks about bread baking, and about how yeast works, stuff like that. Then we made the whole wheat bread, enough so we could each have a small loaf. It was delicious...fresh out of the oven.... still warm.... spread with plenty of butter!

Later that summer, I made it by myself for the fair. It did win a ribbon, but I can't remember which one. But what I do remember is that special day when my mom took time to teach us how to make it! I'll always be thankful for all the things my mom did for me, especially sharing her love of cooking with me.

I haven't made this recipe for years, as I have a family dark bread recipe that has been passed down for generations that I make most of the time. I'd post it, but it's one of those "old time" recipes that doesn't  have exact measurements. This 4H  bread recipe has molasses in it for some sweetness, and scalded milk which gives it some softness. I made small loaves, easy to freeze. It's a great tasting basic recipe for whole wheat bread, and SO delicious....just like I remembered!

4H whole wheat bread

1 c. milk, scalded
3 Tbsp. shortening
1/4 c. molasses
1 Tbsp. salt
2 pkg. dry yeast
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 c. all purpose flour ( I used about 2 1/4 c.)

Mix the warm milk,shortening, molasses, and salt in a bowl. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in one cup of warm water. Let it stand 3 to 5 minutes or until bubbly. Stir into the milk mixture. Add all the whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. white flour. Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the white flour gradually, as needed, to make a stiff dough. (I used about 2 1/4 c.) Knead 5 minutes on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down and shape into 2 loaves. ( I made 4 small loaves) Put in greased pans, let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until loaves test done. Cool.

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Liz said...

I loved 4H when I was young. Gardening was my category too! I haven't read the motto in years. Looks like a great basic bread recipe to try!

sharonjo said...

This post brought back some good memories of my years in 4H (and playing Ante I Over too!!) I learned to cook and sew in 4H and am grateful for my very patient mother helping me with my projects. We used to have a project called Dress Review, where we would sew an outfit and then model it in a runway-type show in front of judges--very scary but fun too!