Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

brd-manchets-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

brd-manchets-msg - 3/3/11

 

Small medieval bread loaves of the finest white flour.

 

NOTE: See also the files: bread-msg, breadmaking-msg, flour-msg, trenchers-msg, brd-mk-flat-msg, brd-mk-sour-msg, boulting-msg, brd-mk-ethnic-msg, grains-msg.

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: marian at world.std.com (marian walke)

Subject: Re: Medieval cooks didnt make bread

Organization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA

Date: Mon, 2 May 1994 16:41:30 GMT

 

>>In London, there were *two* guilds of bakers, the Brown Bakers and the White

>>Bakers. (One baked only brown bread, the other only white bread.)

>> 

>>    Franz Joder von Joderhuebel (Michael F. Yoder) [mfy at sli.com]

 

>Interesting indeed! Where did you find this? And were both

>guilds subject to the same Assize of Loaves? (or is it Assize of

>Bread?)

 

>Michael Fenwick of Fotheringhay, O.L. (Mike Andrews)

>Barony of Namron, Kingdom of Ansteorra

 

Old Marian commenting here:

(major source: C Anne Wilson, "Food and Drink in Britain" - at least, I

think that's the title - my much-used paperback lost its cover a few

years ago! Items in square brackets [] are my own comments.)

 

Medieval bread was not just divided into white and brown - there were

several gradations, and since the same names were not used in all places,

there is some confusion about where each kind of bread was placed in the

spectrum from whitest to brownest.  However, quoting from Wilson:

 

"The best white wheaten bread, made of the finest flour which had been two

or three times sieved through woollen and linen bolting cloths, was in

the Middle Ages called wastel bread (from the Norman French GASTEL or

cake) or pandemain (probably originally from PANIS DOMINI, the

sacramental bread, because that was made of the most delicate flour

obtainable.... Cocket, another fine white bread, but a slightly less

expensive one, was produced until about the beginning of the 16th

centruy. But before that time the name manchet had begun to be applied

to white bread of the finest quality.  Manchets were made up as rather

small loaves: in Elizabeth I's reign they were supposed to weigh 'eight

ounces into the oven, and six ounces out', and forty were to be made out

of the flour bolted from one bushel of corn [i.e., wheat].  Bread

described as being 'of whole wheat' was of wheat flour more coarsely

sieved than that used for wastel or cocket; while a still coarser and

more branny wheat bread was made under the name of 'bis' or 'treet'."

 

Wilson says all these breads were taken into account in the Assize of

Bread, which was in operation (with many amendments) from 1267 (our

earliest extant version) through 1815.  There may be earlier versions no

longer extant; it is said to date back to King John (ca 1200).  In large

towns there were variants of the Assize to cover local variations in bread.

 

"In London the white bakers and the brown or TORTE bakers for a long time

had separate guilds.  The 'White Book' of the city of London laid down

'that a tourte baker shall not have a bolter nor make white bread'.  His

brown bread was to include all the husks and bran in the meal, just as it

came from the mill.  But he was permitted to bake the dough which people

brought to him ready made up [a function bakers served for people who

made their own dough, but did not have their own ovens], and to make

horsebread of peas and beans.  In Ipswich, on the other hand, the bakers

who baked the fine white loaves...were also allowed to make treet bread

from the leavings, after they had sieved their meal and removed the

whitest and finest flour....

 

The same farthing could buy you a given amount of finest white wastel

loaf, or twice as much brown or treet loaf.  It bought you a loaf of

cocket a little larger than the finest white wastel or a wholewheat loaf

weighing half again as much as the cocket or a loaf of "other cereals"

weighing twice as much as the cocket.  However, the actual amount of

bread you got for that farthing varied from Assize to Assize; the object

was to keep the price of bread steady, and the weight of bread you got

for your farthing varied according to the success of harvests and other

economic factors.

 

"The rougher breads of servants and laborourers and their families were

made of of maslin [mixed rye and wheat] or the local grain: rye in

Norfold, barley in northwest England, lowland Scotland, parts of Wales

and Cornwall, oats in upland Wales and the Pennines and the Scottish

highlands...." [So what kind of dark bread you ate depended on where you

lived as well as your social status.  The reason for these regional

variations was that wheat demands a longer growing season and better soil

than were present in the upland and rocky areas.  And remember, these

variations were all just for Britain, which all together is only about

half the size of the state of California.  Imagine the variations you get

when you're looking at the whole of Europe.  This is why there is no ONE

"Medieval Bread"!]

 

As for the combining of the two London guilds: According to Wilson, in

1304 there where 32 brown and 21 white bakers.  In 1574 there were 36

brown and 62 white bakers.  They joined in the 17th century, and the

separate guild of brown bakers disappeared.

 

[However, it should be noted that lots of craft guilds amalgamated as time

went on, probably to have more clout as one large than as several small

guilds. In the 16th C you start seeing combined guilds of "Carpenters

and Joiners" or "Masons and Tilers" or "Weavers and Dyers" or "Cooks and

Innkeepers." So joining the brown and white bakers may have reflected

the temper of the times as much as the demand for brown bread in London.]

 

--Old Marian

(Marian of Edwinstowe, Carolingia, East Kingdom (marian at world.std.com)

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: steve.mercer at network.com (Steve E. Mercer)

Subject: bread (was Re: meadmaking help.....)

Summary: bread recipe, manchet

Organization: Network Systems Corporation

Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 23:09:00 GMT

 

>> Oh please, where?  I've been looking for period recipes for bread for

>> a decade, and not only have found none, but have found no rumor of any.

>> The closest I seem to be able to find are cakes and cookies, which of

>> course are made quite differently.  Could you point me to these references

>> to bread making, and to any others?

>> -- Angharad/Terry

 

From "The Good Huswife's Haindmaide for the Kitchen", 1594

 

THE MAKING OF FINE MANCHET

Take half a bushell of fine flower twise boulted, and a gallon

of faire luke warm water, almost a handful of white salt, and

almost a pinte of yest, then temper all these together, without

any more liquor, as hard as ye can handle it: then let it lie

halfe an hower, then take it up, and make your Manchetts, and

let them stand almost an hower in the oven.  Memorandum, that

of every bushell of meale may be made five and twentie caste of

bread, and every loaf to way a pounde besyde the chesill.

 

Some notes about this recipe:

Information from Elisabeth David, "English Bread and Yeast Cookery -

New American Edition", Biscuit Books Inc., Newton Massachusetts USA,

Copyright 1994, ISBN 0-9643600-0-4

 

Manchet was a soft white bread.  It was eaten by the rich,

although probably only in relatively small quantity and as an

alternative, or in addition, to more ordinary brown or yeoman's

bread.

 

A bushel of flour weighed 56-60 pounds.

 

Boulting is a process of sifting the flour through very fine

cloth. This separates the finest, whitest flour from the rest

of the stuff (bran, coarser flour, etc.).  

 

Liquor in this context is the baker's term for any liquid added

to the dough.  It does not imply an alcoholic liquid.

 

A 'caste' of bread was either two or three loaves according to

size, two manchets being reckoned as one loaf.  In this recipe

there would have been two loaves (four manchets) to the caste,

each manchet weighing eight ounces.  One hundred manchets could

be made from one bushel of flour.

 

Chesill is the stuff left over after boulting the flour.

 

Later (out of the SCA period) recipes for manchet include other

ingredients such as butter, lard, milk, and eggs.

---

Justin Silvanus

Barony of Nordskogen, Principality of Northshield, Middle Kingdom

Steve Mercer

steve.mercer at network.com

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: shafer at ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer)

Subject: Re: bread (was Re: meadmaking help.....)

Organization: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 04:10:41 GMT

 

Elizabeth David, in her book "English Bread and Yeast Cookery", has a

chapter titled "Manchets and Mayn and Payndemayn", which includes the

recipe posted about two messages back from this, plus one from Gervase

Markham, "The English Hus-wife", 1615, and a modern version.  (Mostly

scaled down, since the posted recipe wanted half a bushel of flour and

David notes that a bushel was 56 to 60 lb, which makes somewhat more

bread than many of us are interested in).  Scattered throughout the

book are information about how bread was cut in c. 1508 (from "the

Boke of Kervynge) and a number of period and near-period recipes

(Kendal Oatcakes from 1698, for example).

 

If you want to know everything to know about English bread and yeast

cookery, buy this book.  It's really excellent--it tells you

everything from which stone to use in your mill onward.  It's in print

in a US version and is ISBN 0-9643600-0-4 (the original, British

edition has a different ISBN).  Even if you never bake a single thing

from it, you'll enjoy reading it and you'll learn a lot from it.

 

This book finally explained to me why English supermarket white bread

is so dreadful (even worse than Wonder Bread)--it contains, quite

legally, a great deal more water than does its US counterpart.

--

Mary Shafer                                                

SR-71 Chief Engineer   NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA

shafer at ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov  

http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/People/Shafer/mary.html

 

 

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 15:52:14 -0400 (EDT)

From: Gretchen M Beck <grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: SC - Bread recipes

 

Here they are, from the Good Hufwifes Handmainde for the Kitchen. Enjoy!

 

toodles, margaret

 

The making of fine Manchet

 

Take halfe a bushell of fine flower twice bolted, and a gallon of faire

luke warm water, almost a handful of white salt, and almost a pinte of

yest, then temper all these together, witrhout any more liquor, as hard

as ye can handle it: then let it lie halfe an hower, then take it up and

make your Manchetts, and let them stande almost an hower in the oven.

Memorandum, that of every bushell of meale may be made five and twentie

calle (?) of bread, and everie loafe to way a pounde beside the chesill

(?)

 

The making of manchets after my Ladie Graies use

 

Take two peckes of fine flower, which must be twise boulted, if you will

have your manchet verie faire: Then lay it in a place where ye doe use

to lay your dowe for your bread, and make a litle hole in it, and take a

quart of faire water blood warme, and put in that water as much leaven

as a crab, or a pretie big apple, and as much white salt as will into an

egshell, and all to breake your leven in the water, and put into your

flower halfe a pinte of good Ale yest, and so stir this liquor among a

litle of your flower, so that ye must make it but thin at the first

meeting, and then cover it with flower, and if it be in the winter, ye

must keepe it verie warm, and in summer it shall not need so much heate,

for in the Winter it will not rise without warmeth.  Thus let it lie two

howers and a halfe: then at the second opening take more liquor as ye

thinke will serve to wet al the flower.  Then put in a pinte and a halfe

of good yest and so all to breake it in short peeces, after ye have well

laboured it, and wrought it five or sixe tymes, so that yee bee sure it

is throughlie mingled together, so continue labouring it, still it come

to a smooth paste, and be well ware at the second opening that yee put

not in too much liquor sodenlie, for then it wil run and if ye take a

little it will be stiffe, and after the second working it must lie a

good quarter of an hower, and keep it warme: then take it up to the

moulding board, and with as much speede as is possible to be made, mould

it up, and let it into the Oven, of one pecke of flower ye may make ten

caste of Manchets faire and good.

 

(Then there is a recipe that appears to be puff pastry of some sort)

 

To make leavened bread

Take five yolkes of Egs, and a litle peece of Butter as big a Walnut,

one handfull of verie fine flower, and make al these in paste, and all

to beat it with a rolling pin, till it be as thin as a paper leafe, then

take sweet Butter and melt it, and rub over all your paste therewith

with a feather: then roll up your paste softly as ye would roll up a

scroll of paper, then cut them in peeces of three inches long, and make

them flat with your hands, and lay them upon a sheet of cleane paper,

and bake them in an Oven or panne, but the Oven may not bee too hot, and

they most bake halfe and houre, then take some sweete butter and melt

it, and put that info your paste when it commeth out of the Oven, and

when they are verie wet, so that they be not drie, take them out of yoru

butter, and lay them in a faire (ash? word obscured) and cast upon them

a litle Sugar, and if you please, Synanion and Ginger, and serve them

forth.

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 21:16:28 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Plum Pudding

 

To get back on subject, the penny loaf was the price of a loaf of bread

under the Assize of Bread established in 1266.  There were three

qualities of flour listed and three different weights of loaf.  In terms

of 17th and 18th century recipes, what is usually meant is the penny

white loaf (a manchet) which weighed between 6 and 8 ounces.  A wheat or

brown loaf would weigh 12 to 16 ounces.  

 

Elizabeth David recommends using 81 to 85 percent extraction wheat meal

with a small proportion of unbleached white flour enriched with milk and

eggs to approximate Jacobean or Georgian manchets.  

 

So, my guess at a 1 lb. loaf is half off.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 10:58:26 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: Re[2]: SC - beer bread recipe (was re:  small feasts)

 

<snip>

 

My current project is to produce a period manchet.  My first attempt

produced what I call Francis Drake's bowling balls.  My second attempt

was much better, producing roll-like breads with an exterior like a

brotchen and a muffinish interior.  The color was off due to the choice

of flours.  I'll post a full report sometime next week after I sort out

some problems with the baking temperature.  I hope you will do the same

with the beer bread.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 08:36:23 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - bread recipes--??

 

> Does anyone know where I might find some period bread recipes? Also, does

> anyone know what you're supposed to do with rolled oats to make oatcakes?

> Thanks in advance.

> Isabelle

 

Since baking was a seperate art from cooking and had a strong guild, there

are very few recipes for bread among the cooking texts.  Four are known to

have appeared prior to 1600.  A fifth was mentioned in passing on the list,

but I have not seen a copy of it.  Just after 1600, there are a number of

recipes for bake goods which were probably in use before the turn of the

century.

 

You can find the recipes online in Stefan's Florilegium, but I think copying

a couple pages from a handout I'm preparing will be a little quicker.  I

think you can find redactions for all of these in the Florilegium or

Cariadoc's Miscellany.

 

Bear

 

The Recipes

 

In the European corpus of recipes from 500 C.E. to 1600 C.E., there are four

known recipes for bread.

 

Brede and Rastons

 

<snip - See recipe in the bread-msg file. - Stefan]

 

       Harleian MS 279, approx. 1430, as taken from Austin, Thomas, Two

Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books.

 

Bread from Platina

 

<snip - See recipe in the bread-msg file. - Stefan]

 

       Platina's De Honesta Voluptate

 

To Make Fine Manchet

 

Take halfe a bushell of fine flour twise boulted, and a gallon of faire luke

warm water, almost a handful of white salt, and almost a pint of yest, then

temper these together without any more liquor, as hard as ye can handle it:

then let it lie halfe an hower, then take it up, and make your Manchetts,

and let them stande almost an hower in the oven. Memorandum, that of every

bushell of meale may be made five and twentie caste of bread, and every loaf

to way a pound besyde the chesill.

 

       The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen, 1594

 

To Make Good Restons

 

<snip - See recipe in the bread-msg file. - Stefan]

 

       The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen, 1594

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 08:15:29 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread consumption

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

>> The idea that there wasn't much bread served at a meal is a statement by

>> someone who is either interested in seige dining or hasn't done their

>> homework.

>> 

>> Bear

> I'm not saying bread wasn't eaten. I was just wondering if

> it were used as an appetizer. I have also seen many instances

> of a small loaf of bread being the entire meal with a mug of

> ale or somesuch.

> Gunthar

 

Don't think of bread as an appetizer, think of it as the main course.  The

illustrations suggest that it was on the table from the beginning to the end

of the feast with the smaller plates of delicacies being presented to the

table over time.

 

A manchet and a mug of ale are breakfast fare and are sometimes served with

a small dish or fish or other meat.  When you are talking 2 1/2 pounds and a

gallon of brew per day, a manchet and mug are just a hair over 10 percent of

the daily fare. When and where did they get the other 90 percent?

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 10:50:07 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney

        entry

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

LPT is finally over and my display didn't do too bad. People

liked the documentation with the color photographs and

that I displayed the dishes in the pans that they were

cooked in.  It also helped that it tasted good.

 

<snip>

 

The manchet loaf came out well with a nice thick and chewy

crumb. I did a major headslap moment just as I put the loaf into

the oven. I gave it a quick brush with milk to brown the top. And

then I realized I was making a manchet loaf and it should be as

white as possible. I, without thinking, fell into a modern mindset

to serve a browned loaf. Oops. But the interior was white as snow

and tasted very nice. Especially when sprinkled with a small pinch

of salt.

 

Two problems with the loaf were that it had risen oddly in the oven

and there was a split on the side and an air bubble had developed in

the top. One of the Laurels talking with me said she had watched

the cooks at Hampton Court make manchets as short cylinders and then

the top was dimpled with the thumbs. So, it appears I DID make the

loaf right because a "fix" had to be created. Now I know how to avoid

that problem next time.

 

<snip>

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 13:00:31 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney

        entry

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Sep 11, 2007, at 11:50 AM, Michael Gunter wrote:

 

> The manchet loaf came out well with a nice thick and chewy

> crumb. I did a major headslap moment just as I put the loaf into

> the oven. I gave it a quick brush with milk to brown the top. And

> then I realized I was making a manchet loaf and it should be as

> white as possible. I, without thinking, fell into a modern mindset

> to serve a browned loaf. Oops. But the interior was white as snow

> and tasted very nice. Especially when sprinkled with a small pinch

> of salt.

> Two problems with the loaf were that it had risen oddly in the oven

> and there was a split on the side and an air bubble had developed in

> the top. One of the Laurels talking with me said she had watched

> the cooks at Hampton Court make manchets as short cylinders and then

> the top was dimpled with the thumbs. So, it appears I DID make the

> loaf right because a "fix" had to be created. Now I know how to avoid

> that problem next time.

 

I think browning the loaf, per se, would not be a problem, as long as

you don't have a really thick, crisp, hard crust, but you probably do

want a reasonably hot oven so they're light inside with plenty of

oven spring.

 

I STR Gervase Markham discussing manchets and saying they should be

slashed with a sharp blade around the waist, or circumference, of the

loaf, before baking, and this makes them expand like a cylindrical

bellows into a sort of hatbox shape, with a nearly flat top and

nearly straight, vertical sides. At least this is what happened the

couple of times I followed those instructions. It also occurs to me

that, if one wanted to trim the crust off them in this shape, it

would be pretty easy, with relatively little waste. And then, of

course, Markham is not medieval, and there's no telling, without

reading other sources which may differ, whether what he says applies

to earlier period manchets.

 

Amazing, BTW, how much Dunkin' Donuts French Rolls look like manchets.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 13:10:03 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney

        entry

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> I STR Gervase Markham discussing manchets and saying they should be

> slashed with a sharp blade around the waist, or circumference, of the

> loaf, before baking, and this makes them expand like a cylindrical

> bellows into a sort of hatbox shape, with a nearly flat top and

> nearly straight, vertical sides. At least this is what happened the

> couple of times I followed those instructions.

 

Hm... that sounds like what Elizabeth David says to do for "Cottage

Loaves" but those poof out at the top. Are the slashes vertical or

horizontal?

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 12:26:56 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

> I think browning the loaf, per se, would not be a problem, as long as

> you don't have a really thick, crisp, hard crust,

 

My main "d'oh" reasoning is that the period mindset was to have things

as white as possible. Looking at illuminations of manchets or pretty much

any bread, they appear yellowish and not the dark brown that modern

folk seem to enjoy. So painting on the milk actually diminished the visual

appeal to a period diner.

 

The crust was thick and took a bit of sawing, especially on the bottom,

but it was not hard or unpleasant, it was plesantly chewy.

 

> but you probably do

> want a reasonably hot oven so they're light inside with plenty of

> oven spring.

 

The oven wasn't particularly hot. I baked it at 350 F for an hour. This

came from a modern bread recipe since there were no guidelines

to go on in the original recipe. The bread baked up just fine although

the inside was dense and chewy and not light. Still, it felt like real bread

should feel. Like the true staff of life. This was bread that could be grated

into proper breadcrumbs. Were I to make it again I'd add a little more

salt, but as I explained at the demo there aren't any references in period

manuals about spreading butter or anything on bread. I have seen

references about bread being sprinkled with a little salt. This bread

bore that out. A pinch of salt would have really brought out the flavor.

 

> I STR Gervase Markham discussing manchets and saying they should be

> slashed with a sharp blade around the waist, or circumference, of the

> loaf, before baking, and this makes them expand like a cylindrical

> bellows into a sort of hatbox shape, with a nearly flat top and

> nearly straight, vertical sides.

 

I think that would have worked for this recipe. The bread rose

in the oven which caused the scar on one side. Making it more of

a cylindar and slashing the sides would have prevented this. There

was also the air bubble at the top that either slashing or dimpling

the top would have prevented.

 

> Adamantius

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:02:36 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney

        entry

To: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Sep 11, 2007, at 1:10 PM, Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise wrote:

 

>> I STR Gervase Markham discussing manchets and saying they should be

>> slashed with a sharp blade around the waist, or circumference, of the

>> loaf, before baking, and this makes them expand like a cylindrical

>> bellows into a sort of hatbox shape, with a nearly flat top and

>> nearly straight, vertical sides. At least this is what happened the

>> couple of times I followed those instructions.

> Hm... that sounds like what Elizabeth David says to do for "Cottage

> Loaves" but those poof out at the top. Are the slashes vertical or

> horizontal?

 

He says to "mold it into manchets, round and flat; scotch around the

waist to give it leave to rise, and prick it with your knife at the

top".

 

The scotching I took to mean a simple slash running around the

circumference, or perhaps a series of cross-hatched diagonals running

around the edge. Either way, the effect seems to be the same: instead

of being blown up to a would-be spheroid, all the distortion is

allowed to take place in the region around the edge, and the almost-

flat top crust is simply lifted into the air -- a hatbox.

 

I suspect the poofing out at the top might be prevented somewhat by

the pricking with a knife.

 

Markham says "a gentle oven", BTW, Gunthar. You might try for 325F

and see what happens. Also, how big did you make them?

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:54:36 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Sep 11, 2007, at 2:19 PM, Michael Gunter wrote:

> That's why I went with 350F. Any hotter and I didn't consider it a

> "gentle oven". I also just used the modern bread recommendation.

> 325F could work.

 

I'm thinking if you want them pale brown, with a soft crust, it might

work, especially if you scale them down a bit.

 

>> Also, how big did you make them?

> It was bigger than recommended in period. I probably would have

> been better off cutting the risen dough in two pieces and making two

> loaves. The loaf was formed in about a 6" diameter circle and 3" or so

> domed. It rose to around twice that size when baked.

 

My vague recollection is that manchets are bigger than a modern roll,

but otherwise a rather small loaf: maybe twice the size of a man's

fist when baked. Bearing in mind this is not trencher bread, but

"eating" bread, it probably equates to two decent-sized servings,

especially sensible if you trim them, and allow for the shared two-

serving cover concept... I haven't looked it up, but I wonder if the

name is intended to indicate size.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 15:38:01 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Ivan Day's manchets are pictured here along the side--

http://www.historicfood.com/baking.htm I remember his

being a man's fist sized. There should be a picture someplace

among those that we took.

Brears also has pictures in his books.

 

Johnnae

 

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:

> My vague recollection is that manchets are bigger than a modern roll,

> but otherwise a rather small loaf: maybe twice the size of a man's

> fist when baked. Bearing in mind this is not trencher bread, but

> "eating" bread, it probably equates to two decent-sized servings,

> especially sensible if you trim them, and allow for the shared two-

> serving cover concept... I haven't looked it up, but I wonder if the

> name is intended to indicate size.

> Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 08:43:29 +1200

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Michael Gunter wrote:

>> I think browning the loaf, per se, would not be a problem, as long as

>> you don't have a really thick, crisp, hard crust,

> The crust was thick and took a bit of sawing, especially on the bottom,

> but it was not hard or unpleasant, it was plesantly chewy.

>> but you probably do

>> want a reasonably hot oven so they're light inside with plenty of

>> oven spring.

> The oven wasn't particularly hot. I baked it at 350 F for an hour.  This

> came from a modern bread recipe since there were no guidelines

> to go on in the original recipe. The bread baked up just fine although

> the inside was dense and chewy and not light.

 

OK, this is one area where I can provide advice.  Assuming that you've

got the kneading and rising down pat, the one thing you can do to make

your bread a bit fluffier and give it a bit thinner crust is bake it at

a higher temperature.  350 is not hot enough for most breads. I do small

manchets at 400.  I suspect from your description of the bread

developing a crack and the crumb being dense that you may also have

kneaded in a bit more flour than is ideal.

--

Adele de Maisieres

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 08:50:41 +1200

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:

 

>>> Also, how big did you make them?

 

>> It was bigger than recommended in period. I probably would have

>> been better off cutting the risen dough in two pieces and making two

>> loaves. The loaf was formed in about a 6" diameter circle and 3"  

>> or so domed. It rose to around twice that size when baked.

> My vague recollection is that manchets are bigger than a modern roll,

> but otherwise a rather small loaf: maybe twice the size of a man's

> fist when baked. Bearing in mind this is not trencher bread, but

> "eating" bread, it probably equates to two decent-sized servings,

> especially sensible if you trim them, and allow for the shared two-

> serving cover concept... I haven't looked it up, but I wonder if the

> name is intended to indicate size.

 

That's certainly my understanding of manchets.  From 6-7 cups of flour,

I get six manchets about five inches in diameter.  (They'd be bigger

around if I were more of a bread-flattener, but I'm a show-off, and not

flattening means they come out nearly spherical on a good day).

-

Adele de Maisieres

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 09:27:37 +1200

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Michael Gunter wrote:

> Just for reference, does anyone have the data on a "hot" woodburning

> oven, such as when the coals are first raked out and the roasts are put

> in as compared to a "soft" or cooler oven? Is 400 about right? What

> temp would constitute a "soft" oven?

 

I'm not certain.  I know you _can_ heat up a brick bread oven _much_

hotter than 400F.  A quick peruse of the 'net suggested that some pizza

bakers think 850F is a reasonable sort of starting temperature and 500F

or so wouldn't be unusual for bread bakers.  How hot a medieval bread

baker would have started with and when he would have considered the oven

temperature "soft" I don't really know.

 

>> I suspect from your description of the bread

>> developing a crack and the crumb being dense that you may also have

>> kneaded in a bit more flour than is ideal.

> That might be, but the raw dough was still slightly sticky by the time

> it was placed in the oven. And it looks like, from the various descriptions

> I've found and have been mentioned on here that the dough is supposed

> to rise.

 

It is indeed supposed to rise :-)  The dough should have a nice silky

texture when you put it in the oven and not be very sticky at all.

Sticky vs. silky is as much a function of sufficient kneading as

proportion of flour, though.

 

Here's my manchet recipe-- it's definitely perioid, not period, but it

does include my kneading/raising/baking method.

http://cunnan.sca.org.au/wiki/Adele%27s_Manchet

 

> You may be very correct on the crumb. It's kind of hard to tell

> what it is supposed to be. One thing I'm basing my ideas of the crumb to

> be is the fact that bread was often "grated". Too light of a crumb and

> I don't think they would be grating even stale bread. A thicker crumb

> leads more to grating for decent crumbs.

 

I think mine would probably be dense enough to grate if there were ever

any left :-)

 

> Thank you for your input as well, the more information we get the  

> better chance we have of figuring all of this out.

 

No worries-- this is one of my favourite subjects.  And I'm teaching a

bread-making class this weekend, so this is helping me get all my

thoughts in order :-)

--

Adele de Maisieres

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 21:51:37 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney

        entry

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> The manchet loaf came out well with a nice thick and chewy

> crumb. I did a major headslap moment just as I put the loaf into

> the oven. I gave it a quick brush with milk to brown the top. And

> then I realized I was making a manchet loaf and it should be as

> white as possible. I, without thinking, fell into a modern mindset

> to serve a browned loaf. Oops. But the interior was white as snow

> and tasted very nice. Especially when sprinkled with a small pinch

> of salt.

 

If you look at the paintings with manchet loaves, they tend to be a light

golden brown.  It's the interiors that are supposed to be white.

Interestingly one of the experiments I did was with an ale barm that

imparted a brown color to the interior of the loaf.  I obviously need  

to run some tests on cleaning barm.

 

If you want to keep the loaf from getting too dark, don't put anything on it

and about halfway through the baking cover the loaves.

 

> Two problems with the loaf were that it had risen oddly in the oven

> and there was a split on the side and an air bubble had developed in

> the top. One of the Laurels talking with me said she had watched

> the cooks at Hampton Court make manchets as short cylinders and then

> the top was dimpled with the thumbs. So, it appears I DID make the

> loaf right because a "fix" had to be created. Now I know how to avoid

> that problem next time.

> Gunthar

 

Without seeing the full process, I can say that these problems are usually

caused by the yeast working too fast, the dough being raised at too high a

temperature or incomplete kneading.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 21:57:08 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney

        entry

To: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>,       "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

>> I STR Gervase Markham discussing manchets and saying they should be

>> slashed with a sharp blade around the waist, or circumference, of the

>> loaf, before baking, and this makes them expand like a cylindrical

>> bellows into a sort of hatbox shape, with a nearly flat top and

>> nearly straight, vertical sides. At least this is what happened the

>> couple of times I followed those instructions.

> Hm... that sounds like what Elizabeth David says to do for "Cottage

> Loaves" but those poof out at the top. Are the slashes vertical or

> horizontal?

> --

> -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

The slash is around the circumference of the loaf.  It needs to be done with

a sharp blade to about one half inch depth.  It allows the loaf to expand

more from the oven spring and should produce a lighter crumb.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 22:08:43 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> My main "d'oh" reasoning is that the period mindset was to have things

> as white as possible. Looking at illuminations of manchets or pretty much

> any bread, they appear yellowish and not the dark brown that modern

> folk seem to enjoy. So painting on the milk actually diminished the  

> visual appeal to a period diner.

> The crust was thick and took a bit of sawing, especially on the  

> bottom, but it was not hard or unpleasant, it was plesantly chewy.

 

A basic dough of flour, water, yeast and salt baked at around 400 to 450

degrees should give you the light golden yellow crust.  Enriched doughs,

especially those made with milk or sugar, tend to produce darker crusts.

 

If you are looking for a white crust, check out German semmel rolls.

 

> The oven wasn't particularly hot. I baked it at 350 F for an hour.  This

> came from a modern bread recipe since there were no guidelines

> to go on in the original recipe. The bread baked up just fine although

> the inside was dense and chewy and not light. Still, it felt like real bread

> should feel. Like the true staff of life. This was bread that could be grated

> into proper breadcrumbs. Were I to make it again I'd add a little more

> salt, but as I explained at the demo there aren't any references in period

> manuals about spreading butter or anything on bread. I have seen

> references about bread being sprinkled with a little salt. This bread

> bore that out. A pinch of salt would have really brought out the  

> flavor.

> Gunthar

 

If you didn't have enough salt in the dough, your yeast may have been

over-active. Salt moderates the yeast and the rise.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 22:14:21 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> My vague recollection is that manchets are bigger than a modern roll,

> but otherwise a rather small loaf: maybe twice the size of a man's

> fist when baked. Bearing in mind this is not trencher bread, but

> "eating" bread, it probably equates to two decent-sized servings,

> especially sensible if you trim them, and allow for the shared two-

> serving cover concept... I haven't looked it up, but I wonder if the

> name is intended to indicate size.

> Adamantius

 

As I recall, manchet is "eight ounces in, six ounces out."  That  

would make it about the size of petit pan or possibly a little larger.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2007 09:21:52 -0400

From: "Anne Murphy" <afmmurphy at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I have my grandmother's books from the late 19th and early 20th

century, when they were just starting to use gas. They're translating

the other way - giving temperatures for those who are perfectly used

to judging by feel.

 

A hot/quick oven was about 400 - anything from 375-425.

 

Medium/moderate etc was about 350.

 

Slow is about 325.

 

Now, this, of course, is for home ovens attached to wood or coal

stoves, not a professional brick bread oven. But it is what I was

going by when I was doing the Small Cakes a few years ago, and baked

them at 400, rather than the more SCA common 350, because the recipe

called for a quick oven...

 

AEllin

 

On 9/11/07, Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Just for reference, does anyone have the data on a "hot" woodburning

> oven, such as when the coals are first raked out and the roasts are  

> put in as compared to a "soft" or cooler oven? Is 400 about right? What

> temp would constitute a "soft" oven?

 

> Gunthar

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 17:10:10 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet Size/Weight

To: kat_weye at yahoo.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Katheline van Weye wrote:

<<< I know that in Elizabethan times, the manchet size was described as "...everie loaf weigheth 8 ounces, into the oven, and 6 ounces out."

 

Does anyone know if the ounces mentioned in Elizabethan times is the same weight that we use today when we say the words "weighs 8 ounces"? >>>

 

The definition as given by the glossary at Prospect Books reads:

"MANCHET BREAD: Fine bread made from the best wheat and the whitest

flour available. Made in small loaves weighing 6 to 8 oz. Manchet was

the bread of the privileged. (John Nott, 1726) "

http://www.florilegium.org/?http%3A//www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/brd-manchets-msg.html

has more information.

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/custom.html has information on

weights and measures.

 

Here commonly an ounce ought to be the avoirdupois ounce which is 7000/16.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:42:24 -0600

From: Georgia Foster <jo_foster81 at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Arts and Sciences; bread

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I made and entered Manchet for one of two entries  in our local Arts and Sciences competition.  I am sort of ashamed to say ... I sort of cheated ....

 

I took the original, converted weight to cups and divided the whole by 12 ... giving me a recipie that started with 10 cups of flour instead of half a busheland 1.5 cups of water instead of one gallon.

 

Here is what I used

 

10 cups flour

2 teaspons salt

1.5 cups warm water

1 cup yeast (sponge)

 

mixed it, kneeded it for 20 minutes, and left to rise near the heater outlet for an hour.  Then I formed into 8 loaves, made relief cuts around each.  Those were set to rise 1.5 hours.  by that time they were each about the size of a mans two fists.  I baked them at 400 for 30 minutes.

 

Here is where I kind of cheated the competition.

 

I was running late (what a surprise) so the bread came out of the oven and went into the basket as I was going out the door.   There is something to be said for wafting the aroma of fresh-baked bread past the entire hall on the way to the display table.

 

The Manchet got max points.

 

The other entry also got max points.

 

I am now the Otherhill Arts and Sciences Champion.

 

AND

 

I left with eight loaves.  I came home with ZERO.  So, I had to make more.  While I was doing that, I was also minding the children of a friend.  The 10 year old daughter was watching me make bread (mmmm   bread!!  SHE LOVES bread!!!).  So I had her help.  We talked about yeast, and why it works.  I explained the need for the relief cuts, (why would you want to cut the crust off?  Dunno ... I LIKE the crust!!).  Then, I sent her home with a cup of yeast starter, instructions on how to fead it, and a copy of the documentation I used for the competition.  We have a new devote' in the bread making arena.  She took half the Manchet home with her and we ate the rest with (OOP) Ham and Beans for supper last night.

 

have to make more tonight.

 

Malkin

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:49:12 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Arts and Sciences; bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< I took the original, converted weight to cups and divided the whole  by

12 ... giving me a recipie that started with 10 cups of flour  instead of

half a busheland 1.5 cups of water instead of one gallon. >>>

 

Congrats on your achievement -- it sounds like you'll approach the  role

of champion with integrity, which is what's important.

 

Can you tell us more about the original recipe you used? Who's this

making a bushel of flour's worth of manchet? I STR Markham giving a

recipe with instructions on how to shape them and all, but I don't  have

it in front of me right now... I just remember following his  shaping

instructions and getting little loaves that were almost  perfect little

hat-box-shaped cylinders, which was way cool.

 

Glad to hear you're having fun, and hoping to hear more...

 

Adamantius

--------------

 

Malkin appears to have used the recipe from "The Good Huswife's Handmaid for

the Kitchen" (1594, and appended below)..

 

I would like a little more detail on how the conversion was calculated. From my calculations, she used the weight of a Winchester bushel (70 lbs.)

and failed to account for the removal of the chesill.  If Malkin had used

one of the smaller Elizabethean bushels, I would have expected her results

without subtracting the chesill to be between 8 and 9 cups of flour and with

the chesill removed to be between 5 and 7 cups of flour

 

In any event, the recipe worked, which is what counts.  As a baker, I can

only applaud the win.

 

Bear

 

To Make Fine Manchet. Take halfe a bushell of fine flour twise boulted, and

a gallon of faire luke warm water, almost a handful of white salt, and

almost a pint of yest, then temper these together without any more liquor,

as hard as

ye can handle it: then let it lie halfe an hower, then take it up, and make

your Manchetts, and let them stande almost an hower in the oven. Memorandum,

that of every bushell of meale may be made five and twentie caste of bread,

and every loaf to way a pound besyde the chesill.

 

The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen, 1594

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:34:23 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Arts and Sciences; bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< Personally, I find it's best not to worry too much about measuring the

flour-- I just measure the liquid and add flour 'til it be enow.

 

10 cups of flour does sound like an awful lot to mix with just 1.5c. of

water, though... just on a notional basis, I would have said ~5c. would do

it.

--

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo >>>

 

When I adapted the manchet recipe from the Good Huswife's Handmaid for an

Elizabethan feast in 2001, I got 5-6 cups of flour to 1.5 cups of water.  So

I'm a little curious about the calculations.

 

When doing seriously large batches of bread, measuring by weight is the only

way to go to get the ingredient ratios right.  Small batch recipes have

enough wiggle room that the measures approximate the correct ratios.  I too

tend to measure the liquids, add yeast, sponge or starter, as appropriate,

then add any other solid ingredients with the first couple of cups of flour,

adding additional flour a cup or a half cup at a time until I get the

consistency of dough I want.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 01:49:08 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Arts and Sciences; bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

The recipe states "every bushell of meale may be made five and twentie caste

of bread, and every loaf to way a pound besyde the chesill."  A caste is two

or three loaves, in this case two loaves, which is four manchets or 100

manchets to be made from the flour "besyde the chesill."  The assumption you

appear to have made is that the full bushel of flour is usable, but the

recipe is actually calling for the removal of the bran (chesill) before use.

The chesill was commonly one peck per bushel, or in the case of a 56 pound

bushel, 14 pounds.  Based on your bushel size, the actual weight of the

flour is between 41.25 pounds and 45 pounds or between 160 and 180 cups,

given a 4 ounce cup.

 

Based on the recipe and a 56 pound bushel, 100 manchets will require 42

pounds of flour, 2 gallons of water (256 fl. ozs. based on the Elizabethan

wine gallon) and 1 quart of ale barm (32 fl. ozs.) and perhaps 4 ounces of

salt depending on the size of your fist.

 

Rather than try to figure out the sponge requirements, I'd use a couple

teaspoons of dry active yeast to a quarter cup of warm water to approximate

the ale barm.

 

You got me interested in playing with the recipe again, so maybe I'll make

up a batch for SCA hospitality tent at the Medieval Fair this coming

weekend.

 

Bear

 

<<< had to wait to respond until I had the actual documentation in hand.  I

used "The Good Huswife's Handmaid for the Kitchen".  The conversion of

flour was from an Almanac.  A bushel of flour weighs between 55 and 60

pounds, equivelent to  255 - 265 cups.  With that kind of variance ... I

was concerned about how that would translate down.  I made a few

test-drives before I made the competition batch.

 

Oh

 

And ... the flour was carefully measured the first time I made it.  The

second and third ... not so much.  The last batch (Sunday) I was less

careful about measuring (scoop and dump).  The total liquid was slightly

more than 2.5 cups.  I used yeast starter or sponge ... and I keep mine

quite liquid so I was at odds on how much liquid to actually USE and still

get enough yeastie beasties to grow the dough.  On the tests runs I played

with the amound of liquid.    I used one cup of the starter and one cup of

warm water and then added more as it needed. On the second test run I paid

close attention to how much yeast starter and how much water.  On the

competition batch I measured very carefully.  I also reported the

test-runs, lessons learned and the actual competition batch in the

documentation submitted with the entry.

 

The coolest thing about the Manchet is ... no sugar.  Tastes sweet .....

but not a bit of added sweetner in it.  That worried me a little at first

but it is a GREAT bread.

 

Judging sheet included (I believe ... I don't have the sheets in hand

right now) 1-10 points for presentation, 1-10 for period style, 1-10 for

the product and (1-5) for documentation.

 

Malkin >>>

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 15:21:05 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I've done a number of variations on the recipe, "To Make Fine Manchet" from

The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen (1594).  This past Monday, I

put on a manchet demonstration at the baronial A&S meeting.  Having done a

bit of research since I last visited this recipe, I based my adaptation on

the bushel of 64 Tower pounds (roughly 49.25 pounds avoir.) that was the

official standard of the day.  Previously, I used the Winchester bushel of

roughly 60 pounds avoir.

 

My new 1/10th version of the recipe calls for:

 

840 grams (29.5 ounces) of flour

14.5 fluid ounces of warm water (which includes the additional liquid of the

yeast in the recipe)

2.5 teaspoons of salt

1/4 ounce dry active yeast (one scant Tablespoon)

Additional flour as required for kneading

 

Proof the yeast in the water (my yeast is a little old, so I had to kick it

with a pinch of sugar)

Mix the flour and salt together

Add the proofed yeast to the flour and salt and stir to make a dough

Knead the dough until it forms a relatively smooth ball.  This is a very

hard dough to knead, so you may need to spend four or five minutes kneading

by hand to finish the dough.

Let the dough ball stand covered for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces, shape into balls and place on a cookie

sheet scattered with cornmeal.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes.

 

As I was working the dough on a granite countertop, I did not have to add

any flour beyond the original 840 grams.

I used a kitchen scale for extreme accuracy and produced five manchets of

9.5 ounces before and 8 ounces after baking (not exactly 8 ounces in, 6

ounces out, but I haven't done the conversion to Tower pounds).

 

In my opinion this is the closest I've come to precisely duplicating the

recipe.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 20:25:11 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] manchets

 

You may have gotten all the info you wish and/or you may have already seen

this info, but here is some of what has been said on this list in the past

about manchets.

 

brd-manchets-msg (52K) 6/12/09 Small bread loaves of the finest white flour

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/brd-manchets-msg.html

 

Stefan

------

 

Interesting. I don't think you have my latest experimentation with manchets

from the recipe in The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen in the

Florilegium.

 

I have tried to determine the actual weight of the flour in the recipe

because bushels used in trade varied in weight between 56 and 60 pounds

avoir. depending on what measures were used.  Using these weights in the

recipe did not produce the expected results.  Research brought me to the

Tower pound, which was in use at the time the recipe was written.  A bushel

would have weighed 64 Tower pounds.  A Tower pound was roughly 350 grams,

which means a bushel weighed 22.4 kg or 49.25 lb avoir.

 

By using the Tower pound, which would likely be the common measure, as the

measure produced results that I believe are more in keeping with the recipe.

While this is home recipe, the weights also mean that the heavier bushels of

flour would produce a few more loaves, an advantage for a commercial baker.

 

Using a half bushel of 32 Tower lbs, subtract 8 Tower pounds of chesill,

leaving 24 Tower lbs of fine flour (8.4 kg).

 

Liquid measure is the Elizabethean wine gallon of 128 fluid ounces which is

also the modern U.S. gallon measure.

 

A handful of salt is estimated to be 1/2 cup or 24 teaspoons.

 

Translating this to 1/10th of the original recipe:

 

29.5 oz avoir (or 840 g) flour

14.5 fl. oz. water (includes the additional fluid of the ale barm)

2.5 teaspoons salt

1 scant Tablespoon of dry active yeast (approx. 1/4 oz avoir. or one packet)

Additional flour for kneading

 

Proof the yeast in the liquor (which emulates an ale barm), then add the

liquor to the mixed dry ingredients.

 

This makes a very stiff dough that is hard to knead by hand, so I used the

Kitchenaide to do most of the kneading and finished it by hand, adding a

little flour to keep the dough from sticking..

 

Divide into 6 equal pieces.  Scatter coarse meal (I used corn meal) on the

baking sheet to keep the dough from sticking.  Shape dough and place on

baking sheet.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake

for about an hour.

 

Unbleached flour will produce a white crumb.  Whole wheat pastry flour will

produce a light brown crumb.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:33:59 +0000

From: Holly Stockley <hollyvandenberg at hotmail.com>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchets

 

I believe the recommendation for semolina was to strew on the baking sheet to prevent sticking.  It was in response to Bear's faboo description of his experimentation with manchet based on Markham's recipe and period weights.  In that light, it's actually not a bad idea.

Femke

 

On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 12:58 PM, Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Brekke wrote:

<<< You might want to try coarse semolina flour instead of corn flour next time. >>>

 

I'm confused.  Why would someone want to use semolina flour instead of wheat flour.   

Alys K.

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:50:30 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] manchets

 

Corn meal was what I had handy and is usually what is available in most

kitchens these days.  Besides, it's inexpensive.  I have used semolina,

crushed millet and just plain ole flour.  They all work.

 

Rather than replacing the water (which is called for in the recipe) with

ale, leave out 1 1/2 oz of water and replace it 1 1/2 oz of something like

Dundee's Honey Brown Ale.  This will be roughly equal to 1/10 of the pint of

ale barm called for in the recipe.  Using ale for all of the liquor will

darken the crumb considerably.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:55:39 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: <mirhaxa at morktorn.com>,   "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] manchets

 

<< Do you think the stiffness of the dough might relate to the humidity

differences? Mirhaxa

 

mirhaxa at morktorn.com >>

 

No. The recipe specifically calls for "as hard as ye can handle it." Most

bread recipes run 2 to 3 cups of flour to one of liquid.  The recipe I have

worked out is slightly more than 4 to 1 flour to liquor, which makes a very

stiff dough in any humidity.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 09:05:16 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchets

 

Femke said:

<<< I believe the recommendation for semolina was to strew on the baking

sheet to prevent sticking.  It was in response to Bear's faboo description

of his experimentation with manchet based on Markham's recipe and period

weights. In that light, it's actually not a bad idea. >>>

 

So what is the advantage of using semolina flour (or cornstarch/corn

flower) for this instead of the flour you are already using or "regular"

wheat flour of some type?

 

Is it more the fact that you want something coarse? Or something that

burns at a higher temperature or something else?

 

Is this something you need to do on the floor in a thermal mass oven as

well? Or just something you need to do in a modern type oven?

 

Stefan

==========

 

There is no particular advantage.  All this does is create a layer between

the baking surface (baking sheet, oven floor, etc.) and the loaves to be

baked. It was a common practice to scatter meal in thermal mass ovens to

reduce scorching the bottom crust by providing some insulation and a

covering over any residual ash.  It works even better on modern baking

sheets. I've been using the method for 20 years or so and find it superior

parchment or grease for sheet baked breads.  It cleans up with a shake over

the trash can and a swipe of the sponge.

 

Semolina would have been available throughout period where corn (maize) meal

would not.  Crushed millet also works well and would likely have been less

costly than semolina.  Corn meal is cheap and performs the same function.  I

have switched to flour when I am baking for someone with an allergy to

maize.

 

Coarse meal covers better with less waste than finer ground meals.  I've

never tried corn starch (or any starch for that matter), but I think it

would be far more expensive than coarse meal.  Also, starch is an extracted

carbohydrate that is convertible to sugar.  I'm not sure how this would

affect the baking, but I suspect it will burn at a lower temperature than

flour.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 11:12:00 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchets

 

<<< I vaguely recall seeing references to throwing a handful of meal in to

see if it browns immediately on the oven floor, thereby gauging the

temperature?

 

Adamantius >>>

.

I haven't encountered that idea, but it makes a certain amount of sense.  If

the flo.our of the oven is too hot, then you are almost guaranteed a black

bottomed loafr.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 09:54:10 -0800 (PST)

From: Dan Schneider <schneiderdan at ymail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchets

 

Ayuh, if it turns black right away, you want to either sweep it down with a wet broom or just let it wait a bit; if the meal browns at a relatively leisurely rate, you're good to go.

 

Dan

 

--- On Wed, 12/1/10, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:

<<< I vaguely recall seeing references to throwing a handful of

meal in to see if it browns immediately on the oven floor,

thereby gauging the temperature?

 

Adamantius >>>

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org