Have you ever made rye bread before? Well, really any bread that requires several proving times? Let me tell you all about it…
So over the last month or so, my family has been in a season of hurry up and wait. That goes for our finances, our home, and definitely in my baking the other day. Our businesses are on the brink of some really amazing things, we have our eye on a farmhouse (pray for us!), and everything I seem to want to bake lately has been about waiting. I have one more time to pull up one more recipe and it says, “wait 4 hours…chill overnight… let soften on the counter for an hour…” and I might just lose my mind. I don’t know if my new impatient temper tantrums are from what is happening in my life right now or if I have always been an “I want everything right now this very moment” kind of person.
Take this rye bread I suddenly wanted to make for example. In theory, it was cute. I mean how amazing would it be to make pumpkin-rye bread for my family to bring in the fall season?? Fun right?! Wrong… This bread took me LITERALLY. FOR. EVER. Again, I could have just been riding on my emotions about everything else happening in my season of life or it could have been that the bread took me forever.
The first stage of making rye bread (especially since it does not have a super huge gluten factor to it) is mixing and kneading this very sticky dough. By hand. For like ten minutes. And it starts out really sticky. Like stick in between your fingers and all in the creases of your wedding ring kind of sticky. Then the bread needs to rise for about two hours. Two whole hours! Then you need to knead the bread again, shape it, and let it rise one more time before it ever goes in the oven.
Y'all, I was waiting for this bread to rise so long I was able to mix, make, bake, and eat three (yes three) gluten-free blueberry muffins. I kid you not...
As I pitifully sat watching my bread rise for the ninetieth hour, wondering how many gluten-free muffins I could eat before I should start feeling greedy, I started to hear that still small voice. That Voice of reason. The Voice that always knows how to calm my soul. Is this not what I am doing in your life right now, Victoria? Is this not how I operate? Have I ever fallen through on what I have promised you before? Just trust me- I'm at work.
I don’t know where you are in your journey of life. But I do know this one thing to be true: God isn’t concerned with how long he has to prove you (another word for rise in the baking world FYI). He is not super concerned with wait times. Have you ever noticed that? This is the same God who literally waited until the Israelites were at the Red Sea with the Egyptians like right behind them before He parted the sea. Wouldn’t you have made those plans obvious to Moses before he got to the sea? Wouldn’t you have given him like some boats the night before or even had the sea already parted when they started heading that way? Or Joseph. Who gives someone a dream at the age of 17 to not have it come to pass until after he’s been sold into slavery, lied on after being sexually harassed at work, put into prison, and is in his thirties? Who does that? The same God who created bread you have to let rise for hours and hours before it is ready to be eaten.
Nevertheless, my sweet Savior’s voice was right. Everything great, everything worth praising Him for, everything good and wonderful in my life took a journey. Some of those journeys in my life haven’t been the best. They have been hard and, by my sight, have looked pretty hopeless. But in every one of those situations, God has allowed me to grow and prove into something absolutely amazing.
I said all of that to say- God isn’t super concerned about time. And He is especially not moved by my inpatient tantrums. He is the same yesterday, today, and for eternity. He is not pacing around with a stopwatch thinking, “Oh man, I better hurry up before this gets out of hand. I’m late!” He cares about the process. Without slowing down to knead the dough carefully, letting it rise, and handling it in the proper way- the end result would ultimately collapse. He doesn’t want you and I to collapse in our journeys. He desires to see us to grow and mature in His timing, not ours. So be patient, eat your muffin, and watch God do a work in your life.
And our Rye bread… well it was absolutely delicious.
Peace, Love, and Strength
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
Milk (we use almond or soy)
Mix all of your wet ingredients together
Hemp/Flax Seed Mix (Optional)
Mix all of the dry ingredients, then slowly fold it into the wet mixture. Gently add in blueberries (fresh or frozen). Bake in a greased muffin tin on 350 until done.
I don't want to lead you down a path of destruction...
I found about three different rye bread recipes online and mixed and mashed them together.
However, my advice is to find a good rye bread recipe that also includes using a cornmeal in it. I made a pumpkin rye bread. The pumpkin was simply for texture, it didn't taste like pumpkin.
Also, when cooking something that has risen that many times and is that big- try tapping the bottom of the bread when taking it out of the oven. It should sound hollow.
So yesterday was my mom's 58th birthday. I am shocked I remembered because I have been telling folks she was 60 for about eight or so years now... A few things you need to know about good ole Sarah J, my mama:
#1 She does what she wants when she wants
#2 She is never on time (Even after almost 30 years in the Army)
#3 She has celiac disease, so I have had it up to here with gluten free recipes at this point
#4 She is incredibly picky for someone who has a serious food allergy
#5 And she is the most giving person I know
That being said, my birthday is literally two days before hers. She gave me an insane amount of stuff for my birthday (see #1 and 5), she showed up to my little get together for my birthday around 9:20pm when I'm sure it started at 6pm (see #2), she demanded a gluten-free cupcake heated up with absolutely no icing on it (#3 and 4), and still managed to try giving me even more gifts yesterday on her birthday (what I love the most about her see #5). That being said, I wanted her 60th birthday (I mean 58th) to be perfect. So we scooped up (yet again) a house robe for her, which she absolutely loves, and I started plotting our gluten-free, for the ever so picky Sarah J, birthday menu.
Side note: Let me tell y'all (for my not southern folks: this means you and all as in you guys, you peps, you people: y'all) something about gluten-free baking: I hate it. So much empathy for people who have to eat that way, so much respect for people who choose to eat that way, but I cannot stand baking with gluten-free flour. There is always a surprise factor involved. This could, of course, speak to my level of expertise in the kitchen but still!
I decided on fried fish, rice, broccoli, homemade tarter sauce, and some delicious apple tarts. Now, I know how to make a pretty good apple pie. Essspppecialy if I sneak a pre-made box of crust into my grocery cart instead of making one from scratch like I usually do. But to celebrate my mama turning the big 6-0, I wanted this dessert to knock her picky socks off. I found a french apple tart recipe online: decided there were way too many layers for me to be trying to deal with (I am not Ina guys). Found another tart that I liked: It caused for frozen puff pastry. No sir! This is my mom's 60th (I mean 58th) birthday! There will be no frozen anything thank you very much. Found an old puff pastry recipe: ummmm.... yeah it's not that big of a birthday milestone for her... I could go buy a frozen pre-made one for all of that. Then I came across this recipe on Taste of Lizzy T's . Now granted, I went through all of this fuss to find a pastry recipe because I already know how to make a pie crust, but after about an hour of searching and my eyes crossing I decided I would just stick to the basics. Don't judge me.
I have always been taught that a good pie crust (or biscuits which is a pretty close recipe to pie) starts with cold-cold-cold stuff. What does that mean in the kitchen? Cold ingredients, cold bowls and utensils if you wanted to take the extra step to do that, and as little bit of touching the dough with your body heat. I got my girls to help out with the measuring and with the apples (which essentially meant they made playdough on my counter and ate a bunch of apples I was trying to get cut). On my birthday (because I was told I couldn't lift a finger that day) I played around with making some apple jelly. It bombed. Horribly. BUT I was able to make an apple...syrup...if you will. I used that with some lemon juice to keep my apples, what was left, from turning. And, because I spoke it into existence, her dough was soggy. Maybe too much butter on my part? Or maybe it's because baking with gluten-free flour always goes wrong? We shall never know. As I have seen on many cooking show, I decided to par bake it in an attempt to stiffen up her "soggy bottom" <--- you would get that if you ever watched a British cooking show. Ever. Some sliced spiced apples layered on top (because the dough was to squishy to fold, move, or even look at) made a pretty nice looking open-faced gluten free apple tart!
I don't want to lie to you. The one on the right is the gluten-free tart. The other tart is a highly glutenized version of hers that I made for the rest of us.
I am happy to report that Sarah J was not only thrilled with her meal, she made it a point to tell me that she actually hates apple pie (especially ones that have a few peels still on them) but that she loved this one.
#6 My mom will never lie to you to make you feel better about yourself. She would rather tell you something absolutely sucks so you can begin working on improving on it
One thing about my mom, she might be a lot of wild things- but she is the greatest 60 year old mom I could ever have :)
Peace, Love, and Strength
Pie Crust (gluten) recipe above in link.
Apple syrup (homemade apple juice or regular apple juice cooked with sugar)
Corn starch to thicken
Layer apple slices across half the recipe for crust then lay second piece across top and tuck in edges. Coat with an egg wash (one egg and water) and sprinkle a little sugar on top. Slice top dough with 4-6 slits across top. Bake on 400 F for about 30 minutes or until brown. Mix a splash of milk with powdered sugar for a drizzle to go on top.
With five kids (and a super greedy husband) I have learned that my kitchen is the heart of our home. We have so much going on: from homeschool to chores, our businesses, everyday chaos and life; making a priority of meeting in our kitchen for our time of faith and fellowship as a family hasn't always been easy but it is the key. This doesn't always mean we meet over an extravagant meal decked out with appetizers and french desserts either (even though I am not against either one). For me, "bringing it home" has always meant me trying my hardest to show up every single day for my marriage and my family emotionally and physically. The best way that I know to do that is over some good food with the people that I absolutely love.
Psalms 128: 1-3
Peace, love, and Strength
*Game night with triple berry crumble pie