The Only Paleo Bread that Works for Me

I was thrown into the world of preschool parenting this week. There was no gentle nudge, but a well-meaning push sent me into the grocery stores to gather snack items for the children. I think I’ve mentioned that our school alternates families to purchase the week’s snack items. Well, I signed up for the first week, in order to get it over with (and control what my child was putting into his mouth). I’m neurotic, what can I say?

The list was long, and included many things my son wouldn’t be eating. Among those things were crackers, pita bread, and bagels. This was mostly for the lower elementary students, but I know some of it makes it’s way into our toddler class. However, there was one itemswith an asterick beside it – homemade bread. Griffin’s teacher knew we were on a special diet, and was also aware that I liked to cook. So she suggested my bringing in some Paleo bread for the class.

Wonderful, right?!

Except that it’s one thing to make something in the safety and seclusion of your own kitchen, knowing that no matter how it turns out your family will love you. It’s quite another thing to supply grain free bread to strangers and cross your fingers in hopes they don’t think you feed your children nothing but rabbit food and cardboard.

photoSo I spent yesterday baking.

And EVERY SINGLE recipe I tried was a failure. It didn’t matter how good the reviews were or how much the blogger raved about her perfected Paleo bread recipe. It either tasted exactly like scrambled eggs or it refused to rise. One managed to do both. Did I mention the recipe also had to be nut free, as well? With small children devouring my cooking, there was no way I was going to chance an allergic reaction. My own son has never even had nuts.

However, there is one recipe that has never failed me. It takes a bit more effort (which is why I was attempted new recipes in the first place), but it tastes just like homemade bread! Both my husband and my father give this a thumb’s up, which is a testament to just how delicious this stuff really is.

It comes from Sarah over at The Paleo Mom. She remains to be the only source I’ve found for a grain free bread machine recipe that actually rises and tastes like true, homemade bread. Sarah, Thank You, Thank You! The children at my son’s preschool will be thanking you tomorrow, as well!

You can find the Nut-Free Yeast-Based Paleo Bread here,  and check below to see my notes!

Grain-Free, Nut-Free Paleo Bread

  • For the Flaxseed, I have used pre-ground regular flaxseed before, but found it very easy to grind my own golden flaxseed with a coffee grinder.
  • For the Arrowroot Flour, I have had success also using potato flour, or simply doubling up on the Tapioca
  • Raw Pepitas are pumpkin seeds! Measure, then grind in either a coffee grinder or food processor.
  • It can be a little disconcerting not to mix everything together before putting it in the bread machine, but the machine knows what it’s doing! I do generally mix the dry ingredients together before putting them in, because I just can’t put 100% faith in my mom’s 25 year old bread machine.
  • Make sure to follow Sarah’s advice and use a spatula to help kneed the dough!! I did this about once every 5 minutes during the initial kneed cycle.
  • The top of this bread isn’t going to be pretty. Just cut the loaf on it’s side and use the crust to keep the bread fresh.

 

Do you have a bread recipe that actually works? Sometimes Pinterest is great, but I find that I spend more time sifting through the recipes than I do cooking!

Life as Oxymoron

Here I am, writing what has overwhelmingly become a mommy blog, filled with photos of my child and the many milestones he has made.

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Perhaps that’s why I sometimes find myself at a loss for additional words to put onto the screen.

As much as my son completes me, he isn’t the whole of me. There are so many more facets to my being than just the label of “Mommy”. I have only been able to claim that title for less than two years, in fact.

But picking a different theme for this blog would be difficult. Life isn’t about putting things in neat, tidy boxes, as much as we all may try. And while my life is taken up with a toddler for the present, I do (surprisingly) have other thoughts running through my head. For starters, here are some ideas I’ve had when thinking about areas to focus on in the blog :

  • A Paleo Lifestyle – Except that I occasionally cheat
  • Christianity – But I feel myself to be one of the least qualified
  • Travel – With the exception that since having a baby we haven’t left the U.S.
  • Disney – Now here’s an area I know something about! But there’s a very small audience who wants to hear about Paleo-ified Disney food.
  • Natural Living – Although I can’t seem to find a decent natural mascara – among other things – and I’m certainly not leaving that out of my daily routine.

Some blogs focus on one topic – food, a parenting/learning philosophy, a destination. But this just isn’t one of them. I guess I’m too full of opposing interests and desires to ever truly fit into one category. So my goal is to hopefully entertain, no matter the subject. But one thing is for certain – it will all be relevant, because it will all be about my family and myself!

Preschool Has Begun, and So Has My Writing

My tiny little baby started Preschool yesterday. I am so in love with this school, and I think Finn will be, as well!

photo 5For him, this is a time to learn how to play with children, become comfortable with adults other than family members, and explore. The Montessori curriculum is so amazing at fostering independence – even on the first day of school he was setting out his own dishes, being assisted with pouring water, and sitting at a children’s table with others as everyone had a meal.

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photo 3What this means for me is time to work on my grad school thesis, as well as do a bit of writing for myself! Ah, the freedom of listening to a podcast while writing these words.

Friends, I want to apologize for not making time in this last season. We all get busy, but for me, this is not only a personal journal mixed with a bit of therapy; it’s my creative outlet. It’s also something I need to hold myself accountable for, because I have started projects (such as the 52 project) and then fail to see it through to the end. I refuse to be a person that doesn’t finish the things they start – even if it’s a project on my own blog.

So expect more from me, and more pictures courtesy of his wonderful teacher!

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CrayonsGriffin: You’re such a dreamer. You ponder activities, wanting to perform them just right. When introduced to the crayons, you meticulously began taking each one out and testing the color on paper before moving on to the next. And you’re so great at putting them all back in when the task is completed!

Taking Stock

I’ve hardly had time to sit down and look at the computer screen, much less write something other than Brit Lit papers. But I thought it was high time to get something on the blog besides a weekly (or close to it) portrait of my child.

Chicago7So in this rare moment of down time, I’m checking in with me.

Making : Sentences form Paragraphs
Cooking : Paleo/Primal – tonight it was Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan
Drinking : Mother’s Milk tea and Eberle Cabernet
Reading: The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Wanting: To take pictures that capture each moment as I really see it
Looking: To the present
Playing: Carla Bruni Pandora radio
Wasting: Too much raw milk – 1/2 a gallon is too little, yet a gallon is much too much
Wishing: That the breastfeeding acne would disappear
Enjoying: Large glasses of wine and deep, dark chocolate (no matter how cliche)
Waiting: For sandy baby toes in two weeks’ time
Liking: A few good Irishmen – Yeats, Joyce, and Wilde
Wondering: How I’m going to write a thesis
Loving: Local, organic farmers like the Vincent Family
Hoping: That daylight savings time doesn’t ruin deliciously long naps
Marveling: At the skill of women writers – Bronte, Woolf, Atwood
Needing: To accept the body I now have and all its wonders
Smelling: The cinnamon raisin bagels that were a Pinterest fail (Paleo bagels just may not be in the cards)
Wearing: Yoga pants all day, every day
Following: More blogs than I can keep up with
Noticing: How much I need to express myself through writing
Knowing: I need to be more laid back
Thinking: That that a good haircut is sometimes hard to come by
Feeling: That I need a spring cleaning
Bookmarking: This blog – so much talent
Opening: The door for creativity to rush in
Giggling: At my son’s new-found ability to sing along with me

I have been so inspired by Inked in Color, where I also got the idea for a challenge that allowed me to simplify my life. Looking over this list, it seems I’ve been in need of a few things for myself – not the tangible sort. This was a great exercise to allow me to focus on something other than chores, the little one, or school work. It also made me realize I never posted any pictures from our Valentine’s getaway to Chicago! Enjoy

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Griffin: You are such a little lover. All of your pals get hugged and kissed on a regular basis – including mommy’s favorite doll from her own childhood! Patty and I became friends when I was only two years old. Since telling you this, you’ve loved to climb up on the bed in the guest room and shower my friend with kisses.

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Griffin: I have to apologize that this was your first experience playing in the snow, considering there was hardly any on the ground. Although it was coming down thick and pillowy all morning, by the time I got you all bundled up it had diminished to hardly a flake. The teddy bear outfit was adorable either way.