Quick How-To: Tallow

Tallow is an animal byproduct that has several good homesteading applications. It can be used to make soaps and salves; it makes the best lard for pastries, and it can even be used as a candle wax. It is white, odorless, and at room temperature it has the consistency of a soft bees wax.

To render tallow you need to start off with the fat from a moose or elk. Deer or cow works well too but typically moose or elk is the way to go.

Start off by filling up a pot with fat taken from the animal as soon after it has been dispatched as possible. Fat goes rancid quickly so the sooner it goes into the pot, the better the product will be. Bring it up to a simmer. It will mostly liquify and turn clear.

At that point you want to turn the heat off and leave the pot alone to cool. Do not disturb the contents as they cool. The tallow will rise to the surface and harden as it cools. Beneath the tallow will be the liquid portion of the fat (which I usually discard unless I am going to use it to fry something the same day). You will be able to lift the tallow right out of the pot or you can tip the contents into a strainer to make retrieval easier.

Place the cooled hardened tallow into a new clean pot and reheat it. It will turn back to liquid and you will see some sediment in it.

Into a heat-proof wide-mouthed container, using a wire mesh strainer, pour the liquid tallow. The strainer will catch the sediment and the final product will cool and harden to a nice clean white.

There you have it: tallow! Come back and visit the blog in the future to see us attempt homemade soap using tallow and lye rendered from our own potash!

Happy Homesteading Xx

“Whatever” Bread

Super easy delicious homemade bread baked in two glass bowls

• 4 cups flour

• 2 tsp salt

• 2 cups lukewarm water

• 2 tsp sugar

• 2 tsp active dry yeast

suggested ingredients: seeds, nuts, raisins, cooked oats, quinoa, savory spices (like rosemary and oregano)- anything! You choose! In this one I used chia, pumpkin and flax seeds, hemp hearts, and almond slivers

Mix the sugar and warm water together and sprinkle the yeast on top.

In a bowl, mix flour and salt together.

Once yeast becomes frothy in the water, stir it and add it to the flour mixture. Mix it all together until it becomes a ball. Cover it in damp rag and let it sit for about an hour.

While the dough is rising, prepare two pyrex or tempered glass nesting bowls by greasing the entire inside using soft butter.

After rising, punch dough down and divide into 2 balls. Preheat the oven to 425°. It’ll be a bit sticky- make sure to get as much dough off the bowl as possible as you seperate and transfer each half to their greased bowls. I give the dough a bit of a swish to create a nice roundness. Rise the dough in the greased bowls on the stovetop, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, reduce baking temp to 350° and bake for an additional 15- 18 minutes until golden. You should be able to dump the bread right out of the bowls onto a cooling rack.

Sometimes I take them out of the bowl and place them directly on the oven rack to get them a little more golden and crusty.

And that’s “Whatever” Bread! Enjoy and Happy Homesteading! Xx