Clean Bread for Busy People

No-Knead Bread is the Easy Solution for Preservative-Free Homemade Bread

I’m actually not sure why no-knead bread is just now becoming trendy in clean home-baking. It is the absolute simplest bread to make. It requires the most minimal of ingredients. It takes almost NONE of your precious, limited time. No-knead bread is clean and preservative-free, and a myriad of recipes means that you can easily choose one to fit your health, diet, or culinary goals.

no knead bread recipe

Really. There’s just no downside to no-knead bread.

For busy people today (and who isn’t!?), no-knead bread is THE solution to problem of being able to put home-made, quality, reliable, knowable goodness on the table, with a side of holy delicious and nostalgia!

No-Knead Bread: The Time It Takes

So, what is it that maybe scares people from making cleaner, better no-knead breads at home?

If one had to guess, you could suppose it’s that it takes a long time to make no-knead bread. Hours, in fact. OVERNIGHT, in fact. Or rather, at least 6 to 8 to 12 and maybe even 18 hours!

no knead bread rising

Who in the world has that time today!?

We all do. Because here’s the thing. The “time” it “takes” to bake no-knead bread is not hands-on time at all. It’s almost completely in rising—a slow, sourdough-like rise time (without the hassle of maintaining a sourdough starter) with a moist, soft sponge, that pretty much doesn’t even get your hands dirty. You’re literally only talking maybe—MAYBE—5 minutes of measuring and mixing (if you drag it out), and then covering the bowl, forgetting about until the next morning, or the next afternoon, or whenever you have the time, then a quick dump-and-shape-up with a little more rising while the oven heats up, and around 45 minutes of baking.

All told, you’re looking at a maximum of 15 minutes of hands-on “labor.” The rest of the time, you could be soaking in the bath, working, running your kids around endlessly, or reading a book for all the bread cares. You see where I’m going with this. No-knead bread doesn’t need us, either.

So,

How Long Does It Take to Bake No-Knead Bread?

Here’s a general overview of how long it takes to make no-knead bread (for the typical no-knead bread recipe; the process itself doesn’t vary that much between recipes for no-knead bread):

no knead bread with elderberry jelly
  • Dough preparation: 5 minutes (measuring, mixing)
  • Rising/proofing time: minimum 6 hours, 8-12 recommended, can go as long as 18-24 as life dictates
  • Baking prep (turning out dough, shaping loaf): 5 minutes (maybe?)
  • Final rising (mostly while oven and Dutch oven or baking vessel preheats): 45 minutes
  • Baking time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: average 9 hours, 45 minutes
  • Total ACTIVE (read: busy, hands-on) time: 10-15 minutes

A Bare Minimum of Ingredients

The time-factor is one of the biggest reasons to bake no-knead bread.

The others? TASTE and homemade goodness, clean PRESERVATIVE-FREE bread, INGREDIENT CONTROL, and ease-of-use (you really don’t need to be a bread baker, or much of a cook at all, to make this bread; basic kitchen skills required—an excellent bread for beginners!).

So,

What Ingredients are in No-Knead Bread?

You’ll probably be floored when you see the list of ingredients for the typical no-knead bread. They include:

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Yeast (about ¼ teaspoon)

Seriously. That is all.

chocoalte chunk cherry almond no knead bread recipe

Now sure, there are no-knead bread recipes with more ingredients. If you’re looking for a more savory or flavored no-knead bread, that’s an option, too. You might find one like a Cherry, Nut, & Chocolate no-knead bread recipe; perhaps a Wheat no-knead bread recipe; you could make a multi-grain no-knead bread; or a Garlic and Herb no-knead bread recipe might be your choice. But even with no-knead breads as delicious- and complicated-sounding as these, the process, and therefore the time involved, remains largely unchanged. You’re talking about a little more preparation and a little more measuring. A few measly more minutes. The results, however, are anything but measly. They’re amazing, quite frankly.

Time-Saving, Clean, Preservative-Free No-Knead Bread Recipes

Now that you’re a little more comfortable with taking on these easy, clean, delicious (so delicious), crusty, chewy, European-style no-knead breads, all that’s left is to find some good recipes to get started.

In Quick-Time Homemade Bread and Pastries, you’ll find plenty. Ten, to be exact. From the basic Dutch oven no-knead bread recipe to the savories with herbs, cheeses, and garlic, to the sweet like the aforementioned Chunky Chocolate Cherry Almond no-knead bread recipe, you’ll find all the bases covered, with plenty to enjoy (and impress!).

easy no-knead bread recipes

So buy the book (you can get it for Kindle or in paperback), bake the bread, and be sure to come back here and share your experience (and your no-knead bread pictures, too!).

Happy Baking & Enjoy!

*This post contains affiliate links to helpful books and products, at no additional cost to the reader/purchaser. This will take you to secure login and purchasing via your personal Amazon account. NO personal information is shared with this website from Amazon. Links such as these help to support and maintain this website. Thank you for clicking through to purchase these products!

Elderflower Mead Wine Recipe: The One Wine Recipe I WISH I Had Included in My Book!

easy home winemaking

This is a recipe that you will not find in my book, Winemaking Made Easy: How to Make Easy Homemade Wine from Grapes, Fruit, & More. And that’s sad, because it’s become my new favorite.

I covet it. I share it only with those I like best, or those who I owe a sizable favor to. Selfish of me? Only for the time being—I didn’t know I would love this wine quite so much. No worries—I’m working on a new (bigger) batch, so that I can be a good human again.

If Elderflower Mead is So Great, then Why…?

This naturally begs the question, if this Elderflower Mead Wine Recipe is really that great, then why would I leave it out of my book?

Local Raw Honey - Homegrown Honey

Simple. I just hadn’t made it when I’d published the book.

I’d played with Elderflower Wine before, but not as a mead (technically a melomel, or perhaps a metheglin, depending on whether you consider elderflower an herb…I’ll leave the semantics to you).

After I finally completed the book and started playing with some new varieties of wine, with my now-adult son taking an interest (and he a beekeeper with a piqued interest in meads in particular), we decided to try an elderflower mead. It wasn’t something I’d done or had finished in time to include in the wine book, but it has since been completed and consumed, completely; with a second (larger) batch quickly fermenting on the heels of the first, very missed, elderflower mead.

How to Make Easy Elderflower Mead (Elderflower Honey Wine)

If you want to make this so, so simple homemade elderflower honey wine (and I really HIGHLY recommend that you do), you’ll first need my original Mead Recipe found in Wine Making Made Easy, which you can purchase securely at Amazon. It’s available for Kindle or in Paperback by clicking on the title.

From there, go to the recipe for Basic Mead. You will find it in one-, three-, and five-gallon recipes. Choose the quantity you want to make, and for each gallon add two cups of dried elderflower.

How to make Elderflower Mead

1. Get the Basic Mead Recipe (Honey Wine recipe) In Wine Making Made Easy.

2. To that recipe, add 2 cups dried elderflower for every gallon of elderflower mead you are making (or 4 cups fresh elderflower when available).

3. Complete the rest of the recipe as instructed, but be sure to strain out the solid elderflowers after about 7 days.

Where to Buy Dried Elderflower

You can buy dried elderflower easily in bulk on Amazon—click this link for the source I use, an economical, high quality dried elderflower that I use both for elderflower wine and for elderberry and elderflower tea recipes. When in season, you can also use fresh elderflowers (actually I recommend it, but it’s a bit of a limited season, can be difficult to find the flowers in great enough quantity, and it’s so hard to wait—I make some elderflower wine and elderflower mead from fresh flowers while in season and some from dried elderflower during winter and the rest of the year and in fact if my fresh supply is running a little short, I add a bit more dried elderflower to make up the difference).

What Does Elderflower Mead Taste Like?

If you’ve ever had one of the popular elderflower liqueurs (like St. Germain or St. Elder), or if you’ve been lucky enough to have made your own infused elderflower liqueur from some great elderflower liqueur recipe you’ve found, you’ll recognize Elderflower Mead as being quite a lot like that. It’s pleasantly sweet, but not too sweet, with a delightful nose of elderflowers, often described as having a “Muscat” taste similar to Moscato wine. I swear it’s worth making the wine just to breathe in its delicious scent!

elder flower, elderflower for mead or elderflower tea

Though I’ve thus far only enjoyed this as a wine, I’ve imagined many times that it would also make a delicious wine spritzer with a little plain seltzer water—something to look forward to this summer with a little ice and warm sunshine! In fact, I think it’s time to start another batch of my favorite Elderflower Mead now, so I’ll still have some left for summer spritzing!

If you make this elderflower mead, I’ll be eager to hear about your adventure—please come back to share how your wine turned out!

>> Don’t forget, you’ll need the Mead recipe first—click here to get it.

>> Here is my go-to source to buy dried elderflower.

>> Here’s a handy link to the yeast I use to make this elderflower wine.

*This post contains affiliate links to helpful books and products, at no additional cost to the reader/purchaser. This will take you to secure login and purchasing via your personal Amazon account. NO personal information is shared with this website from Amazon. Links such as these help to support and maintain this website. Thank you for clicking through to purchase these products!

Winter Winemaking for Easy, Enjoyable Homemade Wines

We usually think of home winemaking as a summer or early fall project, primarily because that is the time of year when grapes, berries, fruit, and other country winemaking crops are being harvested. But the warmer months are certainly not the only time of year right for making homemade wine. In fact, for many of us, winter is a far better time for making simple, delicious country wines at home.

–> Make wine in winter when you have the TIME!
–> Frozen fruits and berries are excellent, easy winter winemakers.
–> Meads, metheglins, and melomels can be made fresh at any time of the year.

Why is Winemaking in Winter Better?

To be sure, winemaking is a great hobby any time of the year, and in-season when the produce is fresh can turn out some outstanding wine. But making wine in the winter is better for one major reason: In winter, we have time.

There’s really nothing like a good homegrown or locally-sourced crop of fruit or berries. The ripeness, the freshness, the variety, the flavor…it just can’t be beat. Even when preserved, these are characteristics that come through in your product. The fact that local and homegrown produce goes from vine to freezer (or whatever your preservation method of choice may be), means that the produce experiences less stress and degradation in its “travel” to you.

The problem that many of us have is that time is a very in-demand commodity in the warm months. Vacations, activities, pressing preserving of fruits and crops, so many other landscape and maintenance issues that demand our attention…it all adds up to finding yourself with many great options, the best of intentions, but only so much a body can do. Sometimes, something has to give.

In winter, though, we slow down. Sure, time is still a precious resource, but we seem to have more of it. Frankly, at this time of year we are more apt to want to spend it inside on a project of interest. And so, winter can be the perfect time to take on something like making easy, simple wines we can enjoy in just a few months and throughout the coming year.

What Produce is Best for Making Wine in Winter?

What holds a lot of people back from making wine in winter is that we think wine must be made with fresh fruit and produce. This really is not at all true. Yes, there are tastes and nuances that can only result from making wine with a product that just came out of the patch or vineyard, but there are also benefits to making wine from fresh-frozen, preserved fruits and berries:

  • Frozen produce is often higher in quality if it has been quickly prepped and preserved, especially as opposed to summer produce that has had to sit and wait for us to have the time to deal with it, and perhaps experienced a loss of quality in the meantime.
  • Frozen fruit can be easier to handle, because the freezing and thawing process actually does a lot of the work of crushing and preparing the produce for you.
  • Frozen fruit and produce, whether your own fresh-frozen harvest or frozen purchased at a local grocer, is already prepped, peeled, cleaned, and ready to go, making short work of putting a batch of homemade wine together.
  • Good fruit is readily available in both fresh and frozen forms at local grocery stores throughout the winter months.
  • With the variety of produce available through good grocers, you can make wine out of all sorts of fruit and produce, including some that you might not otherwise be able to grow or access locally.

More Than Just Fruit Wine

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that winter winemaking is limited to only frozen fruits, though. Many things are excellent winter winemakers; top of the list is, in fact, one of the easiest possible things you can make wine from, straight from Mother Nature’s most ambitious of helpers:

Homegrown Honey for wine

Honey is PERFECT for Winter Winemaking!

• Honey! Mead is wine made from honey and is quite possibly the BEST ingredient to make real, natural wine in the winter, solely for the reason that there is no difference between fresh-harvested honey or honey you tap a month or two or three later. Mead (honey wine) can be made very sweet or just barely so, and so can easily be made to your own taste when you make your own.
• Flavored meads are also perfect for winter winemaking. Technically called melomels (mead flavored with fruit) or metheglins (herbed/spiced meads), nicely-balanced flavored meads can be made with ingredients such as dried elderberry or elderflower, citrus, spices, apples, berries, or other frozen or fresh fruits of virtually any imaginable variety.
• Frozen or preserved fruit juices you may have put up earlier in the year are also ideal for making wine in the winter. Maybe you put a little something aside to enjoy later? Or prepped some juice that you never had time to make into jelly? That juice is just the perfect thing to make a homemade wine with!

What Other Options are there for Winter Winemaking?

But wait, there’s more!

Yes, there are still other products and ingredients that you can use for winemaking in the off-season. These are ingredients you can find readily either at your local grocery store or through winemaking suppliers, online and off:

• Juice from concentrate. Yes, you can actually make some fun homemade wines with frozen juice concentrate from the freezer section of your grocery store.
• Vintners juice. Vintners’ juice is concentrated fruit juice designed for winemaking. It is sold in bulk sizes ideal for making wine at home, and is a perfect base for making wine in the winter. You can add fresh or dried fruits or berries to vintner’s juice to make a more robust and flavorful wine, or you can simply add ingredients to the juice to ferment it.
• Rehydrated dried fruit and juice. Similar to how you might rehydrate a dried fruit or berry for cooking or juice-making (such as for elderberry syrup from dehydrated fruit), you can make a juice from dried fruit or berries and then add the necessary ingredients to ferment that juice into wine. It’s a fair option that works best for smaller batches (around one gallon). The juice can benefit from further flavoring by adding more dried ingredient into the batch when preparing for the first fermentation.

Is Making Homemade Wine Hard?

In a word? No. But it’s easy to see why home winemaking has that reputation.

The reason?

Winemaking has entered into some very scientific fields, both commercially and for home winemakers. But the truth is that it does not need to be as complicated as it often is. It is very possible to take home winemaking back to the basics the way many generations did before us—before all the added sulfites, preservatives, and chemical profiling. You just need a good resource that steps back from the “rules” of today, and gets you back to good, basic home wine making.

easy home winemaking

There are many good resources online, and a few good books on the subject. In Wine Making Made Easy: How to Make Easy Homemade Wines from Grapes, Fruit & More, you will find instructions and recipes for cheap, easy home winemaking without over-investing in equipment, and without getting overwhelmed with the process (in fact, much or all of what you need you may already have at home!). It’s good, honest home winemaking, taken back to the basics for good, honest, cleaner, preservative-free wine.

Pick up a copy today, and enjoy your new winter winemaking hobby!

New Book! Easy Homemade Bread – No Stand Mixer Needed!

Quick-Time Homemade Bread Easy bread recipes
Now Available in Paperback and on Kindle – Easy, faster yeast bread recipes, no stand mixer needed, Excellent NO KNEAD BREAD RECIPES!

ORDER NOW in PAPERBACK or KINDLE

Now Available: Quick-Time Homemade Bread and Pastries: Real Homemade Yeast Breads, Rolls, and Doughs Made Simple, In Less Time

Another new release! This is the book that makes bread-making easy for those who do not have a stand mixer. The same great time-saving ingredients and technique as the Daily Bread series, without the need for costly large stand mixers (much as we love them, they are pricy!).

This is also a book for those looking for new instant-yeast bread recipes and for those looking for no-knead bread recipes–quite possibly the best and EASIEST bread you could ever bake!


Good bread isn’t especially hard to make, but it does take time. Time that is more and more precious these busy days. It’s a problem for those of us who really want that cleaner, better, nostalgia-inducing, wholesome goodness.

The Solution: A Quicker Way to Make Easy Homemade Bread

A little known fact to many home bakers is that we now have some excellent products available to us that make our bread-baking lives easier. When you know the right way to use them, they make homemade bread-baking time SHORTER, too! With a little adjustment to your shopping list and a solid list of reliable recipes, suddenly you can find the time to bake GREAT breads and treats once again. This book brings the know-how and the recipes. You bring the groceries.

Bakery-Quality Recipes for Homemade Bread and More

Here we cover all the bases for faster, easier homemade bread baking. Armed with this book, and with minimal time investment, you can make traditional white breads, wheat and whole-grain breads, fabulous artisan-style no-knead breads, quick croissants and crescent rolls, homemade yeast donuts, bagels, pretzels, pizza doughs, and more.

Use the “Look Inside” feature for a look at the Table of Contents and a full list of recipes included in this book. Some featured favorites include:

•Farm Hearth White Bread

•Cranberry-Apple Bread

•Old Fashioned Potato bread

•Homestead Honey Oat Bread

•Basically Baguette

•Dinner Rolls

•Rise and Shine Cinnamon Rolls

•Nutty Sticky Buns

•Fast & Easy Herb & Cheese Garlic Knots

•Donuts, Bagels, & Sweet Bread Treats

•No-Knead At All Rustic Loaf

•No-Knead Sourdough Bread

•No-Knead Chunky Chocolate Cherry Almond Bread

•Pita Pockets

•Soft Pretzels

•More and More!

All of these recipes, all of this homemade goodness…with this simplified method, and without tying up all your time! A little modern ingenuity, a little traditional wholesome goodness…a match made in heaven and the best way to eat cleaner, better, breads again!

https://amzn.to/2QysSRP

Many homemade bread recipes, easy sweet roll recipes, simple dinner roll recipes, and no-knead recipes, great for beginners through experienced bakers. An excellent arsenal of easier, simple, real bread recipes to have on hand.

ORDER NOW in PAPERBACK or KINDLE

New Release: Wine Making Made Easy

Here we go again, but a bit of a different path this time!

Once again, I’ve set off to share easier, more simplified, more doable ways to enjoy homemade goods and bring back some of that solid country homesteading knowledge. This time, it’s winemaking at home–easy country winemaking without all the modern chemistry and fuss.

ORDER Your Copy NOW! Paperback or Kindle

Wine Making Made Easy: How to Make Easy Homemade Wine from Grapes, Fruit, & More by Mary Ellen Ward

Winemaking is so complicated! …Or is it?

Home wine making used to be simple. And now it is again!

Our grandparents, and generations of grandparents before them, made excellent wines with minimal fuss, minimal equipment, and no added sulfites or additives. They made them not just from grapes but from all manner of available fruits, berries, honey, and other produce. They didn’t spend a lot of money. They didn’t overwhelm themselves with minuscule measurements and chemistry. They didn’t dwindle down the savings to buy pricey containers for fermenting or for storing. They made wine in tune with the rhythms of nature, with basic equipment.

They made Good. Simple. Cheap. Easy. Homemade Wine!

If you’ve always wanted to make wine but thought the process or investment was beyond you, this is the book for you. This is the book that takes winemaking back to its roots. The no-fuss, no-frills method of wine making that uses everyday equipment you can buy right downtown. This simplified and basic process uses no added preservatives, sulfites, or unrecognizable ingredients. Just good, clean, wine-making for good, clean, fun-making wine!

Amazon.com

Available Now in Paperback and Kindle Versions

Copies are now available at Amazon.com. This is the book for all of you who have thought about making fun, tasty wines at home, but were always a bit scared of the prospect. We’re taking it back to the basics here. We’re taking the fear out of it–and the EXPENSE, too! Order your copy today!

P.S. These are great books for holiday gift-giving!

P.P.S. This isn’t just a book for the summer growing season! Find out how to make wines in the off-season (when you have more time!?) with frozen fruits, honey, vintner’s juices, and more.

P.P.P.S. Enjoy, and Many Thanks!

Get your copy here: Paperback or Kindle.

Stand Mixer and KitchenAid Bread Recipe Book Now In Paperback!

No Kindle? Prefer your cookbooks in good, old-fashioned paper form?

Not a problem – you can now own Your Daily Homemade Bread, too!

Your Daily Homemade Bread Easy Stand Mixer Bread Recipes: Best Basics is now on sale through Amazon.com in paperback (as well as the Kindle version). Buy it now and feed your family (much!) better, for less!

About The Popular KitchenAid Bread & Stand Mixer Bread Book:

Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer Bread Recipes

Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer Bread Recipes

“If you have a KitchenAid® or other stand mixer in your kitchen, you have the one essential tool necessary for baking wonderfully fresh, wonderfully flavored bread on a regular basis. Included here are eleven stand mixer bread recipes plus two dinner roll options covering all the basics from traditional white to rye, wheat, and an excellent multigrain bread, too. In addition, you’ll learn eight additional ways to use the basic white bread recipe to easily create anything from bread bowls to cinnamon buns. This is a carefully selected collection of the most popular bread basics to bring you a solid dietary base without becoming overwhelmed. A complete discussion of the basic stand mixer bread method is included, along with a thorough discussion about the right yeast to use (there’s a specific type that makes this method work!). Also included is a quick talk on the subject of substitutions and sweetener flexibility to help adjust recipes to suit your dietary needs and preferences, including what is and is not possible. …A complete collection delivering reliability, flexibility, flavor, and FRESHNESS to your table, leaving behind all the unnecessary and undesirable preservatives, chemicals, and conditioners that you’ll find in commercial breads (including many that call themselves “homemade”).”

 

And What A Nice Review Already!

“Mary has written the simplest bread book. The white bread was so easy, I thought I had done something wrong. I was not expecting the fluffy, heavenly rolls that I MADE! My kids devoured them. I’m trying everything in the book.”
(Many Thanks to Momma Chix!!)

 

Order your copy today, and start eating better for less!

 

Welcome! Here’s A Bit About Me….

Of course the first order of business is to welcome you to my new site. So,

Welcome!

Homesteading and Self SufficiencyThe second order is to introduce myself and to let you all get to know a little about me, who I am, and why (I think) I’m worth following.  I’ve actually written an entire page about this, so I really will not get too far into it here, but let me give you the short story.

I’m a New England country girl who grew up on a dairy farm in Massachusetts, and now live on a small 3-acre “homestead” farm in the same state (different town). Although I balked at aspects of the work and farming life as a youngster who had better things to do, today I am very grateful for that upbringing and my husband and I (and yes our kids, too) have worked to find ways to incorporate homesteading and self sufficient living into our everyday, modern lives. I doubt we’d be considered as “modern” as many others out there and believe me, to us that is no insult. We take great pride and enjoyment in the lifestyle we’ve achieved and continue to work toward, and I hope to share a lot of our tips, tricks, journey, practices, and thoughts here on this site.

Similarly, I pass no judgement on those who do not choose our lifestyle, but I also think there are many people, not unlike us, who would like to find some way to make self sufficient homesteading or something closer to it more a part of their lives. We’ve been through many stages along our journey, and that is why this site is here–to help anyone who wants to find what works for them, to the degree and level of self sufficiency that is right for you.

This site will be about many things: the many different aspects of homesteading, the varieties of possibilities, the ways that you can incorporate small-scale self-sufficiency into your daily life despite modern pressures and demands upon it. It is also about raising a family, values, and ways to meet a budget. In many ways those topics become discussions about reduction of waste, greener, cleaner, living, and much more.

So I welcome you to my site and I am glad to have you here. I am more than open to your comments, questions, requests for information on specific topics, and respectful contact. If you would like to know a little bit more about me and mine and an overview of how we live, I invite you to visit the About Us page.

Thanks for your time and please come back often!