Homemade Sourdough Bread with Homegrown Grain

Way back when, in my earliest days of homemaking and bread baking, when the homesteading bug had just begun to nip at me and make its way into my hopes and dreams, I decided that I would someday like to move to the country and eventually bake a batch of bread with grain I had grown myself.

In those thoughts of long ago, I envisioned a large stand of wheat that would supply me with all the flour I would need for my baking. The passing years and our growing family adjusted that lofty ambition a bit. And we have learned through time and experience that the twenty rocky mountainside acres that the Lord blessed us with almost eighteen years ago aren't very cooperative when it comes to gardening.

A wheat field to supply much of our large family's needs just isn't practical for us. Especially since I make all of our bread and most of our other baked things and therefore bake several times a week. We go through lots and lots of wheat and oats and other whole grains around here!

And yet... that long ago young homemaker's hope and dream of baking with homegrown grain wasn't forgotten.

So when I was puttering about the barnyard recently and discovered a tiny volunteer stand of grain growing near our compost heap I was *thrilled* beyond measure!

Did our lovely hens plant it for me as they scratched at and scattered their organic feed in the area of our compost heap? Perhaps. And the *very* wet spring we had on our homestead just may have helped it along.

At first I thought it was a wee crop of wheat... now I am thinking it is actually barley. Regardless, I wasn't going to miss the chance to harvest some homegrown grain at last and bake bread with it.

The other day, I noticed that it looked ready enough so I cut the stalks and brought them into the house to dry before something else munched them down. There have been so many beautiful deer on our property and I didn't want to share my homegrown grain with them... sorry, deer! {smile}

So as I sipped on my coffee this morning, I rubbed each dry stalk between my hands and the lovely grains fell to the table. I picked through the chaff and ended up with a teeny tiny harvest.

Then I added the homegrown grain to the purchased wheat berries that I was grinding into flour. My homegrown harvest was but a tiny part of what I milled today, but every single bit of that bounty is in there.

I made my usual five loaf batch of whole grain sourdough bread.

Ta-da! Oh how lovely they look and how delicious they smell! I could not possibly be happier with them. And I do think they smell ever so slightly of barley. {smile}

It is such a dream come true to include even a tiny bit of homegrown grain in my homemade bread, friends. And the feeling of joy and contentment I have in achieving this desire that took root in my homesteading heart so so long ago is amazingly sweet indeed.


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