Farm Kitchen – Bread Making

Beginner Level

  • Learn the difference between baking powder and baking soda.
    • Baking soda has one ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. This causes chemical leavening.
    • Baking powder has acids that cause CO2 to releasee at different times, and won’t react with baking soda until wet and hot. This is what allows the bread to rise evenly.
  • Cook three different breads using chemical leavening agents. Describe the texture of your bread and how it’s affected by what ingredients you used. Did it change with the type of flour and leavening you used?


I baked 3 different types of Irish soda bread the first I used organic ingredients and wheat flour. The texture was very different then the other two. For the two, I used white flour, they were much softer. The one in the cast iron I used extra sugar and flour and the shape completely changed.


I submitted this Irish Soda Bread to the OC Fair, which is something I have always talked about, but never dreamed of doing! I got this participation ribbon and honestly I am so proud. The theme of the fair is “find your inner farmer” and I just felt that it was so appropriate. I want to get better at baking and enter more categories next year 🙂

Intermediate Level

  • Learn about different types of yeast.
  • Make two different breads using yeast as your leavening agent.
  • Of the two breads you make, choose one to re-make using a different type of yeast, or convert the recipe to use baking powder/soda. Let us know how it turns out! Irish Soda Bread, anyone?

Expert Level

  • Start a wild-yeast “mother” using the instructions in MaryJane’s Wild Bread book. (Copies available for loan to Sisterhood members from the farm library, contact
  • Use your “Counter Mother” to make a batch of Beginner Batter Bread. (Yikes! That sounded more awkward than it really is!) Introduce yourself in the Welcome Wagon section of and share your results.
  • Once you’ve successfully advanced to the “Refrigerator Mother” phase, make two loaves of Bara Brith (p. 156) and share your results on (photos welcome!).

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