Sunday, June 17, 2012

Salt-Rising Bread (TAC)

This recipe would be good if you had no yeast, although it takes quite a while to make.


While getting breakfast in the morning, as soon as the tea-kettle has boiled, take a quart tin cup or an earthen quart milk pitcher, scald it, then fill one-third full of water about as warm as the finger could be held in; then to this add a teaspoonful of salt, a pinch of brown sugar and coarse flour enough to make a batter of about the right consistency for griddle-cakes.  Set the cup with the spoon in it, in a closed vessel half-filled with water, moderately hot, but not scalding. Keep the temperature as nearly even as possible, and add a teaspoonful of flour once or twice during the process of fermentation. The yeast ought to reach the top of the bowl in about 5 hours. Sift your flour into a pan, make an opening in the centre, and pour in your yeast. Have ready a pitcher of warm milk, salted, or milk and water, (not too hot, or you could scald the yeast germs,)  and stir rapidly into a pulpy mass with a spoon.  Cover this sponge closely and and keep warm for an hour, then knead into loaves, adding flour to make the proper consistency. Place in warm, well greased pans, cover closely, and leave till it is light. Bake in a steady oven, and when done let all the hot steam escape. Wrap closely in damp towels, and keep in closed earthen jars until wanted.
This in our grandmother's time used to be considered the prize bread, on account of it's being sweet and wholesome, and required no prepared yeast to make it. Nowadays yeast-bread is made with very little trouble, as the yeast can be procured at any grocery.

NOTE: Well.. what do you think?. A 'pinch of brown sugar'? I'd add a TB at least.  Coarse flour is whole wheat I suppose, but whole grain rye would work as it ferments even better. No real measurements on the salt and milk..  How much is 1/3 of a quart of water? 10 ounces approx? There is no fat added to make the crumb tender.. Did she use "coarse flour" in the whole recipe?  
I have seen other salt rising breads made with at least a tablespoon of salt.

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