This rustic bread is named after the "Little House on the Prairie" book in which it appears. It's made with ground wheat berries, bacon drippings and a homemade sourdough starter. Enjoy a warm hunk (with freshly churned butter, of course) and imagine a life on the prairie.
This recipe is adapted from "The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods From Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories" by Barbara M. Walker (Harper Collins, 1989). It was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
To make the sourdough starter, mix 1 1/4 cups white flour with 1 cup warm (95 degrees) water in a 1-quart glass jar. Cover with lid or cheesecloth and let stand in a warm place until the batter rises. This may take days. Stir only if liquid rises to the top. The starter should smell sour and have a tacky texture.
- 1 Cup sourdough starter (see notes)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 Cups warm water
- 1 Pound wheat berries
- 1 Teaspoon bacon drippings
- 2 Teaspoons salt
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
Step 1: Place 1 cup sourdough starter in a bowl; add 2 1/2 cups flour and 2 cups warm water. Mix; set aside in a warm place until bubbly, about 2 hours.
Step 2: In a clean coffee grinder, grind 1 pound wheat berries to get 3 1/2 cups flour. Grease a 9- or 10-inch pie pan with 1 teaspoon bacon drippings.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of the starter-flour mixture, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 3 cups of the wheat berry flour.
Step 4: Knead the dough into a round loaf. Place in prepared pan. (Return remaining starter to fridge.) Score the loaf two or three times to make wedges. Cover; let rise, 30 minutes.
Step 5: About 10 minutes before the loaf is finished rising, preheat oven to 350 F. Bake loaf for 45 minutes; cool before eating.