Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Smiling Hill Farm Bread

My youngest is currently finishing the Calvert School's third grade curriculum. This is the second time I've taught this grade (the first time being with his next older brother), and I have to say that I've enjoyed every minute of it each time. The course is difficult enough to challenge my extremely bright children, a feat not easily accomplished even in a private school, and teaches in depth; finally, the lesson manuals tell me exactly how to teach each subject, including discussion questions to be sure that the child has understood what he's read and done. So, what's this got to do with bread?

The third grade reading program goes through both 3rd grade reading books from Houghton Mifflin by lesson 120 of 160. They then introduce this nice novel, Smiling Hill Farm. Written in 1937, it's a historical account of the Wayne family's move from Virginia to Indiana. There are lots of historic details in it which cause me to believe it's an account of the author's actual family, and it has also enabled me to te
ach my boys odd things, such as the fact that there were vast flocks of parakeets flying about the eastern half of this country prior to 1900. This recipe is given as a recipe the Wayne family might have used to make bread. It's dense, very moist, and very flavorful.


1-2/3 cups buttermilk
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 325. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl; make a well in these and add the buttermilk and molasses. Stir together until well mixed and pour into a greased 9"x5" loaf pan. Bake about an hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

I served this with turkey, and even with my "small" family, it was gone....

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