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pretzels-msg – 9/25/13

 

Medieval pretzels and pretzel shaped breads. References.

 

NOTE: See also the files: bread-msg, breadmaking-msg, fish-msg, cheese-msg, butter-msg, ovens-msg, flour-msg, jumbals-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

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

 

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 08:46:49 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Alphabet pretzels

 

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

 

Funny you should mention jumbles in connection with pretzels: jumbles

are, most traditionally, tied into a knot, or at least in a loop with

overlapping ends, and they are boiled before baking, as many versions of

the pretzel are.

 

So, of course, are bagels, which appear originally to have been shaped

by forming a loop with overlapping ends, to be poached before baking,

usually with an egg wash. We appear to be moving in some kind of logical

loop here, as well!

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 12:17:15 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - Alphabet pretzels

 

Sabia wrote:

> On Thu, 16 Oct 1997, Philip & Susan Troy wrote:

>

> > Funny you should mention jumbles in connection with pretzels: jumbles

> > are, most traditionally, tied into a knot, or at least in a loop with

> > overlapping ends, and they are boiled before baking, as many versions of

> > the pretzel are.

>

> Is there a good place to look for documentation of pretzels or jumbles?

 

As for jumbles, there's a recipe for them in one of the later medieval

English sources, like from the 15th or 16th centuries, entitled 'to make

iombols an hundred". It might be in Goud Kokery, from Curye on Inglysch,

or perhaps the Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye. I'll see if I can find it.

 

Don't know much about the genuine origin of pretzels, except for the

standard myth from the Larousse Gastronomique, which is almost identical

to the story given in association with the invention of the croissant,

about how some city (Vienna, Budapest, or fill in the blank with your

own home town) was under siege by Islamic invaders, and the activites of

tunnelling sappers was heard by bakers, who gave the alarm, saved the

city, and invented either pretzels or croissants in comemoration... .

 

Oy, as I once heard a bagel aficionado exclaim, veh!

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 12:10:41 -0500 (EST)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Alphabet pretzels

 

And it occurs to me, are pretzels period? I've never seen it mentioned.

Perhaps pictures of pretzels hanging in a shop window or carried by a

fair vender?

 

Yes, they are, and yes, that's how we know.

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 08:57:47 -0500 (EST)

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

Subject: Re: SC - Alphabet pretzels

 

Tibor said pretzels appear in period illustration. Are they throughout

SCA period, or common in part of it, or... ???

 

If I recall, later period, germanic, and also figured in the heraldry of a

pretzel bakers guild.

 

I hate to cite the same person twice in rapid succession, but Old Marian

might have more data, if you want specifics.  The arms of her business,

Battlefield Bakery (The First in Camp Followers) are a pretzel wrapped

around a sword.  (Plug: she can be found at Pennsic, serving only period

food, plus sekanjabin, for lunches or breakfasts.  Delicious and charming.)

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 09:30:30 -0500 (EST)

From: "Christina M. Krupp" <ckrupp at zoo.uvm.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Alphabet pretzels

 

Pretzels are clearly illustrated in a Pieter Brueghel painting called The

Fight Between Carnival and Lent, painted in the earlier half of the

1500's. The pretzels are tied in that familiar knot-shape, but they look a

little more narrow. They're fairly large, more like the size of "soft

pretzels" and they're strung on the lance of the fellow who portrays the

incoming Lenten season. Also on the Lent side are various types of Fish.

On the carnival side are waffles (being made by an old woman crouched over

a fire with a bowl of batter, a waffle-iron, and a pile of waffles near

her).

 

My father, who comes from Speyer in Germany, says that the coat of arms of

that town portrays several pretzels. The last time he went over, I asked

him to find out more, particularly with regard to the earliest known date

for that heraldic depiction. He returned with no usable documentation, but

he insists that it's "common knowledge" that pretzels were made in Speyer

throughout the Middle Ages, and that the yearly pretzel-and-radish

festival goes back to "ancient days". FWIW.  

 

- --Marieke

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 11:13:32 -0500 (EST)

From: "Christina M. Krupp" <ckrupp at zoo.uvm.edu>

Subject: SC - Pretzels, 1417

 

Somebody asked about pretzels a while ago. I mentioned the Breughel

painting, the Fight between Carnival and Lent, as being a mid-sixteenth

century source to document the existence of pretzels...

 

(...or, I should say, to document the existence of pretzel-shaped food,

because of course the fact that it looks like a pretzel to us, doesn't

necessarily mean that it tastes like a modern pretzel; I don't have any

information on what Breughel's pretzels are actually made from, but as a

Lenten food, it would not surprise me to find it was simple flour, water,

yeast, and perhaps a touch of salt....)

 

Anyway, I just found an earlier illustration.  I noticed it in P. W.

Hammond's Food and Feast in Medieval England (1996 ,Sutton Publishing).

 

On p. 52 is an 1874 redrawing of a scene of street vendors, originally

portrayed in the Concilium Constantiense. It's from Constance, Germany,

and is dated to 1417. Above the merchant's head we see ten pretzel-shaped

items that have been hung on a horizontal rod. If you can believe the

proportions in the illustration, they seem to be the size of an adult's

head.

 

- -- Marieke

 

 

Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 01:53:41 EST

From: korrin.daardain at juno.com (Korrin S DaArdain)

Subject: Re: SC - Bread

 

On Mon, 04 Jan 1999 13:57:38 -0500 Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

writes:

>These are jumbles! Of course, looking for them on demand, as it were

>(and while in a rush) I can't find a single reference to them, but

>they're a sort of hard biscuit [cookie], commonly shaped into rings,

>knots, or letters of the alphabet, and often flavored with anise. At

>least one jumble recipe (spelling varies from source to source as

>iamboles, iombles, jumbles, etc.) calls for them to be poached until

>"done", probably until they float, but I don't remember for sure, and

>then baked in an oven until dry and hard.

 

>Adamantius

 

Found the following in my collection. Enjoy.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

       Jumbles or Knot Biscuits “Jumbles a hundred” - (Scottish

Elizabethan dated from 1596 AD)

       A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

       “Take twenty Egges and put them into a pot both the yolkes and

the white, beat them wel, then take a pound of beaten sugar and put to

them, and stirre them wel together, then put to it a quarter of a peck of

flower, and make a hard paste thereof, and then with Anniseeds moulde it

well, ane make it in little rowles beeing long, and tye them in knots,

and wet the ends in Rosewater; then put them into a pan of seething

water, but even in one waum, then take them out with a Skimmer and lay

them in a cloth to drie, this being don lay them in a tart panne, the

bottome beeing oyled, then put them into a temperat Oven for one howre,

turning them often in the Oven.

       ** British Measurements **

       1 1/2 oz Butter; salted

       4 oz Caster sugar

       1 TB Rose-water

       1/2 oz Caraway seeds

       1 lg. Egg; beaten

       8 oz Plain flour

       Extra rose-water & caster sugar for glaze

       Preheat the oven to 350øF / 180øC / gas mark 4. Cream the butter,

sugar and rose-water together, then mix in the caraway seeds, beaten egg

and flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured board, then

take small walnut-sized pieces of dough and with your fingers form each

into a roll, approximately 3/4-inch in diameter and 6-inch in length.

Make into simple knots, plaits or rings and arrange on a lightly greased

baking sheet. Brush with rose-water and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake

near the top of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tinged with

brown. (Knots and plaits will take longer to bake than simple rings, so

don't mix shapes on a baking sheet.) Remove from the oven and cool on a

wire rack. Store in an airtight tin. Delicious when served with syllabub.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Korrin S. DaArdain

Kitchen Steward of Household Port Karr

Kingdom of An Tir in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Korrin.DaArdain at Juno.com, (www.geocities.com/NapaValley/Vineyard/1709)

 

 

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 16:13:58 -0500

From: "Gryphon's Moon" <kimberly at gryphonsmoon.com>

Subject: SC - Period pretzels- Better late than never...

 

>Morgan commented:

>> As it happened, someone else was selected, so the exercise was for naught.

>> (It did lead to period documentation for pretzels, in my wanderings,

>> however!).

>Could you please post this new documentation here? or send it to

>me? All I've seen was a brief discriptions of pretzels in a few period

>pictures that included street venders that was mentioned on this list

>earlier. If you've got more, especially any written description of what

>they were like or what was in them, it would be great!

> Stefan li Rous

 

Look for "Hours of Catherine of Cleves", with an introduction and

commentaries by John Plummer. This little book is a gem. The illuminations

are gorgeous! The borders around several of the main figures are somewhat

unusual-- such as the border for Saint Bartholomew Apostle-- which is

composed of pretzels and biscuits. There's no way to tell what size the

pretzels would have been, because there is no way of telling what scale is

used. I also don't know if the pretzels were soft or crunchy. But they are

definitely pretzel shaped.

 

Other things that can be found in various other places in the book--

       -big fish eating small fish eating eels, including a picture of fishooks

       -bows, crossbows, arrows and quivers

       -bird cages, including some used for training birds

       -coins

       -beehives

       -a rosary

       -a brick oven

       -paper gift boxes (the artist cleverly painted two of them folded,

but not complete, so you can actually figure out how to make these yourself)

       -and so forth and so on...

 

All the stuff I mentioned above is from the margins, which also contain

plenty of flowers, angels, demons, and other more typical decorations. The

main pictures themselves are also a rich source of ideas for neat things to

make.

 

The manuscript dates from approximately 1440.

 

Now, can anyone tell me how a Book of Hours was used?

 

- -Margritte

 

 

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 13:56:31 -0800

From: "James L. Matterer" <jlmatterer at labyrinth.net>

Subject: SC - Portable Pie Oven

 

I have a picture of some sort of portable pie oven on the WWW at:

 

http://www.labs.net/dmccormick/huen/mpix/mpix39.jpg

 

The picture is identified as being "Street sellers, 1417, Constance,

Germany." The source is P. W. Hammond, Food & Feast in Medieval England.

 

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or knowledge of:

 

(1) the large pretzel-like objects above the pie shop, upper right.

Would these be like our modern soft pretzel, or like a sort of cake, or

a bread? Or something entirely different? They look like they would be

fun to make for an outdoor event.

 

(2) the portable pie oven. Is it a complete oven, where the entire

baking process was performed, or simply some sort of warmer that

transported the food to the pie shop itself? Would a "real" oven like

this really be feasible?

 

Huen

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 07:06:06 EST

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - jumbles or cracknels recipe needed

 

Bonne writes:

<< need a recipe for pretzels or cracknels or jumbles >>

 

Gervase Markham, The English Hous-wife, 1615

 

To make finer Jumbals   To make Jumbals more fine and curious than the former,

and neerer to the taste of the Macaroon, take a pound of Sugar, beat it fine.

Then take as much fine wheat flowre, and mixe them together.  Then take two

whites and one yolk of and Egge, half a wuarter of a pound of blanched

Almonds: then beat them very fine altogether, with half a dish of sweet

butter and a spoonfull of Rose water, and so work it with a little Cream till

it come to a very stiff paste.  Then roul them forth as you please:  and

hereto you shall also, if you please, adde a few dryed Anniseeds finely

rubbed, and strewed into the paste, and also Coriander seeds.

 

Redaction:

 

1/2 c. sugar

2 egg whites

1 egg yolk

1/2 c. sifted flour

4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled to warm

1 1/2 tsp rosewater

3/4 c. blanched almonds, coarsely ground

1-2 tsp anise and/or coriander seeds

 

Whip sugar & egg whites until mixture is consistency of heavy cream.  Add egg

yolk, flour, butter, and rosewater.  Blend thoroughly.  Stir in almonds.  Drop

batter from a teaspoon (for round cookies) or squeeze dough through a pastry

tube into shapes onto a well-greased lightly flooured cookie sheet at least 1

1/2 inches apart.  Sprinkle tops with anise and/or coriander seeds.  Bake at

400 for 12 minutes, or until jumbals are golden brown around the edges.

Remove from baking sheet immediately and cool on a wire rack.

 

Wolfmother

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 21:49:31 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - jumbles or cracknels recipe needed

 

Bonne of Traquair wrote:

> I don't mind a recipe with boiling. I'm planning on serving these along

> with a pea soup flavored with ginger (Recipe#1 in "the Medieval Kitchen,

> the Cretonee of new peas we discussed last month.)

 

Maybe someone has the Italian ciambole recipe posted and discussed a

while back on the cooks' list? That's probably the closest to a pretzel

you're going to find. As I recall it was a yeast dough (you might cheat

with bread flour) with little or no shortening, no sugar to speak of,

and a flavoring of anise or fennel seed.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 01:31:51 EST

From: Korrin S DaArdain <korrin.daardain at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - jumbles or cracknels recipe needed

 

Bonne writes:

>a recipe for pretzels or cracknels or jumbles

 

       Jumbles or Knot Biscuits "Jumbles a hundred" - (Scottish

Elizabethan dated from 1596 AD)

       A Book of Historical Recipes by Sara Paston-Williams The National

Trust of Scotland, 1995 ISBN 0-7078-0240-7; Posted by Paul Macgregor

       "Take twenty Egges and put htem into a pot both the yolkes and

the white, beat them wel, then take a pound of beaten sugar and put to

them, and stirre them wel together, then put to it a quarter of a peck of

flower, and make a hard paste thereof, and then with Anniseeds moulde it

well, ane make it in little rowles beeing long, and tye them in knots,

and wet the ends in Rosewater; then put them into a pan of seething

water, but even in one waum, then take them out with a Skimmer and lay

them in a cloth to drie, this being don lay them in a tart panne, the

bottome beeing oyled, then put them into a temperat Oven for one howre,

turning them often in the Oven.

 

       ** British Measurements **

       1 1/2 oz Butter; salted

       4 oz Caster sugar

       1 TB Rose-water

       1/2 oz Caraway seeds

       1 lg. Egg; beaten

       8 oz Plain flour

       Extra rose-water & caster sugar for glaze

 

       Preheat the oven to 350øF / 180øC / gas mark 4. Cream the butter,

sugar and rose-water together, then mix in the caraway seeds, beaten egg

and flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured board, then

take small walnut-sized pieces of dough and with your fingers form each

into a roll, approximately 3/4-inch in diameter and 6-inch in length.

Make into simple knots, plaits or rings and arrange on a lightly greased

baking sheet. Brush with rose-water and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake

near the top of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tinged with

brown. (Knots and plaits will take longer to bake than simple rings, so

don't mix shapes on a baking sheet.) Remove from the oven and cool on a

wire rack. Store in an airtight tin. Delicious when served with syllabub.

 

Korrin S. DaArdain

Kitchen Steward of Household Port Karr

Kingdom of An Tir in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999 08:04:34 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - period paintings showing pancakes and waffles

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> While we can see

> what looks like pretzels in the pictures, we don't know that they

> were made the same way or taste like modern pretzels.

 

And, it should be noted that at least _some_ of what we see in pictures

may actually be ciambole or jumbles, and while some of those are

actually rather similar to pretzels, some are more like a brittle

cookie. But that open knot is apparently a common shape for them.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 01:55:55 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - A pretzel recipe from Rumpolt I (was: New Rumpolt chapter ...)

 

Thanks, Stefan and Lady Brighid, for your comments. In the meantime, I

asked Gwen Cat if she could provide some translations, but she seems to

be on vacation or busy with other things. Thanks also to Harriet for the

links to online translation machines. However, it seems to me, that

these machines are NOT built to translate 16th century texts. The

results, I got, are not even a starting point. It seems to me, that one

should NOT use these machines unless one knows BOTH languages very well.

 

Here is a _rough_ translation of Rumpolts pretzel recipe #55 on page

169b:

 

55. Take white flour, only the white of eggs and some wine, sugar and

anise, prepare a dough with these ingredients, roll the dough with clean

hands such that it becomes longish and round. Make small pretzels from

it and put them into a warm oven and bake them so that you do not burn

it but that they get pretty dry. This way, they will become crisp and

good. If you like, you may take cinnamon as an ingredient for the dough,

too (but you can leave it). This dish is called Precedella.

 

As a side note to a question about a 15th century pretzel picture in a

recent mail:

 

IN the socalled Richenthal chronicle about the Constance concile, there

is a picture of a kind of pastry in the form of a pretzel. In the

Constance manuscript of this chronicle (fol. 23a), there is a piece of

text beneath the picture, where the pretzels in the picture are referred

to with the expression "br‰tschellen":

 

"Och waren brotbecken zu:o Costentz, die hetten ringe und claine

offenlin. Die f¸rten sy uff stoskerlin durch die stat und buchend darin

bastetten und ring und br‰tschellen und sollichs brottes. Dero warend

etlich erf¸llet mit h¸nren, etlich mit vogeln, gewu:ortz, mit gu:otter

spetzery, und etlich mit flaisch und etlich mit vischen gebachen, wie

die ainer gern wolt haben" (23a; Feger II 173b).

 

"br‰tschellen" is also used in the Aulendorf manuscript of this

chronicle, from the 15th century too; however, the wording is slightly

different:

 

"... darinn sy basteten, ring und br‰tschelen bu:ochend. Die basteten

waren ettlich mit h¸ner und flaisch gemacht ...".

 

The difference is, that the filling is clearly mentioned in respect to

the pies. Later on, there is another passage in the text, where these

foreign bakers and their "basteten", "ring" and "br‰tschelen" are

mentioned again.

 

In the printed version of this text from 1536, the word is

"bretschelen". Alas, I don't have access to the printed edition of 1488

for the moment.

 

Now, all these forms seem to belong to "Brezel", whose predecessors can

be traced back to Old High German; the German word is an early loan from

Latin or/and Italian sources. (I won't go into the details of the word

history here.)

 

Pretzels are mentioned as an ingredient in the 15th century "Bruchst¸cke

aus einem alemannischen B¸chlein von guter Speise" #16, p. 204.4 (this

text is online).

 

"ayr bretzen" (egg pretzels) are mentioned in a comparison in the

cookbook of Philippina Welser ("wie die ayr bretzen"; 51r=101.20), and

they are mentioned by Hans Sachs, too.

 

Apart from the two pretzel recipes in Rumpolt (1581), there are several

other recipes in later cookbooks.

 

Moriz Heyne (p. 277) says, that Pretzels originally were baked as a

devotional pastry...

 

More later,

T.

 

 

Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2000 00:05:17 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - pretzel recipe from Rumpolt II

 

Here is a rough translation of Rumpolt's recipe for a pretzel made of

sugar and almonds:

 

57. Take sugar and rosewater, boil up [together], so that it becomes not

too thick, stir grated almonds into this boiled sugar, take it from the

fire when it is well dried. When you take it away, take one to three

spoons of good white pounded sugar, stir it into the almonds, make this

almond dough longish with your hands, strew white sugar onto it on the

upper and the lower side, so that nothing sticks to your hands. And when

you have made it longish, form small pretzels from it, put them into a

warm oven and bake them quite slowly, they will get a fine white color.

And they are called Precedella made of almonds. (Rumpolt 1581, fol.

169b, #57)

 

The pretzel recipe from the Nuremberg cookbook 1609 is sweet too

("Bretzen oder Ring von Zucker bachen").

 

Best, Thomas

 

 

Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 16:25:00 EDT

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: SC - PRECEDELLA  MADE OF ALMONDS   (Rumpolt 1581, fol. 169b, #57)

 

I have worked this out in my head and am wondering if I am anywhere near

close to being right.  (please no laughing)

Phillipa

(well, laugh behind your hands. )

 

PRECEDELLA MADE OF ALMONDS   (Rumpolt 1581, fol. 169b, #57)

 

[57]     Take sugar and rosewater, boil up [together], so that it becomes not

too thick, stir grated almonds into this boiled sugar, take it from the fire

when it is well dried. When you take it away, take one to three spoons of

good white pounded sugar, stir it into the almonds, make this almond dough

longish with your hands, strew white sugar onto it on the upper and the lower

side, so that nothing sticks to your hands. And when you have made it

longish, form small pretzels from it, put them into a warm oven and bake them

quite slowly, they will get a fine white color.

 

1 C sugar

1 tsp rosewater

2 C grated almonds

2 T powderd sugar

 

Heat oven to 325 F.

Boil the sugar and rosewater together until it reduces a bit.

Stir in the grated almonds.

Add the powdered sugar

Knead together.

Roll out and cut 1 " strips.

Form pretzels.

Lay pretzels out on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes until goldern.

 

 

Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 08:46:49 EDT

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: SC - ONCE AGAIN:    PRECEDELLA  MADE OF ALMONDS

 

Etaine has pointed out and rightly so, that it would be impossible to

dissolve much sugar in 1 tsp of rosewater.  

Personally I think rosewater is very strong for my liking and may I now

suggest that 3/4 C water be added to help dessolve the sugar?

Phillipa

PRECEDELLA MADE OF ALMONDS   (Rumpolt 1581, fol. 169b, #57)

 

<snip>

 

 

Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 17:42:48 -0400

From: "Barbara Benson" <vox8 at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Snacks

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

 

> --On Tuesday, October 07, 2003 5:22 PM -0400 Bronwynmgn at aol.com wrote:

>> Soft pretzels.  Seriously.

> yep... seen 'em illuminated in a border on a ms. page.   can't remember

> which... all kinds of wierd things show up in borders.

> cailte

 

That would be the Hours of Catherine of Cleves. If you are into

Illuminations I highly reccomend the Manuscript which is widely available

but expensive.

 

The detail in the margins of one Illumination does indeed contain pretzles.

There are many other food related aspects of the text including fish,

shellfish, roasting on a spit, baking and many other interesting things.

 

If you are interested in Illumination as well as cooking, it is well worth

the price.

 

Serena da Riva

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 11:02:14 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pretzels?

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

 

> i seem to remember seeing some pretzels in gothic style

> illuminations (in the borders of all things) but can't for

> the life of me place the century.

> can anyone help?  thanks

> cailte

 

I think the woodcut to which you are referring is the the Schatzbehalter

(1491).

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 11:37:42 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pretzels?

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

 

On Sat, 28 Aug 2004, Kathleen A Roberts wrote:

> i seem to remember seeing some pretzels in gothic style

> illuminations (in the borders of all things) but can't for

> the life of me place the century.

> can anyone help?  thanks

> cailte

 

The Hours of Catherine of Cleves. My copy is on extended loan at the

moment, but a search should turn up the date. I think it's very late 13XX

or early to mid-14XX, but I could be wrong. It's not my main period of

study so there's less useful info hiding in my head about it.

 

It's also got a border that's entirely shellfish, like mussels and oysters

and suchlike, which is lifelike enough to make me slightly queasy (I will

eat mussels, but I can't look at them and I can't think of them while I

eat them, because I'm weird that way).

 

Ah. Google search turns up 1440.

 

Someday I plan to use it as a source to document the Burgundian Pretzel

Dress. Probably when I'm queen and can convince someone else to make it

for me. :-)

 

Margaret

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 12:33:14 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pretzels?

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

 

>> Ah. Google search turns up 1440.

> okay, cool.  that is visual evidence.  any written on when

> pretzels were introduced?  i have heard the story of the

> bread scraps/monk/praying hands/kiddie treat pretzels.

> cailte

 

The word pretzel is from Middle High German (11th to 15th Centuries).  The

bread itself is probably related to the cross-shaped Lenten breads made by

early Christians.  Take the monkish story with a large grain of salt.

Written documentation has been very elusive.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 19:18:58 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pretzels?

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

 

> A deep-fried pastry somewhat similar to a pretzel shows up in Viandier

> (1395-ish and earlier). Ingredients: egg and flour.  The batter is

> poured onto the surface of the hot lard, and is formed into the shape

> of a buckle with a tongue.

> Thorvald

 

It is only a similarity of shape. Pretzels are a leavened bread, rolled

into shape, glazed and baked.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 18:22:36 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels

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

 

> That was my thinking, as well, but more to the point I was curious to  

> know if period pretzels were

> boiled in malted water.  I'm pretty sure they were..it seems like a  period

> thing to do... but I was hoping for clarification.

> WdG

 

I haven't come across any reference to boiling in malted water prior to

1600.  If it is a pre-modern practice, then I think it is probably very  

late period.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 10:45:25 -0500

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

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels-- Recipe found

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

 

>>> 

Greetings.  Does anyone have access to Dutch cookery books to see if

there's a recipe for pretzels there? _Windmills in My Oven_ (A Book of

Dutch Baking), while not giving a period recipe, states: "An

eighteenth-century recipe describes a dough made from flour, egg yolks and

a moderate amount of butter, flavoured with coriander and rese-water,

shaped into pretzels, baked and dried in the oven to produce a hard

biscuit."  (p. 119)  The author, Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra, commented that

Dutch pretzels are much sweeter than pretzels from other countries.

 

Alys Katharine

<<< 

 

I thought that I had read something about these sweeter

pretzels, so I did some checking.

Turns out Countess Alys's  18th century sweet pretzel recipe is in

Matters of Taste.

Food and Drink in 17th Century Dutch Art and Life. It's based

on that New York state art show that Devra had the opportunity to see.

I will xerox and mail Alys the sections so she can post them

later to the list.

The first recipes printed for breads and things such as pretzels in the Dutch

language are dated 1753. They were afterall trade secrets of the bakers

up until then.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 08:34:23 -0800

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels

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

 

Chris Stanifer wrote:

> --- Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

>> Are you asking if they were boiled in "malted" water? That is with an

>> M? I'd like hear why you think of that as a period thing to do. What

>> else was boiled in malted water?

> Well, without further resources to check, I have no reason to think it

> was a period thing to do,

> other than my own culinary instincts (assuming that the more basic

> instincts would have been

> pretty much the same).  If you want a slightly sweet crust to your

> pretzel, and you're going to

> boil it anyway, you might as well use water with malt in it.  Or

> honey, I suppose, though I have

> no recipes (modern or otherwise) which call for boiling pretzels in

> honey water.  I do, however,

> have recipes which call for boiling them in water with malt in it.  

> I'm assuming (totally

> assuming) that this may well have been the process used in the middle

> ages, and survived to this day.

 

You knew that someone would come up with a contradiction, didn't you?

  Here is a modern recipe using malt in water and another for honey in

water for different styles of bagels:

  <http://www.weekendbrewer.com/Cooking/bagels.htm>; This is part of a

brewing web site with a section of recipes using brewing supplies like

malt syrup and bread from spent grain. Thrifty and sensible all around.

 

More pretzel stuff:

 

An article about pretzel history, frequently-reprinted article but some

good period pictures:

<http://www.newyorkcarver.com/inventions5A.htm>;

 

One of the excerpted pictures is part of a picture from a prayer-book,

THE HOURS OF CATHERINE OF CLEVES, c. 1440, wherein a picture of St.

Bartholmew is supposed to be surrounded by pretzels.  Further research

shows that this manuscript will be on display at the Getty Museum in

about a year, part of a larger exhibition of  Painted Prayers: Medieval

and Renaissance Books of Hours.  We must make pilgrimage!

<http://www.getty.edu/news/press/fut_exhib2005.html>;

 

Gode Cookery has a good etching of a portable oven and a pretzel

merchant's stall.   c. 1483.

<http://www.godecookery.com/afeast/kitchens/kit010.html>;

I think I want to make one of these ovens some day!  Need to get my

local pottery maven in on it of course.

 

Selene

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 14:39:54 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels & bagels

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

 

As a point of interest, I went chasing the terms precedella and brezel

(Latin and German terms for pretzel). The first appears in Rumpolt (in case

no one has mentioned it).

 

Googling Brezel provided a link to this interesting site in German (you will

probably want to check both the German site and the translation):

 

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brezel

 

The site ties the first reference to Brezel to the Council of Lepontinae in

743.  Unfortunately, I haven't as yet been able to track down references to

the council, but I assume it is a rather obscure religious gathering.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 15:57:08 -0800

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] bagels

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

 

Pennsic before last (I think) we attended a

class on Italian cooking, which included a

handout which included what appears to be a bagel

recipe from Messibugio. I think the class was by

an apprentice of Master Basileus Phocas (sp?),

but am not sure.  The recipe is on page 39 of my

copy of Libro Novo and is the second recipe

given. In the original, the title is:

 

Brazzatelle di latte, e zuccaro

 

It occurs to me, after reading Bear's post on

pretzels and bagels, that the word is probably

related to "pretzel" and one could interpret the

recipe as a pretzel rather than a bagel recipe.

Are pretzels boiled and then baked?

 

Here is the translation that was handed out, and how I made them.

 

Bagels of Milk and Sugar

from Messibugio, Libro Novo 1557

 

To make fifty bagels of four ounces each you will

take fifteen lbs of best flour, three ounces of

rose water, three pounds of milk, two pounds of

white sugar, 25 eggs, four ounces of butter, and

you will knead these things together very well.

 

Then you will make your bagels according to the

method you want to use, and then you will let

rise with careful attention, and after it has

risen you will boil your water, and then you will

place inside the above-mentioned bagels to cook,

and when they come to the top you will take out,

and then you will put in fresh water, and when

you have removed them from within you will put

them to cook in the oven, and if you want to put

inside anise it is a good deed.

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

Here is how I did it:

 

(1/6 quantities)

 

2 1/2 lb flour--about 8c

1/2 oz rose water

1/2 lb milk--about 1 c

1/3 lb sugar=2/3 c

4 eggs

8/9 oz butter

(1 c sourdough)

Aniseeds

 

Note 1: The recipes says it produces fifty bagels

weighing four ounces each, but uses about 18-20

lbs of ingredients, after allowing for cooking

off the water in the milk. I concluded that it

was using a 12 ounce pound, like the troy pound

or the Islamic ratl, rather than a 16 ounce

pound. The finished bagels weighed about 7

avoirdoupois ounces, which is still a little

heavy; on my assumption it should have been 5 1/3

ounces.

 

Note 2: The recipe is for a leavened bread, but

no leavening is mentioned. My guess is that it is

using either sourdough or a kneading trough with

its own yeast culture. I used sourdough.

 

Note 3: The reasons for interpreting this as

bagels are the boiling/baking sequence, the size,

and the reference to making the bagels according

to the method you want to use, which suggests

some special shape or shapes.

 

Combine flour and sugar; cut in the (softened)

butter. Combine the liquid ingredients, including

the sourdough, mix, add to the dry ingredients

and knead until you have a smooth dough. Cover

with a damp towel, let rise at least nine hours.

Then divide into nine equal portions, roll each

into a cylinder about 9-10" long, join the ends

to form a torus (i.e. bagel shape). Leave it

until it has risen again, which should be another

five hours or so at room temperature (i.e. 70°

F). Your rising times may differ from this,

depending on your sourdough culture.

 

When the bagels have risen, fill a pot at least

five inches deep with water, if possible more.

Bring the water to a boil. Put in as many of the

bagels as you can manage without to much of a

problem of sticking. Boil until they rise to the

top, which should start happening in three or

four minutes. Make sure they have not stuck to

the bottom; if they have loosen with a spatula

(pancake turner). When each bagel floats to the

top take it out, dunk it briefly in a bowl of

water, drain, put on a cookie sheet or the like.

Bake them in a 400° oven until brown--about 20

minutes.

 

If you like, before putting them in to bake sprinkle on aniseed.

 

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 19:38:18 -0500

From: Marian Walke <marian at buttery.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bagels

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

 

David Friedman wrote:

> It occurs to me, after reading Bear's post on pretzels and bagels, that

> the word is probably related to "pretzel" and one could interpret the

> recipe as a pretzel rather than a bagel recipe. Are pretzels boiled and

> then baked?

 

Traditionally, yes.  But I don't know for sure if the tradition

goes back to period.  I have done some research on this subject

(no surprise to those who knew me as a proprietor of Battlefield

Bakery, "Sign of the Sword and Pretzel") but have not yet found a

definite, conclusive answer.  Part of the problem is that

pretzels were generally produced by professional rather than home

bakers, and they tended to keep their recipes close to the chest.

 

--Old Marian

 

 

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 17:30:35 -0800 (PST)

From: Chris Stanifer <jugglethis at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bagels

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

 

--- David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com> wrote:

> Pennsic before last (I think) we attended a

> clss on Italian cooking, which included a

> handout which included what appears to be a bagel

> recipe from Messibugio. I think the class was by

> an apprentice of Master Basileus Phocas (sp?),

> but am not sure.  The recipe is on page 39 of my

> copy of Liro Novo and is the second recipe

> given. In the original, the title is:

> Brazzatelle di latte, e zuccaro

> It occurs to me, after reading Bear's post on

> pretzels and bagels, that the word is probably

> related to "pretzel" and one could interpret he

> recipe as a pretzel rather than a bagel recipe.

> Are pretzels boiled and then baked?

 

Yes, much like bagels, pretzels are first boiled and then baked.  I

have seen (and use) recipes

which indicate boiling the pretzels in malted water (that is, water

with malt in it), while most

of the recipes seem to indicate boiling in plain water.

 

Latin 'Pretiola' or 'little reward', so called because they were

originally given to children by monks.

 

Italian 'Brachiola', or 'little arems', so called because they

represent arms folded in prayer

 

Also referred to as Bretzel.

 

Or, so they say....

 

William de Grandfort

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 08:04:47 -0500

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adelphi.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bagels

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

 

>> --- David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com> wrote:

>>> It occurs to me, after reading Bear's post on pretzels and bagels,

>>> that the word is probably related to "pretzel" and one could

>>> interpret the recipe as a pretzel rather than a bagel recipe. Are

>>> pretzels boiled and then baked?

 

William Grandfort, mka Chris Stanifer replied:

 

>> Yes, much like bagels, pretzels are first boiled and then baked.  I

>> have seen (and use) recipes

>> which indicate boiling the pretzels in malted water (that is, water

>> with malt in it), while most

>> of the recipes seem to indicate boiling in plain water.

 

and Cian (John Kemker) added:

 

> Pretzels are also sometimes boiled in water with a bit of lye.  Not

> enough to make the water seriously caustic, mind you, but a small

> amount.  Some susbsitute another alkali, as the idea of eating lye

> bothers them.

 

  From what I've read, commercial pretzels are sprayed with lye

solution before baking; the lye denatures the starch at the surface

to form the hard, glossy finish prized in such pretzels.  And the

baking process allegedly neutralizes the toxicity of the lye.  I

gather the "traditional" homemade equivalent is boiling in lye

solution.

 

I've tried it myself twice, with poor results (which might have been

because I was using my low-carb bread recipe rather than making a

batch of dough just for pretzel purposes).  On one occasion at home I

boiled the pretzels for a minute or two in a fairly strong baking

soda solution, and they turned out inedibly bitter.  At Pennsic last

I boiled the pretzels for a minute or two in a weak solution of

Mistress Thora's fireplace ash (which she has used as a source of lye

in the past for dyeing purposes); they weren't inedibly bitter, but

decidedly uninteresting.  I'll have to try again some time with

ordinary bread dough.

--

                                     John Elys

           (the artist formerly known as mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar

ha-Shalib)

                                  mka Stephen Bloch

                                  sbloch at adelphi.edu

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:03:18 -0500

From: Marian Walke <marian at buttery.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]pretzels [was bagels]

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

 

Stephen Bloch wrote:

(regarding bagels, pretzels, and his attempts to make pretzels)

 

>  From what I've read, commercial pretzels are sprayed with lye solution

> before baking<snip>

> I've tried it myself twice, with poor results <snip>

   I'll have to try again some time with ordinary bread dough.

 

I presume you know that flour can vary greatly in protein and

gluten content, from very soft to quite hard.  For pretzels and

bagels and such you want the hardest flour you can get.  In

period that would have been durum (in Italy and southern France)

or northern, Russian, or Middle Eastern wheat (in northern

Europe).  The English liked their native soft flour, but then

they didn't go in much for pretzels.

 

Nowadays, I'd use a bread flour (such as King Arthur unbleached)

if making it by hand.  If you have a mixer with a dough hook you

can use the King Arthur Special for Bread Machines, which is very

high gluten.

 

I suspect our modern American/Canadian hard wheats (bred from the

hardest Russian/Armenian strains) are even harder than the

strongest period flours.  But in any case, avoid "general

purpose" flours such as General Mills, Pillsbury, etc for this

purpose.  What King Arthur calls "General Purpose" flour is

already harder than the mainstream brands.  This is particularly

true in the Southern states, which have a preference for softer

flour, so the General Mills, Pillsbury, etc meant to be sold

there are formulated differently than the same brands sold in New

England.

 

Best of luck!  This is a good time to be making pretzels -- they

are one of the symbols of Lent.

 

--Old Marian

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:11:31 -0500

From: Bill Fisher <liamfisher at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bagels

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

 

On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 08:04:47 -0500, Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adelphi.edu>

wrote:

> I've tried it myself twice, with poor results (which might have been

> because I was using my low-carb bread recipe rather than making a

> batch of dough just for pretzel purposes).  On one occasion at home I

> boiled the pretzels for a minute or two in a fairly strong baking

> soda solution, and they turned out inedibly bitter.  At Pennsic last

> I boiled the pretzels for a minute or two in a weak solution of

> Mistress Thora's fireplace ash (which she has used as a source of lye

> in the past for dyeing purposes); they weren't inedibly bitter, but

> decidedly uninteresting.  I'll have to try again some time with

> ordinary bread dough.

> --

>                                     John Elys

 

> From what I remember from your low-carb bread  components, you

substitute a good deal of gluten proteins for starches.

 

Alkali solutions are bitter, and gluten is alkalai ( and acid ) soluble.

Your extra gluten is absorbing the alkalai and then it is baked into

your bread.  Unless you used a lot of potash to make lye water,

your lye solution wasn't very strong and the ph wasn't very high.

 

Your low carb bread is an alkalai sponge :-)  albiet a tasty one no

doubt.

 

I think this is where your taste difference is coming from.

 

Cadoc

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:15:28 -0600

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bagels

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

 

I think you were nailed by the difference between hard and soft pretzels.

Soft pretzels use a bread dough with a water bath.  Hard pretzels use a

stiffer dough suitable for making crackers and a bath with sodium hydroxide

or sodium carbonate.  Both baths create a crust by gelatinizing the surface

starch.  Malted water adds sugars to the surface which carmelize into a

darker brown finish.  The sodium solutions produce the dark brown glossy

crust.

 

Commercial pretzel makers spray the formed pretzels with a 1% solution of

sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate at about 200 degrees F then salt and

flash bake the pretzels at high temperature for about 5 minutes to get the

desired surface.  Then the pretzels are baked at about 200 degrees F to dry

them out and give the proper snap.  The sodium residues combine with carbon

dioxide in the oven to produce a harmless carbonate.

 

The heat of the process should coagulate any gluten the water or sodium

solutions come in contact with, so as to reduce the absorption of the

liquid.

 

If you try this again with the lye, I suggest a very stiff dough, a quick

dunk in the solution, and a hot oven (start around 500 degrees F and go up

or down as needed) for a few minutes, followed later by a slow second

bake.

 

Bear

 

> From what I've read, commercial pretzels are sprayed with lye solution

> before baking; the lye denatures the starch at the surface to form the

> hard, glossy finish prized in such pretzels.  And the baking process

> allegedly neutralizes the toxicity of the lye.  I gather the

> "traditional" homemade equivalent is boiling in lye solution.

> --

>                                     John Elys

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 16:39:28 -0500

From: Marian Walke <marian at buttery.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Interesting picture

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

 

Johnna Holloway wrote:

> Came across this--

> [Ulrich Richental]. Concil ium zu Constanz (Augsburg, 1483).

>  A contemporary

> account of the Council of Constance (1414---18), an ecclesiastical

> gathering that had grappled with questions of unrest and reform a

> century before the Reformation. (Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection)

> Take a look at what is hanging on the mounted post.

> http://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/guide/ra035001.jpg

 

Yes, pretzels have been the sign of a baker for centuries.

Scandinavian countries still use a crowned pretzel to indicate a

bakery.  It is one reason Battlefield Bakery described its

location at Pennsic as "Sign of the Sword and Pretzel."

 

--Old Marian

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 18:17:43 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pretzel recipes?

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

 

> I'd like to make some pretzels and was wondering if anyone has  

> come  across any period recipes.

> I see them in the pictures in later period paintings, but so far  

> haven't found a recipe.

> Grace

 

There is an Italian recipe for Brazzatelle, or some name close to

that, from Messibugio, Libro Novo 1557. I haven't been able to find a

translation of the word, but it looks as though it is either bagels

or pretzels.

 

Here is the recipe as translated by someone who thought it meant bagels:

---

Bagels of Milk and Sugar

from Messibugio, Libro Novo 1557

 

To make fifty bagels of four ounces each you will take fifteen lbs of

best flour, three ounces of rose water, three pounds of milk, two

pounds of white sugar, 25 eggs, four ounces of butter, and you will

knead these things together very well.

 

Then you will make your bagels according to the method you want to

use, and then you will let rise with careful attention, and after it

has risen you will boil your water, and then you will place inside

the above-mentioned bagels to cook, and when they come to the top you

will take out, and then you will put in fresh water, and when you

have removed them from within you will put them to cook in the oven,

and if you want to put inside anise it is a good deed.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 20:47:15 -0500

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pretzel recipes?

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

 

There are some recipes in Rumpolt, but they are for sweet pretzels, rather

than the bread pretzels of which you are probably thinking.  Here are couple

of translations by Thomas Gloning:

 

55. Take white flour, only the white of eggs and some wine, sugar and

anise, prepare a dough with these ingredients, roll the dough with clean

hands such that it becomes longish and round. Make small pretzels from

it and put them into a warm oven and bake them so that you do not burn

it but that they get pretty dry. This way, they will become crisp and

good. If you like, you may take cinnamon as an ingredient for the dough,

too (but you can leave it). This dish is called Precedella.

 

 

57. Take sugar and rosewater, boil up [together], so that it becomes not

too thick, stir grated almonds into this boiled sugar, take it from the

fire when it is well dried. When you take it away, take one to three

spoons of good white pounded sugar, stir it into the almonds, make this

almond dough longish with your hands, strew white sugar onto it on the

upper and the lower side, so that nothing sticks to your hands. And when

you have made it longish, form small pretzels from it, put them into a

warm oven and bake them quite slowly, they will get a fine white color.

And they are called Precedella made of almonds. (Rumpolt 1581, fol.

169b, #57)

 

For more information, take a look in the Florilegium at:

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

 

Bear

 

> I'd like to make some pretzels and was wondering if anyone has come

> across any period recipes.

> I see them in the pictures in later period paintings, but so far  

> haven't found a recipe.

> Grace

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 22:25:55 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pretzel recipes?

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

 

Terry Decker wrote:

> There are some recipes in Rumpolt, but they are for sweet pretzels, rather

> than the bread pretzels of which you are probably thinking.  Here are couple

> of translations by Thomas Gloning:

> 55. Take white flour, only the white of eggs and some wine, sugar and

> anise, prepare a dough with these ingredients,

[snip]

 

I made these for a Coronation feast.  Very tasty.  Instead of the

traditional shape, I twisted them into the inital letters of the King's

and Queen's names.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 08:41:37 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pretzel recipes?

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

 

Peter G. Rose in her books Matters of Taste and The Sensible Cook

includes information on sweet Dutch pretzels. She includes a recipe for

Krakelingen in the book of recipes that accompanies Matters of Taste.

Rose notes that the first printed pastry and baking cookbook in the

Netherlands appeared in the mid-18th century.

Art--

http://www.albanyinstitute.org/resources/archive/dutch/dutch.htm

shows the famous Job Berckheyde painting titled The Baker which features pretzels.

http://www.worcesterart.org/Exhibitions/Past/favorite_baker.html also

features it.

 

Johnnae

 

Terry Decker wrote:

> There are some recipes in Rumpolt, but they are for sweet pretzels, rather

> than the bread pretzels of which you are probably thinking. snipped

> Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 07:10:37 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period pretzel recipes?

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

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> So, is this recipe mid-18th century? Or are you saying there is

> evidence for sweet Dutch pretzels but no recipe shows up until the

> mid-18th century?

 

> She doesn't say in the actual recipe section. My guess it may be  

> period but the actual printed recipe is later. There are a number  

> of people working on Dutch translations but I didn't find this  

> recipe yesterday when I browsed their pages. I did attempt to find  

> a period recipe or mention. Perhaps someone in Europe will see this  

> and post something more on the topic. We have evidence that they  

> appeared in Dutch paintings. Someone was making them. Or it could  

> be that the earliest surviving recipes are in the first printed  

> texts and nothing appears earlier in manuscripts or bakery records.

> In a later message you give:

> "Food historian Peter G. Rose, co-author of Matters of Taste, Food and

> Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art and Life"

> So 17th century, not mid-18th. so I'm a bit confused.

 

That was from their write-up in Dayton for the upcoming Rembrandt show.

 

The original exhibit featured Dutch paintings from US Museums. Most of

those are 17th century. It also

featured details about Dutch life in what is now New York in the 17th century.

"This unique exhibition presents fifty-six extraordinary 17^th century

Dutch paintings together for the first time ever in America, and will

only be on view at the Albany Institute of History & Art."

You have to read the descriptions and captions to determine what is

what. Certainly The Baker painting reflects an earlier style. Take a look at

http://www.albanyinstitute.org/resources/archive/dutch/dutch.painting.htm

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 23:57:30 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Not bagels, pretzels

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

 

Messibugio has a recipe which I originally encountered in a class at

Pennsic some years ago, with the title translated as "Bagels of milk

and sugar." The italian original is "Brazzatelle di latte, e

zuccaro." When we tried the recipe, it occurred to me that the

process--boil then bake--could describe either bagels or pretzels, as

would the implication of some specific (but not stated) shape. And

the name could be related to "bracelets" for bagels, or to "pretzel."

 

It finally occurred to me to check the etymology of "pretzel."

 

"[German Brezel, Pretzel, from Middle High German bremacr.gifzel,

premacr.gifzel, from Old High German brezitella, ...

 

I think that's close enough to establish a strong presumption that

it's a pretzel recipe.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 10:38:29 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Not bagels, pretzels

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

 

> Brazzatelle di latte, e zuccaro

> sounds like a sweet, not savory

> is there a recipe you would be willing to share??

 

Pretzels of Milk and Sugar

from Messibugio, Libro Novo 1557

 

To make fifty pretzels of four ounces each you

will take fifteen lbs of best flour, three ounces

of rose water, three pounds of milk, two pounds

of white sugar, 25 eggs, four ounces of butter,

and you will knead these things together very

well.

 

Then you will make your pretzels according to the

method you want to use, and then you will let

rise with careful attention, and after it has

risen you will boil your water, and then you will

place inside the above-mentioned pretzels to

cook, and when they come to the top you will take

out, and then you will put in fresh water, and

when you have removed them from within you will

put them to cook in the oven, and if you want to

put inside anise it is a good deed.

 

(1/3 of the original recipe)

 

5 lb flour--about 16c

4/3 oz rose water

1 lb milk--about 2 c

2/3 lb sugar=4/3 c

8 eggs

16/9 oz butter

(2 c sourdough)

Aniseeds

 

Combine flour and sugar; cut in the (softened)

butter. Combine the liquid ingredients, including

the sourdough, mix, add to the dry ingredients

and knead until you have a smooth dough. Cover

with a damp towel, let rise at least twelve

hours. Then divide into eighteen equal portions,

roll each into a cylinder about 18 inches long,

make into a pretzel shape. (If you are

interpreting them as bagels, make each into a

cylinder about 9-10" long, join the ends to form

a bagel shape). Leave it until it has risen

again, which should be another five hours or so

at room temperature (i.e. 70? F). Your rising

times may differ from this, depending on your

sourdough culture.

 

When they have risen, fill a pot at least five

inches deep with water, if possible more. Bring

the water to a boil. Put in as many of the

pretzels as you can manage without too much of a

problem of sticking. Boil until they rise to the

top, which should start happening in three or

four minutes. Make sure they have not stuck to

the bottom; if they have loosen with a spatula

(pancake turner). When each floats to the top

take it out, dunk it briefly in a bowl of water,

drain, put on a cookie sheet or the like. Bake

them in a 400? oven until brown--about 20 minutes.

 

For half of them, I kneaded in 1 1/2 t of aniseed.

 

Note 1: The Italian title is Brazzatelle di

latte, e zuccaro; the technique of boiling and

then baking could be for either bagels or

pretzels. The translator thought they were bagels

and I did them that way the first time, but since

our word "pretzel" derives from old high German

"brezitella," I think it's reasonably certain

that they are actually pretzels and have modified

the translation above accordingly.

 

Note 2: The recipes says it produces fifty

pretzels weighing four ounces each, but uses

about 18-20 lbs of ingredients, after allowing

for cooking off the water in the milk. I

concluded that it was using a 12 ounce pound,

like the troy pound or the Islamic ratl, rather

than a 16 ounce pound. The first time I did the

recipe (interpreting the pretzels as bagels!)

they weighed about 7 avoirdoupois ounces, which

is still a little heavy; on my assumption it

should have been 5 1/3 ounces.

 

Note 3: The recipe is for a leavened bread, but

no leavening is mentioned. My guess is that it is

using either sourdough or a kneading trough with

its own yeast culture. I used sourdough.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 May 2007 15:50:39 -0400

From: "Mairi Ceilidh" <jjterlouw at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Not bagels, pretzels

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

 

With all due respect to His Grace, Master Cariadoc, I must, as I did when we

had this discussion at Pennsic two years ago, disagree with his

interpretation of the translation of this recipe.  I am not the person who

taught the class referenced here, but I have translated, researched,

interpreted and prepared this recipe.  I did an Art/Sci entry based on it

some years ago.

 

My main concern is the necessity to leave the language in which to recipe

was originally written, and go elsewhere to stretch an association of  

words.

 

In the 1611 edition of John Florio's Italian/English dictionary, which uses

Messisbugo's Libre Novo (the book in which thich recipe is published) as a

word source, we find a reference to the word brazzetto which sends us to the

alternates spelling braccietto.  Braccietto translates to "a little arm" or

"bracer". The OED tells us that a bracer is something that goes around the

arm as a protector (loosely interpreted from multiple references).  The

circular form of a bagel is much more likely to match this definition than

the multi-twist form of a pretzel.  Extend the search to other forms of the

word in Florio's dictionary and we find Bracciatillo, a kind of roule or

bisket bread, we call them round simnels.

 

It seems obvious that it is not necessary to go outside the Italian language

to discern what Messisbugo is making in this recipe.  Rolls formed in a

circle. Maybe not bagels, but certainly not pretzels.

 

Actually, it doesn't matter what you call the things.  They are good, and

well worth the effort to make.  Here is my interpretation of the recipe:

 

Brazzatelle Di Latte, E Zuccaro

 

Modern Redaction (as I interpreted the translation and prepared the  

recipe)

 

4 pounds bread flour

1 ? T. rose water

1C. milk

? C. sugar

6 large eggs

2T. butter

2 t. salt

1 T. active dry yeast

1C. warm water

Several pinches anise seeds (optional)

 

Dissolve yeast in 1 C. warm water and set aside.

Scald the milk in a small saucepan, add the butter and allow to melt,  

        add the rosewater and cool.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs well.  Add the yeast and milk mixtures  

and stir well.

Add about 4 cups of flour and the salt to the liquid mixture.  Stir until

roughly combined; continue adding flour, about a cup at the time until it is

difficult to stir.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is

smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour if needed.

Leave the dough to rise, punch down.  Cut dough into 4 ounce pieces.  Shape

each piece as you like; preferably roll into a rope about 12 inches long,

joining the ends to make a ring.  Place the rolls on an oiled baking sheet

and allow to rise for 45 minutes, or until about double in size.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Heat a large pot fill with water to a simmer.

Boil the rolls, four to six at the time (do not let them be crowded in the

pot) for about five minutes on each side, or until they are well puffed and

float. Place the boiled rolls on an oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with anise

seeds, if desired.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

If anyone would like a copy of my documentation, which is four years old and

possibly not as detailed as it might be were I writing it today, please

contact me with your email address.  It is in a word document which I can

send as an attachment.

 

Mairi Ceilidh

 

<<<< 

Messibugio has a recipe which I originally encountered in a class at

Pennsic some years ago, with the title translated as "Bagels of milk

and sugar." The italian original is "Brazzatelle di latte, e

zuccaro." When we tried the recipe, it occurred to me that the

process--boil then bake--could describe either bagels or pretzels, as

would the implication of some specific (but not stated) shape. And

the name could be related to "bracelets" for bagels, or to "pretzel."

 

It finally occurred to me to check the etymology of "pretzel."

 

"[German Brezel, Pretzel, from Middle High German bremacr.gifzel,

premacr.gifzel, from Old High German brezitella, ...

 

I think that's close enough to establish a strong presumption that

it's a pretzel recipe.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com >>>

 

 

Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 16:04:15 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Not bagels, pretzels

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

 

FWIW, here's what the OED says about the etymology of the word pretzel,

which encompasses both words and definitions used here. It sounds like the

argument is "what is the nearest modern equivalent" rather than "what is

this thing really":

 

[< German Bretzel kind of bread roll, made from a thin length of dough

twisted into a knot and coated with brine before baking (now usu.  

Brezel;

Old High German as brzila, Middle High German brzel, przel, przile) <

post-classical Latin bracellus kind of cake or biscuit (12th cent.),

shortened < an unattested post-classical Latin form *brachiatellus (cf.

post-classical Latin bracidelli (plural) bakery items (in an undated

glossary)) < classical Latin brachitus, bracchitus BRACHIATE adj. (cf.

post-classical Latin braciatus (noun) kind of cake eaten on monastic

holidays (11th cent.)) + -ellus -ELLUS suffix; so called on account of the

resemblance to folded arms. Cf. Italian bracciello a kind of cake, simnel,

or biscuit (1598 in Florio).

 

   Cf. (< post-classical Latin *brachiatellus) Old High German brzitella,

Old Occitan bressadel, brassadel kind of ring-shaped cake (1480; Occitan

bra?ad?l type of cake made with eggs, cake in the shape of a braid),

Italian bracciatello kind of ring-shaped cake (second half of the 15th

cent., also as bracciatella).

 

   The English form with initial p- prob. represents a perception of the

unaspirated pronunciation of b- in regional German (south.).]

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 16:40:40 -0400

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Not bagels, pretzels

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

 

On May 3, 2007, at 4:04 PM, Gretchen Beck wrote:

> FWIW, here's what the OED says about the etymology of the word pretzel,

> which encompasses both words and definitions used here. It sounds like the

> argument is "what is the nearest modern equivalent" rather than

> "what is this thing really":

 

I've been thinking along similar lines. Without doing any serious

etymological work, it seems a quite reasonable possibility (until

someone comes up with a good reason for believing otherwise) that

"pretzel" either shares common roots with, or is derived from,

brazzatelle, with perhaps some rater minor corruption. Certainly when

pronounced correctly, it seems like they'd sound quite similar.

 

Regarding the translation as "bagel", maybe we're placing too much

expectation on the modern Jewish type bagel, made with high-gluten

wheat flour, boiled and baked. Since we don't seem to see too much

high-gluten flour being used in period Europe (although Italy may be

an exception), isn't it possible, somewhere along the line, the

equivocation with bagels is being stressed too heavily?

 

I mean, there's evidence of a ring-shaped bread product in Viking-era

Scandinavia, which, as far as I know, resembles bagels only in shape

(aren't they unleavened barley?), but some translator, somewhere

along the line, was satisfied with that word being used. Maybe we

shouldn't get too caught up in the question of brazzatella and

whether they're bagels or pretzels...

 

Hey, to me they look like jumbles anyway ;-)

 

Adamantius the only-sometimes-online

 

 

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 10:29:04 -0700 (PDT)

From: emilio szabo <emilio_szabo at yahoo.it>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] bretzel

 

There is a depiction of a bretzel in a work written in the early 12th century

(chronicle of Ekkehard of Aura):

 

http://www.kulinaristik.net/images/ms373_fol95_medium.jpg

 

According to the site, mentioned above, the picture comes from MS 373,  fol.

95v, Parker Library, Cambridge.

http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/parker/actions/thumbnail_view.do?size=basic&;ms_no=373&page=95V

 

E.

 

 

Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 16:02:19 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bretzel

 

Hi Emilio!

 

The word in English is pretzel. I kept looking at what you wrote, wondering what a bretzel was, and then it came to me.

 

The depiction is interesting as it doesn't quite have that regular twist in the middle.

 

Around the same time as the illustration you speak of, there is yet another depiction in the Hortus Deliciarum, written by Herrad of Landsberg, Abbess of Hohenburg Abbey in Alsace.  You can find the colored illumination here, fourth picture down on the right side.  

 

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Herrad_of_Landsberg

 

There seems to be a lot of speculation as to how old pretzels are.  Some versions say the fifth century A.D., other the seventh century A.D.  But with two illustrations in the 12th century, we can make the assumption it is within the Middle Ages, at least.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 09:24:51 -0700 (PDT)

From: wheezul at canby.com

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bretzel, bread and lye oh my

 

<<< Beside the Hortus Deliciarum image that Huette mentions, there is also a 12th century illumination in Codex Stuttgart BL 20 60 f. 43v. of the Last Supper which has a bretzel on the table.  This one clearly has the center twist.  I'll

see if I can find a bildindex link. >>>

 

Followup:

Here is the link for the illumination:

http://www.bildindex.de/bilder/mi02984b04a.jpg

 

Katherine

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 16:03:45 -0500

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] bretzel, bread and lye oh my

 

<<< Last question - is there any evidence of the period use of lye in the

making of pretzels?

 

Katherine >>>

 

IIRC, there is evidence of using lye in baking in germany late in period,

but not necessarily in the way it is used today and not necessarily on

pretzels.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 03:05:32 -0500

From: Sharon Palmer <ranvaig at columbus.rr.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lent is coming!

 

<<< Do you have a period pretzel recipe?

 

I ask because there's an Italian recipe that I think is either

pretzels or bagels, both of which are boiled and then baked, and a

comparison with a period pretzel recipe might help me figure out

which it is.

 

David/Cariadoc >>>

 

Rumpolt has recipes that might be pretzels. or at least pretzel

shaped. And pretzel soup.

 

Gebackens 55. Take a fair flour/ pure egg yolks/ and a little wine/

sugar and anise/ make a dough with it/ roll it nicely long and round

with clean hands/ and make little pretzels (Bretzel) from it/ shove

in a warm oven and bake/ that you do not burn it/ but until nicely

dry/ like this they also become tender and good. You might also take

cinnamon with it or not. And one calls them Precedella.

 

Gebackens 57. Take sugar and rosewater/ let it boil well/ that does

not become too thick/ stir grated almonds with the boiled sugar/ and

make well thick from the fire/ and when you will take it full ways/

then take fair white ground sugar a spoon full or three/ and sprinkle

it on the almonds/ take roll them with the hand nicely long/ and

sprinkle with white sugar under and over/ that it doesn't stick to

the hands/ and when you have rolled it out long/ then make small

pretzels (Bretzel) from it/ shove them in a warm oven/ and bake them

nicely long (slow?)/ like this it will be nicely white.  And one

calls it precedella made from almonds.

 

Suppen 23. Take pretzels/ and soften them in salt water/ put them on

a dish/ and sprinkle them with black raisins and ginger/ baste with

hot butter/ like this it is also good. Or sprinkle it with Parmesan

cheese/ and pour hot butter over it.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 10:08:24 -0600

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lent is coming!

 

<<< I'd describe the first two as some kind of jumble variant, although

neither is boiled, as far as I can tell.

 

No it doesn't say to boil them, but they are called Bretzel and

Precedella, which also means pretzel.

 

Ranvaig >>>

 

Brezel seems to refer more to the shape than the construction.

Laugenbrezel, for example, are dipped in a lye solution before baking rather

than being boiled.  Fastenbrezel are a form of boiled preztel prepared for

Lent. There are gingerbread pretzels, filled pretzels, pretzels for

sandwiches and some curious pretzels prepared for Fasching (carnival).

Limiting the term pretzel to those that are boiled before baking seems

somewhat arbitrary and possibly an error, especially when talking about the

German Brezel.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 20:48:07 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels, was Lent is coming!

 

According to http://germanfood.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&;zTi=1&sdn=germanfood&cdn=food&tm=21&f=10&su=p284.13.342.ip_p830.9.342.ip_&tt=29&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.petermangold.de/schwaebische_brezeln.htm

the lye solution is 19th century in origin.

 

The Oxford Companion to Food in the entry on pretzels states "This  

must be the foodstuff that has gathered more culinary mythology about  

its origins than any, from praying hands in a 7th century Italian  

monastery, to a Frankish king in Alsace, to rewards for children  

learning their catechism, all of it highly debatable."

 

Johnnae

 

On Feb 19, 2012, at 8:02 PM, Sharon Palmer wrote:

<<< I believe modern pretzels, at least the ones in the King Arthur  

flour book, are boiled and then baked, as are bagels--in fact, the  

book treats them as variants of the same recipe. But I think those  

are soft pretzels and don't know how the crunchy kind are made. >>>

 

Properly, pretzels are dipped in lye. that's what gives them the  

deep color.  I'm not sure what evidence there is for that in period.  

Rumpolt uses lye for other recipes, but not baked goods. Modern home  

recipes for pretzels sometimes substitute baking soda.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 06:06:46 +0000 (GMT)

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pretzels, was Lent is coming!

 

Hieronymus Tragus (IIRC) writes that fine baked goods, including pretzels, are boiled before baking. He doesn't mention lye, but even without it, the process produces a nice crust.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 08:21:20 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Baker's borax from the other side.

 

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 6:40 AM, Laura C. Minnick <lcm at jeffnet.org> wrote:

<<< Pretzels and bagels are shiny. What are they brushed with?

 

Liutgard >>>

 

Bagels and pretzels are boiled before baking.  The boiling liquid sometimes

includes malt, baking soda, or lye to make it alkali.  No brushing involved.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:06:22 -0500

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

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

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Baker's borax from the other side.

 

What you are talking about is a Maillard reaction, where the dough is glazed

by dropping it briefly in a high pH (basic) solution.  It produces the shiny

dark brown color on pretzels and pretzel bread.  It's a a common glaze on a

number of German breads.  The common chemicals used produce the reaction, in

order of efficiency, are lye (potassium carbonate, sodium hydroxide,

potassium hydroxide), washing soda (sodium carbonate) and baking soda

(sodium bicarbonate).  Potassium hydroxide has a pH of about 14, sodium

hydroxide is around 13, baking soda comes in at 8.3, Armenian borax (borax

pentahydrate, a form of borax) clocks in around 9.5.

 

IIRC, all of these compound are produced by shallow water deposition and

evaporation (alkali pools), so multiple compounds are probably quite common.

Unfortunately, the process of leavening is different from the process of

glazing.

 

I've only experimjented with the technique a couple of times, so my empiric

knowledge is limited.

 

Bear

 

<the end>



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