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Bread. It’s possibly one of the most delicious and comforting foods known to mankind. Homemade bread also makes for a delectable gift during the holidays. Store bought gingerbread or panettone are so impersonal. Whip up a few loaves of homemade bread to spread holiday cheer.

Here’s my favorite rolled bread recipe for holiday gatherings, along with a few suggestions for homemade homestead fillings.

Ingredients

4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
1/2 cup warm water, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 cups milk, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
5 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Directions
  • Dissolve yeast in the warm water in your mixer. It should puff up and smell like bread.
  • Add in your oats, milk, butter, sugar, eggs, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add in 2 cups of flour and beat for 3 minutes.
  • Slowly add flour until you have a soft dough. Knead with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic.
  • Grease a bowl. Place dough in the bowl and cover it with a moist kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour, or until it’s doubled.
  • Punch down the dough and divide in half. Roll each half out into a large rectangle.
  • Add your filling of choice (see below) and sprinkle generously over the dough. See below for filling ideas.
  • Roll the rectangles up and pinch the seams to seal them.
  • Grease two loaf pans. Place the loaves seam-side down into the pans. You may need to layer longer rolls on top of themselves in the pan. That’s fine! It just means you’ll have multiple swirls in your bread.
  • Let rise 40 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake the loaves for 45 – 60 minutes until they’re golden brown.

Filling ideas

Cinnamon sugar: Combine 1 cup sugar with 4 teaspoons of cinnamon. I like to sprinkle in raisins for texture, but you can omit if you aren’t a raisin person.

Mincemeat: If you grow your own fruit on the homestead, you can make your own mincemeat. Combine three cups of dried fruit (like figs, apricots, raisins, plums, or peaches) with 1 cup orange peels, lemon and orange zest, 2 cups brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and top off the mixture with brandy or rum.

Rosemary and lavender: Show off your home-grown herbs with this floral filling. Combine 1 tablespoon ground lavender with 2 cups sugar to create a lavender sugar. Add a sprinkle of chopped rosemary, about 2 tablespoons.

Don’t show up at your holiday party with a boring platter of cookies. Bring a homemade loaf made with hearty homestead ingredients packed with love.

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Best Brands of Organic Fertilizer Out There

Even if I haven’t gone into detail about the harmful implications of using chemical fertilizers, I’ve probably made it obvious that they’re a no-go, especially in your home garden. This is due to the fact that they simply make the atmosphere dangerous to be breathing in, and if you have a pet or kids at home, you know how dangerous that can be for their health.

There’s no denying that chemical fertilizers do improve your yield to a certain extent, but doing so at the cost of the environment doesn’t sound like a very good deal. Luckily, there are safe and organic alternatives that you can boost your harvest and improve the health of your soil as well. Here are some of the best organic fertilizers you can use in your home garden.

Jobe’s Organics Fertilizer Spikes

This brand is making the task of fertilizing your vegetable garden less of a chore by producing their fertilizer in ‘spikes’. All you need to do is bury an adequate amount in the soil, near the root systems of your plant crops. You won’t need to carry out any mixing before adding it to the soil and you don’t have to worry about storing it either. It contains all the essentials, such as nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphate. A problem you’ll face is that your dog may enjoy digging up the spikes, preventing your crops from getting their nutrition so you’ll have to keep your pet inside for a couple of hours after applying the fertilizer.

SEA-90 Mineral Fertilizer

This fertilizer works great if you’ve tested your soil and found it to be too alkaline because it decreases the pH level. The minerals in it are derived from deposits found in the ocean and the formula is easily soluble as well, so you can use it as a spray. It’s a versatile fertilizer when it comes down to how you can use it; it can be added to the soil and used in hydroponics as well.

Wiggle Worm Soil Builder

This is by far the most loved organic fertilizer out there, primarily because it improves your yield by enhancing the health of your soil. You can use it for all types of gardening, and whether you’ve planted indoors or outdoors. It doesn’t just provide your crops’ root systems with instant nutrition but builds a healthy environment because of earthworms as well. It increases the flow of air between the soil, making the root systems more developed. The only downside to this is the shelf life but it’s something you can deal with if you have plenty of crops.

Fox Farm Liquid Nutrients

If you have the budget for it, then this option is highly recommended because it has a reputation for producing results. This pack of three liquid fertilizers contains trace minerals derived from organic sources and each bottle is used to boost a specific growth stage of a crop. Grow Big is supposed to be used during the first stage to improve the growth of foliage. Tiger Bloom is for when you first start spotting flowers. Big Bloom can be used during the entire cycle, but they’re the best for crops that grow in late seasons. Although it’s pricey, it works and you can find a variant for hydroponics as well.

These are some of the best selling organic fertilizers out there that you can use in your garden to get a better yield. But remember to test the pH of your soil before adding any fertilizer and make sure to keep it ideal for whichever crop you’re growing. Happy Farming!


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