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bread-msg – 12/16/07

 

Medieval breads and grains. Recipes. Flour bleaching. Rising agents.  Bread for feasts.

 

NOTE: See also these files: breadmaking-msg, BNYeast-art, flour-msg, yeasts-msg, bread-stamps-msg, bread-stuffed-msg, brd-mk-flat-msg, brd-mk-sour-msg, fried-breads-msg, brd-manchets-msg, leavening-msg, trenchers-msg.

 

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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

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

 

From: bloch at thor.ucsd.edu (Steve Bloch)

Date: 29 Jun 90 00:15:29 GMT

 

DEW%PSUECLC.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU (Baron Dur) writeth:

>I ran an experiment this weekend!  You can bake bread in a wok!  I used a

>standard bread recipie, a wok, and a pizza screen.  I put the dough on the

>screen in the wok, covered it, and baked for 40 minutes.  [puns omitted]

 

I believe Cariadoc mentioned, perhaps a month past, a dish called

"rampart-bread", "muqawwara" in the original Arabic.  I have made this

dish at two or three Wars with reasonable success.  In brief:

 

Make a yeast-leavened bread-dough, most of the liquid being eggyolks.

Let it rise.  Forming it into a disk shape (say, a foot across and a

handsbreadth thick), FRY it on both sides in a large frying-pan with

butter.  Then take it out, cut out the middle at a 45-degree angle

(not breaking the bottom), crumble the stuff you cut out, mix the

breadcrumbs with chopped almonds and pistachios, and sprinkle it back

into the cavity in alternating layers with melted butter, honey,

sugar, and a sprinkle of rosewater.

 

I was surprised that the bread cooked through without burning on the

outside.  I rested the pan directly on the coals left over from

breakfast; if you prefer a softer crust, you might put it a few inches

above the fire.  A more detailed description, with quantities and (my

translation of) the original recipe, may appear in the Winter T.I.

--

Stephen Bloch

Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

>sca>Caid>Calafia>St.Artemas

bloch at cs.ucsd.edu

 

 

From: crf at pine.circa.ufl.EDU (FEINSTEIN)

Date: 20 Mar 91 22:33:00 GMT

 

BREAD:  If you want "real" ale barm, talk to a homebrewer!  No doubt a few

dregs could be reserved.  :-)  As both a brewer and a cook, however, I have to

offer a caution:  these days, yeasts are pure strains, not the wild mix which

the medievals would have used.  Thus, any brew dregs wouldn't work very well or

very quickly.  As an alternative, you might want to try my favorite trick:

substitute ale for some or all of the water in your bread recipe!  Admittedly,

it's not the "real thing", but it surely does work better, and it also tastes

much more like the "real thing" than if you used ale dregs!  Frankly, it's

produced the best, and probably the most accurate-tasting, results I've

obtained.  Because when I've used real ale barm, I couldn't taste the ale and

the bread didn't have such a good web.  When substituting ale for water, the

bread looks good, tastes of the ale, and smells and tastes WONDERFUL!

 

 

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: 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

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: shafer at spdcc.com (Mary Shafer)

Subject: Re: Camp Bread, In period

Organization: S.P. Dyer Computer Consulting, Cambridge MA

Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 18:16:25 GMT

 

Kevin Riley  <lindo at radix.net> wrote:

>This doesn't exactly answer the question about ovens, but here's a

>recipe for Bannocks that can be cooked either on a griddle (or other

>flat piece of metal).  If anyone can tell me what might have been used

>to substitute for the baking soda...

 

I don't know if it is period, but Spirits of Hartshorn (aka Baker's

Ammonia and ammonium carbonate) was (and still is) used in northern

Europe in cookies before patent baking sodas became popular in the

1800s.  However, these make very crisp cookies, which isn't what

anyone would want in bannocks.

 

However, I'd suspect, based on Elizabeth David and the author of "In A

Scots Kitchen", that bannocks originally weren't raised at all but

were more like hoecakes or other unleavened biscuit.  It's unlikely

that they'd be yeast-risen, like a sourdough, because oats have no

gluten at all to trap the CO2 produced by yeast.

--

Mary Shafer  DoD #0362 KotFR  shafer at ursa-major.spdcc.com

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

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: shafer at spdcc.com (Mary Shafer)

Subject: Re: Camp Bread, In period

Organization: S.P. Dyer Computer Consulting, Cambridge MA

Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 18:37:02 GMT

 

rosalyn rice <rorice at nickel.ucs.indiana.edu> wrote:

>In article <3252CE4E.1513 at radix.net>, Kevin Riley  <lindo at radix.net> wrote:

>>TJorDan001 wrote:

>

>>This doesn't exactly answer the question about ovens, but here's a

>>recipe for Bannocks that can be cooked either on a griddle (or other

>>flat piece of metal).  If anyone can tell me what might have been used

>>to substitute for the baking soda...

>

>       I just got a tanatalizing bit of information about what might

>have been a period substitute for baking soda - baking soda.

>

>       Acipius suggests cooking green vegetables with "Nitrum" so that they

>keep their color. Nitrum is a form of natural soda. It is possible that

>such a thing could have been used as a leavening agent, though I

>seriously doubt it. It doesn't appear as an ingredient in any medieval

>recipes, and commercial baking sodas/powders appear to be a 19th c.

>invention. (All this from Harold McGee "On Food and Cooking")

 

Commercial, or "patent", baking powders are a mixture of sodium

bicarbonate (baking soda) and cream of tartar.  Cream of tartar forms

deposits on the outside of wine barrels, where it can be scraped off.

Comprehensive cookbooks even provide formula for substitution.

 

Nitrum, to keep vegetables green, sounds like baking soda. It's well

known that a pinch of baking soda will keep vegetable a vivid,

unnatural green (while destroying the vitamin content, especially

vitamine C).  It also gives the vegetables a chemical taste

--

Mary Shafer  DoD #0362 KotFR  shafer at ursa-major.spdcc.com

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

 

 

From: ddfr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Camp Bread, In period

Date: 4 Oct 1996 08:06:30 GMT

 

yehudahben at aol.com (YehudahBen) wrote:

> From Lady Agnes   Is it possible that they used Sourdough at least for

> some of their baking ?

 

Yes. Pretty clearly sourdough was used in period. Charles Perry, who knows

quite a lot about medieval Islamic cooking, believes that it is what the

recipes mean when they talk about leavening.

 

David/Cariadoc

--

ddfr at best.com

 

 

From: troy at maestro.com (Philip W. Troy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Camp Bread, In period

Date: Sat, 05 Oct 1996 10:01:02 -0400

Organization: Toad Computers

 

rorice at nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (rosalyn rice) wrote:

> Kevin Riley  <lindo at radix.net> wrote:

> >TJorDan001 wrote:

> >This doesn't exactly answer the question about ovens, but here's a

> >recipe for Bannocks that can be cooked either on a griddle (or other

> >flat piece of metal).  If anyone can tell me what might have been used

> >to substitute for the baking soda...

>

>         I just got a tanatalizing bit of information about what might

> have been a period substitute for baking soda - baking soda.

>

>         Acipius suggests cooking green vegetables with "Nitrum" so that they

> keep their color. Nitrum is a form of natural soda. It is possible that

> such a thing could have been used as a leavening agent, though I

> seriously doubt it. It doesn't appear as an ingredient in any medieval

> recipes, and commercial baking sodas/powders appear to be a 19th c.

> invention. (All this from Harold McGee "On Food and Cooking")

>

>         Lothar

 

It's always been my impression, probably from something in the

Flowers/Rosenbaum translation of Apicius, that the Roman cooking soda was

sodium carbonate, a.k.a. Washing Soda. Sodium Bicarbonate does the same

thing, from a culinary standpoint, producing a bright green in vegetables

no matter how badly they're overcooked by modern standards. Since they

would have been cooked nearly to a puree by Roman cooks, this would have

been an issue.

 

As regards the use of eggs and/or soda in bannocks, to render them

toothworthy, I believe the first thing used to lighten and tenderize them

would have been fat of some kind. Modern oatcake recipes generally call

for some kind of fat, either butter or lard, to be rubbed in, as in a pie

crust recipe. They are, of course, rolled pretty thin, and have a

cookie-like texture.

 

The problem with using either eggs or fat is that they tend to shorten the

shelf-life, a great inconvenience to soldiers on the march. Probably they

would have stuck to the earliest forms of the sgian (scone) which would

have been a crisp, toasted, oatmeal-and-water pancake. Otherwise, there's

always hard-tack or biscuit, which is the equivalent of Melba toast, more

or less. A regular yeast bread, sliced and toasted till perfectly dry,

hence the term bis-cuit, or twice cooked. Sailors ate a form of it too.

 

Of course, good bread would have been available when sacking a town,

sometimes...

 

Gideanus Tacitus Adamantius

 

 

From: Deloris Booker <dbooker at freenet.calgary.ab.ca>

From: pat at lalaw.lib.CA.US (Pat Lammerts)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Camp Bread, In period

Date: 9 Oct 1996 20:57:22 -0400

 

>There is a new edition of the Ed Wood book on ancient sourdough

>breadmaking techniques out. I'm not at work so I don't even know the EXACT

>title, but I will post info tonight or tomorrow. He points out that

>sourdough culture was THE method for leavening up until very recently.

>It's a really good read and has lots of recipes.

 

Here is the book that MtheU wrote about:

 

Wood, Ed, 1926-

  World sourdoughs from antiquity / Ed Wood. -- [Rev. ed.]. -- Berkeley,

Calif. : Ten Speed Press, 1996.

  ISBN 0898158435

 

$16.95 per Books in Print.

 

Huette

(pat at lalaw.lib.ca.us)

 

 

From: djheydt at uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: 14th Century Bread

Date: 10 Feb 1997 16:11:46 GMT

Organization: University of California at Berkeley

 

Morgan E. Smith <mesmith at freenet.calgary.ab.ca> wrote:

>Until this century, the majority of bread was made with sour dough

>cultures, not the types of commercial yeasts we have today. ...

 

Well, that's half right.  Commercial "cake" yeast is a

twentieth-century invention, and commercially available

granulated dried yeast is probably not much older.  But it's not

the case that all period yeasts were of the sourdough type that

had to be kept wet in a crock.  The stuff sporulates, after all,

and under adverse conditions goes into offline mode till better

times come back.  One of the ways to keep yeast between uses was

to dip a twiggy branch or bush into the yeast froth and allow it

to dry.  To begin a new batch of ale, you'd swish the branch

through the starting liquid and infect it with yeast spores, who

would then wake up, cry "Chow's on!" and get to work. A bush hung

up to dry over the alehouse door was a signal that the hostess

had just finished brewing.  In the same way, kneading troughs used

week after week for bread would become impregnated with the spores,

and you had only to pour in the liquid and work the flour in to get

it enough yeast to get it to rise nicely, leaving a new crop of spores

in the trough in the process.  (Cf.  Dorothy Hartley's _Food in

England._)

 

Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin                          Dorothy J. Heydt

Mists/Mists/West                                Albany, California

PRO DEO ET REGE                                     djheydt at uclink

 

 

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: 14th Century Bread

Date: 11 Feb 1997 13:12:29 GMT

Organization: ProLog - PenTeleData, Inc.

 

dvick at crl.com (Donald E. Vick) wrote:

>In article <32fbc2c3.3925262 at news.avalon.nf.ca>,

>Barbara <bjluby at avalon.nf.ca> wrote:

>>I, too, am curious about the ingredients used in late

>>14th century (English) bread.  Would the people of

>>this period have had access to salt for bread-making?

>>

>>Can bread be made without salt? without yeast?

>

>     From my experience, bread can be made without either of these.  It

>will not be as good a texture, and in the case of omitting the yeast,

>it will take several times as long to rise.  This comes of having to

>wait for natural yeasts in the air to invade your dough, rather than

>artificially introducing yeasts.  

>Hugh the Barefoot

 

Good Gentles,

 

It's true that period recipes are not as thick on the ground as other

types of recipes. It was such a basic part of everyday life, at first,

and then people began baking for a living (and who would willingly part

with their professional secrets?).

 

Some recipes call for adding ale barm as leavening (which, technically,

probably produced a *rise* after a long period. The lees probably have

more live organism content. Or so I have been corrected by a Master

Brewer. Perhaps period ale yeast was acting differently---I believe

Guiness' Brewery's strain may be the only continuing strain from any

where near our period into the present) But I digress.

 

Souring bread dough need not take place in the dough itself. My favorite

recipe is from Colonial America, in a cookbook obtained from French

Azilum, which supplies the steps for a starter so soured that the bread

makes you pucker. Even so, souring agents have a rise and fall

taste cycle, and so at different parts of their life they may be

relatively "normal" tasting to the average modern bread eater.

 

The method (off the top of my head) goes like this:

 

Mix flour, a little sugar or honey and water and a little milk(because

you want the milk-type yeast, which produces the souring agents) to form

a batter the consistency of *pancake* batter, to make 2 pints (approx).

Put this in a jug that holds about 2 qts. Put the jug, loosley covered,

into a pot with 2-3 inches of lukewarm water (stockpot size will do).

Cover and let stand overnight in a warm place. In the morning you should

have a foamy mass that is an active yeast culture (If not, then just let

the jug stand on the counter until it begins to foam. This could take

an extra day if the climate won't cooperate!). Use this to make bread in

the normal fashion, except: use half the mixture for your bread

leavening, and put the rest back for tomorrow's bread, with more flour

and liquids/sugars to bring it up to 2 pints. This will prodice enough

leavening for 2 one lb. loaves. They do rise a little slower, and

slightly oddly(retaining the squareness of the pan, for instance, instead

or rounding like you would be used to in a modern loaf).

 

My Husband loves this bread. Can't keep it in the house. I make a normal

milk loaf with this leavening. OTOH, my kids hate it. It isn't

wonderbread!

 

I understand that period white flour was the consistency of modern

biscuit flour. However, the masses would have made bread out of anything:

Barley flour (I broke a mill on that one!), ground peas and beans

(pulse), oatmeal, *whole* wheat or rye, or any combination of the above.

Manchet bread recipes ARE available from period sources. i suppose it was

considered sufficiently high-class to retain these recipes.

 

Hope that helps.

Aoife

 

 

From: willow at dowco.com

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 23:07:02 -0700

Subject: SC - Leavening for Breads and Cakes

 

Dearest Lor Mandrigal of Mu:

 

Joy, rapture, huzza's - finally there is something I know a little

about!  I can finally impart some knowledge to someone else, since I

have been soaking up learned discourses for the last few weeks, much

like a sponge.

 

There are a couple of ways that were used to make breads without the

introduction of processed yeast.  One is the use of a potato starter.  I

must admit, I don't know the details of this one, but I know where I can

find them, so will post tomorrow.

 

Yeast left from brewing, either ale or wine, was also used, at least in

the historical books I have on English, Scot, Irish and Welsh baking in

the period from the 11th to 16th century.  I have no reason to think

that the same procedure wasn't used in the rest of the world.  I don't

think that I would like to bake with the lees of brewing, though.  But

again, maybe that is only my taste.

 

A sponge was also made and left to sit out for a day or two (much like

sourdough) to collect wild yeasts.  It works well, but again, it is much

like sourdough.

 

The French did - and still do - use something called a levain. It is a

pc of dough kept from the last batch of bread and used to introduce

yeast into another batch of dough.  Mind you, it takes 3 days to make a

loaf of bread.  1 day to culture the levain; one day to make the sponge

and then, the third day to bake the bread.  But what heavenly, crusty

bread it is.  Since I have learned to bake it, I always have levain

handy.  It will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks (the

longest I have kept it), but it must come to room temperature before

using.

 

Enough for now.  I remain,

Brigid Morgan ap Crawford of Shrewsbury

 

 

From: willow at dowco.com

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 08:53:26 -0700

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks Hello to all

 

Hail Charles:

 

I too am interested in bread baking in the old manner, though I seem to

have specialized in the English, Scotch, Irish branches of the craft,

with some French and Italian thrown in for good measure. I have had a

hard time translating (Middle and Olde English seems like a foriegn

language sometimes!) as well as adapting the recipes. Breaking down the

flower from a bushel or peck to a manageable level is difficult at the

best of times.  Some -or I might say most - 12th century recipes use the

left-overs from ale making to leven bread, though that practice seemed

to have lessened with the advent of manchet and white flours.

 

I think I have finally mastered trenchers - they have to be made with

whole meal flour and left to harden for four days before using.  I have

tried to use them fresh with disasterous results and much leaking of the

juices from vegs and meat.  I am having an Elizabethan feast for a few

friends on the Queen's birthday, so I will have a chance to test my

theories.

 

I would delight in exchanging views and recipes with you, either through

SCA or privately. I am very new to SCA - a half-dozen weeks, maybe, but

I have always had an abiding interest in all things ancient and that

includes food and -mostly - breads and cakes, which were usually nearly

the same, less yeast.

 

Yours in service to the dream, I remain

 

Lady Bridgid Morgan ap Crawford of Shrewsbury

willow at dowco.com

 

 

From: "Philip W. Troy" <troy at asan.com>

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 14:46:54 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Scottish Recipes

 

Sue Wensel wrote:

 

> The most difficult thing about a quintessentially Scottish feast is the amount

> of baking soda called for in everything we think is Scottish.  Unfortunately,

> to the best of my knowledge, baking soda and baking powder aren't period

> (please, somebody tell me I'm wrong!!)

 

Interestingly enough, I have read that the standard period substitute

for baking soda was generally: nothing. The theory goes that most baked

goods contained some kind of fat for shortening, and the farmwives, or

whoever did the baking, had very "light" hands. The trick was to work a

dough JUST enough to get it to hold together, and no more. So no excess

gluten development. In addition, most European bakers in period used a

softer wheat flour than we are used to - both because of the extent to

which the meal was processed, but also because of the variety of wheat

used. So, breads were probably considerably heavier than we are used to,

but not as tough as we might expect them to be under the circumstances.

 

Almost as interesting is the fact that the Romans used what we now call

washing soda for cooking, but not for baking.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: Deloris Booker <dbooker at freenet.calgary.ab.ca>

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 15:20:15 -0600 (MDT)

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks Greetings

 

Re Yeast in period,

 

May I refer one and all to two books:

 

English bread and yeast cookery : Elizabeth David

 

Food in England : Huxley (long oout of print, but now available again in a

vastly overpriced edition from Little Brown)

 

Both books spend a lot of time on yeast in english cookery.

 

Aldreada of the lakes

 

 

From: allilyn at juno.com (LYN M PARKINSON)

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 20:32:37 EDT

Subject: Re: SC - Leavening for Breads and Cakes

 

On Tue, 15 Apr 1997 00:06:15 -0700 dragon7777 at juno.com (Susan A Allen)

writes:

>As I recall there was a National Geographic or some such

>that talked about the Egyptian beer and bread process,

>and in fact re-created bread, baked in something that look

>a lot like a clay flower pot, these were large loafs

>I think 5 or 8 pounds, my memory is vague,

>The people there all ate the bread, chewy and good.

>

>Susan

 

The article was "Bake Like an Egyptian" in Modern Maturity, Sept./Oct.

1996.  The author was Ed Wood, who raises wild sourdough cultures on his

Idaho ranch and is the author of _World Sourdoughs From Antiquity_, Ten

Speed Press, 1996.  He and archaeologist Mark Lehner, working with the

National Geographic Society, recreated how the ancient Egyptians baked

bread.  Lehner discovered the ruins of two bakery rooms dating to around

2500 B.C. near the Giza pyramids.

 

There's a recipe for Pita Bread and suggestions on how to make your own

sourdough starter.  He puts 1 C. bread flour and 1 C. room temp.

water--probably a good idea to use distilled water, or something that

would not have all the fluorides, et al, that come out of our taps--in a

medium bowl.  Cover with cheesecloth to keep out 'visitors' he says.

Weather should be 70 degrees at least.  Not a problem in Trimaris.  ;-)

Every 12 hours he feeds his starter 1 C. bread flour and 3/4 C. room temp

water.  Stir several times between feedings.  Repeat process for 3-5 days

or until a layer of foam forms, 1" thick.  The starter should be uniform

in appearance with no evidence of mold and should have a pleasing odor.

Otherwise, throw it all out and start over in a different part of the

yard.

 

Allison

 

 

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 14:25:06 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - New subscriber

 

> I am now looking for references about leavening for breads and cakes during

> our Period.

 

Run, do not walk, and acquire Elizabeth David's book on bread cookery.

      Tibor

 

 

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Mon, 05 May 1997 17:19:17 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - lutefish

 

gypsy1 wrote:

 

Lefse is an unleavened pancake made from a soft dough, rather than from

a batter. Depending on what grain or other starch they are made from

(nowadays they are sometimes made from potatoes, which makes them more

properly lompe rather than lefse) they are either eaten fresh, and quite

flexible they are, too, or dried to a matzoh-like consistency, and then

reconstituted by wrapping in a damp towel for a couple of hours before

eating (HINT, HINT: are you getting this, Joshua?)

 

>  Ok...but what's Flex Mazoh???

> Rita the Ignorant  8-) (=large goofy grin)

>

> On Thu, 1 May 1997, david friedman wrote:

>

> > At 4:47 PM -0500 5/1/97, Mark Harris wrote:

> >

> > >What's "lefsa"?

> >

> > Flex Mazoh. Eaten with butter and sugar.

> >

> > David/Cariadoc

 

Also eaten with butter and cloudberry or lingonberry jam. Some eat them

with butter and cranberry sauce, in a pinch.

 

Adamantius

 

 

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

Date: Wed,  7 May 1997 12:10:09 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Mushrooms! -Reply

 

Excerpts from internet.listserv.sca-cooks: 6-May-97 Re: SC - Mushrooms!

- -Reply by LYN M PARKINSON at juno.com

> Some of my German recipes call for 'hartshorn' as an ingredient.  Do we

> have any animal chemists on the list to know if deer antlers contain

> cream of tartar or something like baking powder or soda?  If so, it may

> be a leavening in period.

 

Nope, they contain ammonia, which was used as a rising agent in period.

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 13:36:18 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Mushrooms! -Reply

 

  > Some of my German recipes call for 'hartshorn' as an ingredient.  Do we

  > have any animal chemists on the list to know if deer antlers contain

  > cream of tartar or something like baking powder or soda?  If so, it may

  > be a leavening in period.

  

  Nope, they contain ammonia, which was used as a rising agent in period.

 

I'm not sure that this is right.  It was discussed (some years ago) on

the rec.food.historic list.  I found a bunch of the relevant articles

with http://www.dejanews.com/ searching that newsgroup for "ammonia".

 

Hartshorn is a mixture of ammonimum bi-carbonate and ammonimum

carbonate, and is still used in Europe today.  Cream of Tartar is

tartaric acid, and baking powders and sodas are primarily sodium

bi-carbonate.

 

The physical action of ammonium carbonate when it becomes CO2 and

ammonia is slightly different, and I gather the textures are noticably

different to the connoiseur.  Hartshorn is also volatile, and spoils, and

there appear to be "chemistry issues" when it is mixed into sour foods.

 

Some of the posters thought that baking powder and soda could be used as a

substitute, but would give a soapy flavor.  Others thought that hartshorn

gave an ammoniacal flavor.  I dunno.

 

            Tibor

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 22:23:33 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

<< Lord Ras, is it possible that the sources you have been looking at are

primarily just for the upper class and thus would miss the use of butter by

other classes in/on food?

 

Yes, this is not only possible but accurate. Since SCA personas are "noble"

theoretically I tend to avoid/ignore sources that do not pertain to that

class.

<<I remember some arguments in previous years on whether "honey butter" was

period at all. If even "herb butter" and butter were not period, what was

eaten on bread? Anything? >>

 

It is my "belief" that olive oil was used as a bread spread when anything was

used at all. My research indicates that the majority of time bread was not

eaten as is but rather was used as sops or dipped into the liquid portions

of meals or consumed dry without additional additives. The "period" style

bread recipes that I have personally redacted tend to be rather heavy in

texture and are not unpalatible when eaten by theirselves.

 

This is really rather interesting and I would be grateful for others input as

this particular question (the way bread was normally consumed during period)

has been an object of deep interest to me for several years. Perhaps

Adamantius or His Excellency, Duke Coriadoc could shed some further light on

this intriguing question.

 

Yours in service to the Dream,

Lord Ras al Zib, AoA, OSyc  (Uduido at aol.com)

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 11:44:53 -0500

Subject: Re:  SC - Butter-oops

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Lord Ras writes:

 

>It is also my contention that bread was

>almost universally dipped in broths,etc. (e.g. "sops") thus negating the

>widespread use of any spread being necessary. I would welcome any further

>thoughts or info in this area.

 

Period serving manuals indicate that tables were set with large amounts

of bread completely apart from trenchers, and that bread was always on

the table with cheese and fruit before the first course arrived.  This

would tend to go against your contention.  There are recipes for sops,

but they are not all that common; and while it is highly probable that

bread was dipped in other broths and sauces, we have no evidence

that it was *only* used so, and considerable reason to doubt it.  On

the other hand, the same serving manuals make no mention of putting

butter on the table (or olive oil); which suggests that neither was it

spread with substances of that kind, at least much of the time.

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 07:40:44 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Sugar, Flour and Bread (Longwinded;)

 

Warning: Longwinded Post to follow!

 

Berengaria wrote:

>Also, we were talking about bleaching flour earlier. My

>understanding is that much modern bleached flour comes about because

>of chemical bleaching, not storage methods.  I have also been going

>for the unbleached white flour, which is still fine and white, and

>using that in my SCA cooking attempts.  Any thoughts on this?

 

I have listened to the flour debate quite a bit. The latest "in" arguement I

have heard was that only modern "biscuit" flour had the appropriate texture

and color to resemble period fine white bread. These "statements of

unmaleable fact" make me nervous. Others insist that a percentage of whole

wheat and/or rye must be added to the mixture to get an accurate

representation of "real" period flour (various errant grains having been

reaped with the wheat, y'see, or partions of bran remaining in the flour).

I feel that the truth is somewhat less sweeping. For many of us, we have to

use what is available. Add to that factor the "scientific hypothesis"  about

Biscuit flour, and what you get is this: We don't know for sure. However,

from SCA baking experience and source reading it is possiible to draw some

conclusions:

 

Period European White Bread (Manchet) was very similar to our modern dense

home-made white loaves, at least from written descriptions. It is possible

to duplicate the few period bread recipes with good results. You can be

confident that you are arriving close to the reality if you use unbleached

white flour (or biscuit flour). Mostly these recipes have been guarded by

baking guilds who, naturally, were loath to part with their secrets, and

thus did not write them down.

 

Just as now, all sorts of breads were available in period, made from many

types of grains. Pulse, for instance, was a flour made of at least a portion

of pea- or bean-meal. Add in other factors: colder climates with poorer

soils and little imports used more oats or other hearty grains. Warmer, more

accessible, soil-rich areas preferred wheat, but barley, Rye, etc. were

common and had wide usage.

 

In general, the higher in society one went, the lower the proportion of

unleavened/whole grains that were included in the "daily bread".

 

At least in Russia, bread and other food was used as a form of monetary

exchange for servants and vassals. A weekly portion was alloted for each

servant in the form of a huge loaf (or a half-loaf). This was supposed to

last for the week, so it must have been very large indeed (see the

Domostroi). The French brought over to the colonies a tradition for Miches,

or large, round loaves of "commom" bread, which weighed sufficient to last

for several days without going stale. My source says that they could weight

up to 16 lbs. (English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David, Viking

Press, NY 1980--but I'm quoting second hand).  

 

Not all breads were leavened. Some breads were leavened by captured yeast

(a/k/a spontaneous leaven), some by "starters" or "mothers" or "trees"

(portion of the dough reserved for the next batch). Some breads were leavend

with brewing yeast borrowed from the scum (for top-brewing strains more

common in period) or the lees (sediment leftover).

 

So, although we have a great deal of information, we once again are stuck

with the fact that, not having eaten bread in period, we can only make

educated guesses about texture, flour quality, leavening and grain content.

But as far as I'm concerned, that's the fun part.

 

Now, I have a question for the other bread-lovers out there:

  

I have seen recipes for "plain" bread, and rich bread with fruit included

(called Diet Bread!?!). Has anyone out there seen recipes for what we'd call

"herb" bread, or bread incorporating any other ingredients like cheese? Just

curious. I've seen nary a one(well, a few cheese-fritter recipes, but I'm

looking for loaf-bread recipes here). That doesn't mean they weren't

consumed, however, in period. I tend to have a rather narrow focus, not

looking much past central Europe unless an autocrat hands me a different

theme for the feast.  

 

Cheers,

Aoife

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 07:42:51 -0400

From: Margo Lynn Hablutzel <Hablutzel at compuserve.com>

To: A&S List <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Bread Recipes

 

The only recipe I have dedacted "to make a fine brede" is actually

angelfood cake, so that's not much help.  I have one book with some bread recipes, but I think these are mostly adapted ones because since it was

such a simple thing, not many bread recipes survived until pretty late in

cooking history.

 

One of my hobbies is collecting old cookbook, you can be amazed and amused

at the contents!  And we're not even talking 20th Century.

 

In "The Medieval Cookbook" by Maggie Black, she notes that no recipes have

survived but gives two recipes based upon her reading of many references.

 

One is White Bread and one is Barley Bread.  I checked several other

cookbooks and while some refer to bread already made, none have recipes for

it.  Be careful, as with modern British english, 'biskit' or 'biskit brede'

is more often a cookie than what we refer to as bread nowadays.

 

                                        ---D Morgan

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 10:24:55

From: Luznicky <we4 at widomaker.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: bread recipe needed

 

At 10:26 PM 5/25/97 -0500, you wrote:

>Does anyone know of a simple period bread recipe that uses all-purpose

>flour? Most of the recipes I have found have onions or lots of spices,

>etc. It is to be served at a feast, so I would like to find a recipe

>that most people would find tasty.

>

>Maggie

 

Many recipes (as in _English bread and yeast cookery_) use packaged yeast.

Not period.  You will need a sour dough recipe to be close to any that would

have been made in period(many did use the barm from beer.) A couple

of suggested sources are  1) the Desem bread recipe in _Laurel's Bread Book_

and 2) any fo the whole grain  recipes in _Breads from La Brea_ by Nancy

Silverton.  Good Luck!

 

Mikhail the Armorer

Tarkhan Khanate Bright Hawk

Great Household of the Dark Horde

PLMPLA

we4 at widomaker.com

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 11:16:55 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Sugar, Flour and Bread (Longwinded;)

 

Aoife discussed flours and bread recipes.

 

What we have found so far for bread recipes includes:

 

1. Rastons, from Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books (English):  yeast

bread made with eggs and sugar in the dough; after baking, cut off top

crust, crumble inside to crumbs, mix butter in with crumbs, put top crust

back on and bake again briefly.

 

2. Platina's description of how to make bread (15th c. Italian):  wheat

flour with salt, flour, and "leaven", which I believe to be sourdough,

baked the day after the dough is made.

 

3. Chapatis, from a 16th-century Indian book, with no directions but with

quantities by weight of flour, milk, ghee (clarified butter), and salt.

 

So far, that is it for recipes.  Anne Wilson (_Food and Drink in Britain_;

a very good secondary source) discusses breads and flours, going from

household accounts and bakers' regulations; according to her, higher wheat

content and whiter flours increase both up the social scale at any given

time and through time during our period.

 

Elizabeth of Dendermonde/Betty Cook

 

 

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 11:14:59 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Sugar, Flour and Bread (Longwinded;)

 

Elizabeth of Dendermonde/Betty Cook wrote:

> What we have found so far for bread recipes includes:

>

> 1. Rastons, from Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books (English)....

>

> 2. Platina's description of how to make bread (15th c. Italian)....

>

> 3. Chapatis, from a 16th-century Indian book....

>

> So far, that is it for recipes....

 

If we're going far enough afield to include both rastons and chapatis,

I think we can include some other yeast-raised recipes from the

Andalusian sources.  Cariadoc/David posted a few of these, notably the

famous "pile of pancakes bread" (whose Arabic name I've forgotten).  I

would point out also the dish "muqawwara", which is a yeast-raised

bread dough, of either semolina or ordinary flour, moistened with milk

and egg yolks (IIRC, the 13c. original recipe says 15 egg yolks per

pound of flour), which is shaped into a disk and pan-fried on both

sides.  Of course, it is then further abused in a manner reminiscent of

Rastons: you cut out the middle, crumble the crumbs, mix them with

chopped almonds and pistachios, and refill the cavity with crumbs in

alternating layers with sugar and melted butter.  It's in my T.I.

article, which is on Greg Lindahl's SCA cookery page as well as at

"http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/cooking/";.

 

                              mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                 Stephen Bloch

                                           sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

                              http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/

                                        Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 13:26:16 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - Period Recipes

 

Hi, Katerine Rountre here.  

 

Just a quick footnote.  Lord Ras writes:

 

>This holds true for other New World foods such as corn which can be

>documented as being grown in LATE period but it's documented use was strictly

>for animal feed. Human consumption is not documented per se and certainly was

>not readily accepted in noble circles.

 

Actually, I have documented corn as used for human consumption.  The class

isn't clear.  But only in the form of bread, and not modern (baking soda

leavened) corn bread.  For details, see

 

     http://www.watervalley.net/users/jtn/Articles/maize.html

 

But it's a *very* narrow window of time and place, and we don't know in any

detail what sort of bread anyhow.  Should people serve corn at feasts, based

on this information?  Who the heck knows what "should" means in this context?

All I hope for, is that those who choose to do so will make some attempt to

avoid false impressions of what we actually know of the record ("Of course

it's okay!  S/He's documented corn up one side and down the other!").

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: Par Leijonhufvud <parlei at ki.se>

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 12:56:37 +0200 (METDST)

Subject: Campfire bread (was: SC - camping recipes)

 

On Mon, 16 Jun 1997 linneah at erols.com wrote:

 

> I've always been partial to bread dough wrapped around a clean green stick and

> held over the fire until golden - sort of like roasting a marshmallow.  Eat it

> plain or brush it with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  May not

> be period, but it is tasty.

 

If you do it on a flat iron "skillet" (the type found i several viking digs)

it is period as a cooking method. Not sure about the alternative of using

a flat rock, but I would tend to assume that was done in early period

"field expedient cooking" as well.

 

If you want to keep it period you should also give some thought to the

grains you use in the bread (and stay away from baking powder). For great

results mix in some peas (boiled and mashed) in the dough, as well as

mixing several different grains. This was done in several of the breads

(or porridges; it is often hard to tell the difference 1000 years later)

found in the viking age archaeological material.

 

/UlfR

- --

Par Leijonhufvud                  par.leijonhufvud at labtek.ki.se

 

 

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 12:15:36 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Building ovens

 

> Erin Kenny wrote:

>

> I have thought about this, but not yet tested the design.  My

> thoughts go as follows.

>

> ... [detailed construction discussion omitted]

 

Thom Leonard's _The Bread Book_ includes a 17-page chapter on

constructing and using a brick oven.  He says, among other things,

"An oven built of a single thickness of brick will work well, but the

extra mass and strength gained by a simply applied 2-inch layer of

concrete makes all the difference."  Concrete, of course, puts it way

OOP, but a layer of clay on the outside of the bricks should serve the

same purpose, adding heat-retaining mass.  I've wanted to build such a

thing for several years now... in fact, I was considering building a

mobile one, either on a wheelbarrow (as appears in at least one late

medieval woodcut) or on a car trailer.

 

If you're curious about the book, which also discusses baking bread from

levain (semisolid sourdough starter), grinding your own flour, and even

growing your own wheat, ask your local natural-foods store; it's

published by East-West Health Books, copyright 1990, ISBN 0-936184-09-4.

 

                              mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                 Stephen Bloch

                                           sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

                              http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/

                                        Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 18:57:55 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

Sue Wensel wrote:

> >I've used unsliced commercial whole grain loaves, the market calls

> >them "Peasant style."  They're often round or oval instead of

> >Wonder Bread shaped.  Sometimes I use bread dough from the

> >supermarket, but baked on site that day (and if I could get dough

> >other than plain white, I'd do it more often).

>

> Why do you not use plain white?  I understand the loaf shape, though I don't

> know what evidence we have for it.  Bread pan shaped loaves strike us as too

> modern.  Is that part of your reason for not using white bread?

>

> >Caitlin Davies

>

> Derdriu

 

Well, the evidence suggests that white bread as we know it today

probably didn't exist until around the 18th-19th centuries. White bread

in period would have been made from whole wheat flour with much of the

larger particles of bran sifted out. That still leaves the particles too

small to be caught in the bolting cloth. Even if you allow for some

natural bleaching of the flour to occur, as, say,  it sits in a

not-quite-airtight container between grinding and use, I suspect it

still wouldn't have been likely to get any lighter in color than the

lighter commercial whole-wheat breads such as Roman Meal.

 

Period European breads would also have been heavier in texture, since

through most of Europe the wheat grown and eaten was much softer (read

lower in gluten) than what we are accustomed to today.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 23:12:27 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

<< I use bread dough from the supermarket, but baked on site that day  >>

 

I also use frozen white bread dough from the market. I unthaw the loaves and

divide each loaf into 4 pcs. I then roll it into a ball and roll it in

oatmeal. I grease a sheet pan and lay then on it 4 by 6 thus getting 24

loaves to a pan. I let it rise til double and bake. It is quick, easy, and

tasty. The oatmeal gives it a rustic look and each person gets there own

individual loaf of bread. :-)

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: 23 Jul 1997 11:21:57 -0500

From: "Sue Wensel" <swensel at brandegee.lm.com>

Subject: Re(2): SC - Bread

 

>Well, the evidence suggests that white bread as we know it today

>probably didn't exist until around the 18th-19th centuries. White bread

>in period would have been made from whole wheat flour with much of the

>larger particles of bran sifted out. That still leaves the particles too

>small to be caught in the bolting cloth. Even if you allow for some

>natural bleaching of the flour to occur, as, say,  it sits in a

>not-quite-airtight container between grinding and use, I suspect it

>still wouldn't have been likely to get any lighter in color than the

>lighter commercial whole-wheat breads such as Roman Meal.

 

I don't concur on this.  Markham has several recipes calling for "fine white

flour."  I don't think our whole wheat flours will fit that bill.  I think

they were able to get rather fine flour by bolting several times and I suspect

they had some fairly fine bolting cloths.  Unfortunately, I don't have any

sources with me (at work) and the ones I have read are currently in the local

library.

 

>Period European breads would also have been heavier in texture, since

>through most of Europe the wheat grown and eaten was much softer (read

>lower in gluten) than what we are accustomed to today.

 

The wheat I don't know much about.  What is your recommended reading on this?

 

>Adamantius

 

Derdriu

swensel at brandegee.lm.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 11:49:02 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: Re(2): SC - Bread

 

Sue Wensel wrote:

> >Well, the evidence suggests that white bread as we know it today

> >probably didn't exist until around the 18th-19th centuries. White bread

> >in period would have been made from whole wheat flour with much of the

> >larger particles of bran sifted out. That still leaves the particles too

> >small to be caught in the bolting cloth. Even if you allow for some

> >natural bleaching of the flour to occur, as, say, it sits in a

> >not-quite-airtight container between grinding and use, I suspect it

> >still wouldn't have been likely to get any lighter in color than the

> >lighter commercial whole-wheat breads such as Roman Meal.

>

> I don't concur on this.  Markham has several recipes calling for "fine white

> flour."  I don't think our whole wheat flours will fit that bill.  I think

> they were able to get rather fine flour by bolting several times and I suspect

> they had some fairly fine bolting cloths. Unfortunately, I don't have any

> sources with me (at work) and the ones I have read are currently in the local

> library.

 

"White" appears often to have been a relative term, as in white

marmalade of quinces, which is reddish amber in color, white puddings,

which are usually pale beige. My family are all fair-complected and

fairly pale, with brown eyes and hair, and the lady next door, born in

Dublin, calls me "Blackie", because we aren't blonde or redhaired. As

for flour, I'm sure that by repeated boltings (and I have done the whole

Little Red Hen thing myself, starting from a single ear of wheat and

ending up with bread) you can get it much finer and paler than pure,

fresh, stone-ground whole wheat flour, but you still won't get the kind

of flour your baker or a bread factory uses to make white bread, and you

won't get that kind of bread, either, unless the baker makes a bread

from mixed white and whole wheat flour.

> The wheat I don't know much about.  What is your recommended reading on this?

 

I believe both "Food in History" (Reay Tannahill) and "Food and Drink In

Britain" (C. Anne Wilson) go into the issue of period bread. For the

hard science of it, see Harold McGee's "On Food And Cooking" and "The

Curious Cook". Probably also Margaret Visser's "Much Depends On Dinner".

I used to have a book called "The Staffs of Life", which went into this

pretty well also, but I don't remember the author or where the book is.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 13:10:57 -0400 (EDT)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

Excerpts from internet.listserv.sca-cooks: 22-Jul-97 Re: SC - Bread by

Philip & Susan Troy at asan

> Well, the evidence suggests that white bread as we know it today

> probably didn't exist until around the 18th-19th centuries. White bread

> in period would have been made from whole wheat flour with much of the

> larger particles of bran sifted out. That still leaves the particles too

> small to be caught in the bolting cloth. Even if you allow for some

> natural bleaching of the flour to occur, as, say,  it sits in a

> not-quite-airtight container between grinding and use, I suspect it

> still wouldn't have been likely to get any lighter in color than the

> lighter commercial whole-wheat breads such as Roman Meal.

 

That depends on where you are.  Sicily, for example, was known in period

for it's white bread--a description I can't imagine coming from anything

close to Roman Meal colored.  I think golden is more what you're looking

for, as most of the natural oil in the wheat (which is removed in modern

milled wheat) remained--this is the color you get from semolina, for

example.

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 13:57:31 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

Gretchen M Beck wrote:

 

> That depends on where you are.  Sicily, for example, was known in period

> for it's white bread--a description I can't imagine coming from anything

> close to Roman Meal colored.  I think golden is more what you're looking

> for, as most of the natural oil in the wheat (which is removed in modern

> milled wheat) remained--this is the color you get from semolina, for

> example.

 

You're right; I shouldn't make generalizations. The color I was

referring to, though, is a pale beige, like cafe au lait. Just a bit

paler than Wonder Whole Wheat. I was thinking in terms of the "white"

bread of Northern Europe through most of period. Possibly the wheat oils

have something to do with it.

 

However, semolina is made from several varieties of wheat, some of which

are whiter/yellower than others. Certainly the yellow color was

considered a sign of quality. I remember reading somewhere that it was

dyed with saffron or some other herbal derivative. It is today, I know.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 13:12:24 -0500 (CDT)

From: nweders at mail.utexas.edu (ND Wederstrandt)

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

        I also read somewhere that wheat was a more generic term as well,

and that medieval bread was sometimes made with spelt, rye and other

grains.  While the upper classes ate more what we consider wheat middle

and lower classes ate a more mixed grain.  These were denser and chewier.

I am sure that a great [deal] of our breads would be a surprise to them.

        Do you think that "Essene bread" was eaten?  I've alwys been

curious about the use of sprouted wheat used as bread. I have Elizabeth

David's book on bread, and can check on what she says.

 

Clare St. John

 

 

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 19:25:59 +0000

From: "ysabeau" <ysabeau at mail.interquest.de>

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

Adamantius wrote:

 

You're right; I shouldn't make generalizations. The color I was

referring to, though, is a pale beige, like cafe au lait. Just a bit

paler than Wonder Whole Wheat. I was thinking in terms of the "white"

bread of Northern Europe through most of period. Possibly the wheat oils

have something to do with it.

 

However, semolina is made from several varieties of wheat, some of which

are whiter/yellower than others. Certainly the yellow color was

considered a sign of quality. I remember reading somewhere that it was

dyed with saffron or some other herbal derivative. It is today, I know.

______________________________________

 

They are still baking breads here (Germany) in what I believe is the age old

tradition with the exception of using steam injection ovens instead

of brick.  

 

Most of the breads here vary in shades of brown. The only "white"

bread I have seen is kartoffeln brot (potato bread) and that is an

off-white color. They consider American white bread to be like a

cake. The breads are sold in round and oblong loaves, you can buy

half a loaf if you want.

 

I am still exploring and trying new things and bread is one of my

favorite. Fresh bread is still such an important commodity that the

only things open on Sundays are the bread shops- but only for

an hour.

 

Ysabeau of Prague

Lisa Sawyer

Ysabeau at interquest.de

Baumholder,Germany

 

 

From: Gunnora Hallakarva <gunnora at bga.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 09:53:08 -0500

Subject: ANST - Sifters and Sieves

 

The discussion on baking, ovens and bread asked about period

sifters/sieves.  I don't know what anyone else was using, but I can tell you

what the Vikings used (and in fact, Swedes in the countryside still use

even today)... they used a round, cup-shaped sieve made by naalbinding,

utilizing horsehair fiber.  Such sieves were used for sifting flour, and

for straining milk.  Milk straining is how most seem to be used in the

present day, but archaeological examples have been found with ground grain

trapped in the fibers.

 

Gunnora Hallakarva

Herskerinde

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 14:25:08 -0500

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Lombardy Custard

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Linneah asks:

 

>How often were the crusts made NOT to be eaten?  When I did my research

>for a paper on food, I understood that it was frequent that the crust

>was only the vessel and not intended for eating.  Is this just when it

>calls for a coffin?  

 

This is a complex question, and I'm not sure anyone knows the answer.

On the one hand, period serving manuals clearly indicate that in some

cases (especially meats baked in crusts), the crust itself was not

served.  Instead it was opened, the meat (and possibly sauce) removed,

the meat carved, and the contents served.

 

On the other hand, medieval recipes frequently call for ingredients

in crusts (like sugar) that do not particularly affect their appearance,

but to affect their flavor.  We also see references to tender crusts.

So equally clearly, crusts are at least sometimes intended to be

eaten.

 

It's tempting to hypothesize that most sweet pies are intended to be

eaten crust and all, as are most custard ones (whether with or without

meat), while meats (and fish, of course) baked in a crust are intended

to be lifted out; but I don't know of anywhere one could look to

give a clear answer.

 

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 15:59:02 -0400 (EDT)

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Smoking Questions

 

>  Recently, I have become very interested in how cooking related

> fire works.  In the last 3 years, I have built two beehive style ovens at

> the Pennsic War and have also undertaken building one in the back yard, as

> a means to study both their use and maintenance.

>

> Anyone who could send/direct me to good resources for recipes and related

> information(in modern english, please) would be very appreciated.

 

We bought a book on building brick ovens at Pennsic this year, but we

haven't finished unpacking all the stuff from Pennsic so I'm not sure

where the book is.  However, I can also recommend _The Bread Book_, by

Thom Leonard, pub. East-West Health Books 1990, ISBN 0-936184-09-4.

This book discusses how to make traditional "levain"-raised bread and

maintain the culture for the next batch, how to grind flour for bread

(with commentary on different makes of grinders), what sorts of wheat

are best for bread, how to grow them in your back yard, and how to build

and use a brick oven.

 

                              mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                 Stephen Bloch

                                           sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

 

 

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)

 

> have a quetion about using homerew in cooking.  One of the men in our shire

>makes a fairly good home brew (so I 'm told).  His beer generally has a layer

>of stuff in the bottom of the bottle.  When drinking they just pour the beer

>off gently and then dispose of the sediment.  Would you want to keep that

>sediment when using it to cook with?  Or is it just nasty stuff that should be

>disposed of?

>

>Mercedes

>rudin at okway.okstate.edu

 

The sediment is the residue of the fermentation process and is usually

pretty bitter and nasty.  I personally would not add it to what I'm

cooking.

 

For the beer bread, there should be enough yeast left in the brew to get

a rise, although it may take longer than the original chemical aeration.

I would use the beer at room temperature or even warm it to 90 to 100

degrees F to improve the action.  If you are still worried about the

rise, add about a 1/4 teaspoon of dry active yeast to the beer.  Actual

rise time will depend on temperature, quantity of ingredients, etc.

 

Medieval baking was primarily done with ale barm.  This is the scum off

the top of the ale pot, where, since ale is top fermenting, much of the

yeast dwells.  Beer is bottom fermenting.  In baking, it produces a more

bitter taste than ale.  In making a medieval style beer bread, ale would

probably be the liquor of choice.  Don't let this stop you from running

up a batch of beer bread if what you have is bottom fermented beer, I've

got a quart of porter left from my wife's birthday party, half of which

is going in a black and tan and half into a batch of beer bread as an

experiment.

 

If it doesn't work out the first time, don't let that bother you.

Whether you suceed or fail, please let us know what you did, so those of

us who try the recipe have some ideas of the limits of the recipe.

Baking is one area of cooking where you don't know what you have until

it comes out of the oven.  I expect to have to try the recipe three or

four time to get an acceptable, reproducible recipe for a medieval style

beer bread.  It will probably be a week or two before I try, and if you

have made the recipe by then, your experience will help me decide how to

approach the project.

 

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: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 14:01:14 SAST-2

From: "Ian van Tets" <IVANTETS at botzoo.uct.ac.za>

Subject: SC - Bread/beer/yeast

 

Butting in again about breadmaking.  I generally don't make bread

from the yeast in the bottom of the bottle, only after bottling beer

and having the lees to use up.  After one or two appalling disasters,

I would strongly recommend not using stout barm or bitter barm for

bread.  It makes stuff that is virtually inedible.  If you don't brew

yourself, try to convince your favourite brewer to make ale or a

light beer.  The stuff that's left in the bottom of the bottles

generally sits in my fridge (not more than a week or so) and used in

sauces (eg. over sausages) or (my favourite) Skye Cake, which is a

Scots recipe for fruitcake with the dried fruit soaked overnight in

beer first.  I do usually use baking soda (1/2 quantity from normal),

but think that a yeast-risen version would be perfectly acceptable.

 

Cairistiona

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

Dr. Ian van Tets

Dept. of Zoology

University of Cape Town

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 12:28:30 -0400 (EDT)

From: Tyrca at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Beer-dregs

 

<<

This is dead yeast and sediment from the brewing mixture. It looks awful but

is not harrmful,. Sime brewers (not many) consider the "dregs the best part

of the bottle and selfishly reserve it for themselves. :-)

Ras >>

 

Actually, from my experience, not all of that yeast is dead.  Yes, the brew

has stopped bubbling, but there are many times when I have taken some brew

out of the carboy for only one bottle as a gift, and seen the carboy start

bubbling again because of the introduced oxygen.  So I see no problem about

using it to bake with.  Another option might be to get some of the foam that

appears on the top of beer as it is in the process of brewing, as this is

full of very active and healthy yeast.  It is called the Barm (I think.  My

husband is the brewer.  I am more of a Mazer, maker of meads).

 

Tyrca

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 07:27:27 -0600 (MDT)

From: Mary Morman <memorman at oldcolo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Alphabet pretzels

 

On Thu, 16 Oct 1997, Ian van Tets wrote:

> doesn't one of the recipes for jumbles recommend cutting them in Ss

> if no other letter springs conveniently to mind?

>

> Cairistiona

 

I have just gotten a nice little food book called The Dutch Table by

Gillian Riley.  It is mostly 16th and 17th century Dutch paintings of food

and kitchens - with some commentary and many undocumented recipes that she

says are from an early 17th century source but does not quote in the

original. there are numerous paintings of bread dough letters both in

homes and in markets and the author talks about them being made for the

Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6th.  There are also pictures of

traditional, twisted pretzels. It's hard to tell if the letters are

cookies or plain bread - there are some that look like each.  Most of the

paintings are slightly out of period, but this is a lovely book.

 

elaina

 

 

Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 10:16:52 -0600 (CST)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )

Subject: SC - Re: Cracknels

 

Master Huon asked what cracknels were.  This is from _'Banquetting

Stuffe'_, page 96-97, the chapter written by Peter Brears.

 

"Various other sponge-textured biscuits became popular during the

seventeenth-century - the Naples biscuits, Italian biscuits, Prince

biscuits, drop biscuits, almond biscuits, lemon biscuits, shell-bread,

etc. - all made from combinations of ine flour, sugar, eggs, and

various flavourings.  In addition, there were both cracknells and

jumbals, which had originally been plunged into a pan of boiling water,

from which, after a short time, they rose to the surface, were caught

in a skimmer and only then transferred to the oven.  By the seventeenth

century, however, the boiling process had been largely abandoned."

 

Brears then goes on to give a cracknell recipe from 1671, _The Compleat

Cook_, which does not go through the boiling process.  I would suspect

that you would need a recipe from a similar time period. If I can find

one, I will post it, but perhaps others have a recipe at hand???

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 06:58:55 +0000

From: James and/or Nancy Gilly <KatieMorag at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Cracknels

 

When in doubt, check the OED. 8)

 

     CRACKNEL, 1.  A light, crisp kind of biscuit, of a curved or hollow

                   shape.  Cf CRACKLING 4.  [various citations, dating from

                   1440 to 1884]

          2.  pl. Small pieces of fat pork fried crisp. (local Eng. and

              U.S.)  Cf CRACKLING 3 b.  [no citations given]

          3.  = CRACKLE 3, CRACKLING 5.  rare  [one citation, dated 18xx -

              don't have a magnifying glasss handy to make out the last

              two digits]

 

The other definitions referred to are:

 

     CRACKLING, 3b.  dial and U.S.  The crisp residue of hogs' fat after

                the lard is dried out.  [two citations from the 1880s]

          4.  = CRACKNEL.  Now dial.  [three citations - can't read the

              date on the first; the other two are from the 1800s]

          5.  = CRACKLE 3, crackle-ware.  [one citation from the 1800s]

 

The definition for "crackle" refers to china (the sort with the finish with

cracks all over it), not to food, so I won't bother copying it here.

 

Since all the other definitions come from the 19th century, I'd say

definition 1 - the biscuit - is the pertinent one.

 

Alasdair mac Iain

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 06:44:33 +0100 (CET)

From: Par Leijonhufvud <pkl at absaroka.obgyn.ks.se>

Subject: Baking (was: SC - My Profile)

 

Why not do the (early) period thing: bake on a skillet? I've baked cakes

of yeast or sourdough bread on what to most extents is equivalent to the

many long-handeled skillets found in Viking contexts. No big, fluffy

loaves, but still good bread. If your crowd would go for unleavened

bread this is also quite possible.

 

Or use a flat rock, with the fire underneath. I've been part of a

project making bread for 50+ on a large flat rock (took us half a day or

so for 4" cakes of unleaved (mostly) barley bread ...)

 

/UlfR

- --

Par Leijonhufvud                  par.leijonhufvud at labtek.ki.se

 

 

Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 08:51:11 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Breads

 

>From:  Tara Sersen[ladycharissa at geocities.com]

>Today a friend and I were discussing making bread for feasts, and were

>trying to figure out how to freeze dough so we can do all the hard work

>way in advance.

>

>Marjorie

>Mountain Confederation

>Fox Clan

 

I've frozen bread dough for use at a feast (1st Ansteorra-Calontir

Interkingdom if I remember correctly) because the size of the feast

would outstrip my capacity to produce it fresh.

 

To prepare the dough for freezing, allow the first rise, punch down the

dough, knead it, and shape the loaf.  Wrap the loaf in wax paper and

seal it into foil or plastic bags.  Freeze.

 

To bake:  Unwrap the dough, place it in greased tins or on a greased

baking sheet at room temperature.  Allow to thaw and rise. Bake as per

instructions.

 

Caveats:

 

I used 1 teaspoon of yeast per pound of flour on a standard bread recipe

to ensure a good rise after thawing.

 

Be sure the dough is nice and elastic and not too sticky after the

second kneading, else it may stick to the wrapper.

 

Be wary of self defrosting freezers and extended storage. Bread dough

which comes above freezing will start to rise slowly and may damage your

packaging.  If your freezer fails, get the bread dough out and baked, to

save yourself from an interesting result.

 

Since you're going to be experimenting, try this.  Freeze one loaf, bake

one loaf.  Cool the baked loaf on a rack, then wrap it air-tight in a

plastic freezer bag or foil and tape.  Freeze it.

 

When you are ready to test, thaw the baked loaf completely at room

temperature, wrap it in foil and heat it for about 20 minutes at 350

degrees F.

Bake the frozen dough.  Compare the taste and textures.

 

I'd make four loaves at a time, use a quarter of the dough for the thaw,

knead, rise and bake method, and bake the fourth to save me from

gobbling up the experiment.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 23:41:21 EST

From: korrin.daardain at juno.com (Korrin S DaArdain)

Subject: SC - Frozen Bread Dough

 

After seeing the post on freezing bread dough I remembered a chart that

my father had given me reguarding cooking and bread. He has always had

fun experimenting with breads over the years and came up with the

following chart on cooking by measuring the internal temperature of

things. I hope this helps and according to the chart one should be

careful not to freeze the bread dough too cold or it will not bake

properly.

 

Temperature Measurements For Baking

212F: Pie Done

190F - 200F: Bread done, Core Measurement

150F: Hot pastry ideal temp & scald milk, kills protease for better yeast

growth

140F: Reheat stale bread to refresh

110F - 115F: Proofing yeast grows best

074F - 080F: Dough rises best

046F: Bread stales 6x faster than 86 degrees

020F: Store frozen dough

000F: Frozen dough yeast dies

 

Korrin S. DaArdain

Korrin.DaArdain at Juno.com

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 17:47:43 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Breads

 

TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

 

<< Being curious, I ask, why should you go crazy making 17 loaves of bread?

 

Bear >>

 

I don't. In the bread area , I usually go period-like. I buy pre-frozen bread

dough , let it thaw , cut each into 4 pieces; roll each piece into the shape

of a ball and then brush it with half egg white/half water wash; roll it in

steel cut oats. cut an X in the top of each; pot them on a sheet pan 1 1/2

inches apart. Let rise. Bake. Voila> Individual loves of bread for each

person.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 20:26:51 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Bread Book

 

David, Elizabeth, English Bread and Yeast Cookery; The Viking Press, New

York, 1980.  ISBN 0-670-29653-8.  This is the American Edition with notes by

Karen Hess.  The original English edition was published in 1977.

 

There is a hardbound version currently in print from another publisher, but

I don't know if Hess' notes are included.   The book covers flour, yeast and

the other ingredients for baking, a brief history of bread, ovens, bread and

cake tins, basic bread recipes, baps, rolls, historic bread recipes, yeast

cakes, regional breads and cakes, dessert breads and soda breads.

 

This is the closest thing I have found to a baker's bible. If you are a

baker, buy a hardbound copy.  It will get a lot of use.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:41:25 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Bread recipes-date.

 

Deanna.Knott at GSC.GTE.Com writes:

 

<< I have heard that the first *recipe* for bread dates from somewhere in the

14th ot 15th centuries.  >>

 

You might want to push the bread recipe date back another century. al-Baghdadi

contains numerous recipes for bread most of which also specify amounts of

ingredients in one form or the other. This book appears in volume 1 of

Cariadoc's Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:46:59 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Bread

 

csy20688 at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk writes:

<< Should cooks be baking breads? - different guilds! >>

 

Probably not. :-) Towns  during the middle ages frequently, if not

exclusively, outlawed cooking at home any way. You usually bought your dough

at one place and then took it to the baker for baking. The same pattern was

repeated for other foods. "Life ion a Medieval Village"  talks somewhat on

this subject for a starting place.

 

Bread-making and cooking were conducted "on-premises" in the manner houses and

castles though. So given that the SCA persona is technically considered as

being of "noble" birth, there would would no problem with baking your own

bread. :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 10:15:48 -0500

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

Subject: RE: Fermented Beverage Recipe Question(was:RE: SC - Michael Scott Shappe <mikey at Hundred-Acre-Wood.com>: Re: [Mid] Society for CREATIVE Ana chronism

 

> I have heard that the first *recipe* for bread dates from somewhere in the

> 14th ot 15th centuries.  This doesn't mean that bread isn't period for

> earlier times.  I was told that they didn't write a recipe because

> everyone *knew* how to make bread.  Does this hold true for fermented

> beverages?  Does the literacy rate amongst the alewives have an effect on

> this and how most of their knowledge was probably verbal?  Or, is there

> some other reason (like some crazy people buyrned most of the books with

> beer recipes in them? hehe)?

>

> Avelina Keyes

> Barony of the Bridge

> East Kingdom

 

The first recipe for bread is Sumerian and is around 5000 years old.  It is

for an unleavened barley bread which is both eaten and used as the primary

ingredient in Sumerian beer.  Pliny the Elder provides enough information,

that one could recreate bread as made by the Goths.  And there are also

non-European bread recipes from earlier in the SCA period.

 

The recipes of which you are thinking are Platina's bread recipe, rastons

from the Harleian manuscripts (if I remember the correct source) and a

recipe for manchets from the Good Huswife's Jewell (again from memory).

There are a number of recipes published immediately after period which are

probably a good example of Elizabethean baking.  My opinion of these recipes

is they are taken from the baking for manors or large households rather than

commercial baking.

 

Baking and brewing seems to have been common, especially on farms and

estates.  Towns were a different matter.  Commercial bakers and brewers were

members of guilds which purchased specific rights for specific areas.  For

example, medieval bakers owned the ovens, and in many towns, no one other

than the bakers was allowed an oven for bread.  In such a case, the baker

made bread to sell, and, for fee, would bake a householders dough or make

bread from the ingredients provided.

 

While the lack of recipes is probably due to a low literacy rate, it is also

possible that the lack of recipes demonstrates the strength and secrecy of

the bakers and brewers guilds.  Bakers and brewers spent years learning and

improving their craft and shared their knowledge only with a few apprentices

and journeymen, so even if the information was written down, it would have

only been given to a guild member.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 10:18:34 EDT

From: melc2newton at juno.com

Subject: SC - bean vs. wheat

 

In _How They Lived; 55 B.C. - 1486, W.O. Hassall lists an passage that I

was confused about and was wondering if anyone else had heard about:

 

        Source: Thomas Waleys, Moralitates, c. 1326 -42. Translated from

extract in Beryl Smalley, English Friars and Antiquity in the Early

Fourteenth Century, Blackwell 1960. p.309

 

   "I heard that a bishop wanted a fishpond to be on one of his manors in

England. Many peasants were summoned for the job and the bishop ordered

them to be given daily food wheaten bread so that they should work with

more strength and greater will. Within three or four days the work began

to slacken. The bishop noticed and asked one why he was getting slower

than at the start. He replied that he had no bread and so could not work.

The bishop said he had told his steward to give them wheaten bread daily.

The peasant replied 'That is not bread for the likes of us. I don't call

it bread. Let us have bean bread and then we shall be able to work'. And

so it was, once the wheaten bread was taken away from them.""

 

So, what exactly is bean bread, and does anyone have a recipe? I would

like to see this, maybe at  above/below the salt feast.

beatrix

 

 

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:09:20 +0100

From: "Yeldham, Caroline S" <csy20688 at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk>

Subject: RE: SC - bean vs. wheat

 

> In _How They Lived; 55 B.C. - 1486, W.O. Hassall lists an passage that I

> was confused about and was wondering if anyone else had heard about:

>

>       Source: Thomas Waleys, Moralitates, c. 1326 -42. Translated from

> extract in Beryl Smalley, English Friars and Antiquity in the Early

> Fourteenth Century, Blackwell 1960. p.309

>

>   "I heard that a bishop wanted a fishpond to be on one of his manors in

> England. Many peasants were summoned for the job and the bishop ordered

> them to be given daily food wheaten bread so that they should work with

> more strength and greater will. Within three or four days the work began

> to slacken. The bishop noticed and asked one why he was getting slower

> than at the start. He replied that he had no bread and so could not work.

> The bishop said he had told his steward to give them wheaten bread daily.

> The peasant replied 'That is not bread for the likes of us. I don't call

> it bread. Let us have bean bread and then we shall be able to work'. And

> so it was, once the wheaten bread was taken away from them.""

>

> So, what exactly is bean bread, and does anyone have a recipe? I would

> like to see this, maybe at  above/below the salt feast.

> beatrix

 

        Bean bread is a bread made partially with bean flour (pea flour

was used similarly).  Certainly by the 15th century it was regarded as a

food of poverty and/or shortage and was not popular - there was pressure

from workers to recieve white wheaten flour (even wholemeal bread wasn't

popular) - see Christopher Dyer 'Everyday Life in Later Medieval

England'.

 

        A member of the White Company (Mark Fry who I've copied in on

this) has made it from a recipe by Maggie Black in the Weald and

Downland medeival village cookbook.  I don't have details, and perhaps

Mark would be kind enough to supply them.  I can however comment on the

results.  The bread Mark made was quite white but heavy and dense, which

was not surprising given the lack of gluten in bean flour. It was quite

salty but worked well with pottage.

 

        I would suggest that this story is a good example of employers

justifying to themselves why they don't give their workers wheaten bread

which they were requesting.

 

        Caroline

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 10:56:06 +0100

From: "Mark Fry" <mfry at FRIENDSPROVIDENT.btinternet.com>

Subject: SC - C15th Bean/Pea Breads

 

Hi Caroline & all

Just some more 'bready' thoughts to pass onto you cooking info circle.

I'd have no problems about you also passing on my bread experiment article

in the WC newsletter 67. if that might help people - there is also my

research (in a 1997 WC newsletter) on the quantities of food given to

soldiers and galley marines which might be of interest but I don't have an

electronic copy of either text anymore.

 

The bread(s) I've been experimenting with are the various mixed grain types.

At least one of these was called 'horse bread' during the C15th and this

appears to have been an inferior quality bread (if we are to believe the

complaints of soldiers issued with it as rations) made from a mixture of

pea/bean flour and wheat flour. I've also experimented with rye/wheat and

barley/flour mixes as well. There is also refferance to a 3 grain bread -

wheat, rye & bean/pea - but I've not tried this yet.

 

Why it was called 'horse' bread is open to various interpretations but

there are C15th documented refferances (I'll try & get you the exact source

details) in hunting manuals to the fact that bread was to be specifically

baked for both horses and hounds. The reason for having the latter was that

it was used in the hunt at a 'kill' - (the bread for the dogs was dipped

into the blood of the kill and fed to the dogs) - I suppose this was to

keep them off the meat whilst still maintaining their interest in the hunt.

Whether the horse bread & hound bread was made from the same recipe I have

no idea.

Another theory about the name 'horse bread' is that the beans used were

what are still called 'Horse Beans' in parts of the west country (UK) even

today. These are a small beaned version of the broad bean family, grown

today as a feed crop for livestock and a nitrogen 'fixing' agent, which

when dried produce a very 'powdery' flour. I personally think this is an

unlikely reason for the 'horse bread' name as peas were used as well as

beans - but its a thought.

 

Another possible reason for the mixed grain is that the resulting 'bread'

is a lot harder & denser in it's constituency than ordinary wheat bread -

more like a biscuit. This does make it ideal material for platters and

serving (a bit like modern German rye breads) but I doubt if bread was

specifically baked for this purpose - there are C15th household accounts

that mention that platters should be made from the cheaper darker bread but

also this should ideally be at least 3 or 4 days old (eg. stale). Again

going back to the hunting theme - both dogs and horses are still fed

biscuit today so maybe the mixed grain 'breads' were baked without yeast

and included some fat in them making them much harder. This would make them

less bulky and breakable in transit and therefore more suitable for taking

on a hunt or a longer journey. My own experiments have produced mixed grain

bread which have not risen at all well which, leaving aside my poor baking

skills, is probably the result of the low gluten in the pea/bean flour.

Also the resulting 'bread' has come out very 'yeasty' in taste & smell

which would seem to indicate that maybe yeast was not used.

I've not tried the mixed wheat/pea or bean flour in biscuit recipes but

will be doing so in the next few weeks and will report back on the

results.The fact that the bean bread also retains it's salty taste more

than either the rye, pea or barley flour could result in a more 'savoury'

biscuit.

If we also consider another possible link to biscuits (this is a bit

tenuous) - C14/15th Italian galley marines were issued with a considerable

amount of dried beans per head per day, as rations - but no bread or flour.

Beans (& the resulting biscuit) would keep much better onboard ship than

pre-ground flour or bread and could be easily ground with hand mills or

taken ashore to be ground in larger mills if required. Without the need for

yeast it would be simplicity itself to bake the bean flour into flat

biscuit type 'bread' on-board ship. In addition the beans could be used in

pottages as well.

 

The recipe I've based all my experiments on is an adaptation of the Maggie

Black recipe from the Weald & Down Open Air Museum Cookbook (I think this

is now out of print which is a great shame as it's a great source of modern

adaptations of medieval & renaissance recipes) :-

BAYLEAF FARMHOUSE BREAD

1 lb (450g) - Pea/ Bean/Barley/Rye flour*

1 lb 14oz (850g) - strong white baking flour~

2 oz (50g) - rice/corn flour^

1 oz (25g) - dried yeast (fresh is much better)

11/2 tablespoons salt (you will need to reduce this for the beans)

4 tea spoons clear honey

1/4 pint (150 ml) strong brown ale#

1 - 11/4 pint (575-850 ml) warm water

 

(* I used dried butter beans, yellow split peas and dried pearl barley,

which I ground in an electronic coffee grinder bought specifically for the

purpose. The rye flour came from a health food shop. Dried marrow fat peas

are actually more 'period' than any other form of modern pea/bean, but I

have heard that the flour from these starts to 'de-grade' very quickly once

mixed with water - but I've not tried this yet).

(~ You could use a 50/50 strong white to rye flour mix which produced a

very acceptable loaf - which did rise - just keep the total flour weight

consistant).

(^ I'm not too sure about this as it's a bit 'rich' for inclusion in a

'cheap' bread ?).

(# Possibly this was included by Maggie to represent the fact that most

C15th yeast was a brewing by-product but that's only my own personal

guess).

 

Maggie also has some recipes for oatmeal 'cakes' which I've tried and which

went down very well with my various guinea-pigs at events. They're made

from a 50/50 oatmeal/wheat flour mix with suet but also include parsley

(I've made them with veggie suet & they work just as well). I'll dig out

the recipe for these and forward them onto you in my next communication.

 

The C13th refferace to bean bread is very interesting and I'd like to have

a look at the original text for any other 'clues'.

 

Mark Fry

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 14:35:40 SAST-2

From: "Ian van Tets" <IVANTETS at botzoo.uct.ac.za>

Subject: SC - Bean Bread and Brid

 

As to the bean bread, this might prove useful:

 

"It is folly to send more corn to the mill than one has present use

for.  Wee sende (in winter time) a mette [2 bushels] of massledine

for our own tempsed-bread [passed through a tempse, or coarse hair

sieve] backinge; in the heat of summer wee sende but a bushell,

because it will moulde and bee wasted with long standing. Wee sende

for the browne bread baking (in winter time) a bushell of rye;  a

bushell of pease and a bushell of barley;  and afore wee putte it in

the poake, wee make the miller take a besome and sweepe a place, and

pour it onto the grownd, and blende it alltogeather with his hand,

and after that take a scuttle and putte it into the poake; in summer

time wee send but a mette, because it will grow hard with long

standings, viz, a bushell of pease, and a bushell of rye, into which

wee putt a ryinge or two or three of barley.  Wee send for our own

pyes a bushell of the best wheat.  We send for the folkes puddinges a

bushell of barley, but never use any rye for puddinges, because it

maketh them soe softe that they run about the platters; in harvest

time they have wheate puddinges.  The folkes pye crusts are made of

massledine, as our bread is, because that paste that is made of

barley meale cracketh and checketh [splits].  Poore folks putt

usually a pecke of pease to a bushell of rye;  and some again two

pecks of pease to a frundell [2 pecks] of massledine, and say that

these make hearty bread.  In many places they grinde after-logginges

of wheat for their servants pyes;  and fewer there are that grinde

any barley at all for their household use, because it is soe shorte,

and will not abide workinge."

Henry Best, 'Farming Book', 1641 (in Yorkshire)

 

Having said that, I _like_ barley bread (half and half with wheat) at

camping events - it lasts better.  I used to make a mixed grain loaf

of rice, rye, barley, cornmeal, wheat, buckwheat and whatever else

was around.  Buckwheat was the only one that wasn't successful by

itself (or half and half with wheat).  Have also been trying sorghum

and wheat combined lately.  Very like rye in effect.  But to date,

not tried pease flour - tho' I do have some in the cupboard...

 

Cairistiona

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

Dr. Ian van Tets

Dept. of Zoology

University of Cape Town

Rondebosch 7701 RSA

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 10:43:11 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - C15th Bean/Pea Breads

 

Beatrix posted:

>"I heard that a bishop wanted a fishpond to be on one of his manors in

> England. Many peasants were summoned for the job and the bishop ordered

> them to be given daily food wheaten bread so that they should work with

> more strength and greater will. Within three or four days the work began

> to slacken. The bishop noticed and asked one why he was getting slower

> than at the start. He replied that he had no bread and so could not work.

> The bishop said he had told his steward to give them wheaten bread daily.

> The peasant replied 'That is not bread for the likes of us. I don't call

> it bread. Let us have bean bread and then we shall be able to work'. And

> so it was, once the wheaten bread was taken away from them.""

 

This makes very good sense to me!

 

When you eat peas/beans and grains together, you get a "protein

complimentarity" effect - much more protein is available to your body than

eating them separately. When I was a studying biology and chemistry, I ate

vegetarian simply because I was trying to live on a scholarship. Naturally,

I wanted to know how it all worked...

 

Protein is made up of 21 amino acids. 14 are really common, so if you have

any food to eat at all, you'll get these. Your body can manufacture 4 from

other amino acids, so you have 3 (tryptophan, thymine and niacine if I

remember correctly) that you must get in order to build your completed

proteins - these are the limiting factors. 2 of these exist in legumes, the

other 1 in grains (they are also present in eggs, seeds, etc). So if you eat

these foods together in the right proportions, you can get enought protien

without eating meat (or even dairy products, if you are really careful).

 

In other words, although the bean/pea breads were looked down on and only

eaten by the poor, they made up a good chunk of the protien in the lower

class diet and were much better food for them than pure wheat bread would

have been!

 

Rowan

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 10:13:58 EDT

From: CorwynWdwd at aol.com

Subject: SC - Travel Bread

 

Just a general question..... Dr. Henry Lumpkin in his lecture series "The

History of Warfare" Made the statement that travel bread was made in a bagel

shape, threaded through rope and hung around the horses neck when traveling

light (Such as a Knight on horseback).

 

I know it's a longshot, and since Dr.Lumpkin either drowned or died from a

heart attack (His car went into a lake while he was driving and having a heart

attack, but that's not important), I was wondering if any of you bread experts

out there could point me to an actual written historical reference to this?

 

Did traval bread sometimes come in the form of a bagel and was the function to

be hung on a rope?

 

Actually, when you think about how much jews had to travel... it makes sense,

but if anybody knows where to look, point me in the right direction please?

 

Corwyn

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 10:12:45 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Travel Bread

 

> Just a general question..... Dr. Henry Lumpkin in his lecture series "The

> History of Warfare" Made the statement that travel bread was made in a bagel

> shape, threaded through rope and hung around the horses neck when traveling

> light (Such as a Knight on horseback).

>

> I was wondering if any of you bread experts

> out there could point me to an actual written historical reference to

> this?

>

> Did traval bread sometimes come in the form of a bagel and was the

> function to be hung on a rope?

>

> Corwyn

 

I've never come across this one.  I'm not sure I would find a bagel salted

with horse lather very palatable.

 

Frankly, most of the travel breads I am familiar with are double baked

breads like hardtack or flat bread.  These would most likely been wrapped in

a cloth and carried in a pack or a saddle bag.  Hanging food around the neck

of a horse is the kind of thing I would expect of a post rider or by troops

on a forced march, rather than just travelling.

 

A water bagel with its tough skin and its' moisture retaining properties

might make a good travel bread, but I haven't seen a reference to bagels

being used this way.

 

Most breads with center holes are shaped that way to insure they bake

properly.  That they can be hung from a staff and sold is an added

advantage.

 

Apocryphally, the bagel was first made in 1683 to Jan Sobieski's victory

over the Turks.  But there are supposed to be some earlier references to

them.  There is some archeological evidence that a bread of this type was in

use by the Uighurs as early as 100 CE.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 15:37:57 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Re: Feasts too high?

 

[about the holes in the bottom of loaves cooked in bread machines]

> You could say that the holes were made by the poles used to poke the bread

> out of the far side of the oven.

>                     John

 

Refer to them as maker's marks.  Very often bread was baked on top of a

metal figure which pressed the baker's mark into the bottom of the loaf.

 

Peels, thin paddles with long handles, are used to move bread in and out of

the oven and they do not leave holes in a loaf.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 22:03:22 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Intro and Bread Request

 

> I've explored obvious bread-history sources, such as Elizabeth David's

> "English Breads and Yeast Cookery", "World Sourdoughs from Antiquity"

> by Ed Wood, and now I'm searching for the more obscure stuff. (Or have

> I missed any 'obvious' sources?)

 

You've probably got the two best sources on historical baking available.

You might wish to add Bernard Clayton Jr, The Breads of France and Julius E.

Wihlfahrt, A Treatise on Baking (if you can find it). Paul Rambali,

Boulangerie is a good read, but I would recommend borrowing it from the

library before purchasing.  The chapter on baking from C. Anne Wilson, Food

and Drink in Britain, is of use.  Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid,

Flatbreads and Flavors, is about traditional ethnic flat breads.

 

> Elizabeth

> Call me "E.B."

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 10:03:35 -0500

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: RE: SC - Intro and Bread Request

 

> Julius E. Wihlfahrt, A Treatise on Baking (if you can find it).  <snip>

 

EEEK!  I have a copy! (I bought it for 50 cents(!) at the library book

sale.  Tattered,with lots of crayon scribbles, alas!) You mean to tell me

someone else has actually heard of this book?

 

Before the rest of you ask, the title is:

"A Treatise on Flour, Yeast, Fermentation and Baking together with Recipes

for Bread and Cakes, fourth edition revised.  by Julius Emil Wihlfahrt,

1915.  Presented with the compliments of The Fleischmann Co.

This is a promo piece for Fleischmann's yeast, originally published 1905.

It was written for commercial bakers, & all the recipes are in commercial

quantities.

 

I have just emailed the Fleischmann's Yeast Co. asking permission to scan &

post this book.  We'll have to wait & see what they say...

 

Cindy/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 10:04:27 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Intro and Bread Request

 

> EEEK!  I have a copy! (I bought it for 50 cents(!) at the library book

> sale.  Tattered,with lots of crayon scribbles, alas!) You mean to tell me

> someone else has actually heard of this book?

>

> Before the rest of you ask, the title is:

> "A Treatise on Flour, Yeast, Fermentation and Baking together with Recipes

> for Bread and Cakes, fourth edition revised.  by Julius Emil Wihlfahrt,

> 1915.  Presented with the compliments of The Fleischmann Co.

> This is a promo piece for Fleischmann's yeast, originally published 1905.

> It was written for commercial bakers, & all the recipes are in commercial

> quantities.

>

> Cindy/Sincgiefu

 

Mine came from an estate whose library was sold to Ball's Books in Norman,

OK.  Cathy Ball generally gives me first refusal on cookbooks and I latched

onto it.  It is valuable to me, because it provides information about

producing dough in large quantities.

 

Of particular interest to historical cooks are the recipes and comments on

"brake" doughs.

 

I hope you get permission to Web the text.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 13:43:00 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Intro and Bread Request

 

At 4:11 PM -0800 10/28/98, Donna Hrynkiw wrote:

>Greetings to this gathering of folks from Elizabeth Braidwood of An Tir,

>newly subscribed to this list.

...

>What I would like to request from you is to drop me a note when you run

>across a reference to medieval flour, bread or baking in your wanderings;

>references to bread (especially if they're describing it), pictures

>of bakers and ovens, millers and mills, references to baking techniques

>(rising/fermenting, frequency of baking, etc), well, you get the idea.

 

We have two period bread recipes in our _Miscellany_, one from Platina's

description of making bread (15th c. Italian) and one from a 16th c. Indian

source for chapatis and similar breads.  We also have the Rastons recipe

which Cindy Renfrow mentioned.  If you don't have a paper copy of the

Miscellany, the 6th edition (we're now up to the 8th in hardcopy) is webbed

at:

 

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cariadoc/miscellany.html

 

Do you know Wulfric the Mad Baker/Jeremy Fletcher from this area (Southern

Shores, central West Kingdom)? He has been collecting baking info, and even

has his own baker's marks: little metal images you put under your dough as

it is baked, so that the finished loaf has your mark baked into the bottom.

 

Elizabeth of Dendermonde/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 06:11:26 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Bread Soup Bowls

 

> You speak of leaking bowls.  At Pennsic, a merchant, called _The Bread

> Bowl_ (go figure) makes several kinds of stew and serves them to

> customers.  Some sit down in the food court to eat, but many just wander

> through the merchants, holding their bowls and eating.  As there aren't

> dribbly trails all over Pennsic, there must be some way to keep the bowls

> from leaking for, say, 45 minutes?

>

> Allison

 

Wet your hands when shaping the loaf.  Like working clay, this helps fill in

weak spots and it forms a hard, even crust.  It's not as tasty as some

crusts, but it should be less prone to leakage.

 

From some of the other posts, I would leave a good amount of bread inside

the bowl to absorb excess liquid and I would consider using a thickened stew

rather than a thin broth.

 

It's getting to be good soup weather, so it might be worthwhile to run up a

couple batches of bread bowls and test them fresh and at two and four days.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 10:08:30 -0500

From: Christi Redeker <Christi.Redeker at digital.com>

Subject: SC - SC RE: Bread soup Bowls

 

On Sat, 7 Nov 1998, LYN M PARKINSON wrote:

> Bear,

> You speak of leaking bowls.  At Pennsic, a merchant, called _The Bread

> Bowl_ (go figure) makes several kinds of stew and serves them to

> customers.  [...]

> As there aren't

> dribbly trails all over Pennsic, there must be some way to keep the bowls

> from leaking for, say, 45 minutes?

> Allison

 

An option to get the crust so it doesn't leak is to brush the dough with egg

white (I add a bit of garlic to mine to add flavor to the crust).  I have

made many soup and dip bowls this way. You also have to make sure that you

don't pull all the bread of the inside, they will leak much faster if you

don't leave enough bread in them.

 

Murkial

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 13:32:03 -0800

From: kat <kat at kagan.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Bread Soup Bowls

 

Bear, Keeper of the Cathedral Ovens, writes:

> Warning:  Edible bread doughs will leak if you put a lot of liquid in them.

> If they are dried out (4 days old like trenchers) they will absorb more

> liquid, but they will still leak.  Put the bread bowl inside a regular bowl.

> That's more fun than soup dribbling off the table

 

What we always did with these was, after cutting off the tops and scooping

them out, we lightly brushed the insides of the "bowls" with a little olive

oil and put them back in the oven for a while (like, 20 minutes or more).  The

bread, while still deliciously edible, is now crunchy and much sturdier and

will hold longer (but the just-in-case plate underneath is *always* a good idea!) and the crumbs can always be used as a period thickener for your soup/stew...:-)

 

        - k

 

 

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:49:14 -0800 (PST)

From: Donna Hrynkiw <donna at Kwantlen.BC.CA>

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

On Wed, 30 Dec 1998, Stacie wrote:

> I like no love to bake bread. Does anyone have good bread recipes, is there

> a good webpage for old fashioned bread recipes? etc...I'm looking for the

> kind that mother's would make  8-)

> Stacie

 

I too am relatively new to this list and an enthusiastic bread-baker.

 

I can't say I've found any really good websites dedicated to old-world or

traditional bread, although some of the sourdough sites come close. I would

like to recommend a few books though:

 

The Village Baker: Classic Regional Breads from Europe and America

   by Joe Ortiz, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 1993, ISBN 0-89815-916-4

World Sourdoughs from Antiquity

   by Ed Wood, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 1996, ISBN 0-89815-843-5

 

Elizabeth

 

 

Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 12:26:12 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Bread

 

> >I discovered late last night that there is a Roman treatise on baking, which

> >presumably gives recipes for 60 different kinds of bread.  If I can find a

> >copy, it will give me a pre-period reference to compare with period and

> >post-period references.

>

> Anyway, I would LOVE to hear of a Roman treatise on baking. The set of

> Apician recipes has nothing on bread or cakes. Any pointers to this tome

> would have me jumping with joy for weeks, and have a general feeling of

> well-being throughout the year.

>

> Glenda.

 

Rereading the paragraph from Toussaint-Samat's History of Food when I am not

seeing double from fatigue, I find that the recipes may not be in the

treatise.  As a direct quote:

 

"Some 50 recipes are known, although Chrysippus of Tyana, in a treatise on

bread making, lists another 30 kinds without further description.  The fact

that this list is included in the treatise shows that baker's did not

confine themselves to making bread."

 

You now know the extent of my knowledge about the treatise.  I hope to be

able to improve on it soon.

 

Since you have an interest in Roman cooking, you might look into Ilaria

Gozzini Giacosa, A Taste of Ancient Rome, University of Chicago Press,

(published in both the US and the UK).  The main source is Apicius, but it

has recipes from other sources.

 

Cato and Atheanaeus are supposed to have commented on Roman baking.

 

On a slightly different note, Toussaint-Samat's History of Food is available

in hardcover from Barnes and Noble at $19.95.  That is less than the price

of the softcover edition.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 15:51:10 -0500

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: RE: SC - Re: Can Someone Explain This?

 

<snip>

>Let's look at some of the woodcuts Cindy has put up, and see what we can

>see?

>what the h**l is the URL fr those pictures, again?

<snip>

 

Hello!  The url is http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food.html

I have several pictures of bakers with peels, some of which are posted on

Greg's site.  I'll refer to them here by their file names so you'll know

which ones I mean - not all of these are posted on Greg's site. If you want

copies, email me.

 

The 'Assize of bread' picture  shows a peel made of a pole with a

'home-plate'-shaped board attached to the end.  The flat part is big enough

for at least 2 large raised pies (maybe 15 inches wide).

 

'Baker 3' (from Liber de Assisa Panis, 1293 -- admittedly a crude picture),

has a peel that may be carved all in one piece.  Again, it is squared-off,

like 'home-plate'. The flattened end looks very small, about 6 to 8 inches

wide, enough to fit one loaf.

 

'Baker 4' (from Eygentliche Beschreibun Aller Stande auff Erden, 1568) uses

a peel with a round flat end.  It is wide enough to fit one large loaf

(maybe 12 inches), just wide enough to fit in the narrow oven door.

 

'Baker 1' (from the Shepherd's Great Calendar, 15th c.) has a peel with a

rectangular flat end.  It holds 8 small loaves & again is slightly narrower

than the oven door, maybe 8 to 12 inches wide.

 

'Large Kitchen' (from Il Cuoco Segreto di Papa Pio V, 1570) shows a peel

leaning against the far wall.  It is clearly made of 2 pieces -- a long

pole, split at one end & attached to a broad (paddle-shaped) flat piece.

 

'Street Bakers' uses a stubby peel.  From the angle at which she is holding

it, it may well be a shovel serving double-duty, or some type of hook --

the picture is unclear.

 

There are also at least 6 pictures of peels in the back of The Medieval

Health Handbook (Tacuinam Sanitatis) in the b/w section.

 

The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti (another version of Tacuinam

Sanitatis) has the biggest-bladed peels of all, with oval ends that fit 2

large loaves.

 

I searched high & low for a picture I saw of a baker with a dish fastened

to the end of his peel -- the BROAD end, btw. But I can't find it.  The

filling was poured into the dish & used to quickly fill coffins that were

already baking in the oven, so that the oven would not lose too much heat.

 

My dictionary says the word 'peel' comes into ME from MF from the Latin

'pala', meaning shovel.

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th

Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

Recipes"

http://www.alcasoft.com/renfrow/

 

 

Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 16:02:08 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Mustard & Soughdough Books

 

Two titles on the History of ....

 

A Dash of Mustard Katie Holder & Jane Newdick  History of mustard from

Roman times to modern, 50 recipes etc

 

World of sourdoughs from antiquety  ed Wood 1996

 

All these interesting books ...so little time...so unfair !

Mel

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:40:39 -0600 (CST)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)

Subject: SC - Hartshorn

 

David/Cariadoc wrote:

>My memory from past discussions is that hartshorn appears in period,

>but not as leavening; I think it was used in jellies.

 

Didn't we have a discussion some months back about the "period-ness" of

hartshorn?  I thought I/we had found a reference to it in the Sabina

Welcher (sp??) cookbook.  I can't find my copy right now or I'd look it

up.  Anyone else have a copy?  My memory says that it was with some

type of cookie...

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 19:59:22 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Hartshorn

 

Ammonium carbonate (hartshorn) would be the leavening agent.

Hart's horn (as in deer horn) would be more likely in the production of gelatin.

Except that this may be a six of one and a half dozen of the other type of

argument.

 

>From Waverly Root, FOOD;

 

"hartshorn, powdered deer antlers, the medieval precursor of baking powder,

which some German and Scandinavian cooks think they are still using, but the

modern version is a counterfeit, ammonium carbonate.”

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 15:29:54 -0600

From: LYN M PARKINSON <allilyn at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - 14th Century Food

 

Hartshorn is used today in Germany, in packets of 'backpulver' which just

means baking + powder.  I can't find hartshorn in any of my dictionaries,

which aren't the greatest for food terms, but if anybody who does German

can find it, that may be the corpus in which to look.

 

Allison

allilyn at juno.com, Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands, Pittsburgh, PA

Kingdom of Aethelmearc

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 18:17:21 -0500

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: SC - Re: hartshorn

 

Hello!  Someone was asking for info about hartshorn. I found 4 substances

by that name. These definitions are from the glossary & appendix to A Sip

Through Time:

 

"Hart's horn~~shavings of the antlers of the male deer, used to make

gelatine.  Also the name of a chemical compound, ammonium carbonate, used

in medicines and commercially in baking powder and many other substances.

The name Hart's horn also applies to two plants...

 

Hart's horn.

*1-Pulsatilla species, Ranunculaceae...  Pasque-flower, Anemone,

Wind-flower.  Pulsatilla was once used as a sedative and for diseases of

the reproductive organs; it is the source of Anemonin (a substance used

additionally as an antispasmodic, and for asthma, whooping cough, and

bronchitis), and of Ranunculin, which breaks down to form toxic

protoanemonin...

 

2-Plantago species, Plantaginaceae...  Gerard (p. 346) shows a type of

plantain which he calls Hart's horn.  Plantains are used for salads and

potherbs."

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 21:56:49 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks- olive oil and bread?

 

Francesca Barozzi wrote:

>         I have a question.  I would like to have bread and olive oil in a

> dish for bread dipping for part of one course at a feast.  Did people in

> the middle ages dip their bread in olive oil the way we might today?  Has

> anyone found documention for this?  Also if they did dip bread in olive

> oil, would they ever put parmesan and pepper in the olive oil or did they

> season they bread and dip in olive oil.  Also, garlic has been around a

> long while, would people have roasted it and spread it on bread?  These

> are probably dumb questions, but I wanted to ask in a place where I can

> get a quick and accurate answer.  Thank you for your help!

 

So, uhhh, it sounds to _me_ like you're looking for some period spreads

for bread.

 

The short answer is that, so far as I've been able to document, bread in

peroid Europe is eaten either unsauced or as a sop (dunked in wine or

other beverage or served under a sauced dish or pottage, or as part of a

pudding-y thing such as wastels yfarced or rastons).

 

There may be some exceptions to this in period al-Islam, where bread

scoops might have been known (I'd have to look), but more likely it

would be eaten out of hand as an accompaniment to other foods, or

stuffed with fillings like a pasty, or used in a sort of breadcrumb

pilaf/pudding called tharid.

 

I do remember seeing _somewhere_ an English account of the odd practices

of immigrant Heugenots in the mid-17th century, among which are their

habit of sending their children out of the house in the mornings with a

chunk of bread smeared with butter in the Flemish fashion. This might

indicate a possible tradition of spreading butter on bread in period

Flanders, but we don't know how far back it really goes.

 

Re roasted garlic: I haven't seen an account of the practice of roasting

garlic and spreading it on bread, but there's an English dish called

aquapatys, it is garlic cloves boiled (in milk???) and served on toasts,

IIRC.

 

I'm sorry that I've been unable to think of anything closer to what you

had in mind. It may turn out that there is some kind of period

bruschetta or focaccio made with olive oil, cheese, etc., on top, but

I'm not aware of it if there is...although it seems kind of logical.

 

Adamantius

Įstgardr, East

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 06:19:00 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - trencher history guesses

 

> >>In the towns, the average bread use was about 2 pound per person a

> day.<<

>

> Bear, is this a scribal error?  I am one of the biggest bread eaters I

> know and I don't come close to that amount.  Maybe 2 pounds per week.  I

> love bread with gravy, or honey, or jam, or soup, or....

>

> Allison

 

No it's taken from Scully's comments about several studies of medieval town

life.  Apparently, cereals in the form of bread, beer and porridge were the

staples of the European diet.

 

IIRC, there was a footnote else where in The Art of Cookery In the Middle

Ages which placed per capita meat consumption in one of the towns at about

46 kilos per year.

 

Of course both Braudel and Scully are looking at the Late Medieval Period,

when the standard of living in Europe was the highest it would be before

modern times.

 

If I weren't eating much of anything else, I can put away two pounds of

bread a day easily.  It's the gallon of beer that would do me in.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 09:52:29 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - trencher history guesses

 

> Wasn't this 2 pounds of bread per day plus a gallon of beer part of

> a workman's *wages*, and therefore expected to be taken home & shared with

> his family?  Also, was not the beer more than likely small beer?

>

> Cindy

 

"Recent historians have found enough data to let them estimate the usual

consumption of bread in the late Middle Ages, and their figures for various

countries are surprisingly similar.  In lordly English households at this

time, for instance, a standard daily food ration allowed every individual

between roughly two and three pounds of bread and about a gallon of ale.

Interestingly, the same allowance applied in the provisioning of castle

garrisons and for inmates in hospitals.  In France for each of the 3500

residents of Chambery the amount of wheat that entered the town - to be

consumed ultimately and mainly, we have to assume, in the form of bread -

was 24 litres per month, that is to say approximately .8 litres of wheat

(enough for a two-pound loaf of bread) per citizen per day.  Florentines of

the fourteenth century likewise averaged about two pounds of bread per day.

Francoise Desportes has found that even by the beginning of the thirteenth

century Paris had seventy water mills alone, without counting the windmills

sited on the summits of its hills!  Such figures as these support the

observation that bread was the basis of the medieval diet."

 

- -- Terence Scully, The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages, Boydell

paperback edition, 1997, pg. 36-37.

 

The information about meals as part of wages I've seen does not include

quantities.

 

Steve Pursley (Barat FitzWalter Reynolds) whose Mead Page you reference in a link from your webpage, produced a period small beer from German monestary records.  I don't think I could survive a quart of it, much less a gallon a day.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 06:32:56 -0800

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - period bread comments

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie

 

It is my considered opinion that the medieval concept of perfect bread

would be WonderBread. White. Fluffy. Sans crunchy bits.

 

I figure this because of all the descriptions of period bread we have in

cookbooks and other places. The few recipes we have for bread specifically

state to take FINE flour. There's a recipe for bread called "pouft".

Manchets are described as being of fine clear flour. (Check out Elisabeth

Davids English Bread and Bread cookery for a good survey of the info on

bread in our period).

 

Treatiese on agricultures specifically state that you are bolt your flour

(the process by which germ and chaff and the like are removed) multiple

times. Once or twice is for ordinary bread. More than that, (ie whiter and

purer, most definately not whole wheat) for fine manchet for the lords

table, more yet for the Host for Mass.

 

Sure the peasants might have eaten course textured bread with all kinds of

bits and stuff in the flour, but as the germ and chaff were recovered as

animal feed, I doubt that it was the norm (if you bolt it, a simple enough

procedure, not only would you get "better" flour, but your critters would

get a bit of grain in their diet.)

 

There's mentions of folks eating bread with pea flour and chestnut flour,

etc, but that's usually referred to as famine food, ie when theres no more

wheat. By the way, pea flour makes tasty bread :). Though it wouldnt be

appropriate to serve it at a great feast, of course. If you're that short

on supplies, what are you doing holding a feast for 150 people, anyway?? :)

 

I believe that the SCA convention of "medieval people didnt eat as nice of

stuff" is just that, an SCA convention. Right up there with how everyone

drinks hot wine with spices all the time. (I've only actually seen recipes

for hot wine beverages that are considered medicinal. I found a hint of a

Spanish one, but need to track it down. Hot spiced wine, however does not

seem to be as ubiquitous as SCA people make it out to be. Go figure!)

 

When I make bread for medieval cookery, I use unbleached white flour, as

I'm cooking for a noble house. (of course there's the whole question as to

whether or not the cook would be baking bread, but we wont go into that

here :)). I need to do some digging as to what type of wheat exactly a 15th

century Franco Flemish gal would have had access to (gluten/protien and ash

content). King Arthur Flour has all kinds of flours broken out so once I

have that info I should be able to be pretty close to right.

 

anyway, that's my take on it...

- --AM

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 15:40:28 -0800 (PST)

From: Donna Hrynkiw <donna at Kwantlen.BC.CA>

Subject: Re: SC - period bread comments

 

Greetings from Elizabeth Braidwood,

 

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999 WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com wrote:

> Try experimenting with spelt flour.  I think this may also answer our

>question concerning poundage.  A machine-made loaf of spelt bread weighs

>considerably more than the same size loaf made from regular wheat or whole

>wheat flour.

> Wolfmother

 

I can confirm this statment. Through a pleasant coincidance, I made

two batches of bread yesterday using the same recipe, but used whole grain

wheat flour for one (ground it myself from the berry) and whole grain

spelt for the other (ground by the producer). The spelt was noticeably

heavier than the wheat.

 

It also rose (raised?) faster than the whole wheat -- to the point where

although I had timed the batches for baking a half-hour apart, they were

both ready for the oven at the same time. Odd, that.

 

E.B.

==================

|    Mistress Elizabeth "E.B." Braidwood, Northern Region, An Tir

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 14:59:34 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Semmel?

 

> My question is about an ingredient that is repeatedly mentioned,

> "Semmel", which appears to be a sort of cracker that is used, crumbeled

> or ground up, to thicken a large number of the dishes, among other uses.

>

> Chimene

 

I believe you will find Semmel is either semolina or a yeast cake (roll or

bun) made from semolina.  Since you are talking about it being crumbled and

used in other recipes, I'd opt for the bread rather than the flour.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 10:46:19 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Easter Foods (was Name thread)

 

> While I have no Cheese soup recipe, I encourage any of the festival

> breads as Easter fare.  Panforte, pan de mayne, IIRC, I believe are

> two.  Leavened breads stuffed with dried fruits, spice, and rich in

> texture.

>

> niccolo difrancesco

 

I think you are thinking of panettone and pan d' oro. Panettone is a

sweetened bread stuffed with fruit.  Pan d' oro is similar to pound cake.

 

Panforte is a spice honey cake consisting primarily of fruit and unleavened.

Pan de mayne is fine white bread.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 06:22:20 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Art/Sci results

 

> The holes left as

> the suet melts are similar to those left by bubbles of carbon dioxide from

> baking powder (cooking soda etc).  Please enlighten me if my science is

> wrong here!!

>

> Jean le Renaud de Pyranees

 

The similarity is they are voids.  The aeration of a leaven leaves no

residue (other than alcohol, which cooks off) since it is physically part of

the dough.  Fats used in bread making tend to be very soft or liquid as

doughs have a tendency to absorb these, which is why tins are best greased

with a solid.  Less absorption during the second rise, less sticking to the

tin.

 

Solid fat inclusions in a dough tend to melt during baking and are partially

absorbed.  Any fat remaining coats the inside of the void and provides some

rigidity on cooling.  I would expect the result to be denser than a good

yeast leavened bread, but not as dense as a sourdough, and to be a

comparatively soft to most breads.

 

It's an interesting technique to be tucked away in the notebook for future

experimentation.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 07:58:11 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - open fire bread bakeing question

 

And it came to pass on 29 Jun 99,, that Melanie Wilson wrote:

> > Be careful of your heat source, if the griddle gets too hot, the heat

> > is uneven and you will burn the bottom of the loaf, as I have done.

 

> We have but we just cut the bottom off :)

 

I know several recipes that call for toast as an ingredient.... all of them

contain the instruction to begin by removing the burnt parts with a grater.

 

Brighid, wondering if it would be feasible to bring her sourdough starter

to Pennsic

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

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

 

Take fayre Flowre and the whyte of Eyroun and the yolk, a lytel.  Then take

Warme Berme, and putte al thes to-gederys and bete hem to-gederys with thin

hond tyl it be schort and thikke y-now, and cast Sugre y-now ther-to, and

thenne let rest a whyle.  An kaste in a fayre place in the oven and late

bake y-now.  And then with a knyfe cutte yt round a-bove in maner of a

crowne, and kepe the crust that thou kyttest, and then cate ther-in

clarifiyd Boter and Mille the cromes and the botere to-gederes, and kevere

it a-yen with the cruste that thou kyttest a-way.  Than putte it in the oven

ayen a lytil tyme and then take it out, and serve it forth.

 

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

Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books.

 

Bread from Platina

 

I recommend to anyone who is a baker that he use flour from wheat meal, well

ground, and then passed through a fine sieve to sift it; then put it in a

bread pan with warm water, to which has been added salt, after the manner of

the people of Ferrari in Italy.  After adding the right amount of leaven,

keep it in a damp place if you can and let it rise.  That is the way bread

can be made without much difficulty.  let the baker beware not to use more

or less leaven than he should; in the former instance, the bread will take

on a sour taste, and in the latter, it becomes heavy and unhealthful and is

not readily digested,  The bread should be well baked in an oven, and not on

the same day; bread from fresh flour is most nourishing of all, and should

be baked slowly.

 

        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

 

Take a quart of fine flower, lay it on a faire boord, and make a hole in the

midst of the flower with your hand, and put a sawcerfull of Ale Yest

therein, and ten yolkes of Egges, and put thereto two spoonefuls of Synamon,

and one of Ginger, and a spoonfull of Cloves and Mace, and a quarterne of

Sugar fine beaten, and a little Safron, and halfe a spoonefull of Salt.

Then take a dishfull of Butter, melt it and put it into your flower, and

therwithall make your paste as it were for Manchets, and mould it a good

while and cut it in peeces the bignes of Ducks Egges, and so moulde everye

peece as a Manchet, and make them after the fashion of a Ackorn broad above,

and narrow beneath.  Then set them in an Oven, and let them bake three

quarters of an howre.  Then take five dishes of Butter and claryfie it clean

upon a soft fire the drawe foorth your Restons foorth of the Oven, and

scrape the bottoms of them faire and cut them overthwart in foure peeces,

and put them in a faire charger and put your clarified butter pon them.

Then have powder of Synamon and Ginger ready by you, and Sugar very fine.

And mingle them altogether, and ever as you set your peeces thence, together

cast some of your sugar, Synamon and Ginger upon them, and when you have set

them all by, lay them in a faire platter, and put a little butter upon them,

and cast a little sugar upon them, and so serve them in.

 

        The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen, 1594

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 10:33:37 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - OT rye verses pumpernickle

 

> hi, I'm looking for some info, can anyone tell me the difference

> between rye and pumpernickle? I always thought pumpernickle was a

> form of rye. Am starting this new diet, and it says rye is not good,

> but pumpernickle is ok, now I'm confused.

>

> Fiona

 

I am presuming we are talking about bread rather than the grain.  Rye and

pumpernickel are both made from rye flour.  They are often made with

molasses as the sweetener.  Pumpernickel often has coffee or cocoa added to

make it darker.  The primary natural difference is that pumpernickel is a

coarser meal with lots of bran.  For this reason, pumpernickel has more

roughage than rye, which is useful in reducing cholesterol and

triglycerides.  Other than that, there is no inherent health benefit of

which I am aware between the two types of bread.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 16:13:00 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - OT rye verses pumpernickle

 

> By this presumption, that cocoa or molasses are oft added to pumpernickel,

> then there is no period dark bread?  Other than adding honey or mead/mash

> to bread how would period dark bread have been made.

>

> Frederich

 

It is likely the darkest loaves in the Middle Ages were adulterated with nut

flour or ground legumes.  In general, the bread of choice was fine wheat

bread, as white as possible, and brown breads were for the less affluent.  I

haven't tried these flours yet, but it is an idea for what to do with the

leftover walnuts from the Christmas baking.  It may also be that I haven't

been able to get the right grade of dark, whole meal rye flour, but I doubt

it.

 

I suspect that the coffee, cocoa and black molasses business is of 19th

Century origin to produce those healthy peasant breads and restore the

vitality of the good burghers.

 

In general, the way to get a darker loaf is to use a coarse, whole meal

flour from dark grain and don't bolt out the germ.  The oils in the germ

tend to make the crumb bake darker.  Using dark syrups for sweetner seem to

help darken bread, but that is probably from the complexity of the sugars,

rather than the color of the sweetner.  Also I don't see a medieval baker

wasting much sweetner on an inexpensive loaf.

 

Thanks for making me think about that.  I may be able to get a natural black

loaf yet.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 00:57:51 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Russian Black Bread

 

> As I prepare to attack my kitchan in preperation for Elfsea Defender, I've

> been going through my messages looking for what we decided on how they made

> Russian black bread dark, other than the modern instant coffee, chocolate

> and molasses? I think the Molasses may be period, but I know the coffee and

> chocolate aren't. If I leave out the coffee and chocolate and increase the

> molasses a bit, would it taste right and look dark enough?

>

> Anya

 

One of the questions I ask myself is, "Is Russian black bread period?"  What

references are there for it?  I have not yet found a reference to answer the

questions.

 

Since the bakers who prepared non-wheat loaves were commonly referred to as

"Brown Bakers," it is possible that the common color of rough loaves was

brown and that black bread is a fairly modern creation.

 

For what you are attempting, try to find a coarse rye whole meal.  If you

can find something labeled as pumpernickel flour, you'll probably be as

close to the proper meal as you can get.

 

Molasses is period, but I would expect it to be rather expensive in Russia,

and probably not used in the bread of the time for that reason.

 

Bon Chance, and let me know how it goes.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 13:36:09 -0000From: nanna at idunn.is (Nanna Rognvaldardottir)Subject: Re: SC - Russian Black BreadBear wrote:>Molasses is period, but I would expect it to be rather expensive in Russia,>and probably not used in the bread of the time for that reason.In Iceland, fairly dark rye bread was baked from rye and water - and nothingelse, no sugar, no salt, no yeast. The following passage describes how thistype of bread was made. The author (who, BTW, wrote the only Icelandic bookavailable on the foodstuffs of the Viking age) notes that he is describing avery old method that was still used when he was growing up in rural Icelandin around 1900:"In my childhood home it was done thus: coarse, homeground, unsifted rye wasmixed with water and kneaded into a smooth, stiff dough. It was then formedinto a round bread, 30-40 cm across and around 10 cm thick, with a flatbottom but the top was rounded. This big cake was then placed on a thicklayer of peat embers and a large metal pot was inverted over it. More peatembers were arranged around and on top of the pot, so it looked like amound, and a heavy, flat stone was placed on top and a cross sign made overit. The embers glowed under the ashes and the stone for a whole night andinto the next day. Then the mound was broken and the baked bread removed. Itwas much like rye bread is now. The dark red brown crust did have somecracks. The bottom was not burned at all, but smooth and evenly baked. Thesebreads were then cut in slices, just like rye bread. They were dark, malty,sweetish and moist. They were the best breads I have ever tasted."Those lucky enough to live close to a hot spring or in an area withgeothermal activity used another method. They placed their dough in a metalcontainer and buried it in the hot ground. Then it was dug up the next dayand was then baked (or steamed, rather). This is still done and you can buydark rye bread baked in hot earth in most supermarkets here. Now it usually(but not always) contains some form of sugar, though, and salt, and yeast.If you donęt have a hot spring at hand, you can also steam the bread in theoven or in a large pot on top of the stove - the longer the better. I havehere a recipe where rye bread is steamed in a 100 C (212 F) oven for 19hours. This produces a very moist, dark bread.I note that the label of the German pumpernickel bread (imported fromGermany) that my supermarked carries says just rye, water, salt, yeast. Nomolasses, or cocoa, or coffee, or anything else. And it is very dark.Nanna

 

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 11:21:10 -0500From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>Subject: RE: SC - Russian Black Bread        <clipped>> The dark red brown crust did have some> cracks. The bottom was not burned at all, but smooth and evenly baked.> These> breads were then cut in slices, just like rye bread. They were dark,> malty,> sweetish and moist. They were the best breads I have ever tasted."        <clipped>> I note that the label of the German pumpernickel bread (imported from> Germany) that my supermarked carries says just rye, water, salt, yeast. No> molasses, or cocoa, or coffee, or anything else. And it is very dark.>> NannaI've been able to reproduce the dark red brown ryes without much troubleusing a higher percentage of rye flour.The pumpernickel bread I'm familiar with is so brown the loaves appearblack.  The recipes I can find, at a minimum use a dark sweetener, commonlymolasses, and often adulterants like coffee or cocoa which will increase thedarkness of the loaf.  These are obviously modern additions.I'm also curious about rye varieties and the color of the grain.  Forexample, wheat runs from very pale yellow to a deep red brown, depending onthe variety.  Hard red winter wheat is used to make strong bread flour andregular whole wheat, while a high gluten pale is used to make white wholewheat bread flour.  Low gluten pales with the germ removed are often used incake flours.  This thread has started me wondering about the varieties ofrye and their properties.Most of the readily available rye flour in the US tends to be a light brownand probably finer meal than is desirable for pumpernickel.  This means Ineed to find a source for pumpernickel meal to experiment.  I'm wonderinghow dark a loaf I can get without adulterants.  I suspect it will be a deepbrown rather than a black, but until I do it, I won't know.Bear

 

Date: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 12:14:51 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy at silk.net>

Subject: SC - Early Medieval Irish Bread and Porridges

 

Considering the discussions which have gone on about bread on the list in

the recent past, I thought some people might be interested in a

serendipitous find I made while checking the carts of new books at the

college where I teach.

 

Regina Sexton, "Porridges, Gruels and Breads: The Cereal Foodstuffs of Early

Medieval Ireland", in EARLY MEDIEVAL MUNSTER: ARCHAEOLOGY, HISTORY AND

SOCIETY, ed. Michael A. Monk and John Sheehan ( Cork: Cork University press,

1998), pp. 76-86.

 

The article is based on information from the literature and legal documents

from the early material of Ireland, and the author is able to reconstruct a

surprising amount about these foods, including what was eaten with them as

condiments. While there is no specific recipe given, there is enough detail

available to indicate the ingredients, shaping and handling, cooking

techniques, etc., so that I should think a modern experimenter could make a

pretty close approximation of the beard eaten by the early Irish. The

section headings give a good picture of the contents:

 

Porridges and gruels

Breads

Ingredients of bread

Baking utensils and methods of preparation

Monastic and penitential bread

The condiments and relishes associated with bread

Conclusion

Notes and bibliography

 

Yours culinarily,

Francesco Sirene

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 22:49:30 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - bread

 

> TerryD at Health.State.OK.US writes:

> << While the dough

>  could have been placed in a pan, allowed a second rise and then baked,

>  baking the dough directly in the pot from a single rise is probably closer

>  to period country and field practice.

>

>  Bear     >>

>

> Documentation, please?

> Ras

 

None of the four period European bread recipes describes a double rise.  The

describe doughs that are allowed to rise, then shaped and baked, or that are

shaped then allowed to rise and baked.  The recipes appear to depend heavily

on oven-spring.

 

>From experience, true sourdough rises take a long time.  The time can be cut

by shaping the loaves and letting them go through a single rise, which may

be what is described in Platina.

 

Field and country baking often have limited capacity and are often done with

serious time constraints.  Where fast acting yeast is unavailable, a single

rise is the practical solution.  These are often done with low gluten

cereals, which make the idea of any rise moot.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 19:54:01 EDT

From: Tollhase1 at aol.com

Subject: SC - Dark Breads revisited-mostly OT

 

Sometime ago there was a discussion of how dark breads were colored to

achieve there tint without the use of molasses or coca powder.

 

Last night while I was baking bread to aleive my migraine, I had a happy

accident.  I threw in some nuts, various whole grains, etc., and some raisins

since it would be eaten hot for breakfast.  Please note I was using a

breadmaker, threw the stuff in and forget it.  Wake up to the smell or fresh

bread.  Anyway, I put the stuff in after the first Kneading and prior to the

second.  The machine so thoroughly blended the raisins during the punch down

phase, that we had no whole pieces left, just a dark rye color.  The bread

tasted like a subtle sweet raisin with a nice nutty flavor from the sunflower

and sesame seeds.

 

Thought some of you might be interested.  Are their perchance bread recipes

out there that call for raisins that we may have misinterpreted?

 

Lord Frederich Holstein der Tollhase

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 22:36:44 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - Dark Breads revisited-mostly OT

 

> Thought some of you might be interested.  Are their perchance bread

> recipes out there that call for raisins that we may have misinterpreted?

>

> Lord Frederich Holstein der Tollhase

 

Of the four period European bread recipes, none calls for raisins.  From

Nana's translation of period Danish(?) comments on bread, it is obvious that

some form of dill bread is period.

 

It is possible that raisins were used in some Roman bread recipes, but I

haven't seen any and I have yet to find Chrysippus of Tyana's treatise on

bread, which would likely provide the most definitive answer.

 

In any event, most fruit filled breads add relatively coarse pieces of fruit

during the shaping rather than pulping it into the dough. The technique is

worth remembering for special occasions.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 12:35:17 -0400

From: "Micaylah" <dy018 at freenet.carleton.ca>

Subject: SC - Oldest Bread in Britain - OOP

 

Found this on the BBC News Online site and thought it might be of some

interest.

 

Micaylah

 

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

 

Oldest Bread in Britain

Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK

By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

 

Small pieces of burnt bread, discovered in a pit at Yarnton in

Oxfordshire, UK, have been dated and found to be 5,500 years old. This

makes the Neolithic bread the oldest ever found in Britain.

 

The pieces turned up when the soil from the recently-excavated pit was

mixed with water, allowing light material to float and be removed.

 

Initially, the burnt fragments were mistaken for pieces of wood

charcoal, but when Dr Mark Robinson from the Oxford University Museum

examined them through a microscope, he could clearly see

partially-crushed grains of barley.

 

From the amount of radioactive carbon in the sample, it is estimated

that the bread was baked between 3620 - 3350 BC.

 

A flint knife was also found in the pit, along with over 200 flint

flakes, some of which had been sharpened and serrated.

 

Crumbs of pottery were also discovered, along with hazelnut shells and

apple cores.

 

Archaeologists speculate that it may have been a rubbish deposit, but

the presence of a knife in good condition and the bread suggests it

was a religious offering.

 

The bread was made by the first farmers to arrive in central England

having migrated from mainland Europe.

 

They cleared the extensive forests and planted wheat and barley as

well as keeping cattle and pigs.

 

 

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 00:33:50 -0500

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: SC - Horse Bread

 

Someone was just looking for a reference to horse-bread. I am packing to

go to an event, and it is after midnight, so I ripped off the page for

November the 18th, and lo, on the 19th, the Forgotten English Calendar

has this:

        "horse-bread

A peculiar sort of bread made for feeding horses"

        -Robert Nares's  'Glossary of the Works of English Authors', 1859

 

"Take two bushels of good clean beans and one bushel of wheat, and grind

them together.  Then, through a fine [sieve], bolt out the quantity of

two pecks of pure meal, and bake it in two or three loaves by itself.

The rest sift through a meal sieve and knead it with water and good store

of barme [yeast].  And so, bake it in breat loaves and with the coarser

bread feed your horse in his rest."

        -Gervase Markham's 'Country Contentments', 1615

 

St. Elizabeth's Day, Patron Saint of Bakers

 

A very good day for cooks (and horses!)

Christianna

 

 

Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 07:14:03 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - barley bread

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Bear said:

> > The one statement I might agree with was that the common bread was

> > unleavened, as the primary grain for much of Europe was barley.  But there

> > is nothing particularly wrong with unleavened flat breads.

>

> Huh? Are you saying you can't leaven barley bread? Even with ale barm

> and such? What about barley/wheat mixes?

 

Oh, you can add leaven. It's just that on its own, barley has no gluten,

and instead of inflating with CO2, it sits there making sizzling noises

as the gas escapes, and bakes more or less into a flatbread anyway. Not

necessarily a cracker-like flatbread, more like a bannock. Adding some

wheat will improve this, as you say.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 09:50:39 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Book - History of Bread?

 

> Recently an article from the New York Times came over the wire service; it

> was a review of a book called History of Bread by Bernard Dupaigne.

>

> It's obviously not a completely new release, since the review mentions that

> it was first published in France, but I'm not sure how long it's been out

> in the US. I'd be interested in hearing commments from anyone who's read it

> (the review is mixed, with some recipes described as "seriously flawed").

>

> Any comments that will help me decide whether to buy much appreciated!

>

> Kylie

 

You don't buy this book for the recipes.  Dupaigne is a noted historian with

ties to the Museum of Man, one of the major antropological/archeological

institutes in France.  It is apparently what the title says it is, a

historical examination of bread.

 

I came across a bibliography entry for this book in French a few years ago.

After reading some of the related footnotes, I decided I wanted a copy even

if I had to do my own translation.  The Roders have saved me the trouble.

The American edition came out last November.

 

If you are looking for historical information for the reference shelf, the

book is probably right up your alley.  If the interest is casual, try

getting through the library, $60 is a little steep for light reading.  If

you are interested in recipes for baking, I'd look at The Italian Baker,

Bernard Clayton's book on French breads, or David's English Bread and Yeast

Cookery.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 08:38:36 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - sourdough experiment #1 alternate method

 

> The starter sponge that I use isn't the San Francisco

> lactobacillus.  But it does have a strong sour taste.

>

> My recipe is two cups of flour and one cup of flat

> beer.  I usually use rye flour and, if I am fortunate,

> I will use home brewed beer.  It takes about three

> days to start to bubble.  I usually keep it on the

> counter next to the oven.  I personally think that the

> introduction of beer gives the bread a closer flavor

> to breads that were baked using barm.

>

> Huette

 

Rather than beer, I would suggest unhopped brown ale, but let's not quibble,

I've used beer for flavoring.  A rye based starter is produced by different

strains of yeast and lactobacillus than a wheat based starter and is

generally sourer than wheat based starters.

 

A point to remember is that the breads made with barm are primarily a

northern European thing in period although Gothic bakers brought the

technique to Rome in the 1st Century BCE.  Most southern European bakers

used leavens.

 

In France, the use of ale barm was considered bad practice.  At some point

using anything other than a levain was prohibited by law and remained that

way until some time in the 19th Century, if I remember the dates, when the

prohibtion was lifted so Parisian bakers could produce some of their highly

aerated breads.

 

If you have a good starter, you might consider drying some of it and

wrapping it in foil to give to people who are interested in trying it.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 10:03:30 +0200

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Roman Recipes LONG

 

>> Or flat bread to wrap the food in- the original souvlaki, falafal, gyros

>> sandwich etc. Even food like barley can be served in bread bowls.

>

>And when we discussed bread bowls further back no one could point to

>bread bowls being period as food containers. Anyone have any evidence

>for this being done in period, now?

 

Yes. In Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae (III. 125-126vol 2, pp 83-85, 1928

edition), from a string of disjointed quotations:

 

"Give me a mystilÍ [ed.- a piece of bread used in lieu of a spon]; for I

will not use the word mystron..."

 

And then:

 

[Athenaeus quoting Nicander] "'But when you prepare a dish of fresh-killed

kid or lamb or capon, sprinkle some groats in a hollow bowl and pound them

well, then stir in a fragrant oil, well mixed.  When the broth is boiling

hard, pour it over the meal, put the lid on the pan, and smother it; for

when it is stewed in this way, the heavy meal swells up. Serve it when

mildly warm in hollow mystra.' [Athenaeus speaking] In these

terms...Nicander indicates the use of pudding and barley-groats , directing

that a broth of lamb or kid or fowl be poured over it.  To repeat his

words: pound the groats in a mortar, mix oil with it and stir it in the

broth when it begins to boil.  When, after these preliminaries, the mixture

actively boils up again, it should be stirred with the ladle without adding

any other ingredient; simply spoon it off as it is, to prevent any of the

rich fat at the top from boiling over.  That is why he says 'put on the lid

and cover the boiling liquid'; for the meal swells up then it is smothered

in this way.  Finally, when it has cooled to a mild heat, eat it with

hollow pieces of bread."

 

 

He mentions earlier (p. 105), in a list of comestibles served at a feast,

"stuffed fig-leaves".  The editorial note says "[spelled in greek letters]

thrion, a dish often mentioned by the comic poets, consisting of eggs,

milk, flour, honey, cheese, and lard in a  wrapping of fig leaves.  Cf. the

modern Greek dish dolmades, made with grape leaves.

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 11:15:37 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - REC:  A TARTE OF STRAWBERRIES & questions

 

> Also, I sent this recipe to my Jewish list group. Can anybody tell me where

> this responder got the idea that medieval bread was steamed?   I want to

> answer her (beehive oven, etc etc) but want to be accurate.  I have never

> heard of medieval bread being steamed.

> Phillipa

> <<

>  Thank you Phillipa for this interesting recipe. I know that white bread would

>  probably have been steamed at that time but it's interesting and I'd love

>  to see more.

 

The only breads that I know were steamed (or simmered, depending on the

recipe) were puddings and the ones I know of are 16th Century or later.

 

Medieval breads normally were baked.  Woodcuts, painting, and historical

records bear this out.  White bread was made white by grinding the flour

very fine and sieving out the chisel in two or more boltings.  The ovens may

have been moist from swabbing, but that is different from steaming.

 

Also, IIRC, the period bread recipes we have call for baking

 

It is possible that your correspondent is confusing "peggy tub" bread, where

the dough is wrapped and allowed to rise in a pan of water, with steaming.

It is a process first mentioned by Pliny.

 

I am puzzled by your correspondent's opinion, because I can think of nothing

which would give it a solid base.  I would recommend reading Elizabeth

David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery to provide a broader view of the

history of baking.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 13:05:39 EDT

From: DeeWolff at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - anise, fennel, dill clarification

 

Fennel Buns

    "The same baker should mix as much flour with warm water as is enough to

make a bun and then put into the mixture fennel seeds and chopped bits of

lard,or butter, and mix again as long as necessary to bring it all into a

single mass, Then he should press it into a round shape with his hands and

put it in the oven with the bread, or he may bake it on a hearth under a lid  

covered with ashes and coals".

 

 

Platina: On Right Pleasure and Good Health,1468.

 

Andrea

Ostgardr

 

 

Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 11:36:06 -0500

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

Subject: RE: SC - TI article?

 

> Bear: how would your version of a "viking plausible" bread look?

>

> /UlfR

 

Based on some of the information Nanna has provided, I would use coarse rye

or maslin flour, mix it with water and form a round loaf. Letting the dough

rest for 4 or 5 hours before forming and baking will produce a little

fermentation which will assist the oven spring.  The loaf would be baked on

a baking stone under a metal pot surrounded and covered by slow burning

embers (peat might be the fuel of choice.  The rye bread is the most

documentable Scandinavian bread and the method of baking is a traditional

one.

 

The barley bread would be a mixture of barley flour and water, perhaps with

a little salt to enhance the flavor.  Pat the dough into small flat cakes

and bake on a bakestone or a griddle.

 

Wheat or maslin might be used for a sourdough bread.  In previous

discussions, you have commented on a study showing that wild yeast was found

in the old home bread troughs.  Such a dough would most likely be made of

flour, water, and possibly salt.  The bread would be baked in a manner

similar to the rye loaves above.

 

Wheat and maslin could also be used for griddle breads. Again, water,

flour, and maybe salt.

 

Where oats were used, I would expect oat meal, water and a little fat.  Oat

breads seem to do better with a little fat in the dough. It too is a

griddle cake.

 

Honey might be added to a barley or a wheat bead, but I would think that

would be reserved for festive occasions.

 

I serious question the use of oil and as you pointed out, if a fat was used

it was probably lard or butter.

 

In my opinion, the most common loaves would be a large rye loaf followed by

a barley or maslin griddle bread.  

 

Bear

 

 

Subject: RE: ANST - Medieval Locks

Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 08:45:28 -600

From: gunnora at realtime.net

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org (ansteorra)

 

Bors asked:

> UH- What about medieval bagels?

 

Try the excellent recipe by Mistress Þóra Sharptooth, "Viking Barley Bagels:

Unleavened Barley Buns", located at:

http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/vikbagels.html

 

::GUNNORA::

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 12:44:05 -0600

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

Subject: RE: SC - Trenchers Oh my!

 

> I just finished reading Ed Wood's book, and I'm very excited about the

> Russian culture myself, as well as the Austrian one. However, I think he

> tends to exaggerate the documentablity of his cultures just a bit.

Good observation.  Outside of the Egyptian bakery re-creation which was done

under archeological scrutiny, I tend to take his historical comments with a

grain of salt.  One of his claims is that sourdough is 10,000 years old.

Unfortunately it is documentable only to about 3,500 BCE with inscription

and archeological evidence in Egypt and archeological evidence from the

Neolithic Swiss lake villages.  Sourdough appears roughly coincident with

the arrival of emmer wheat whose grain separates from the husk far easier

than einlkorn.  Since toasting the grain helped to separate the husk and

coincidentally coagulated the gluten, a wheat which can be easily separated

without toasting increases the probability of accidentally discovering

leavened bread.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 22:04:47 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Rusks???

 

DeeWolff at aol.com writes:

<< I'm diving into a Dutch cookbook and I don't know what rusks are. Can

anyone help??

Andrea M. >>

 

rusk (noun)

 

[modification of Spanish & Portuguese rosca coil, twisted roll]

 

First appeared 1595

 

1 : hard crisp bread orig. used as ship's stores

 

2 : a sweet or plain bread baked, sliced, and baked again until dry and crisp

 

Ras

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] semmel?

Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 06:13:37 -0500

 

Simnel is specifically controlled under the Assize of Bread and Beer (13th

Century) which is why I think it may represent an enriched loaf which

evolved into a cake.

 

During Elizabeth's reign, bakers were prohibited from baking simnel  except

for a couple holy days (one being Easter) and for funerals, because the

proper weight of the simnel could not be assured (it was probably marzipan

filled at this point).

 

There is a 17th Century recipe available.

 

I'll post the quotes legal prohibitions when I can get to the files they're

in.

 

Bear

 

> More info on this Simnel cake, please. Both on this tradition of the

> serving girls going home at this time and this Simnel cake itself.

>

> Do you happen to have a recipe for this cake? Either original or

> redacted? (Typically this list, and the SCA, uses the term 'redacted'

> to mean converting an original recipe into a recipe in modern form

> givming amounts and perhaps more specific directions.)

>

> Thanks,

>   Stefan

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] semmel?

Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 08:24:44 -0500

 

>From the Assize of Bread and Beer:

 

"Assisa Panis (Assize of Bread): When a Quarter of Wheat is sold for 12d.,

then Wastel Bread of a farthing shall weigh =A36 and 16s. But Bread Cocket of

a farthing of the same grain and bultel, shall weigh more than Wastel by 2s.

And Cocket Bread made of grain of lower price, shall weigh more than Wastel

by 5s. Bread made into a Simnel shall weigh 2s. less than Wastel. Bread made

of the whole Wheat shall weigh a Cocket and a half, so that a Cocket shall

weigh more than a Wastel by 5s. Bread of Treet shall weigh 2 wastels. And

bread of common wheat shall weigh two great cockets.

 

When a quarter of wheat is sold for 18d., then wastel bread of a farthing

white and well-baked shall weigh =A34 10s. 8d...."

 

The Assize of Bread and Beer was first codified in the 12th Century and

became fixed in its form in the 14th Century, although changes were made

from time to time in regards the weights and costs.  It remained in law

until the 19th Century.

 

 

>From Elizabeth David (English Bread and Yeast Cookery):

 

"At one time simnel cakes were made with yeast-leavened dough and baked with

a layer of almond paste in the center of the cake.  The dough was spiced and

enriched with eggs, butter and dried fruit, so that the old simnel cake was

another variation of spice cake rather like the one described in the

Countess of Kent's recipe on p. 475

 

"Simnel cakes made on a basis of yeast dough were gradually superseded by

ordinary cake batters, and the strip of almond paste or marzipan moved from

the centre to the top of the cake, which was originally made for Mothering

Sunday.  Nowadays it has become associated with Easter."

 

In a related chapter, the following quote.

 

"The most interesting of the recipes is perhaps the simple spiced fruit bun,

the original of our Good Friday hot cross bun without the cross.  These

spice buns first became popular in Tudor days, at the same period as the

larger spice loaves or cakes, and were no doubt usually made from the same

batch of spiced and butter-enriched fruit dough.  For a long time bakers

were permitted to offer these breads and buns for sale only on special

occaisons, as is shown by the following decree issued in 1592, the

thirty-sixth year of the reign of Elizabeth I, by the London Clerk of

Markets:

 

"'That no bakers, etc, at any time or times hereafter make, utter, or sell

by retail, within or without their houses, unto any of the Queen's subjects

any spice cakes, buns, biscuits or other spice bread (being bread out of

size and not by law allowed) except it be at burials, or on the Friday

before Easter, or at Christmas, upon pain of forfeiture of all such spiced

bread to the poor.'"  (Stow's Survey of London, 1598 ed., ed. John Strype,

1720, Vol. 2, ch xxiv, p. 441)

 

So, by the Elizabethean period, simnel was a spice bread. It may or may not

have been a spice bread when the Assize of Bread was written.  Since the

name is derived from the Latin "simila" meaning "fine flour," it is possible

that simnel was a fine, white, enriched bread (similar to the German

"semmel") that evolved into spice bread then, modernly, into a "biscuit",

similar to the evolution which occurred in restons.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 17:02:42 -0500

From: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

To: SCA-Cooks maillist <SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] THE HISTORY OF BREAD, by Bernard Dupaigne

 

I just saw that this book was on sale at Jessica's Biscuit and thought

some of you might be interested. There will be few, if any, documentable

period bread recipes in this book. The roughly half dozen or so known

period recipes have all been discussed on this list, and can be found

in the Florilegium. However I thought some of the other info might be

of interest to the breadmakers out there. At this price, I did go ahead

and order a copy for me. :-)

 

Stefan

 

> THE HISTORY OF BREAD, by Bernard Dupaigne

> Harry N. Abrades, Inc., Publishers, 1999

> http://www.ecookbooks.com/products.html?item=B134

> Jessica's Biscuit Price: $29.98 YOU SAVE 50%

> Retail Price: $60.00

> Bread is the symbol of shared food, the very essence of life. It is deeply

> anchored in virtually every civilization on earth. This spectacular book

> spans the globe to tell the fascinating story of one of the world's most

> revered foods, tracing its importance from ancient Egyptian times to today,

> and exploring the prominent cultural roles it has played in so many diverse

> societies. Since Biblical times, bakers around the world have worked to

> perfect the many varieties of bread, their efforts have resulted in braids,

> baguettes, whole wheat rolls, flatbread, croissants, in infinite profusion.

> Whether serving as the basic element of a sandwich, an accompaniment to a

> bowl of soup, or a treat of its own, bread is a universal staple. This

> extensive history also explores the many traditions surrounding bread, its

> significance in agricultural and religious festivals, the wealth of proverbs

> and popular sayings that have grown up around it, and the numerous riots,

> uprising and revolutions that bread has inspired. It is wonderfully written

> and beautifully illustrated with images of bakers over the ages from Egyptian

> art to present day color photographs, 19th Century bread advertisements,

> drawings of medieval mills and bread ovens. The twenty tantalizing,

> culturally significant bread recipes from diverse cultures are sure to

> transform many bread lovers into bakers.

--

THLord  Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

Mark S. Harris             Austin, Texas         stefan at texas.net

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] THE HISTORY OF BREAD, by Bernard Dupaigne

Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 10:30:31 -0500

 

Thank you, Stefan.  I've been avoiding ordering a copy because of "sticker

shock."  I'll be putting an order in for one.

 

I don't know how good this translation is, but the French original is

classed as one of the most comprehensive historical studies of bread ever

made.

 

Bear

 

> > THE HISTORY OF BREAD, by Bernard Dupaigne

> > Harry N. Abrades, Inc., Publishers, 1999

> > http://www.ecookbooks.com/products.html?item=B134

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001 08:54:32 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Panforte was ( Re: Food gifts)

 

> Speaking of holiday gifts, last year I made the most awesome panforte

> from a recipe I found on the internet.  I took it to a couple of

> gatherings, and people raved about it.  Only problem is, I still can't

> figure out how to pronounce it correctly!  Any sugggestions?  :)

> Pan-fort sounded pretty silly.  Pan'-for-tay' sounded like something out

> of Blazing Saddles.  Pan-for'-tay sounded most likely right.

>

> -Magdalena vander Brugghe

 

Pan-for'-tay is about right.  Someone with a better grasp of Italian might

give you a more correct pronunciation.

 

The name essentially means "strong bread," most likely from the use of

pepper as one of the spices.  The earliest references are from 13th Century

monastery accounts where the bread was part of the rents and fees taken in

by the monastery.  I've found no period recipes for panforte, but I suspect

it may have been similar to period gingerbread.

 

Bear

 

 

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

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Panforte was ( Re: Food gifts)

Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001 10:27:17 -0500

 

I doubt if panforte was served year-round, but it keeps well and I suspect

that in the case of the monastery it was a treat for High Holy Days which

were not also fast days.

 

The specific primary reference is stated to be found in the Miscellanee

Storiche Senesi.  According to my sources, it is the record of a tithe of

"panpepati e mielati" or "pepper and honey bread" on some of the tenants of

the Monastery of Montecellesi in Siena paid on February 7, 1205.

 

Commonly called "panpepato," the bread became known as "panforte" in the

19th Century, apparently as a trade name to tie the bread to the first large

scale manufacturer in Siena.

 

My recipe for panforte:

 

Panforte

 

2 cups blanched, toasted almonds, coarsely chopped or slivered

1 cup raisins, Zante raisins (currants), or golden raisins

1 cup chopped dates

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup flour

 

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons butter

 

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, set aside.

Grease a 9 to 11 inch springform or tart pan with a removable bottom. Line

it with baker's parchment and grease the parchment.

Combine the sugar, honey and butter in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil

 

over medium heat. When the syrup is between the soft and firm ball stages

(about 245 degrees F), thoroughly mix the syrup into the dry ingredients to

make a stiff batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Spread and smooth it.

Bake in a pre-heated 300 degree F oven for about 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool about 15 minutes. Separate the walls from

the base.

Allow the panforte to cool on the base.

Remove from base. Peel off parchment and serve.

 

Here's another recipe tied off to an SCA feast:

http://www.advancenet.net/~jscole/maidens.htm

 

Bear

 

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 14:17:00 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] name of dish

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

 

It's from the 13th c. Andalusian cookbook, and is in the Miscellany

(webbed on my site) as:

Recipe for Murakkaba, a Dish which is Made in the Region of

Constantine and is Called KutČmiyya

Andalusian p. A-62

 

We call it "stack of pancakes."

 

>>>

I am hoping his grace Cariadoc would please post the name of the

semolina unbaked loaf so I may find the recipe.  It was so very

interesting I would like to make it to take along to our cooks guild

meeting this saturday.

 

THLady Olwen the Odd

Clan of Odds

Barony of Bright Hills

Kingdom of Atlantia!

<<<

 

Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2003 12:57:28 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Looking for a bread recipe.

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

 

> I am looking for a bread recipe. I am told that people would bake a

> special loaf that was ornate to celebrate the harvest. Any help would

> be appreciated.snipped

> LOL, sorry I guess this information would help. English people

> around 1100 AD. Gerard

 

As promised--

Mason. Laura and Catherine Brown. Traditional Foods of Britain. An

Inventory. Totnes, Devon, U.K: Prospect Books, 1999. indicated that

these are associated with lardy cakes. Another type that goes back to

the 19th century is the harvest baker's cake which was eaten at a tea.

David, Elisabeth. English Bread and Yeast Cookery. 1977. New York:

Viking, 1980. contains material on lardy and harvest cakes with recipes.

I know that they are covered in several British regional and traditional

cookbooks, like the Mabey's and Maggie Black, but I don't have access to

those at the moment.

 

Jaine, Tom. Baking Bread at Home. Traditional Recipes from Around the

World. New York: Rizzoli, 1995 has a picture and contains instructions

on making a loaf in the shape of a sheaf of wheat.

Bernard Dupaigne in The History of Bread, 1999, also has pictures of

under a section entitled "The Harvest Bouquets." pp. 74-75.

The World Guide to Bread by Christine Ingram also has a paragraph and

picture of an English harvest loaf.

 

I'll try and come up with some more photo's from the web later on and

more on the folklore associated with the "harvest loaf."

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 12:51:58 -0500

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Bread recipe request (OOP)

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org> 

 

Traditional Struan Michael is a bannock (an unleavened cake) made from

cereal meal, milk, eggs and butter.  The Hebridean version usually uses

sheep milk.  The meal is dampened with milk, then the eggs and butter are

worked in, and more milk may be added to reach the right consistency. The

cake is then baked in an oven or on the hearth.  The types of cereals used

depend upon the types grown locally.  I don't even remember the source I got

that from.

 

Michaelmas presumably equates to the Celtic Lughnassad, so I suspect Struan

Michael is a modification of Irish fine wheat cake mentioned in the

Early literature.

 

The modern adaptations try to turn this into a multi-grain yeast bread,

which the original is definitely not.  I don't think you'll find a recipe

for the traditional loaf unless you come across it in someone's

manuscript cookbook.

 

Bear

 

> I'm usually a lurker, but I've run into something of a

> problem. I promised to make a bread called struan or struan

> michael for a get-together on

> Sunday. It's a traditional Scottish bread made at harvest

> time. The problem I've run into is that I cannot find a

> traditional recipe for it anywhere. The

> *only* recipes that I have found on-line are by Brother

> Juniper or Peter Rheinhardt, both of which are basically the

> same, and have "updated" the

> recipe for the "modern world." Does anyone have a recipe

> other than those two for struan?

>

> Thanks,

>

> Nostas'ia Stepanova

> Barony of Ponte Alto, Atlantia

> (mka Rachel Trigg, Alexandria, VA)

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 14:03:22 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread recipe request (OOP)

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

 

> Michaelmas presumably equates to the Celtic Lughnassad, so I suspect Struan

> Michael is a modification of Irish fine wheat cake mentioned in the

> early literature.

 

*blink*?

 

Michaelmas, September 29th, is at the end of the grain harvest. I was

under the impression that Lughnassad was in the same time frame as Lammas,

the beginning of August and thus the beginning of the grain harvest...?

 

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

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 16:06:23 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread recipe request (OOP)

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

 

The best account from books on the shelf --

 

See The Scots Kitchen by F. Marion McNeill on page 230. She refers then

to her classic folklore accounts in volume 2 of The Silver Bough which I

own but is again boxed along with all the other helpful regional ones.

It's an elaborate preparation according to McNeill and not just an

everyday bannock. It originated in the Hebrides. I'll look but I'm not

sure that I will find much more than the description.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 21:31:19 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread recipe request (OOP)

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

 

>> Michaelmas presumably equates to the Celtic Lughnassad, so I suspect

Struan

>> Michael is a modification of Irish fine wheat cake mentioned in the

>> early

>> literature.

>

> *blink*?

>

> Michaelmas, September 29th, is at the end of the grain harvest. I was

> under the impression that Lughnassad was in the same time frame as

> Lammas,

> the beginning of August and thus the beginning of the grain harvest...?

>

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

 

I am considering this more in the mythology of the particular beings rather

than by dates.

 

Modern convention places Lammas and Lughnassad together.  The pagan Celtic

calendar was based on a lunar month and a 30 lunar year cycle.  Feast days

not fixed to the equinoxs tended to shift to different times in a month.

 

Most people also fail to take into account that the change from the Julian

to Gregorian calendar created a shift of ten days in the calendar and that

when England adopted the Gregorian calendar the shift was 11 days.

 

BTW, under the Julian calendar, the presumed date of Lughnassad falls more

closely to the Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15) than to Lammas.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 17:01:47 -0500

From: Alex Clark <alexbclark at pennswoods.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Commercial bread leavening

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

 

At 10:01 AM 2/12/2004 -0700, Stefan wrote:

> I was going to ask whether this meant that most modern, commercial breads

> were soda breads, but then Admantius' comments make it clear that "soda

> bread" is actually a bit more specific than that. But this does raise a

> question. What is the rising agent in most commercial breads, the wonder

> bread and similar ones, not the artesian breads baked in your local deli?

> Are they using yeast or a chemical agent? For years I had assumed the

> latter, but now I'm wondering if it isn't yeast after all.

 

According to _On Food and Cooking_ by McGee (1984, Collier Books), "In

commercial baking, where time and work are money, mechanical dough

developers can produce a "ripe" dough, with good aeration and an optimum

gluten, in 4 minutes. Yeast is added to such doughs only as flavoring."

(p. 308)

 

Alex Clark (Henry of Maldon)

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 18:55:50 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Commercial bread leavening

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

 

Most breads are leavened with yeast.  Chemical leavens don't generally

produce as fine a rise.  Breads made with chemical leavens have very

distinct tastes which some people find umpleasant.

 

Other than the quality of the ingredients, the primary difference between

commercial and artisan breads is that plain ole gummy white bread is

deliberately underbaked, while the artisan loaves are properly baked.

 

Bear

 

> Bear replied to me with:

>> Soda bread is a bread leavened with baking soda rather than yeast.

>

> I was going to ask whether this meant that most modern, commercial

> breads

were soda breads, but then Admantius' comments make it clear that "soda

bread" is actually a bit more specific than that. But this does raise a

question. What is the rising agent in most commercial breads, the wonder

bread and similar ones, not the artesian breads baked in your local

deli?

Are they using yeast or a chemical agent? For years I had assumed the

latter, but now I'm wondering if it isn't yeast after all.

>

> Stefan

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 18:58:35 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Commercial bread leavening

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

 

Uusally if you add chemicals to commercial bread it's things like diamalt to

boost the rise and improve the flavor, citric acid to improve flavor, and

preservatives to extend shelf life.

 

Bear

 

> As far as I know, virtually all of the commercial, packaged,

> pre-sliced, supermarket-sandwich breads are raised with yeast,

> possibly with the help of various chemicals, but primarily, yeast.

> For the most part, they're all some variation or imitation of the

> standard baker's white Pullman loaf, which you used to buy in

> bakeries and have sliced to order.

>

> Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 11:46:49 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Questions....

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

 

>Platina has bread making instructions?

>Aellin

 

Yes.

 

"Therefore I recommend to anyone who is a baker that he use flour from  

wheat meal, well ground and then passed through a fine sieve to sift  

it; then put it in a bread pan with warm water, to which has been added  

salt, after the manner of the people of Ferrari in Italy. After adding

the right amount of leaven, keep it in a damp place if you can and let

it rise. That is the way bread can be made without difficulty. Let the

baker beware not to use more or less leaven than he should; in the  

former instance, the bread will take on a sour taste, and in the  

latter, it becomes heavy and unhealthful and is not readily digested.

The bread should be well baked in an oven, and not on the same day;  

bread from fresh flour is most nourishing of all, and should be baked

slowly."

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~rcull/bread.htm

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 14:19:40 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Age of "hot cross buns"?

To: <mooncat at in-tch.com>, "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Does anyone know how old the "traditional" hot cross buns for Easter

> time are? I have a suspicion that they fall into one of those

> "traditional but not period" categories, but could sure be wrong!

> --maire

 

While the term "hot cross buns" is fairly recent, the idea of the spice bun

for Easter is definitely and old one.  Such spice breads were a specialty

item that bakers were allowed to make only at specific times since they  

fell outside of the Assize of Bread.

 

Stow's Survey of London, 1598, editted by John Strype in 1720, and quoted by

Elizabeth David in English Bread and Yeast Cookery, has a decree from 1592

issued by the London Clerk of the Markets, " That no bakers, etc, at any

time or times hereafter make, utter, or sell by retail, within or without

their houses, unto any of the Queen's subjects any spice cakes, buns,

biscuits or other spice bread ( being bread out of size and not by law

allowed) except it be at burials, or on Friday before Easter, or at

Christmas, upon pain of forfeiture of all such spice bread to the poor."

 

The decree proved unenforceable and fell by the wayside sometime in the

reign of James I.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Ag 2004 08:46:33 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seeking bread recipe

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

 

>Do we have *any* bread recips from ancient greece?

>

>-Irmgart

 

Yes, we do have bread recipes from Ancient Greece, but most are a simple

description than an actual recipe.  You need some baking experience to feel

your way through the recipes.  There are about 50 types of bread we have

information on.  Another 30 types, we know only by name, due to references

by other ancient authors to a lost treatise on breadmaking written by

Chrysippus of Tyana.

 

I haven't spent much time chasing these -- yet.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 18:47:46 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] was Libum recipe now whole wheat bread

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

 

> naturally leavened bread - not sourdough, you don't let it get sour

>

> AEllin

 

I would point out that "sourdough" is not from the sour taste, but from the

fact that the dough ferments spontaneously, "sours."  The sour taste is

produces by lactobacilli in the ferment and varies widely among sourdoughs.

I have a starter which produces bread that is only slightly tangier then

bread from yeast.

 

If the recipe is a spontaneous leavening, then by definition, it is a

sourdough.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 14:53:03 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question about bakers guilds

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

 

> I'm looking for information on English bakers (baker's ?  bakers' ?)

> guilds for any time in the 14th through 16th centuries.  Does anyone

> have any good references, websites, or the like handy?

>

> - Doc

 

These should get you started.  Some of the more scholarly sites have

bibliographies you can chase.

 

Bear

 

The Worshipful Company of Bakers (London Baker's Guild)

http://www.bakers.co.uk/

 

York Baker's Guild account book

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/english/palwork/week19/palwk19.htm

 

Livery Companies of the City of London

http://www.wcsim.co.uk/page04.htm

 

Medieval Merchants (list)

http://web.archive.org/web/20021216012925/homepages.gold.ac.uk/genuki/

LND/Indexes/MEDMCHTS.txt

 

Immigrants in Early Tudor London

http://www.esh.ed.ac.uk/CEU/Velich.htm

 

Renaissance Guilds

http://www.twingroves.district96.k12.il.us/Renaissance/guildhall/

guilds/guildinfo.html

 

The Assizes of Bread, Beer and Lucrum Pistoris

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/breadbeer.html

 

Harvard Law on Assize of Bread

http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/collections/special/publications/

food/food1.php

 

Dublin Corn Market

http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/Gilbert/gilbert7.htm

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 09:33:23 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels & bagels

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

 

>>>

This whole "malted water" thing has me fascinated.  I had many bagel

making discussions with a Hebrew chef.  He didn't add anything to the water,

nor have any of the recipes I have seen added stuff to the water.  He did

insist of refrigerating them for an hour before baking....

 

Samrah (who used to make a good batch of bagels and still makes a good bread)

<<<

 

IIRC, malted water appears in Bernard Clayton's book of French breads, so it

may be a French thing.  Having tried it, dropping the bagels into malted

water improves the flavor without being overpowering.  BTW, not all bagel

recipes call for the bagel to be dropped in boiling water.

 

Traditionally, the bagel was created by Austrian bakers to celebrate John

III Sobieski's raising of the Siege of Vienna (the same one that saw the

start of coffeehouses in Vienna) in 1683.  Unfortunately for tradition,

there are apparently regulations from Krakow in 1610 covering the bagel.

That there are no particular religious regulations attached to the bagel

suggest that it was a bread made by all manner of bakers and that the

"Jewish affinity" to the bagel is a latter phenomenon.

 

I'm still trying to locate a source for the baking regulations in Krakow.

They get mentioned in passing in various sources,  but copies of the actual

regulations seem to be elusive.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 16:05:57 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] OOP: 17th century Frenc breadmaking

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

 

The Fons Grewe website has an interesting text for those who read

French.  The 1661 edition of "Les delices de la campagne" by Nicholas

de Bonnefons has an entire chapter on making various kinds of bread.  

All of them begin with the mixing of a starter the night before,

containing leaven plus one-sixth to one-quarter of the total flour.  

The common breads, containing a mixture of grains, are started at 6 or

8 in the evening, to give them more rising time, whereas the sponge for

an all-white wheat loaf is begun at 10.

 

I was amused to see that the tapping-on-the-bottom-for-a-hollow-sound

test for doneness is at least 3 centuries old.

http://www.bib.ub.es/grewe/showbook.pl?gw015

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 16:47:15 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pantler knife/chaffer knife

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

 

> Anyway, in brief, the "chaffer knife" should probably be called "chopper".

> Which raises another issue: in my experience, smooth-edged knives don't

> work very well for slicing bread, which is why modern bread knives are

> serrated.  Has anybody seen evidence for a serrated knife in SCA period?

> I don't see any examples in the MoL book.

> --

>                                     John Elys

 

Smooth knives work just fine against a day old loaf that has been sitting in

the air.  Forget about trying to cut a loaf fresh from the oven or wrapped

in plastic and allowed to soften.  Serrated blades work better on softer

loaves and equally as well on artisan loaves which is why you find

serrations on most modern bread knives.

 

It should be remembered that a household baker was usually working a couple

days ahead of the household requirements so the bread was often a day old at

table.

 

There is an interesting illumination where one of the diner's is cutting

bread at the table.  The technique more closely resembles cutting a sentry's

throat than cutting bread.  Pantlers and carvers are depicted as being a

little more clever with their knives.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 21:53:53 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sweet bread or cake recipe also Mace

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

 

Panettone in the recipe William describes probably gets its start in Milan

during the 15th Century.  It may derive from an earlier large loaf of bread

which was served during Christmas as early as the 10th Century.  Over the

centuries, the loaf became enriched and stuffed with fruit and nuts. Modern

panetonne comes in both the mushroom shape and as a large slightly flattened

loaf (which probably the original shape).  As near as I can tell, it was a

commercial product from the start.

 

There is a similar fruit bread from Verona, pandoro.  The shape appears to

derive from a medieval Veronese Christmas cake, nadalin.  Nadalin appears to

have been a star shaped bread stuffed with fruit and possibly topped with

sugar.  A number of sources suggest that pandoro in its modern form is a

19th Century derivative of Viennese baking techniques applied to a

traditional form.

 

Modern recipes for panettone, pandoro and stollen are all heavy on the sugar

in the dough, which I think may be the Viennese influence.  Older forms of

enriched dough are closer to brioche, using fats and eggs, but not much

sugar.

 

As for English recipes, a lot of them use currants, but very few use almonds

and those that do use them as almond paste (a take off from simnels, I

assume).  If you choose to use one, you will probably need to modify the

recipe to use your currant and almond mix.

 

With the currant and almond mix you have, I think I would try the

panforte

 

Bear

 

> The almonds and currants are mixed together and so not

> possible to turn into almond paste any more, but it might work as a

> base.  I will have to play with it, thank you.  Have you tried the

> proportions?

>

> William, the Pannettone sounds yummy, and related to the familiar (to

> me) Stollen, except for the shape.

>

> Gwen Cat

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 13:19:37 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] PPC #77

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>,

      "mk-cooks at midrealm.org" <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>

 

Greetings!  The newest Petits Propos Culinaires (#77) arrived a few days

ago and there are several articles of interest to SCAdians.

 

The first is "Parisian Bread Circa 1654".  This includes a reprint of

John

Evelyn's "Panificiuim" with the French text from "Les Delices de la

Campagne", by Nicolas Bonnefons.  Rubel, the article's author, indicates

that Evelyn made a few mistranslations but basically contains the French

text in English.  There's enough difference, apparently, that it might

be

interesting for a SCAdian to work on the French and do a new

translation.

The article points out a few of the similarities between English and

French

breads, specifically Markham's "cheat bread", so one might use this as a

possible reference for slightly OOP breads.

 

<snip>

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 21:51:37 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Yet another German Feast

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

 

> I have heard of bread being put out early, but was this eatin' bread or

> platen' bread? i.e....for trenchers? I know bread was served at all meals but

> was it put out before

> for eating or was it just set out for when the food came?

>

> Geez....I'm beginning to sound like Stefan here.

>

> Gunthar

 

There are a couple of studies of 14th and 15th Century locales which place

bread (or more correctly, grain consumption primarily as bread) consumption

at an average of 2 and 1/2 pounds per person per day.  This is at atime

when the use of bread trenchers is falling off.  In beer and ale drinking

regions, add grain equivalent to a gallon of brew per person per day

average.

 

Many illustrations from the 11th through the 15th Centuries show loaves of

bread on the table, often obviously before the service of a course. At

least one shows one of the people at the table slicing bread from a loaf.

Trenchers were cut before being brought to the table.

 

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

 

 

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: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 18:27:37 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] LIIWEEK features a Medieval Bread FAQ

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

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Hm.. take a look: (Review from Librarian's Index to the Internet (lii.org)

>

> [Medieval] Bread FAQ

> Answers to frequently asked questions about bread and medieval baking,

> including leavening, flours and other ingredients, recipes, and related

> topics. Includes a bibliography. From an enthusiast who bakes for

> medieval events.

> http://www.whirlwind-design.com/madbaker/breadfaq.html

> --

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

 

It's Wulfric of Creigull's web site:

http://www.whirlwind-design.com/madbaker/

 

His research is solid and he knows whereof he speaks.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 18:29:05 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cakes

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

 

> Bear replied to me with:

>> A two penny loaf is a loaf that can be purchased for two pence.  Under the

>> Assize of Bread, the weight of the loaf varied by the market price of the

>> grain and the quality of the flour.  For example, in 1329 a two penny loaf

>> of white bread would have been 7 pounds 10 ounces a voirdupois.  It would

>> have been somewhat less in the latter half of the 17th Century when

>> Evelyn was cooking.

>

> A *seven* pound loaf of white bread??? That sounds like either an awfully

> large loaf or rather heavy bread. I just went and checked a fairly

> standard sized loaf of Dark whole Wheat bread, the only bread currently in

> my kitchen, and it is only one pound, 8 ounces. And I would expect  

> that to be a bit heavier than a *white* bread.

>

> Stefan

 

Large loaf.  Remember that the average per capita consumption of grain  

At the time was 2.5 pounds per day washed down by a gallon of malt  

beverage.

 

Under the Assize of Bread, the actual weight of the loaf was dependent  

On the cost of a quarter of wheat (8 Winchester bushels or 480 pounds).  

The higher the cost, the smaller the loaves by weight, the lower the cost  

The larger the loaves by weight.  The Assize of 1329 was based on a 6  

Shilling (72 pence) quarter.

 

Doing a little checking, I find that Jacobean and later recipes (which

covers Evelyn) used the convention in recipes of a "penny white loaf" being

a loaf of 6 to 8 ounces of the finest flour enriched with eggs and milk,

while an "ordinary penny loaf" is a loaf of slightly coarser flour of 12 to

16 ounces.  Evelyn's recipe is calling for 24 to 32 ounces of bread.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2005 04:32:25 -0700 (PDT)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: question about breads

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Bear commented:

> Period breads don't use sugar.

 

I'd say that it all depends on which breads we are talking about.  

There are three recipes for Bread in the Libro Novo (translated by

Master Basilius and redacted by Mistress Rachaol, she did a class at

Pennsic last year).  There is the Twisted Bread of milk and sugar whose

ingredients are: flour, leven, sugar, egg yolks, rose water, milk and

salt.  Bagels of milk and sugar (Brazzatelli):flour, leven, sugar,

eggs, rose water, butter, milk and salt.  And finally pine nut bread

(Mantegate): flour, leven, pine nuts, rose water, egg yolks, sugar,

butter and salt.  Admitedly these are fancy breads but in the

introduction to the libro novo these are recipes that he says that no

table should be without. I've made them, they are sweet but not overly

so, very very rich though.

 

Helewyse

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2005 08:48:09 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] question about breads

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

 

A teaspoon or so of sugar is used in modern bread recipes to boost the

activity of the yeast insuring a good rise.  It is completely unnecessary to

the process so commercial recipes tend not to include it.

 

In period, breads were most commonly leavened with ale barm or a sourdough

starter.  Neither requires the kick of additional sugar. The recipes for

bread within and shortly after period call for flour, water, leaven and salt

and are enriched with eggs, fats, malt, etc.; not sugar. An exception to

this is rastons (restons), which is a sweet, enriched bread served as we

would a dessert.  Judging from the way the recipes are written, the sugar in

rastons is being used as a sweetner rather than a yeast booster.  I also

suspect rastons may have been prepared by the cook rather than the baker.

Honey works well as sweetner but is not as effective as a yeast booster.

 

One of the reasons I am certain that sugar was not used in standard breads

in period is baker's profits were limited by law.  The law applied to all

bakers whether owners of a bakery or in the employ of a household.  To use

sugar when it was not called for, would cut into an already slim profit

margin.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2005 12:01:00 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: question about breads

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

 

Nailed by absolutes.

 

Perhaps I should phrase this as, most breads prior to the 16th Century don't

use sugar and when it is used, the sugar is for modifying the taste (as in

Rastons) not boosting the leaven.  None of the breads mentioned in the

Assize of Bread (with the possible exception of simnel) would have contained

sugar and most traditional breads that would have been covered under this or

similar statutes use no sugar in the baking.  I am fairly certain that no

bread baked by the bakery and served from the pantry used sugar.

 

These recipes (of which I want both original and translation, please) from

Messisbugo's Libro Novo of 1557, are representative of what the CIA refers

to as fat doughs, highly enriched and flavored.  Almost all of these breads

in period appear to be of 16th Century origin, a time when cooks and bakers

experimented with new doughs, fruit stuffed breads, and new pastry

techniques.  While these recipes fall into SCA period, they represent

the beginning of modern baking.

 

Bear

 

> Bear commented:

>> Period breads don't use sugar.

>

> I'd say that it all depends on which breads we are talking about.  There

> are three recipes for Bread in the Libro Novo (translated by Master

> Basilius and redacted by Mistress Rachaol, she did a class at Pennsic last

> year).  There is the Twisted Bread of milk and sugar whose ingredients

> are: flour, leven, sugar, egg yolks, rose water, milk and salt.  Bagels of

> milk and sugar (Brazzatelli):flour, leven, sugar, eggs, rose water,

> butter, milk and salt.  And finally pine nut bread (Mantegate): flour,

> leven, pine nuts, rose water, egg yolks, sugar, butter and salt.

> Admitedly these are fancy breads but in the introduction to the libro  novo

> these are recipes that he says that no table should be without. I've made

> them, they are sweet but not overly so, very very rich though.

>

> Helewyse

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 06:34:48 -0700 (PDT)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Three Italian seet breads

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Mistress Rachaol forwarded me the transcription/translation for the  

three sweet breads in question  She made the following comments:

The Libro is from 1549, a fine distinction, but necessary. Messisbugo

died in 1548. The earliest menu mentioning the Bread of milk and sugar

appears to be 1529. At this point, we are pushing the date of this  

particular rich bread back further.

 

Prima per Fare Cinquante Pani de Latte e Zuccaro di Oncie nove l’uno

 

Fatto Che haverai la tua Sconza, o levaturo, pigliarai di fiori di  

farina burattata libre 35. e tanto meno, quanto meno sara quella di che  

haverai fatt il levaturo, e libre 6.di zuccaro ben bianco, e Torli  

dUova 75 e libre 3 d’acqua rosata, e libre 6 di latte fresco, e oncie 6  

di butiro fresco, e impastarai il tuo Pane, avuertirai bene, chee  

l’acqua, o latte non scottasse, e farai anchor ache torl d’uovu sian  

caldetti, & li scalderai, ponondoli nell’acqua calda, e li porri, il  

conveniente sale, e farai la pasta, sic he non siane dura, ne tenera,

ma pui tosto ch’habbia del saldetto, e la gramarai moto bene, e poi  

farai il tuo pane, e lo lasiaraben (?) levare, e lo cuocerai con  

grande ordine, si che non pigli troppo fuoco, ma che al tuo Giuditio  

stia bene, e questo pane e piu bell a farlo tondo, che intorto, o in  

pinzoni, sia dopoi piu grande, o piu picciolo, come tu vorrai: ti  

govererai adunque secondo questo modo, che e provato.

 

 

TO FIRST MAKE FIFTY BREADS OF MILK AND SUGAR OF NINE OUNCES EACH

 

             When you have made your sourdough or yeast, you shall take  

thirty-five pounds of the flower (i.e. the finest ground) of sifted  

wheat and a much less amount, so that it shall be enough to have made

the yeast (starter), and six pounds of good white sugar, and seventy  

-five egg yolks, three pounds of rose water, and six pounds of fresh  

milk, and six ounces of fresh butter, and you shall knead your bread.

 

             You shall note well that the water or milk does not scorch,  

and you shall make certain that the egg yolks are to be warm, and you

shall scald them, putting in the hot water.  And you shall put suitable

salt, and you shall make the dough, so that it is neither hard nor  

tender, but harder than you shall have at firm.  And you shall knead it  

very well and then you shall make your bread, and you shall leave them

to rise well, and you shall cook them with serious method so that they

do not take too much fire, but that at your very good judgment.

 

             And this bread is more beautiful by making them round, that  

twist, or in buns.  Then they can be made larger or smaller, what ever

you shall want.  You shall govern yourself to one according to this  

way, which is proven.

 

40 B

 

 

Brazzatelle di Latte, E Zuccaro

 

A fare 50 brazzatelle, di oncie4 l’una Pigilarai libre 15 di fiore di

farina, d’acqua rosa oncie 3 di latte libre 3 e di Zuccar bianco libre

2. Uova numero 25 di butiro oncie 4 e queste cose insieme grammerai  

molto bene. Poi farai le tue Brazzatelle, secondo l’ordine che si  

fanno, e le farai levare con diligenza, et dopoi che saranno levate,  

farai bogliere la tua acqua, ele getterai detro dette brazzatelle a  

cuocere, e come verrano si sopra le cavaraifuori, & lep orrai in acquae  

fresca, e quando d’iui le levarai le porrai a cuocere nel forno, e se

vorrai porre anesi dentro, sera buona opera.

 

 

BAGELS OF MILK AND SUAR

 

             To make fifty bagels of four ounces each you shall take  

fifteen pounds of best flour, three ounces of rose water, three pounds

of milk, two pounds of white sugar, twenty- five eggs, four ounces of

butter, and you shall knead these things together very well.  Then you

shall make your bagels according to the method that is done, and then

you shall let rise with careful attention, and then when they are  

risen, you shall boil your water, and then you shall place inside the

name bagels to cook, and when they come to the top you shall take them

out, and then you shall put in fresh water, and when from there you  

shall have removed them you shall put them to cook in the oven, and if

you shall want to put inside anise, it shall be a good deed.

 

43 C

 

 

A fare dieci Mantegate

 

Piglia di Pignuoli ben netti e mondi, libre una, e pestali ne mortaio,

e ne farai come un latte, co oncie sei d’acqua rosata. Poi pigliarai  

libre tre di farina biancha e torli dieci d’uvoa, e libre unado  

Zucarro, e lib. Meza di butiro fresco, e di specie d’ogni sorte oncia

una in tutto, e oncia una di levaturo, & un poco di sale, poi piglairai  

il latte li pignoli, e lo ponerai al suoco tanto che perda il freddo, e  

cosi impasterai ogni cosa insime, e non bastando l’Acqua rosa, gli  

aggiungerai altra acqua tanto che la pasta habbia del tenero, e la  

sbatterai sopra una tavola per spacio di due hore: & nella sbattere  

della pasta, gli andarai ponendo a poco a poco libre meza di Pinuoli  

mondi mmaccati. Poi pigliarai due Vasi, e le metterai detta pasta  

dentro, e la farai stare per due hora in loco coldo, poi batterai per

spatio di meza altr’hora, & fatto questo la compartirai in dieci  

Mantegate overo Cresentine, come uvoi dire. Poi piglialibra mezza di  

Butiro disfatto, & ongi il fondo

  d’una Tiella grande, & pongliela dentro, & e ongi anchora esse di  

sopra, e poi ponle a cuocere nel forno, che non sia troppo caldo,  

perche vanno cotte sdagio, e cotto che saranno, li porrai sopralibra  

mezza di Zucarro fino fra tutte, & potria so anche fare senza specie

 

TO MAKE TEN CLOAK SHAPED PASTRIES

 

             Take a pound of pine nuts well cleaned and shelled, and  

pound them in a mortar, and with them you shall make a milk with six

ounces of rose water.  Then you shall take three pounds of white flour

and ten yolks of eggs, and a pound of sugar, and one-half pound of  

fresh butter, and spices of all kinds an ounce in all, and an ounce of

yeast, and a small amount of salt.  The you shall take the milk of  

pine nuts, and you shall put it to the fire so much that it would warm

it.  And so you will knead everything together, and (if there is) not

enough of the rose water, you shall add other water, so much that the

pastry would be tender, and you shall beat (or knead) over a table for

the space of two hours.  And in the beating of the pastry, you shall  

proceed placing little by little a half-pound of shelled bruised pine

nuts.

 

             Then you shall take two vessels and you shall place named

pastry inside, and you shall make to stand for two hours in a warm  

place.  Then you shall beat for the space of another half-hour, and  

having done this you shall divide it in to ten cloak shaped (or shell

shaped) or crescent shaped, whatever you want to do.

 

             Then take a half-pound of melted butter, and grease the  

bottom of a large tart pan, and put it inside, and also grease it on  

top, and then put it to cook in the oven that is not too hot, because

tey are cooked slowly.

 

             And when they shall be cooked, you shall put over a  

half-pound of fine (ground) sugar between all of them, and you can also  

make without spices.

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 19:08:25 +0200

From: agora at algonet.se

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pea Flour/Bread

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

 

The bread made with chick pea and olive oil is has been eaten since early

ages in France, Italy, Spain and north Africa.

 

In Nice it's called "socca", but the original recipe comes from Liguria, Genua, since Nice was an Italian city, Nizza, until the last century. In Liguaria it's called "faina". It's also very spread in south America, where it come with the Italian immigrants in the end of the last century. In Morocco it's called "souza", is very easy to make, but it's too oily to eat it as a bread.

 

The dough should be very thin, it's only chick pea flour, olive oil and salt and

pepper.

 

Ana

 

 

Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 08:56:22 -0500

From: "Jeff Elder" <scholari at verizon.net>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Re: easy bread recipe?

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

 

> Lonnie D. Harvel wrote:>

> Oh, and also, I think warm bread recently from the oven is magnificent.

> Would that have occured in any of the SCA periods? I get the impression

> the bread arrived sometime during the morning (or afternoon for large

> feasts) from the bakery or bake house.

 

Yeah warm from the oven is great, but was it not a common perception that

bread freshly baked was unhealthy?  Bad for the humors?

 

PoilČne insists that the peak flavor comes forth on the third day.

 

Simon Hondy

 

 

Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 22:28:42 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: easy bread recipe?

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

 

From: "Lonnie D. Harvel" <ldh at ece.gatech.edu>

> Oh, and also, I think warm bread recently from the oven is magnificent.

> Would that have occured in any of the SCA periods? I get the impression

> the bread arrived sometime during the morning (or afternoon for large

> feasts) from the bakery or bake house.

 

Bakeries began work between midnight and two a.m. to have bread ready  

When the market opened, so you might get warm bread at a bakery.

 

A manor bakehouse produced bread in quantity for the pantry and would bake

bread for different purposes (trenchers, workmen's loaves, horsebread,

manchet, etc.) on different days, timing the batches to restock the pantry

stores.  You might get warm bread some days, but one or two day old loaves

(which are more easily cut and less wasteful in portioning) were probably

more common.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 10:52:49 +1200 (NZST)

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: easy bread recipe?

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

 

Quoting "Lonnie D. Harvel" <ldh at ece.gatech.edu>:

> Oh, and also, I think warm bread recently from the oven is magnificent.

>

> Would that have occurred in any of the SCA periods? I get the impression

> the bread arrived sometime during the morning (or afternoon for large

> feasts) from the bakery or bake house.

 

Don't know, but I tend to find that it's impossible due to needing the ovens

for other things later in the day.  

 

Adele d'M

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 08:07:18 -0500

From: "Simon Hondy" <scholari at verizon.net>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Was bread served warm?

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

 

>> Yeah warm from the oven is great, but was it not a common

>> perception that

>> bread freshly baked was unhealthy?  Bad for the humors?

>

> Oh? I don't remember anyone mentioning this before. References?

 

"Bread should be well-baked in an oven and not used the same day, "

(whole few sentences below)

 

Let the baker be careful not to put in too much or too little leaven, for,

from the former, bread can acquire a sour taste, and, from the latter, it

can become too heavy to digest and too unhealthy, since it binds the bowels.

Bread should be well-baked in an oven and not used the same day, nor is it

especially nourishing when made from very fresh wheat and if it is digested

slowly."

 

De honesta voluptate, book I.14, Platina, Venice L. De Aguila, 1475

Source: Platina: On Right Pleasure and Good Health. Tempe: Medieval &

Renaissance Texts, 1998. ISBN 0-86698-208-6.

 

(from The Mad Baker's web site :

http://www.whirlwind-design.com/madbaker/breadfaq.html)

 

>> PoilČne insists that the peak flavor comes forth on the third day.

>

> Who was "PoilČne" and when and where did he live?

 

As Bear answered a Baker who owns and operates several bakeries in  

Paris, now, modern day.

http://www.poilane.fr/

 

My reference of his comes from Peter Reinhart's book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice"

Published by: Ten Speed Press, 2001  page 13 near the end of the third

paragraph.  And again as Bear pointed out, these are BIG 100% whole wheat

sourdough loaves, they weigh in at about 2 kilos, 4.4 pounds, I made a

couple that went to Pennsic, one made it to the Midrealm Laurels meeting, it

was right in at 1 kilo.  It was about 3 to 4 days old when it was displayed

and then eaten.

 

And yes smaller loaves go stale quicker.  I read through

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/trenchers-msg.html to get

trencher info, and winged it (wung it?) from there using the courser bits

from my flour I had sifted while making the whole wheat bread mentioned

above.  At about 1 pound loaves (dense and heavy they were) I was able to

get 4 good slabs of bread from each loaf, carved square. take 4 and place

them in a square all together, then a 5th on top would make a very sturdy

nearly leak proof base from which to eat juicy meats.  Of course this only

matters if you have the meats cut up properly in bite sized pieces to

facilitate picking it up on knife point, to shake off the excess juices,

before plucking it with your fingers from knife point and into your  

mouth.

 

Making really good trenchers is a pain, but they are truly beautiful  

When [you] take the time to do so!

 

I chose to follow Reinhardt's recipe as from the PoilČne bakery.  Simple

flour water leavening and salt.  Using straight ground wheat "as it comes

from the miller"  with a little sieving to take out the remaining chaff,

little of the bran, and the chisel - the big chunks of grain.

 

Simon Hondy

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 23:40:58 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] French bread, was grilled Cuban sandwiches?

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

 

Some of the large whole wheat country loaves will last almost a week as long

as they are uncut.  Rye breads may last even longer.  They are high density

with a thick crust and they hold moisture.  I prefer most of them hot from

the oven, so they don't last as long as they could.

 

The light airy baguettes are best served within three or four hours. The

baking process boils the moisture to get the well aerated interior, but it

reduces the shelf life as does the size and shape.  The batards are probably

those made with the same dough as the baguettes, but they last a little

longer because of the size.  Under the best of conditions, I expect these to

dry out in two days.  After four, I run them through the food processor to

make bread crumbs.

 

Bear

 

> Adamantius wrote:

>> It's yeasty-tasting and has a very short shelf life (unlike some of

>> the French breads that are at their best in the third or fourth day),

>

> OK, which French breads are these?

>

> My experience in Southern France was that the standard baguette or batard

> wasn't even good a few hours later. You bought it shortly before your

> meal. If you didn't eat it all, 4 hours later it was dry, hard, and

> inedible.

>

> So, i'm quite curious, which breads are good 4 days later?

> --

> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

 

Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 13:31:10 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] hard French baguettes

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

 

One of the joys of a real French baguette (as opposed to a fairly dense

bread in a baguette shape) is the crust is thin and crisp and the inside is

very light with lots of air hole in the crumb.  If you store bread in a

plastic bag the interior moisture softens the crust.  The plastic bag with

holes reduces direct contact to the air, but lets the moisture in the bag

escape, keeping the crust crisp.

 

Bear

 

> They also come in special plastic bags perforated with thousands of  tiny

> holes, which probably increases their rate of drying out. I don't see

> this special plastic bag on most other breads. What's the  purpose

> of the special bag?

>

> Stefan

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 23:49:47 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] how to make bread

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

 

> I am new to the list and fairly new to the SCA.  I was looking for ways to

> make bread at camp.  Can anybody help me? I have a propane stove and a

> Colman type oven.

> Thanks

 

I have no experience with using either of those

things. But there are several period frying pan

breads, which can be made without an oven.

 

This one is 16th c. Mughal--northern India

 

Bread

Ain i Akbari

 

There is a large kind, baked in an oven, made of

10 s. flour; 5 s. milk; 1 1/2 s. ghi; 1/4 s.

salt. They make also smaller ones. The thin kind

is baked on an iron plate. One ser will give

fifteen, or even more. There are various ways of

making it; one kind is called chapati, which is

sometimes made of khushka; it tastes very well

when served hot. [see p. 6 for units]

 

1 lb = 3 1/2 c flour 2.4 oz ghee (clarified butter) = 3/8-1/2 c

1/2 lb = 1 c milk    .4 oz salt = 1/2 T

 

Melt the ghee, stir it into the flour with a fork

until there are only very small lumps. Stir in

the milk until thoroughly mixed, knead briefly.

Put the ball of dough in a bowl covered by a damp

cloth and leave for at least an hour. Then knead

the dough until it is smooth and elastic, adding

a little extra flour if necessary. Either:

 

Take a ball of dough about 2" in diameter, roll

it out to about a 5" diameter circle. Cook it in

a hot frying pan without grease. After about 2

minutes it should start to puff up a little in

places. Turn it. Cook another 2 minutes. Turn it.

Cook another 2 minutes. It should be done. The

recipe should make about 11 of these. Or ...

 

Take a ball of dough about 3" in diameter. Roll

it down to a circle about 7" in diameter and 1/4"

thick. Heat a baking sheet in a 450° oven. Put

the circle of dough on it in the oven. Bake about

6 minutes; it should be puffing up. Turn it over.

Bake about 4 minutes more. Take it out. The

recipe should make about 5 of these.

 

And here is my conjectural reconstruction of the

oat cakes that Froissart describes:

 

Scottish Oat Cakes: A Conjectural Reconstruction

 

"the only things they take with them [when riding

to war] are a large flat stone placed between the

saddle and the saddle-cloth and a bag of oatmeal

strapped behind. When they have lived so long on

half-cooked meat that their stomachs feel weak

and hollow, they lay these stones on a fire and,

mixing a little of their oatmeal with water, they

sprinkle the thin paste on the hot stone and make

a small cake, rather like a wafer, which they eat

to help their digestion." (Froissart's

Chronicles, Penguin Books translation.)

 

So far as I know, there are no surviving period

recipes for oat cakes. This article is an attempt

to reconstruct them, mainly on the basis of

Froissart's brief comment.

 

Rolled oats--what we today call "oatmeal"--are a

modern invention. I assume that "oat meal" in the

middle ages meant the same thing as "meal" in

other contexts--a coarse flour. The only other

ingredient mentioned is water, but salt is

frequently omitted in medieval recipes--Platina,

for instance, explicitly says that he doesn't

bother to mention it--so I have felt free to

include it. The oat cakes Froissart describes are

field rations, so unlikely to contain any

perishable ingredients such as butter or lard,

although they may possibly have been used in

other contexts.

 

Consistent with these comments, the following is

my conjectural recipe for oatcakes as they might

have been made by Scottish troopers c. 1400:

 

1/2 c "Scottish Oatmeal" -- coarsely ground whole

oats.  1/4 c water   1/4 t salt

 

Put the oatmeal in a spice grinder and process

for about 20 seconds, producing something

intermediate between what you started with and

bread flour. Add salt and water and let the

mixture stand for about fifteen minutes. Make

flat cakes 1/4" to 3/8" in thickness, cook on a

medium hot griddle, without oil, about 3-5

minutes.

 

The result is a reasonably tasty flat bread. In

scaling the recipe up for a meal or a feast, you

would want to experiment with grinding whole oats

into meal or find a finer (and less expensive)

oatmeal than the gourmet product, intended for

making porridge, that I was using.

 

Hope those help. I also have a couple of frying

pan pastry recipes that I am fond of--both

Islamic.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 08:38:30 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] 12th-century bread (was Re: Favorite Frugal

      Pennsic      Meals)

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

 

I haven't come across this before, but I can think of three possible

explanations of the term and I have empirical knowledge of each.

 

My first thought is this could be "peggy tubby" bread, where the dough is

allowed to rise immersed in water.  The technique is believed to date to the

1st Century BCE, but the evidence is fairly murky.

 

Otherwise, this may be a loaf cooked in a manner similar to simnel where a

yeast bread is cooked by boiling or parboiling and baking (think water

bagel).  This is not likely to actually be simnel which is an enriched (and

sometimes filled) bread seated in a hard dough pie shell, as it would not

likely be in the regular diet of a strict monastic order.

 

Bear

 

> What is this 12th-century "bread cooked in water," and from what source is

> this reference taken?  I'm in the process of collecting 12th-13th century

> European recipes and redacting them, so I would really like to know.

>

> Lady Cecilia de Cambrige

>

>> I screw up -  you could also make a pudding-style levened dumpling. I believe

>> that is what the twelfth-century 'bread cooked in water' may describe,

>> though steamed or parboiled are also possible explanations.

>>

>> Giano

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 12:14:59 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] 12th-century bread (was Re: Favorite Frugal

      Pennsic      Meals)

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

 

Am Dienstag, 6. Juni 2006 15:38 schrieb Terry Decker:

> I haven't come across this before, but I can think of three possible

> explanations of the term and I have empirical knowledge of each.

>

> My first thought is this could be "peggy tubby" bread, where the dough is

> allowed to rise immersed in water.  The technique is believed to date to

> the 1st Century BCE, but the evidence is fairly murky.

>

> Otherwise, this may be a loaf cooked in a manner similar to simnel where a

> yeast bread is cooked by boiling or parboiling and baking (think water

> bagel).  This is not likely to actually be simnel which is an enriched (and

> sometimes filled) bread seated in a hard dough pie shell, as it would not

> likely be in the regular diet of a strict monastic order.

 

The actual term is panis qui coquitur in aqua. That indicates that a part of

the cooking process took place in or under water rather than just the

raising, but I am not able to say whether we are talking boiled, parboiled or

steamed bread. I've tried all three with your basic sourdough wholemeal spelt

loaf and they worked. My personal favourite was the parboiled one because it

developed a lovely crunchy crust and soft interior, but given the medieval

love for soft foods, it may well have been the others. Both turned out soft

and chewy, the steamed one being fluffier and spongier than the boiled one.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 16:20:29 +0200

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] 12th-century bread (was Re: Favorite Frugal

      PennsicMeals)

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

 

Am Mittwoch, 7. Juni 2006 14:43 schrieb Terry Decker:

> How did you do the steaming?

 

In a metal basket over boiling water. In period they'd more probably have

used a cloth or basket, but this one came with my pot set.

 

I also forgot to check that the moisture runs off - it collected at one point

and drip-drip-dripped a 'hole' into the loaf.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 13:26:01 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] 12th-century bread (was Re: Favorite

      FrugalPennsicMeals)

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

 

When I went chasing simnels, I found that the Greeks had used sealed

terracotta pots in boiling water to induce internal steaming.  You break the

pot to get the cooked bread out.  It is obviously a precursor to the

Victorian pudding tin.  I wonder if a similar method may not have been used

in period.

 

Markham used pigs intestine to encase puddings to be steamed in boiling

water and the pudding cloth, which turns up late in period is used to cook

food both in the boiling water and hanging in the steam. I think wrapping

up dough and dropping it in boiling water may have been more common than

trying to cook with direct steam.  It is an interesting experiment, so

thanks for sharing.

 

Bear

 

> In a metal basket over boiling water. In period they'd more probably have

> used a cloth or basket, but this one came with my pot set.

>

> I also forgot to check that the moisture runs off - it collected at one

> point and drip-drip-dripped a 'hole' into the loaf.

>

> Giano

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 13:50:46 -0500

From: "Daniel  Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grains

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

 

Check out Six Thousand Years of Bread; Its Holy and Unholy History by H.E.

Jacob ISBN1-55821-575-1.  You might also take a look at the 16th century

book "A Description Of England"  Can't remember the author or where I put my

copy but you can find it on line.  It has a several page discourse on  

bread.

 

Daniel

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2007 07:29:10 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] 6000 Years of Bread was Fermentation Sponge

      Question

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

 

> What do you all think of "Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its  Holy  

> and Unholy History" by H.E Jacobs. ?

>

> Aldyth

 

It's considered to be one of the classic volumes. I find it a bit disjointed

which is quite understandable as the writing of the book was interrupted by the author's stays in Dachau and Buchenwald before he and his wife managed to emigrate to the United States. (His wife managed to hide the manuscript from the

Nazis who had already banned his other books.) The book was finished in the States with research at the NY Public Library. The major problem is that the text came out originally in 1944, so it of course doesn't include the past 60 years of research. There have been a number of studies and research done, especially on breads, grains, milling, etc and the medieval period. The book doesn't reflect any of those. However for 16.95 it's a good buy and good value.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 11:22:18 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fermentation Sponge Question

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

 

> What do you all think of "Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its  Holy  

> and Unholy History" by H.E Jacobs. ?

>

> Aldyth

 

It's a fascinating book, but there's definitely a bias in it related to

handwork and bread quality. Basically what you would expect from a male

academic in 1940-- handmade bread is icky because people are touching it

and sweating and so on, and the primary goal of all society and all

people is to avoid physical labor because that's icky too.

Interestingly enough, I don't think he gives details about kneading

troughs and other large-scale bread kneading gadgets.

 

-- Jadwiga

 

 

Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 13:00:07 -0400

From: silverr0se at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fermentation Sponge Question

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Great Book! I got a lot of good background info on bread from this  

one, more than I got from Elizabeth David's, although hers has recipes.

 

Renata

 

> What do you all think of "Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its  Holy and  

> Unholy History" by H.E Jacobs. ?

>

> Aldyth

 

 

Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2007 16:16:50 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fermentation Sponge Question

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

Cc: Aldyth at aol.com

 

Since you doing this as a research project you might want to

check out Artisan Baking Across America by Glezer. Pages 102-103

of the original hardback 2000 edition goes extensively into "pre-ferments"

and their use in artisan baking. Jeffery Hamelman also discusses them in

Bread. A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

>> Does anyone have experience in whether starting the sponge with certain

>> kinds of flour determine what kind of sponge it will ultimately become?

>> For example using a lower gluten flour versus a higher gluten flour.

>> Aldyth

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 13:27:32 -0500

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Barley Bread

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

 

Here are some barley bread recipes.  The unleavened pan cakes are probably

closer to the Medieval baking than the leavened bread with the mixed flours.

If you want rustic or rye recipes, there are several in the Florilegium that

I've used over the years.

 

Bear

 

Barley Bread

 

3 cups wheat flour

3/4 cup barley flour

1 tsp dry active yeast

1 Tbsp salt

1 1/2 cups water

2-3 Tbsp buttermilk, cream, or whole milk

 

Mix the wheat flour, barley flour, and salt.

Dissolve the yeast in the water and let proof.

Add the milk to the liquor.

Add the flour mixture to the liquor slowly stirring it in.

Knead and shape.

Bake in 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes or until done.

 

Notes:

The crumb may develop a light gray color.

The longer the baking time, the greater the probability of the loaf  

being too dry.

 

Baking in a 1 lb tin is recommended.

 

Based on David, E., English Bread and Yeast Cookery, 1980

 

 

Thick Welsh Barley Cakes

 

Take fine barley meal and make into a stiff dough with skim milk; roll out

to the size of a small bakestone, about three quarters of an inch thick, and

bake.

 

It is eaten with cold butter.

 

Lady Llanover, Good Cookery, 1867

 

 

Thin Welsh Barley Cakes

 

Mix fine barley meal and milk together to the consistency of batter, and

pour slowly on a bakestone out of a jug until it has formed a circle the

size of a small plate, then let it bake slowly. It ought to be very thin,

but soft, like a pancake or a pikelate; it is likewise eaten with cold

butter.

 

Lady Llanover, Good Cookery, 1867

 

 

Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 10:40:16 -0400

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Breads in Medieval Society website

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

      "mk-cooks at midrealm.org" <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>

 

I came across this website this am on Breads in Medieval Society

 

http://www.engr.psu.edu/mtah/lesson/food/dailybread.html

 

Johnna

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 21:02:14 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Wedding bread

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

 

Wedding bread of one sort or another was common in Medieval Europe.  In

Britain and the United States, it has been replaced by the wedding cake.

Wedding breads can be anything from small buns to large ornately  

decorated loaves depending on the culture and use.

 

My opinion is that the general European custom derives from the Greek

worship of Demeter as the goddess of fertility with ripe grain and small

breads shaped like genitalia and breasts.  The shape changed for a  

Christian world, but the connection to fertility remained.

 

While I haven't read it; Charsley, Simon R., Wedding Cakes and Cultural

History, London; Routledge, 1992, is considered an exellent reference  

on the subject.

 

Bear

 

> I have been looking for examples of wedding  bread. It seems that it is

> common for those of Greek descent, and some Jewish ceremonies.  Most of

> what I have found is central European concentrating on the Balkan  

> communities. Is there evidence of this in period?

>

> I have pictures of what is listed as traditional Hungarian from The History

> of Bread by Dupaiagne.

>

> Aldyth

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 22:12:41 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Wedding bread

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

 

What do you want exactly?

Medieval recipes? References? Artworks? Which country?

Time period? Wedding customs? Folklore Associations?

Just curious? Food and the Rites of Passage

talks about "the wedding cake, which has slowly but surely evolved from

the giant flat discs of bride cake illustrated in the sensational

full-colour cover of a f?te in Bermondsey by Hoefnagel in the

seventeenth century, to the many-tiered and icing-bedaubed monuments of

today."

http://ds.dial.pipex.com/town/lane/kal69/shop/pages/isbn17x.htm

 

The artwork is mentioned here

http://www.answers.com/topic/joris-hoefnagel

http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?aid=85097&;c=&search=Joris

+Hoefnagel

 

Johnnae

 

Aldyth at aol.com wrote:

> I have been looking for examples of wedding  bread.  

> Aldyth

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 22:21:31 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Wedding bread

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

 

Charsley isn't bad(there are some amusing bibliographic errors

where he confuses some of the 17th century titles with other works

by other authors) but he really doesn't get into the medieval bread then

into cakes thing that would be helpful. He's much better on 18th-19th century material.

 

  Luard's Sacred Food might be more helpful,

depending on if what you want is the traditional and folklore aspects.

 

Johnnae

 

Terry Decker wrote:

> While I haven't read it; Charsley, Simon R., Wedding Cakes and Cultural

> History, London; Routledge, 1992, is considered an excellent  

> reference on the subject.

>

> Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 10:25:05 -0500

From: "Lisa Sawyer" <ysabeau.lists at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book Review - WAS: Bread Labor

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

 

I've been meaning to post about this book I found that is really

fascinating. While this isn't exactly answering your question, it does

contain some interesting information about cooking.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mistress-Maids-Men-Baronial-Thirteenth/dp/

1842124994/ref=sr_1_1/002-4721091-8879261?

ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193843098&sr=8-1

 

The book is based on the daily accounts of the Countess of Leicester (Simon

De Montfort's wife). There are comparisons to the daily accounts of other

notables in the 13th century to determine if her accounts are common or

uncommon.

 

The part that pertains to bread was very interesting to me. It goes into the

prices of wheat, how the wheat was obtained by a large household and from

whom. Apparently, they had figured out exactly how many loaves of bread

could be baked from a set amount of wheat. They didn't use bushels but I'll

use that as an example. The amount of loaves from a bushel was a standard

that was used almost universally. They had standards for other products as

well.

 

The accountant would record that he gave the cook so many bushels of wheat

on a particular day. The cook had to report back how many loaves of bread

s/he baked from the wheat. This implies that they ground the wheat in-house

and then baked the loaves. It doesn't say what the turnaround time was. If

there was a discrepancy between the amount of wheat given to the cook and

the loaves of bread returned, then they had to be accounted for (such as a

percentage of the wheat was moldy or something).

 

The book is fascinating with the little details. It isn't an overview...it

is a lot of little details. Sometimes, I wish it had more details but I

could see how that could bog things down considerably. It is a fairly easy

read as is. They give the prices for comparison purposes which is also

fascinating. The accounts also can give an indication of how the spices

where used...if you could see a specific page which the book unfortunately

does not do...At the top of the page it indicates how many people were in

the household on that particular day as well as all the pantry items

consumed. While you don't have a menu, you can sort of guess based on the

spices consumed how spiced the food actually was.

 

One of the interesting details was the fact that leather was purchased to

create something for the Countess that they think resembled chaps. It is

guessed that the leather garment was created to protect the Countess' legs

because she liked to ride astride instead of side saddle. The entry includes

the cost of the hide, how much the tailor was paid, etc.

 

One of the other interesting details fresh in my mind was that the Countess

borrowed a carriage from someone else for [a] trip. She paid the driver 5s each

way. According to the book, this was a high amount because the carriage

required five horses to pull it.

 

Anyway, I'm over 3/4 through on my first reading and I'm fascinated by the

little details. None of the items are terribly new or shocking for most of

us, but they are interesting when put into perspective as they are in this

book. The one thing I need for the next pass is a clear understanding of the

monetary system...I understand the references to pounds, d, and s enough to

get a comparative idea but I would like to know how many s go into a d, how

many d go into a pound, etc.

 

In Service,

Ysabeau of Prague

Barony of Bryn Gwlad

Ansteorra

 

 

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 18:49:12 -0500 (CDT)

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread Labor

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

 

> And certainly on in remote areas, small holdings and in earlier times, it might

> have been common for a family to raise grain, mill it at home and then bake it

> on  bakestone or under the ashes in some fashion (lacking the larger

> bakeovens), but was this practice that generally common by

> the 14th-16th centuries? I note your source is for 1100-1300. Does this

> source apply to larger households and estates?

 

Actually, because of the different laws relating to mills, it may be more

likely for a large estate to have the grain milled at home than for a

small one-- smallholdings generally were *required* to bring their grain

to the miller who held the concession for the area from the law, whereas

large holdings might have a mill on their own land, or be the miller's

landlord. I'm away from my sources, but by the 14th century requiring

tenants to use the lord's mill and pay the miller a portion of the grain

was the norm, according to the books I read.

--

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 01:34:42 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread Labor

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

 

The question as presented is incomplete in that it does not differentiate

between common and commercial baking.  A commercial baker wouldn't muck with

five pounds of flour.  Since I've read the other messages in the thread, I

understand that you are looking for effort involved in each step.

 

How large an area are you trying to prepare?  Do you have a stick, a plow

pulled by people or a plow pulled by oxen?  Simple plow or mould board?

What kind of soil?  How many people are involved?  I would think that

preparing the soil on five acres would take one to three days with a plow,

possibly a little more if you spread and plow in dung for fertilizer.  A day

for the sowing and a few more man days for irrigation and weeding over the

next few months.

 

A critical issue is the yield per bushel of seed.  Yields varied between 1

1/2 to 1 to around 10 to 1.  The lower the yield, the more acres needed to

be cultivated.

 

Harvesting five acres by hand -- 4 to 8 man-days. Threshing -- 2 to  

4 man days.

 

Milling -- 1 to 2 man days.  You will lose 15 to 20 percent of the grain (by

weight) to chisel leaving 55 to 60 pounds of flour from a 70 pound bushel.

For hand querns, the overall time is more of a problem to calculate.  Where

peasants and manors might grow the grain and have it milled, commercial

bakers would buy grain and have it milled.  London bakers particularly liked

to purchase foreign bushels weighing more than 70 pounds, because it

produced more profit.

 

Firewood for the ovens -- 1 or 2 man days for one day's firing.

 

Preparation time for the dough -- 30 minutes to 2 man hours, depending on

quantity.

 

Kneading -- 5 pounds, 10-15 minutes by hand, 100 pounds, 20 to 30 minutes

with a brake (a heavy log with one end affixed to the wall above the

kneading table in period; modern brakes are power roller systems or Hobarts

with dough hooks).

 

First rise -- overnight.

 

Firing the ovens -- 1 to 2 hours.

 

Shaping  -- five minutes to 2 hours.

 

Second rise -- open question as to whether it was done.

 

Clean and load oven -- 10 minutes.

 

Baking -- 1 hour.

 

Now for some caveats.  We have no idea how much bread was baked at one time

in a simple home.  A grand manor would produce approximately 2 pounds of

bread per person per day plus as much as 1 to 2 pounds of trencher bread per

person per day.  For persons of comfortable but lesser means, trencher bread

was only for special occasion (reference Menagier).  Grand manors hired

commercial bakers, who were paid the same as other guild bakers.  I did some

simple calculations based on the combined households of the lord and lady of

one of the grand families (ala Woolgar) that the baker was preparing the

equivalent of 500+ pounds of bread per day.  In that case, the baker was

sent ahead of the travelers by three to four days to prepare an initial

stock of bread at the manor.

 

The commercial baker was permitted three servants and two boys for staff

under the Lucrum Pistoris.  He was required to give loaves of full measure

as directed under the Assize of Bread.  For the great households, the bakery

and its staff were entirely seperate from the kitchen. The kitchen staff

far outnumbers the bakers.

 

Without assistance, I have prepared 120 pounds of bread and 160 pastries

(and one batch of cinnamon rolls for the baker and friends) in around 16

hours of labor using roughly the above baking schedule. If I'd had a 20

gallon Hobart rather than a 20 quart Hobart, I could have cut the time to

about 10 hours.  I would say that a trained staff of five could crank out

500 pounds of bread in about 14-16 hours if they had enough oven space.

 

Bear

 

> My cooks guild has been having an interesting discussion regarding the

> physical labor of making bread.  What it mostly boils down to is how long

> in period it might have taken to make a loaf of bread.  

 

> Aldyth

 

 

Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2007 22:03:50 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Book Review - WAS: Bread Labor

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

 

> The part that pertains to bread was very interesting to me. It goes into the

> prices of wheat, how the wheat was obtained by a large household and from

> whom. Apparently, they had figured out exactly how many loaves of bread

> could be baked from a set amount of wheat. They didn't use bushels but I'll

> use that as an example. The amount of loaves from a bushel was a standard

> that was used almost universally. They had standards for other  

> products as well.

 

Wheat was commonly purchased by the quarter, which is eight bushels.

 

For a great household in England, the baker was a specialist that had to

meet the requirements of the Assize of Bread, which specified loaf weight

dependent upon the price of a quarter of wheat.  The number of loaves baked

from a quarter of wheat is a function of the price of the wheat.  The

standard was universal in England because it was the law. Other regulations

covered other products, which may cause the standardization you are  

seeing.

 

> The accountant would record that he gave the cook so many bushels of wheat

> on a particular day. The cook had to report back how many loaves of bread

> s/he baked from the wheat. This implies that they ground the wheat in-house

> and then baked the loaves. It doesn't say what the turnaround time was. If

> there was a discrepancy between the amount of wheat given to the cook and

> the loaves of bread returned, then they had to be accounted for (such as a

> percentage of the wheat was moldy or something).

 

The baker is a professional seperate from the cook.  The baker and  

the cook report independently.

 

Under the Assize, the baker has the bran as part of his profit, so it may be

that seeing to the milling was part of the baker's obligation and not

necessarily internal to the household or the milling may be done at the

manor's mill.

 

You will find that any and all supplies issued from the Wardrobe were

constantly accounted for.  For example, foodstuffs for the kitchen were

accounted for as served portions when received at the bar (usually by the

butler or equivalent).  Discrepencies were noted and needed to be  

accounted for.

 

> Anyway, I'm over 3/4 through on my first reading and I'm fascinated by the

> little details. None of the items are terribly new or shocking for most of

> us, but they are interesting when put into perspective as they are in this

> book. The one thing I need for the next pass is a clear understanding of the

> monetary system...I understand the references to pounds, d, and s enough to

> get a comparative idea but I would like to know how many s go into a d,

> how many d go into a pound, etc.

>

> Ysabeau of Prague

> Barony of Bryn Gwlad

> Ansteorra

 

One pound sterling (12 troy or tower ounces of silver) equals 20 shillings

(s.) equals 240 pence (d.).  There is a slight weight difference between

Tower and Troy pounds.  The Tower pound was the English standard from 760 to

1526, when it was replaced by the Troy pound.

 

Sounds like an interesting book.

 

Bear

 

<the end>



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