If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make real bread with freshly milled whole grains for your family, the class you need to take is the Daily Bread class from Bluebird Homestead in Fountain Inn. We did and have all the delicious details you need!
I love bread. Carbs are my BFF. And while I’m not the best baker (don’t make me measure anything, please), I can get by. So when a friend asked me to go to a bread making class with her daughter and my own girls, I was all in.
What I didn’t realize is just how much vital information I would be taking away from the Bluebird Homestead Daily Bread class. My head was spinning by the end with all the knowledge I learned from Liz Roessner. This isn’t a regular baking class. It’s much, much more. Read on to learn why.
About Bluebird Homestead and Liz Roessner
Liz and her family moved to the Greenville area in 2021 and she was already a pretty awesome baker. She would give loaves of bread to neighbors, families, and friends for gifts and had a solid background on ancient grains, grain milling, and nutrition. And Liz is really smart. She worked in nuclear cardiology for more than a decade.
“That gave me an extreme love for whole foods that serve and heal our bodies,” she said.
Her family moved to the Upstate due to her husband’s job and Liz continued her practice of gifting amazing loaves of bread to neighbors. It was through one of those neighbors, who suggested that she check out becoming a vendor at the Simpsonville Farmers Market. So she did and that turned out to be a big hit.
Liz would bake for 14 hours every other week and sell out of everything. Her Ezekiel bread and Cinnamon Sugar loaves were customer favorites. Customers started asking about baking classes so Liz met those requests and started teaching others how to mill grain and bake bread and lots of goodies.
“I could sell you a loaf of bread and feed you for a day but I could teach you how to bake bread and feed your family for generations,” she said.
She and her family live in a beautiful farmhouse on a few acres and have chickens, ducks, goats, and rabbits. She even has a little boutique shop with all the coolest baking and milling gear. She sells those as well as lots of different types of grains.
Learning about Grains
When I walked into Liz’s kitchen (which is my total dream kitchen by the way – white cabinets, a big island, stools, gas stove – gorgeous), she was using her Mockmill grain mill to grind hard red and hard white wheat for our class. It was a loud contraption but oh-so-cool. I felt like I was walking in on Laura Ingalls’ family, except a lot more modern and without the hand grain mill or outhouse.
I would later learn that that mill grain mill was at the heart of what we would be baking today.
Liz has a very soft and sweet demeanor, which is excellent for teaching. She is also a homeschool mom of three kids, which meant my kids were about to get a great lesson in science and homemaking. Total win. Also, I mention Liz’s demeanor because she gives you a lot of useful information that you may not have known about the bread you are eating from the grocery store (spoiler alert: it has almost zero nutrients due to processing) and yet she doesn’t make you feel terrible about it. I really appreciated that.
We started with an education about grain and its makeup. She has samples of many different types of grain and the processes it goes through that takes out all the superfood nutrients that it was designed to have in the first place. Essentially, all flour you buy in the grocery store is lacking in the nutrients that grain has because once the outer shell is broken, you have 72 hours to bake with it before it loses those incredible nutrients and starts to spoil. This is why that grain mill is essential to your at-home whole grain baking experience.
I felt bad thinking of my All Purpose flour at home I had just bought knowing that it was basically useless for providing my family with all that goodness that grain has. But again, Liz didn’t make me feel terrible about it – she is so good at providing you with useful information and kind of just letting you think about it.
We learned there are over 30 different types of grain and the gluten varies in each one to a lot of it to none of it and why you need to know that info when you’re baking. This was all completely new information for me and it was like stepping into an entirely other world of interesting food concepts. Liz is a decent artist and drew what a grain looks like on a little whiteboard, which was totally fascinating. I love science so this was fun.
Let’s Get to Baking
Once we had our grain lesson, it was time to get to the good stuff. Liz had already given us each a muffin she had made that morning and it was so delicious. I could immediately tell the difference between pastries made with any other kind of flour versus what she served straight from freshly-milled grains.
These classes are for both kids and adults but since we had a few homeschooling kids, they helped to pour the ingredients into the Bosch mixer Liz has. This mixer is the granddaddy of all mixers. It is very powerful and meant to mix flour made from whole grains. If you use a KitchenAid mixer to do this, you may blow out the motor since that is made for All Purpose flour (just FYI!). Whole grains have a very density and fiber content, which requires a stronger motor.
We got the dough mixing and let it sit for a bit to do its thing while Liz talked to us about dough reading. This is basically being able to look at the dough when you’re ready to make it the nice texture it should be before kneading. There isn’t a set amount of flour to add as it depends on what the dough is telling you. Liz is obviously a dough whisperer.
We were baking eight loaves today, which is enough for Liz’s family of five for almost a month. She keeps one loaf out when she bakes eight and freezes the other seven after slicing them. She said we can take about 3-6 hours every month to achieve the same.
The time went by fast as we let the dough rise, ate some snacks and lunch we brought, and browsed her shop. There is plenty of time to ask questions and Liz is a wealth of knowledge about baking so I took full advantage of that!
Once the dough was ready to weigh and roll out, we got to choose what kind of bread we would make. Liz made two pizza rolls and oh my gosh, they were incredible – so soft and flavorful and just simple. She showed us how to slam the dough on the counter to get the air bubbles out, how to roll it out and how to add cinnamon and sugar for that kind of bread (both my kids made those and they turned out oh-so-good).
They had to rise again before baking, which gave us more time to ask questions and learn. Liz gave us a tour of the shop and showed us the 12 grains she had in stock and what was unique about each of them. She had hard red, soft white, rye, spelt, millet, oat groat, and others. I was just amazed at how much she knew about them. I felt like my head was spinning with all this new knowledge.
So Many Options for Baking
Liz gave us a ton of great ideas for the dough she taught us to make. She showed us how to use it to make English muffins, bagels, and pretzels. I was hooked on the bagel and pretzel concept. Those are my ultimate weaknesses when it comes to carbs.
She talked to us more about the grain miller and how you can use it to make flour out of dried beans and corn. I had no idea this was a thing. I had no idea a lot of what she taught us was a thing. But it was so traditional and simple and comforting. And the final product really spoke for itself. The difference in eating this bread made from true whole grains was a world apart from eating bread made from literally anything else.
When our four hours were up, we got to head home with not only all the knowledge Liz bestowed on us but a loaf of bread. That bread barely made it a few hours at home before we dove into it.
One of the bigger questions I had was about the kitchen equipment she was using. A grain miller is pretty much a necessity if you want to do this at home. They are upwards of $340+ depending on the model, which is quite the investment. Add that Bosch mixer and it can look daunting. Liz really encouraged us to do our own research though and try to look at it from a long-term perspective on your family’s health and wellness. Spending money now could potentially pay off in the long run in a huge way in terms of doctor bills, health, and overall happiness (tasty bread = happy people!). It’s something I’ve been pondering since the class.
Taking a Class
Liz doesn’t have a regular schedule of classes yet but she does have a waiting list of people who want to take the class and can accommodate private class requests. It’s best to email her to get on her list ([email protected]) and follow her Facebook page for updates on classes and which markets she will be at and when classes have openings.
You can also shop at her store, which has everything from the grain mills to the Bosch mixer to measuring cups, silicone baking mats, and pounds upon pounds of fresh grains.
Classes are four hours long and the Daily Bread Class is $45/person or $70/family pair. She offers homeschool families a discount so ask her about that. Also, this would make an amazing experience gift for Christmas or a birthday.
I would a hundred percent recommend this class with Liz. Even if you don’t walk out of there wanting to live on a homestead and grow all your own food and grain, you’ll learn so much and perhaps pick up a new way to feed your family that is tastier and healthier than you’d ever expect.