<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-68319" src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2020\/07\/DSC_0619.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="544" \/>\r\n\r\nLaura Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nWaiting for the flat, round bread to come out of the oven, Susan Arbogast and I sit in her spacious and homey kitchen and talk about her bread making experiences.\r\n\r\n\u201cUntil about a year ago, I made bread all the time,\u201d Susan said.\r\n\r\nShe specialized in whole wheat bread, making it with special Montana hard red wheat berries which she ground herself.\r\n\r\n\u201cThen the funniest thing happened\u2026\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nBut before she could finish that sentence, our conversation was interrupted by the aroma of the bread, letting Susan know it was time to check it.\r\n\r\nThe bread \u2013 like all bread fresh out of an oven \u2013filled the room with a wonderful scent.\r\n\r\nLooking like a large pita bread, the Middle Eastern bread is slightly browned, almost perfectly round and features a topographic surface \u2013 with little \u201chills and valleys\u201d bubbled across its surface.\r\n\r\nSusan brushes it gently with olive oil and sprinkles a bit of course salt on top.\r\n\r\nShe places a pizza stone in the middle of the table.\r\n\r\nWhen bread comes out of the oven, it\u2019s time to eat.\r\n\r\nSusan graciously invited me to have lunch while we talked.\r\n\r\nOur bowls were filled with hamburger stew, which was made using Marshall Shinaberry\u2019s recipe that was printed in a recent edition of The Pocahontas Times.\r\n\r\nSusan may have had a temporary falling out with bread making, but she\u2019s had nothing but success with her recipe for Middle Eastern bread.\r\n\r\n\u201cI started making this bread about ten years ago for Bible School,\u201d Susan remembers.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe Oak Grove Presbyterian Church and the Metho-dist Charge \u2013 which includes the churches in Seebert, Hillsboro, Marvin Chapel and Droop \u2013 were having a joint Bible School and, that year, our theme was \u201cThe Marketplace \u2013 Living Like Jesus.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cEveryone, including the kids, dressed like they would have in the time of Jesus.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey learned about food, crafts and the skills that He would have learned as He was growing up.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe kids came in and got costumed, then they went around to our various booths and experienced different aspects of Middle Eastern life.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was in charge of the food, and I found this recipe in the Bible School materials we were using.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt was so easy to make and everyone loved it.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThis bread is great for dipping in a stew like this,\u201d Susan said.\r\n\r\nSusan\u2019s husband, Sam Arbogast, walks into the kitchen and stops at the table.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s good just by itself,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt makes a great snack,\u201d he added, tearing off a piece as he headed out of the kitchen to get back to making hay.\r\n\r\n\u201cSometimes we eat it with butter, and the grandkids like to eat it with jam,\u201d Susan said.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt tastes great cold, too.\u201d\r\n\r\nAs we settle down to our delicious lunch, Susan tells me that she grew up as a self-described \u201cAir Force brat.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe and Sam have been married for 30 years.\r\n\r\nThey met in Hinton when Sam came to shoe Susan\u2019s horses.\r\n\r\n\u201cSam was my farrier,\u201d she explained with a smile.\r\n\r\nThe couple is surrounded by history and memories at every turn.\r\n\r\nThey settled on the 200 acre Arbogast farm, named Glen Oaks, that belonged to Sam\u2019s dad, Ralph Arbogast.\r\n\r\nThe farm sits right across the road from the farm that belonged to Sam\u2019s grandfather, Walter Arbogast.\r\n\r\nSam\u2019s mother, Arlene Dunn Arbogast, was born in the old farmhouse down the hill from Sam and Susan\u2019s home.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd the two midwives that attended her birth were her two aunts,\u201d Sam added.\r\n\r\nThe Arbogasts built their home on the top of a hill, with a commanding view of the surrounding peaks.\r\n\r\nThe house is named \u201cRainbow\u2019s End.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen we were walking around on the farm and trying to decide where to build our house, a sudden rain shower came up,\u201d Susan explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe ran under the trees and when the rain let up, we looked out and there was a rainbow over the whole farm.\u00a0 And it bent down and touched the earth right on top of this hill.\r\n\r\n\u201cI remember saying to Sam, \u2018that\u2019s it. That\u2019s where we\u2019ll build our house.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\nAnd so they did.\r\n\r\nMartha Stewart has nothing on Susan Arbogast.\r\n\r\nShe keeps lovely flower beds, several gardens, apple trees, currents, blueberries and raspberries.\r\n\r\nShe cans all manner of vegetables such as tomatoes, beans and beets, and freezes broccoli, peas, corn and blueberries.\r\n\r\nShe makes applesauce, and she is learning how to keep bees.\r\n\r\nShe and Sam have several draft horses, one of which is a mare with a new foal.\r\n\r\nThe view from their home of rolling tree-covered mountaintops gives one the feeling of being on top of the world.\r\n\r\nLooking at their farm yard, one could easily mistake the scene for a Currier and Ives print.\r\n\r\nSusan has two grown children, Sam has three, and between them, they have 16 grandchildren \u2013 \u201cplus one youngster who feels like a grandson\u201d \u2013 and two great-grandchildren.\r\n\r\n\u201cI love having a big family,\u201d Susan said. \u201cI love having everyone over for meals, and I really like cooking for them.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs I said,\u201d she continued, getting back to her bread baking story, \u201cI like baking bread.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019d done it for years. We ground our own wheat and cornmeal.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe makes biscuits using the recipe from the original Betty Crocker cookbook, \u201cand Sam says they taste just like his mother\u2019s,\u201d Susan said proudly.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s rare that Susan doesn\u2019t have blueberry muffins, cornbread, waffles or banana bread ready for visits from the grandchildren.\r\n\r\n\u201cSam really loves homemade bread,\u201d Susan explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe loved his mother\u2019s salt rising bread \u2013 she made five loaves every Saturday.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor years,\u201d Susan began, \u201ceven though I was working, I always found time to bake bread.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe\u2019s been an elementary school teacher at Hillsboro Elementary, then Marlinton Elementary and now, back at Hillsboro Elementary.\r\n\r\n\u201cBut about a year ago I just stopped baking loaf bread.\u201d\r\n\r\nThis, gentle readers, is a story that should be of encouragement to anyone who has trouble baking bread and may blame it on inexperience.\r\n\r\n\u201cOne day, the bread just didn\u2019t turn out well,\u201d Susan stated flatly. \u201cI don\u2019t know why. It just wasn\u2019t up to par.\r\n\r\n\u201cI started having trouble every time I\u2019d make bread. I tried different flours and different yeasts.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt still didn\u2019t taste right.\r\n\r\n\u201cSo I just gave up making bread for a whole year,\u201d she said, as we tear off another bite of what I\u2019m thinking is the best tasting \u201cpita\u201d bread I\u2019ve ever had.\r\n\r\n\u201cBut now I\u2019m feeling inspired to start making it again,\u201d she said, smiling.\r\n\r\nI\u2019m going to go out on a limb here and say, I think that\u2019s a very good idea.\r\n\r\nSomething tells me, Susan Arbogast\u2019s got this.\r\n\r\nMiddle Eastern Bread\r\n1 package dry yeast\r\n1 1\/4 cup cup warm water\r\n1 Tbsp. olive oil\r\n2 1\/2 cups flour (Susan uses King Arthur organic unbleached bread flour)\r\n1 tsp. salt\r\nCourse Salt\r\n\r\nDissolve yeast in water and mix in olive oil. Stir in flour and salt. Let rise 1 hour. Punch down. It will be gooey. Place the dough on an olive-oiled pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread the dough into a round shape, and pat and stretch it until it is very thin. Bake at 350\u00ba for 12-to-15 minutes.\r\n\r\nIf not brown on top, brush with olive oil and brown under the broiler for a few minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle course salt on top.