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Locally-Grown Wheat Makes Bread Homemade from Start to Finish

04/04/2013 @ 11:00pm

Thirty-five years ago, Cathy Carlson was interested in finding a way to provide a second income without having to leave home.  She had always enjoyed baking and was fascinated by wedding cakes, so she enrolled in adult education classes and launched a home-based business.

Today Cathy’s Country Cook’n is known for beautiful wedding cakes, creative birthday cakes and festive cupcakes, as well as other delicious baked goods like cookies, pies and breads. 

Cathy’s baking business continues to expand through partnerships with local businesses and consumers.  She and her husband, Dennis, are board members of a regional food working group called Healthy Harvest of North Iowa.  During the Christmas season, they run a retail store inside Carlson Learning Tree Lodge that features wares from local vendors including homemade jams, jellies, candies, baked goods, sewing items and handcrafted wood items.  

Cathy takes “homemade bread making” to a whole new level by growing her own wheat.  Three years ago she and Dennis had the opportunity to purchase an additional five-acre field adjacent to their farm.  They were talking about what to plant in that field when Cathy had the idea to try growing wheat that she could then use in her baking business.

BAKER’S TIP: Our palettes aren’t used to 100% whole wheat, so Cathy converts recipes by using half white flour and half whole wheat flour.  Pure wheat flour doesn’t rise as high as white flour, so Cathy experiments to see how much I can add to sweet breads and still get a good rise.

Cathy is sharing her recipe for 60 Minute Rolls.  Click on this link for the ingredients and directions.

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