Our daily bread and vegies - UPDATED ... AGAIN!

2 May 2008

I love that first day after work is finished for the week when I get back into the garden again. That space is where I grow too. I have a garden bench out there and I sit and think, talk to the animals, watch the chooks and generally just luxuriate in the natural wonder of it all. Oh, and sometimes I help with the gardening. ; - )

It's looking good out there now that the plants are starting to put on good growth. The silverbeet in this photo will be picked today for dinner tonight. I love the coloured stems of silverbeet (chard). Here we have rhubarb chard, which is the very dark red one, ruby chard, a lighter brighter red, the plain white stems and hidden in there are yellow stems as well.

Just at the side of the chard we're growing button squash and when I picked some for dinner last night, I noticed powdery mildew starting to grow on them. I'll have to do something about that today.

A bit further over there are cucumbers just beginning their climb to the top of a trellis, guarded at their front by a thick row of French radishes; at the side sweet capsicums (peppers) are ripening in the sun.

For dinner last night we had steamed potatoes and pumpkin dressed with parsley and butter, button squash and red onions - lightly sauteed, and brussel sprouts. That was followed by a simple rice pudding (recipe given a few days ago) with warm peaches that I preserved last summer.

I made bread rolls for lunch that we had still warm from the oven. I had fresh tomato and avocado on mine, with a cup of black tea. Delicious. The rolls were very good - crispy on the crust with light and fluffy bread inside. They were sprinkled with a little polenta. When you grow some of your own food and know how to cook, one thing is certain - you can always rustle up a decent feed.

At the end of the day, when I went out to pick our dinner from the garden, I took a couple of these bread rolls out for the chooks to eat. They enjoyed them too. No doubt Hanno will polish off the last of them for breakfast this morning.

The rest of the day was taken up with a bit of cleaning and a lot of knitting. I'm knitting some dishcloths with a new bamboo and cotton yarn. It's very strong and comes in some beautiful colours, but it's a bit fiddly to knit. I hope to do some knitting today as well but I have to start a magazine article so my day will be fashioned around getting that done.

Thank you all for dropping by and for the comments you leave. I read every single one of them. I am sometimes sent links to various sites and videos by my regular readers and I always look at them when I have time. However, I am also being sent a lot of email requests to do paid reviews, put links on my blog and generally promote a lot of commercial topics. I will never do any of that, so to all those people who drop by to promote their own product or website, save your time and try elsewhere.

I'm making these again today to make sure of my amounts. I'm pretty sure this is what I used yesterday. I rarely use written recipes so this is just from my head. If there needs to be a change, I'll let you know later this morning.

Recipe for bread rolls in the bread machine

  • 3½ cups bread flour - can be white, wholemeal, rye, grain - whatever. If you use a heavier flour you'll need to increase the amount of water used.
  • 1 teaspoon salt. Please use good salt, not table salt. Even cooking salt is better than table salt.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Put all the above in your bread machine bucket.

In a teacup add and mix up:
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

  • plus another cup of warm water - I can't tell you the exact amount of water you'll use. That will depend on your flour and the weather. Start with the 1¾ cups and you might have to add more.
Mix the ingredients in the cup and allow to stand for 5 minutes. You want your yeast to prove - it will look like this:

If the yeast doesn't froth up, it's dead and you'll have to buy new yeast. Always store your yeast in the fridge, it will keep longer. When the yeast is frothy and bubbling, add it to the dry mix, making sure all the sugar is either dissolved or added to the flour mix. Turn your machine on to the "dough" setting and let it mix the dough.

When it's finished, remove the dough and roll it into a long cigar shape - about 12 inches long. Cut into about 8 pieces for large rolls or 12 pieces for small rolls. Take each piece of dough and work it with your hands into a nice round ball. Place all the balls on a baking tray, add seeds, polenta or a criss-cross and allow to rise for about 30 minutes - depending on the temperature in your house. If you can put them in the sun they'll only take about 10 minutes to rise.

Turn on your oven so it's hot when you put the rolls in. Bread has two types of rising - one is from the yeast you use, the other is called "oven lift" - you get this when you put properly proved bread dough into a HOT oven. The heat immediately starts to lift the bread. That, my friends is what you want. Adding dough to a warm oven won't give you the same result.

Good luck with your rolls, everyone.

OOPS - ruralinspirations has just reminded me I didn't tell you about the temp for baking these rolls. As I said, put the rolls into a HOT oven (that is one that has been sitting on at least 200C for about 10 minutes). Then cook on 200C (395F) until they're golden brown and you can smell baked bread.


I tested the above recipe and everything is fine. Just monitor the water yourselves as it's always a bit different. Pictured below are today's bread rolls, just out of the oven.

Happy baking everyone!


  1. Hi Rhonda Jean
    Have just made a loaf of bread using rainbow silver beet, the tiny specks of red, yellow and green look great and the flavour was awesome.
    Also have used the bamboo yarn, but daughters snaffled the finished cloths, they report that the yarn is very hard wearing.

  2. Hello Rhonda Jean,
    my favourite sandwich filling is tomato and avacado but it is a rare treat here in the, still chilly, U.K.. I am deffinately going to try comfrey tea this year. I usually cut the comfrey leaves, chop them and mulch the tomatoes with them.
    I wonder if I could get an avacado to fruit in the greenhouse? Do they have to be very big to bear fruit?(probably pie in the sky but we can all dream can't we!!)
    Warm regards Julie xx.

  3. Hi Rhonda,

    Lovely looking rolls, would love to have the recipie but cant find it on the home cooking link, could you please tell me where to find it or add an additional post. Please .... they look so good and wonderful to have once the kids get home from school.
    Have a wonderful productive day,its very wet here in tassie today, so I hope to make wheat bags instead of gardening.

  4. Hi,
    I have just found your blog and LOVE it!!
    Thank you for talking so much about the simple life and the words from your heart.
    Blessings to you,

  5. Hi Rhonda,

    The garden looks wonderful, may I please ask a question? What size knitting needles do you use for your cloths, I would like to make some for pressies and to use myself. Your bread looks wonderful I may even give this a go on Sunday, make loaves all the time but haven't been brave enough to try rolls.

    Have a great day ...

  6. First of all I have to say those rolls look wonderful, especially right now when I'm hungry!!

    DH and I really enjoy tomato and avacado as well. Could you tell me what you do with your chard, how do you cook it?

    I'm awful glad you are saying no to all those requests for links and advertising. Your blog is a joy to visit every day, in fact I check a couple of times a day to see if you've posted yet! I so enjoy reading and learning from you.

    Your garden looks great. I'm hoping we can get ours going this year. Not really a gardener, but I'm wanting to try. Wish me luck!


  7. WOW! That just sounds amazing! I really need to start getting my act together, my job today will be to get the rest of the seeds into the ground and do some weeding around the vegies (if the rain stays away - otherwise it will just be get the seeds in the ground)

  8. Rhonda Jean, your garden looks wonderful and dinners sound delish!
    Your rolls look so good...
    Would you mind sharing your recipe?
    Wishing you a wonderful day!

  9. Your garden is just grand Rhonda Jean. Our small plot is coming along now the weather has changed and the sun has some warmth in it. My dear and obedient husband is making a new leanto greenhouse for the toms and cues. I hope we have more luck this year than last. Toms like water but not the vast amounts we had last 'summer'.

    Lovely looking rolls, now I use the breadmaker I often forget to make them in the oven.

    Have a good day.

    Pippa in Cornwall.

  10. Oh your garden looks wonderful. I may be able to get my garden going this weekend. I have started seedlings in newspaper and some I have even put into containers but that has been it for now. You are such an inspiration.
    Thankyou for keeping it ad free.

  11. MMMMMMmm I can almost smell the bread! I can't wait for the garden to grow here! I am soooooo jealous! Have a great day ...Christina

  12. Hi Rhonda

    Yum Yum I know what I'm making on the weekend!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe :-)

    Luv Rachael

  13. Rhonda,
    I have to say I just love your blog! Reading blogs is like a hobby of mine, I have read quite a few. But, without a doubt, yours would have to be the most inspiring, wonderful blog I have ever read. My day just does not fell complete if I havent read it.
    Im only just starting on my "simple living" journey, and if I feel myself deviating off the path, I just have a look at your blog and it gets me right back on track!

  14. Thanks for the recipie Rhonda will start these around lunch time for the kids to devour once they are home.

    Forget to get the barley AGAIN to make wheat bags, oh well will do lots of housework instead.


  15. Thanks for posting the roll recipe. Can you tell me at what temp you bake them? Also, one day perhaps could you post about learning to cook? I'm not a very good cook, though I'm eager to learn. Is it just about trying new recipes? Any tips for your readers who want to be a good cook?

    And jennie, i'd love to know how to make silverbeet bread as I'm growing some in my garden!

  16. Your garden is lovely!!

    We are having Homemade burgers for dinner tonight, will make the Breadrolls for them. Thank you for the recipe. :-) Appreciate it.


  17. Ohh, thank you for this Rhonda. I think I'll give it a go today. My daughter loves bread rolls, but so far I haven't had much success with it. It's a nice sunny day here though, so these directions might just help us get some successful rolls.

  18. Hello!
    I just had to say how fascinating it is to see your garden growing fabulous food... year round. Here in the midwestern USA, we grow from late April to late September, and then we freeze to death for months on end and gaze longingly at the mattress of snow sitting stubbornly on our garden beds :o(
    I can't imagine how wonderful it is to have a garden in perpetual production. What a blessing!

    Lucky chooks ~ eating those yummy rolls. Never thought I'd be jealous of chicken feed ~ LOL!


  19. Hi Rhonda Jean :) I enjoyed this post so much - just soaked it in with lots of joy! It is a delight to read about you doing what you love to do.

    I wanted to ask about the button squash... I haven't grown or eaten it before. We grow yellow summer squash - crook-neck & straight neck. Is the button squash similar?

    Love to you! Q

  20. Hi Rhonda!

    That bread looks fabulous! I just love baking bread -- every single part from seeing the yeast bubble and froth to the scent of it baking.

    I'll be baking hamburger buns this weekend. We're having a few friends over and Josh wants to cook out. I wanted to serve grilled portabellos but he's determined to have beef. Grilled portabellos are heaven.

    Didn't know if you saw, but I posted about simplifying my life (your assignment). You can see it here:

    I looked at all the other posts and felt a little silly about mine. Perhaps I didn't fully understand what you meant?


  21. Hi Jennie, that silverbeet bread sounds good. If you share the recipe I'll add it to a post so everyone can see it.

    Julie, it takes a while for an avocado to fruit. I wonder if you could get a dwarf tree to fit in the greenhouse.

    Hope the kids enjoy the rolls, Rachel.

    Hi Cathy, thanks and welcome!

    Tracie, I'm using size 8 needles with the bamboo and cotton, I've used size 5 for a thinner ply.

    Jackie, chard/silverbeet is cook the same way you cook spinach and can be used instead of spinach in all recipes. I use it in silverbeet/spinach pie with ricotta, as a steamed vegetable with a little salt and pepper, in stir fry, in ravioli, risotto and samosas.

    Good luck with the gardening, Katrina.

    Happy baking Kelley! :- )

    I hope you have a wonderful garden this year, Pippa.

    Good luck with the seedlings, cleatherocreations

    Hi Christina. I hope you have a nice day too.

    Hello RachaelC, happy baking!

    Thank you anonymous.

    Ruralaspirations, I'll have to think about that for a while. You have probably realised by now I don't cook from recipes, I'll try to work out a way to teach using basic techniques.

    Enjoy the burgers, Vi.

    I hope she likes them, Rinelle. It might be a good simple recipe to show her how to help you bake.

    Heather, I have to say that the ability to grow food all year is a real bonus for us. I hope you make some rolls for yourself.

    Hello Quinne dear. I enjoy your comments so much. Thank you. Button squash are a small type of yellow zucchini. They have the same taste and are used the same way zucchinis are.

    I'll be over for a quick squizz later this afternoon, Lacy. I'm really busy today with a million things. When I come back to the computer, I'll visit.

  22. Those buns look sooo yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm going to try them, and thanks for the yeast tip on storing it in the fridge. I didn't know that before now, and have been storing it in my pantry. Your vegetable garden is a thing of beauty!
    I love coming here daily to read your blog - you are helping me so much!
    Rachel from NZ

  23. Hi Rhonda Jean!
    I love the idea of putting the polenta on top of the rolls. I've seen them in shops like that and it never occured to me what it was. So thanks!

    Had to mention to you that I have the exact same tea cup! It is Italian Countryside (Mikasa). I bought it as my 'wedding' set 11 years ago and still have it. The wedding didn't last as long as the china set I'm afraid. :D But I still love the pattern and still use the plates every day.

    take care

  24. Hello Rhonda, thanks for adding the bread recipe, am sure that will get made over the weekend. With your dishcloths, do you use a pattern or have you developed your own? I'm a new knitter, have made some just with garter stitch, they're ok. Best yet is Deb at Homespun Living's pattern - easy to do (and a lesson for me in getting to grips with knit and purl and getting the yarn in front when necessary!) and has a lovely waffle texture. Am now doing my own pattern with moss stitch. I use 4mm needles and dk cotton...so far. Are the needle sizes you've put english or us? Endless questions...sorry...in short, a dishcloth post would be wonderful!! Have a wonderful weekend. Diana x

  25. Hi Rhonda Jean gret post

    I have got the hang of baking loaves now but not rolls ??

    They always seem to spread out and flatten

    Going to try in a raised edged dish instead of a flat tray next time.........unless you have a better idea

  26. Hi Rhonda Jean,
    I hope you are keeping cosy.
    About the salt used in breadmaking. What makes a good salt?
    And your blog is looking good, so uncluttered!

  27. Great recipe for the rolls! I might have to check my breadmaker to see if it has a dough setting.
    Your garden looks really flourishing! I just noticed a lot of flowers on our tiny blueberry bush and a new leaf on our eggplant this morning! I have good hopes for our little balcony-garden. :-)

    Christine from the NL

  28. Rhonda, the local mafia would be paid CASH$$$ if I ever fed fresh bread rolls to the chooks!!!!!!!
    Lisa x

  29. Do you have a natural way of getting rid of powdery mildew??? I would love to know your organic pest control...like hornworms on tomato plants....

  30. Oh that looks scrumptious!
    I have to make rolls for a cookout tomorrow, I will give those a try! :)

  31. Hi Ronda,
    Read your post all the time is is so inspiring i'm 21 just married living in uk. want to be a SAHM when the time comes for a family and want to live simply before that!!
    Can you let me know if you use fresh or dried yeast in your bread rolls?
    Or maybe someone else can?
    Thanks and sorry if silly question!

  32. Good morning everyone! Hanno and I are just about to drive up the mountain to help serve breakfast at our Centre. I'll be back later to answer the questions here.

  33. Thanks for sharing the recipe Rhonda Jean!
    You are an inspiration and encouragement to me...

  34. Your bread looks wonderful - I like to make bread too. I admire your garden and your vegetables.


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