Mountain Bread

Growing up in the South, we had a lot of traditions. An abundance. But one of my favorite traditions was special to our little family. After church on Sundays we would stop by Publix and pick up some oven roasted turkey and white mountain bread to make sandwiches.

[Publix makes whole wheat white mountain bread now. Man, I love Publix.]

So if you’re switching to a real food diet it might not take you long to realize buying bread at the store is a bit of a challenge. Add that to the list of questions we get about our diet, “What do you do about bread?!” So this bread is our solution. A welcome solution considering we call Lucy a carbivore. Here’s a recipe I adapted from a message board recipe I found years [and years] ago.

Mountain Bread [with vegan adaptations]
Makes 1 loaf

3/8 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
a pinch of sugar

3/4 cup warm milk [almond milk]
1 1/2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter [earth balance vegan spread]
1 1/2 tablespoons honey [agave]
2 1/2 – 3 cups flour (all purpose, white wheat, spelt, or high protein gluten free)*
1/2 tablespoon salt

[If you want your bread to be light and airy make sure you’re measuring the flour by scooping it into the measuring cup with a spoon.]

Start off by mixing the warm water [about 100F, but I don’t usually use a thermometer], yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

While this is resting, heat up the milk and butter. After the starter has rested, add the milk and butter, honey, flour, and salt. Mix until blended and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough and let it rest for 30 more minutes. After 30 minutes transfer the dough to a baking mat or parchment. It is a loose dough but let it rise for another 45 minutes. Now would be a good time to preheat your oven to 375F.

About 20 minutes into the last rise you might realize the dough is spreading too much. I like to pull the sides of the bread back to the top and make it look a bit more like the mountain it was named for [whip it into shape]. You can see where the bread was before I pulled the sides up.

After the final rest, bake the bread for 30-35 minutes. I transfer it to and from the oven with a pizza peel. You should be able to knock on the bread and hear a soft hollow sound when it’s done.

Sometimes if we’re feeling crazy we make up some honey butter to eat with it. So good! I love this bread most because it’s totally acceptable for sandwiches. It’s soft on the inside without a lot of crumb. Yum.

*During the summer I use closer to 3 cups but during the winter I use closer to 2 1/2. If you’re making this bread for the first time be aware that you may not use all of the flour. Only add as much flour as you need to make it kneadable.

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19 thoughts on “Mountain Bread

  1. Little Sis says:

    A lovely answer to the question of what a real food eater would do about bread… what a sad commentary on our food system that this even needs to be a question. Thanks for the vegan adaptations. I’d love to give this a go!

  2. Heather says:

    I think you should follow this up with instructions on how to hand churn the honey butter. Can you tell its almost lunch time? You’re making me extra hungry thinking about this bread..

  3. Wow…that is SO beautiful, Beth! I really need to get back into baking bread…it’s so much cheaper!

  4. And for the record, between me always having to do a low-carb diet during all 3 of my pregnancies and Jonathan’s wheat allergy, we rarely have bread. We usually have a loaf of EnerG bread that has been divided up into baggies and frozen and maybe a loaf of crappy sandwich bread for Shane (he’s picky!), but bread is something we only eat a few times a week, if that. I also tend to have no brakes when it comes to eating bread. ;)

    • heybethbaker says:

      I ate way too much of this! I do a bread or biscuit for 2 to 3 meals a week. Always from scratch. But lately I’ve only been doing two days because I’m the same way. I.Can’t.Stop.

  5. Nikki says:

    All comments about how yummy it looks and how much we love making bread aside, my main question is, dearest Beth, what is a pizza peel?

    • heybethbaker says:

      It’s the wooden or metal contraption to take pizza in and out of the oven. Like a square or circle with a long handle. The cheaper ones go for $10-20. We make our pizza from scratch on parchment paper so it’s kind of a must for transferring it to the pizza stone that’s already in the oven.

  6. Melonnie Murphy says:

    That look sooooo good. I will have to try it next week.

  7. mommalovescookin says:

    Totally gonna make this, and send it to school in my carbivores lunches! I have 3 of them you know, now I have a word for them too! Thanks x2!!!

  8. Looking forward to Christmas and letting you cook while I play with my babies….. So proud of you baby girl… Love you bunches:-)

  9. Laura says:

    I’ve made this three times since you posted it … the kids absolutely *love* it and it made fabulous sandwiches for kindergarten lunch! I’ve posted my results on my blog. Thanks for the recipe!

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