Baked Goods

Artisan Flax Seed Bread

by Nancy Sleeth

Y’all heard me rave about Almost Amish Nancy’s homemade bread on our fifth stop. Tickled to report she’s giving us one of her bread recipes along with her two cents’ worth to help us take the plunge. Enjoy:

I started making bread nearly two decades ago, when my husband left his medical practice for full-time ministry. If you think homemade bread is difficult, try this recipe—it’s simple and forgiving, attributes I seek in the kitchen as well as friendship!
Once you have baked a few successful loafs, feel free to experiment: try substituting one cup of whole wheat for the unbleached flour, or knead in after the first rising half a cup each of dried cranberries and chopped walnuts instead of the flax seed. You will quickly find that the look, taste, and smell of this bread is always yummilicious!!!

Twelve to twenty-four hours before you plan to serve the bread, mix in the mix master (or by hand):

5 cups unbleached flour
¾ teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flax seed


  • Add 2 cups of water until a soft dough forms. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and form into a loose ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise for 8-22 hours.
  • About 3-4 hours before serving, spread a thick coat of flour on a cutting board. Remove plastic wrap from bowl. Using a plastic spatula, scrape the dough onto the cutting board. If the dough is too moist to hold its shape, knead in up to ½ cup more flour. Tucking the sides under, shape the dough into a poufy circle, about 8 inches in diameter. Make sure there is still plenty of flour under the dough on the cutting board, then cover the dough with a towel and allow dough to rise 2-3 hours. (If your schedule won’t allow for this second rising, no problem—the final loaf may not be quite as pretty but will still taste and smell wonderful!)
  • About 70 minutes before serving, preheat a large, covered enameled pot (like a Le Creusset, a dutch oven) in the oven until it reaches 400 degrees. Use potholders to remove the pot from the oven; take off the top, and coat the bottom interior of the pot with nonstick spray. Dust your hands with flour. Using a flat spatula, lift the dough and drop it into the preheated pot. (It’s okay if the dough doesn’t look pretty when you plop it into the pot—it will rise some more while cooking.)

Bake for 30 minutes with top on. Remove top and then cook for 15 minutes more with the top off. Remove bread from oven and cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Break bread with family and friends; spread with soft BUTTER and plenty of love!


Chocolate Truffle Loaf with Raspberry Sauce (Gluten Free!)

(from Yours Truly)

I can’t think of a better, crowd pleasing or more impressive dessert to wow your friends than this one. A little bit goes a long, long way.

It’s called a “loaf” because you slice it like a loaf of bread. Slices need to be on the thin side, too, because this is so rich you may go into a chocolate coma if you consume too much. What a stellar problem that would be.

This recipe is worth every single minute it takes. You can make it ahead of time, just don’t get into it before you offer it to your company. Of course, if you put it on a platter and slice away, nobody knows the original size of the loaf, now then, do they?

2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 packages, 8-ounces each, of Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate
½ cup Karo Light or Dark Corn Syrup
½ cup BUTTER
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cool Whip for topping when loaf is complete
1 package of frozen raspberries
1/3 cup Karo Corn Syrup
1 small container of fresh raspberries

Raspberry Sauce:

Thaw and strain one package of frozen raspberries. In blender, puree the raspberries, stirring in the Karo Syrup. Set aside.


  • Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Mix ½ cup cream with egg yolks. In 3-quart saucepan stir chocolate, corn syrup and BUTTER over medium heat until melted. Add egg mixture. Stirring constantly, cook three minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  • Beat remaining cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate until no streaks remain. Pour into pan. Refrigerate overnight or chill in the freezer for three hours.
  • To serve, slice like you would a loaf of bread (Don’t forget a little goes a long, long way) and serve with raspberry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

Serves 12.



(from Olivia Kirtley)

This is one of a gazillion recipes I’ve gotten from Olivia. (You got to meet and hear from her on our Third Stop. She’s one of my Abbies.) All of her recipes are tried and true. This one is especially easy and great to have on hand for your kids, or overnight guests, or just because:

1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine (I asked Olivia if one could use BUTTER instead. She said if you did that, it would become vegetarian, not vegan.)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
dash of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 ripe bananas


  • Combine margarine, vanilla, and sugar.
  • Mix flour, soda, salt and add to dry mixture
  • Mash bananas until soupy and add.
  • Bake in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  • Do not overcook.
  • Cool and consume!


English Royalty Chocolate Chip Scones

(from Yours Truly)

“Elizabethan” sounds like royalty, doesn’t it? I thought this recipe only fitting for my Elizabethan Sisters, especially since it has CHOCOLATE in it. It also has a dash of orange juice which mixes things up a bit, giving these babies quite a zesty flavor. Make these the next time you have friends over for coffee or take them to a friend who needs a little pick-me-up.

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted BUTTER, chilled and cubed
½ to a whole cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (By now you know I’d err on the more generous amount of chocolate!)
3 Tablespoons orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray baking sheet with a non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, backing powder and salt.
  • Cut in BUTTER with a knife and fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Toss in chocolate chips.
  • Mix in the orange juice to form the dough.
  • Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Roll into a 9-inch circle, about ½ inch thick.
  • Use a 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter (Or you can just cut them into triangles.)
  • Cut out 12 scones, transferring them to your baking sheet.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Have BUTTER ready to roll and/or your favorite jelly or jam.

(As a decorative option, if you’re not opposed to sugar, sprinkle the large, granular sugar onto the scones just before you put them in the oven.)


Glazed Honeymoon Muffins

This recipe is featured in Liz Curtis Higgs’s novel, Mixed Signals

A brief back story to this recipe from Liz is, believe it or not, she and Bill created this together! She’s says it’s representative of their personalities since they’re “as different as bananas and nuts!” Only Liz…

Sidebar: It’s been my delirious delight to have eaten dozens, by now, of Bill’s homemade yeast rolls. The first time he brought them to a dinner party where we all were together I was stunned to know this was a regular occurrence in the Higgs’ house. I’ve learned to request them if they’re coming here for dinner. (I keep threatening to move into their guest room.)

The below recipe for muffins has fantastic ingredients, which is why they are so good, slathered with the glaze that well, makes my mouth water just to read it, much less eat the muffin! I’m tempted to try this with a few chocolate chips thrown in as well.

Why not?

Here’s Lizzie:

½ cup BUTTER, softened
½ cup sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup honey
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
2 Tablespoons BUTTER, softened
2 Tablespoons honey


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream BUTTER.
  • Add sugar. Beat well.
  • Stir in bananas, eggs, and honey.
  • Blend sifted flour, soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Stir into banana mixture.
  • Add peanuts and stir until just combined.
  • Bake in greased muffin tins for 25-30 minutes or until muffins spring back when tested.


  • Combine butter and honey in small bowl and stir until smooth.
  • Brush warm muffins with glaze. Serve warm.


Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sour Cream Mini Muffins

(from Bonnie Johnson)

The first time I was introduced to these mini-muffins, I was so stunned at their deliciousness, I was rendered speechless. I couldn’t talk, but I could surely pop another one into my mouth, which I promptly did. You just have no idea how the BUTTER and sour cream blend so well with the flour. They are mini-masterpieces. Again, if I can make these, you can!

2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup BUTTER, melted
1 cup sour cream


  • Blend the above ingredients together. Dough will be sticky.
  • Spoon into a twenty-four mini-muffin tin.
  • Bake at 375 degrees until brown, usually about twenty minutes.


Motivation-for-Getting-To-Bible-Study Biscuits (Gluten Free option included)

(from Jane Chilton)

I alluded to the fact that Jane texts the Abbies many a Wednesday morning with, “Biscuits are in the oven. They’ll be ready at 10:00.” I’d love to tell you we dash to Bible study, super promptly, week after week, but many of us run on the late side. Like Oreos dangling before the racing pigs at the Kentucky State Fair, these biscuits make The Abbies race to Bible study.

These biscuits were made famous and inhaled by thousands of customers when Lynn’s Paradise Café was open. Southern Living featured the Café’s owner, Lynn, and many of her recipes annually.

Lynn defined eclectic from the décor to the menu to the gift shop. Many a year I’d trek there purely to shop for stocking stuffers. (Shhh, don’t tell my children.)

If these biscuits work in my kitchen, they’ll work in yours. Make them for company, but don’t reveal the highly nutritious ingredients. Your secret is safe with me:

4 cups White Lily flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup butter (Lynn’s recipe calls for shortening.)
1 ½ cups BUTTERmilk
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons BUTTER, melted


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  • Cut the butter into the flower mixture with a pastry blender until it’s the size of small peas. (I don’t own a pastry blender nor do I know what one is, I just use a fork and a knife, to which most chefs are now visibly horrified.)
  • Pour in the BUTTERmilk and cream. Fold and blend together with a rubber spatula. The dough will be very sticky and wet.
  • Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Spoon the batter into the pan, and even it out with the rubber spatula. Dust your hands with flour, and lightly pat the dough until it is even and is pressed into the corners.
  • Using a floured table knife or pastry cutter, cut through the dough to make 9 or 16 square biscuits. Brush with melted BUTTER, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Test to make sure the biscuits are done by carefully lifting the crust of the middle biscuit and poking the bread underneath. The bread should spring back when pressed. If the dough still seems wet and spongy, put the biscuits back in the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until firm.
  • Remove the biscuits from the oven, letting them rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  • Makes 9, 3-inch or 16, 2-inch biscuits.

(Any of you needing a gluten free option, Jane makes a smaller portion for our friend, Betsy using gluten free flour.)