Posts tagged ‘honey’

January 27, 2012

a love for Love and a little honey, too

by Jillian Douglas

Oh, this is so perfect! I adore Valentine’s Day. I think love should be celebrated as much as possible, and even before love came to me, little feathers floated up my spine whenever I thought of this romantic holiday.

Maybe I’m this way because of many Disney movies swirling my chillun self into the abyss of romance and lovability and moments of beauty and kisses. But it runs so deeply within me, I think God just poured a heap of this unquenchable desire into my tiny heart when He made me.

I didn’t know until I perused my blog subscriptions and found this Etsy blog post last evening that not only is Saint Valentine responsible for giving us, inmyopinion, the best holiday ever, but he is also the Patron Saint of the Beekeepers. And if there’s anything else that makes my little heart giddy, it’s dreaming of keeping bees one day (which all started with this book right here). Somewhere in my future are fields of thick, golden honey, covering a lightly toasted slice of bread or hidden in countless, delicious concoctions. Beekeeping has the charm of farming, but skips the reek and (sad) butchering.

Anyways, this little piece of information, folks, made me smile and appreciate Mr. Valentine even more. I’m not a believer in saints and powers that people have given them, but I do like those odd little connections that sneak up on you sometimes.

Now I know for most of you, just thinking about another day so focused on the lack of love in your life will put you in the gloomiest of moods for prettymuchforever. But please, readers, open your heart a little more this year- before or even after the 14th. Be reminded of all the love your parents poured over you when the world was much smaller. Remember the little joys of a best friend passing you a note during class, or trading a bit of his lunch with you. Remember that with every sunbeam of happiness, with every spec of glee, God is still pouring that Love into your life, for you to experience and treasure.

I hope you do.

Here’s some more Valentine’s Day love:

Give your sweetie something handcrafted this year.

Send a letter to someone nifty; fancy it up with a wax seal!

Remember the good ol’ days of making handmade valentines and handing them out to your classmates and friends? Why not try that again? Etsy is collecting valentines so they can cheer up someone in need come V-day. Hurry- deadline is the 7th!

Put a little love in your hearts! Enjoy a free reading of romantic love poetry at Writers and Books in Rochester on February 7.

Photo by Jill Douglas.

November 14, 2011

No-Knead Clover Honey Dough

by Jillian Douglas

A couple weeks ago I picked up a book lying on the coffee table that my mom had gotten at the library… and read the whole thing through. Heartland: The Cookbook is filled with glorious recipes and beautifully written glimpses of what life in the west is like, from the various Scandinavian ancestral influences to the history of the All-American Hamburger. Go check it out. It’s wonderful.

Visit the photographer's great food blog here:

With this cookbook, along with Pioneer Woman’s hilarious blog about living on a ranch and this Hoof and Heel song, I am ready to move out west. I’d love to experience the great prairie in all of its flatness, embrace the earth’s longing for growth, and revel in the abundance of cheese.

Okay, it’s settled. I’m becoming a cowgirl.

But in the meantime I plan on making this wonderful No-Knead Clover Honey Bread over and over again! Judith Fertig‘s recipe is super easy to follow, and the bread is simply delicious, full of sweet honey flavor, and slightly sticky.  The dough can be used for many different types of baked bread, like loaves, dinner rolls, coffee cakes, and sweet cinnamon rolls.


Taken out of Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig

Makes 24 to 32 servings



6 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons fine kosher salt

1 cup clover or other amber honey

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 large eggs

Warm water (about 100°F)


1. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup, level with a knife or your finer, then dump the flour into a 16-cup mixing bowl.

2. Add the yeast and salt to the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk.

Mix the honey, oil, and eggs together in a 4-cup measuring cup. Add enough warm water to reach the 4-cup mark and stir together. Pour the honey mixture into the flour mixture, stir to combine, then beat for 40 strokes, scraping the bottom and the sides of the bowl, until the dough forms a lumpy, sticky mass.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (72°F) for 2 hours, or until the dough has risen to about 2 inches below the rim of the bowl and has a spongelike appearance.

4. Use that day or place the dough, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking. If you like, write the date on the plastic wrap so you know the bake-by date for your dough.

So then the next page has the recipe for making Clover Honey Boules (2 large loaves), which is what I made with half of the batter. It was gone in a record three days.



1 batch No-Knead Clover Honey Dough

Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting


1. To bake into 2 round loaves, preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half on a floured surface. Coax the dough into a round shape and place each round on the prepared baking sheets. Pinch any seams closed, cover with kitchen towels, and let rest at room temperature for 40 minutes.

2. Bake for 40 to 42 minutes, or until the crust is a shiny, medium brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted int he center of the loaf registers at least 190°F. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy right away with Farmhouse Butter (another recipe in her book), or let cool, wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months. Freeze any leftover or stale bread to use in bread puddings.

Happy baking, my friends! Let me know how it turns out. And do you have any bread recipes I should try out?