Tagged ‘baking’

Sweet! Potato Pie

November 24th, 2013 by KM Wall
Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

To make a Potato Pie.
Boyl your Spanish Potaoes (not overmuch) cut them forth in slices as thick as your thumb, season them with Nutmeg, Cinamon, Ginger, and Sugar; your Coffin being ready, put them in, over the bottom, add to them the Marrow of about three Marrow-bones, seasoned as aforesaid, a handful of stoned Raisons of the Sun, some quartred Dates, Orangado, Cittern, with Ringo-root sliced, put butter over it, and bake them: let their lear be a little Vinegar, Sack and Sugar, beaten up with the yolk of an Egg, and a little drawn Butter; when your Pie is enough, pour in, shake it together, scrape on Sugar, garnish it, and serve it up.
- 1661. William Rabisha. The Whole Body of Cookery, Dissected. London.

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

Now, about this pie……

Although sweet potato pie is much more of a mainstay in the South, but pies made from potatoes go back to the 17th century in England.

And not a marshmallow to be found.

  1. Boil the potatoes. Last winter, in the Hardcore Hearth Cooking Workshop, we boiled five pounds of sweet potatoes. Boil them whole so that they don’t get waterlogged. Drain, cool, and peel.
  2. Slice them as thick as tour thumb…I took this to mean in one inch slices – larger chunks versus smaller bits. There’s still some cooking to come, and you don’t want paste.
  3. Powder your spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sugar – sounds an awful lot like pumpkin pie spice……
  4. Put the spices and sugared potato slices in a pastry lined dish, like this:
  5. Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie - Debra Samuels  photo credit

    Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie – Debra Samuels photo credit

  6. If you have marrow from marrow bones, add it now. If you do not have marrow, do not panic – add some generous dollops of butter.
  7. Add raisins of the sun without there stones (thank you seedless grapes that make seedless raisin!); quartered dates – it’s 5 pounds of potatoes, be generous.
  8. Orangeo, cittern and eringo root are probably not on your shelf…leave them out – a little grated orange rind or candied orange peel would not be amiss. Add a little more butter on the top to melt down   on the whole thing, put on the top crust and cut a vent in the center.
  9. Bake. Start at 450 and turn the oven down to 375 after 10 or 15 minutes (you know your oven better then I do). The top should be golden brown and the insides should smell GLORIOUS….but wait, we’re not done yet….this is the part that puts it over the top
  10. When the pie pan is cool enough to lift, beat and egg yolk with some sack wine, sugar, a little vinegar and drawn butter . Pour this lear into the vent hole, and shake it up . Another word for this is to shog it – sprinkle some sugar on the top, and serve.

 

Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version...

Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version…

Sweet Potato Pie - music to cook by?

Sweet Potato Pie – music to cook by?

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Pie - Brand New Day

Sweet Potato Pie – Brand New Day

Muster day Dude Food

October 27th, 2013 by KM Wall

On Friday, certain housewives were preparing….

 

1672 – John Josslyn “Cran Berry or Bear Berry…a small trayling plant that grows in Salt Marshes, that are over-grown with moss;…the Berries …red, and as big as a Cherry; some perfectly round, others Oval, all of them hollow, of a sower astringent taste; they are ripe in August and September…They are excellent against the Scurvy…They are also good to allay the fervour of hot Diseases. The Indians and English use them much, boyling them with Sugar for Sauce to eat with their Meat; and it is a delicate Sauce, especially for roasted Mutton: Some make Tarts with them as with Goose Berries. (65-6)

Therefore

A Cheerrie Tart

Take the fairest Cherries you can get, and picke them cleane from leaves and stalkes; then spread out your coffin as for your Pippin-tart, (….then having rold out the coffin flat, and raysed up a small verdge of an inch, or more high...) and cover the bottome with Suger; then couer the Suger all over with Cherries, then cover those Cherries with Sugar, some sticks of Cinamon, and here and there a Cloue; then lay in more cherries, and so more Suger, Cinnamon and cloves, till the coffin be filled vp; then couvr it, and bake it in all points as the codling and pipping tart, and so serue it; and in the same manner you may make Tarts of Gooseberries, Strawberries, Rasberries, Bilberries, or any other Berrie whatsoever.

-         Markham, Gervase. Covntrey Contentments, or The English Huswife. London. 1623. p 106.

Cranberry tart

Cranberry tart

Cranberry tart, another

Cranberry tart, another

Cranberry tart, yet another

Cranberry tart, yet another

 

 

As well as beginning the roasting part of this…..

To make Fillets Gallentine

Take faire Pork, and take off the skin and roste it half ynough, then take it off the spit, and smite it in faire peeces, and caste it in a faire pot: then cut Onions, but not too small, and frie them in faire suet, and put them into the Porke, then take the broth of Beefe or Mutton, and put therto, and set them on the fyre, and put therto powder of Pepper, Saffron, Cloves and Mace, and let them boyle wel together.  Then take faire bread and Vinigar, & steep the bread with some of the same broth, straine it, and some bloud withall, or els Saunders, and colour it with that, and let all boyle together, then cast in a litle Saffron and salte, and then may you serve it in.-

Huswifes Handmaide.  f 43

Gallentine is a sauce made from sopped bread, spices and often blood.

Suet is fat, chiefly from beef, mutton

Saffron is an expensive (still!) spice that is warming and a distinctively yellow color.

Saunders was used to make things a red color.

Or, in other words:

Fillet galletine prep - the pork butt was half roasted and the skin removed; the onions are cut and ready to go

Fillet galletine prep, day 2  – the pork butt was half roasted and the skin removed; the onions are cut and ready to go

FILLETS GALLENTINE

chine of pork pepper

bread                    clove

onions                  mace

vinegar

Roast the chine until half done. Fry onions with a little pork fat.  Chop the pork into pieces and put in a pot with onions, some ground cloves, mace, pepper and salt. Put in enough water just to cover and bring all to a boil, cooking away much of the water.  Before serving, make the gallentine by take slices of bread and soaking them in vinegar with a little salt. Put in a pot or frying pan and add some of the cooking liquid to the bread and vinegar. Bring to a boil.  To serve place pork mixture in a bowl and pour over the gallentine..

 And then this morning…..

To Boyle a Rabbit with Hearbes on the French Fashion.

Fit your Rabbit for the boyling, and seeth it with a little Mutton broth, white Wine, and a peece of Mace: then take Lettuce, Spynage, Parsley, winter Savory, sweet Marioram : all these being pickt, and washt cleane, bruise them with the backe of a Ladle (for the bruising of the Herbes wil make the broth looke very pleasantly greene.) Thicken it with a crust of Manchet, being steeped in some of the broth, and a little sweet Butter therein. Seasono it with verges, and Pepper, and serve it to the Table upon Sippets. Garnish your Dish with Barberyes.

- Murrell, John. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. 1617. London: FW, p. 4.

Rabbit  boyled in the French Fashion

Rabbit boyled in the French Fashion

 

While someone else was….

To roast a Chine, Rib, Loin, Brisket, or Fillet of Beef.

Draw them with parsely, rosemary, tyme, sweet marjaoram, sage, winter savory, or lemon, or plain without any of them, fresh or salt, as you please; broach it, or spit it, roast it and baste it with butter; a good chine of beef will ask six hours roasting.

For the sauce take strait tops of rosemary, sage-leaves, picked parsley, tyme, and sweet marjoram; and strew them in wine vinegar, and the beef gravy; or otherways with gravy and juyce of oranges and lemons. Sometimes for change in saucers of vinegar and pepper.

-         May, Robert. The Accomplisht Cook. 1685 ed (Prospect Books), p. 113.

although it was porket ribs and not beef..

Roasting....

Roasting….

Ribs on spits

Ribs on spits

Mistress of the sauce for the roasting ribs

Mistress of the sauce for the roasting ribs

 

and yet another housewife was making….

 

The best Pancake.

To make the best Pancake, take two or three Egges, and breake them into a dish, and beate them well then adde unto them a pretty quantitie of faire running water, and beate all well together: then put in Cloves, Mace, Cinamon, and a Nutmeg, and season it with Salt: which done, make it thicke as you thinke good with fine Wheat flower: then frie the cakes as thin as may be with sweete Butter, or sweete Seame[1], and make them browne, and so serve them up with Sugar strowed upon them.  There be some which mix Pancakes with new Milke or Creame, but that makes them tough, cloying, and not so crispe, pleasant, and savorie as running water.

- 1618, Markham, Best ed. p. 66



[1] 1530    J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 269/1   Seme for to frye with, seyn de povrceau. 1691    J. Ray Coll. Eng. Words 131   Saime, which we pronounce sometimes Seame. It signifies not only Goose-grease, but in general any kind of Grease or Sewet or Oil, wherewith out Clothiers anoint‥their Wool.

 and then made pancakes even BETTER by….

To make Pancakes so crisp that you may set them upright.

Make a dozen or score of them in a little frying pan, no bigger then a Sawcer, & then boil them in Lard, and they will look as yellow as golde, beside the taste.

- 1615 Murrell, p. 30

There are no photos of the pancakes….but they were there, really!

A simple Salllet iof spinach (picked from Village Gardens!) also disappeared before it could be documented

A simple Salllet of spinach (picked from Village Gardens!) also disappeared before it could be documented

 

Wamblecropt!

Wamblecropt!

The Littlest Musketeer

The Littlest Musketeer

 

 

 

PIE-Anxiety!

October 24th, 2013 by KM Wall

Fashion has the September Issue, but Thanksgiving is all about the November Issues….the stories and angles that magazines think will sell/mark/brand the Thanksgiving holiday in any given year.

The marketing of today is the myth of tomorrow…..

Other then only the briefest mention of Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah is a pop-culture portmanteauneologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013 – wiki

Thanksgivokkah

The through line for 2013 seems to be:

PIE IS DIFFICULT.

PIE IS HARD.

PIE IS TRICKY.

Pi Pie

Pi Pie

And then they suggest all sorts of easy outs, like BUY PIE or make cake or have some one else bring it or…..

The real hangup, the sticking point, the detail that is the Devil, is the crust.

Butter v. Lard

Precise measure

Chilling.

Vodka even.

 

Don’t they know

Print

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pie is not difficult – pie is easy . Our Early Modern English Housewife made pies all the time.

Without measuring cups.

Without refrigerators.

Without dread or whining.

Often the crust preparation was referred to as ‘paste’. Paste is easy. Really.

So from now through Twelfth Night, Fridays are Pie Days  – each Friday a little lesson in making pie.

Except for this Friday, which is the feast of Crispin Crispinian, and I’ve been waiting all year to go once more into the breech, dear friends.

menurkey

 

In for a Penny (Loaf)….

October 16th, 2013 by KM Wall

….in for a pound.

In celebration of National B read Day, a smidgeon more on Maize, Indian corn and bread in New England before there were mills, corn bread being the most common sort of bread, maize being the most common sort of corn.

“It [maize] is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of Loblolly of it, to eat with Milk, which they call Sampe ; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the flower out of it; the remainder they call Homminey, which they put in a Pot of two or three Gallons, with Water, and boyl it upon a gentle Fire till it be like Hasty Pudden; they put of this into Milk, and so eat it. Their Bread also they make of the Homminey so boiled, and mix their Flower with it, cast it into a deep Bason in which they form the loaf, and then turn it out upon the Peel, and presently put it into the Oven before it spreads abroad; the Flower makes excellent Puddens.”

- Josslyn, John. New Englands rarities. 1672. Mass. Historical Society, 1972, p. 52.

And now with pictures….Kathy Devlin, Colonial Foodways Artisan, took these photos in the modern kitchen making the back-up bread.

It [maize] is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of Loblolly of it, to eat with Milk, which they call Sampe ; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the flower out of it; 

Maize

Maize – before it is beaten

and sift the flower out of it;

the remainder they call Homminey, which they put in a Pot of two or three Gallons, with Water, and boyl it upon a gentle Fire till it be like Hasty Pudden;

Ground corn, flour gone, in a pot with water, waiting to boil...

Ground corn, flour gone, in a pot with water, waiting to boil…

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Like Hasty Pudden

Like Hasty Pudden

 

Their Bread also they make of the Homminey so boiled, and mix their Flower with it,

Flour and cooked corn groats together - wait till it isn't hot enough to burn you....

Flour and cooked corn groats together – wait till it isn’t hot enough to burn you….

cast it into a deep Bason in which they form the loaf,

A  bowl - size bases on the the size of the oven and the size we'd like of the finished loaf....

A basin (or bowl) – size based on the the size of the oven and the size we’d like  the finished loaf….

Flour, cooked samp or homminey together in a bowl.....

Flour, cooked samp or homminey together in a bowl…..

and then turn it out upon the Peel,

Not exactly a peel, rather the silpat sheet it'll be baked on in the modern oven

Not exactly a peel, rather the silpat sheet it’ll be baked on in the modern oven

and presently put it into the Oven before it spreads abroad

Bread in the modern oven

Bread in the modern oven

The finished loaves

The finished loaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Bisket

October 11th, 2013 by KM Wall

All good things start at home, so let’s take a look at the international biskets of 17th century England, by looking at the one that is called

ENGLISH BISKET

btw, ‘BISKET” is by far and by large the most common spelling of the biscuit in the 17th century. In England. Results may vary by country.

 

 

To make English Bisket.

Take eight new layd egges, taking away the whites of foure of them, beate the eight yoalks and the other foure whites in a faire bowle the fourth parte of an houre, then take a pound of fine flower being dryed in an earthen pot closed covered : then take eight ounces of hard sugar beaten fine, and beat them into your egges with the end of a rowling pin, and beat it so very hard for the space of an houre, but by no meanes let it stand still, always beating it, then haue an Ouen as hot as for manchet ready cleane, hauing some saucers of flate plates, or little tine Coffins buttered over with a feather as thinne as you can strike it over, then put into yoru forsaid paste Coliander-seed, sweet Fennel seede, and Caroway seed, of each the fourth part of an ounce, when you have beaten these into your paste, put it into your saucers, and set them presently into the Ouen, and when you see it rise vp and look white, you may take down your lid, and in a quarter of an houre they will be made, then box it vp and keep it all the yeare.

1621. John Murrell. The Delightful daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen. Falconwood Press: 1990. p. 3.

A whole lot of beating going on - these need to be light and frothy. If only they had a Kitchen-Aid.

A whole lot of beating going on – these need to be light and frothy. If only they had a Kitchen-Aid.

Coriander seed - we call the leafy part cilantro or even Chinese parsley

Coriander seed – we call the leafy part cilantro or even Chinese parsley

 

 

Fennel seed - all together this is going to have a very liquorice taste

Fennel seed – all together this is going to have a very liquorice taste

 

Our old friend caraway, up close,. You might remember him as Kimmel....

Our old friend caraway, up close. You might remember him as Kimmel….

Bisket International

October 10th, 2013 by KM Wall

I’ve been spending Saturdays on Mayflower II, so I’ve been spending time talking about – and thinking about – sea biscuit….

Seabiscuit winning at Santa Anita, 1940

Seabiscuit winning at Santa Anita, 1940

No, no THAT Seabiscuit, but the hard-tacky biscuit also known as ship’s biscuit (although not to our 1620-ish selves)

Oldest ship biscuit in Kronborg museum

Oldest ship biscuit in  a Kronborg museum

What’s interesting about biscuit…..well, there’s more then ONE thing interesting about the topic of BISCUIT - is that the one that is eaten at sea is generally called only Bisket, with no qualifiers, in the early modern period, which is a huge difference from later, while every other sort of biscuit has a descriptor, even if it’s not very descriptive.

John Murrell, for instance, has recipes for

English Bisket

French Biskets

To make Italian Bisket

To make Naples Bisket

A short time out, for even Wikipedia feels a need to describe the difference between American biscuit and English biscuits.

Biscuits - American V. British

Biscuits – American V. British

 

In case you missed the distinction….

American Biscuit

American Biscuit

Garibaldi biscuit, which is a British biscuit, despite it's Italian sounding name

Garibaldi biscuit, which is a British biscuit, despite it’s Italian sounding name

and then there’s

Biscotti, or modern day Italian biscuits

Biscotti, or modern day Italian biscuits

American Beaten biscuits

American Beaten biscuits, which are rather like….

Hardtack.

Hardtack. Not to be confused with….

 

Dog biscuits.In France, Charles Estienne wrote in 1598: "Take no notice of bran bread,... it is better to leave it for the hunting, or shepherd, or watch dogs."

Dog biscuits. In France, Charles Estienne wrote in 1598: “Take no notice of bran bread,… it is better to leave it for the hunting, or shepherd, or watch dogs.”

 

Confused yet?

But Wait! There’s More!

I really wish I had a set of  amazing Ginsu knives as a bonus for every reader……you’ve earned them!

Tomorrow – recipes and comparisons. Only the early modern bisket (which spellchecker keeps wanting to correct as ‘brisket’ . Or ‘basket’. Like they’re interchangeable. The same spellchecker  that keeps letting me write English as Englsih …..)

Biscuit rose de Reims...how much like French bisket are these???

Biscuit rose de Reims…how much like French bisket are these???

 

 

Biscuits and gravy - the modern (and American) version of sops.....

Biscuits and gravy – the modern (and American) version of sops…..

To make French Bread, English style

October 3rd, 2013 by KM Wall
Evelyn's motto written in a book he bought in Paris in 1651. Keep what is better

Evelyn’s motto written in a book he bought in Paris in 1651. Keep what is better

343. To make french Bread.

Take a gallon of flowr take 3 whites of Eggs beat them well and mix them with a pint of good Ale yest, take some new milke and a litle water set it over the fire put in a qr of a pound of butter make it hott enough to melt it, mix it with the Eggs and yest, then mix up the bread as slight as for a cake let it rise a qr of an houre lay the loaves upon flowred paper what bignesse you please the oven must be well heat an hour bakes them.”

- Driver, Christopher, ed. John Evelyn, Cook. Prospect Books: Devon, 1981. p. 177.

Egg white and milk to enrich, and melted butter, and on paper instead of in dishes like the other French bread in Evelyn’s notebooks

 

John Evelyn - 1651 - engraving by Robert Nanteuil

John Evelyn – 1651 – engraving by Robert Nanteuil

TO MAKE FRENCH BREAD

Take a gallon of flowre & put to it a little salt, a pinte of ale yeast, a quart of new milke heated, but not too hot. poure these inot ye flowre, & mix them with one hand, you must not knead it at all. yn heat a woolen cloth & pour your paste on it, flower ye cloth, & lap it up. yn make it into a dosin of loves & set ym on a peele, flowred, & lay a warm wollen cloth on ym. yr oven must be allmoste hot when you mix the bread. heat yr oven pritty hot, & chip yr bread when it comes out.”    – Karen Hess, ed. Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery. p. 113. (later 17th century)

Pavillon_royal_de_la_France

 

 

Just another Manchet Monday

September 16th, 2013 by KM Wall

Manchets are regulated by the Books of Assizes, which means the price is set, but the size varies according to the price of wheat.That is, when they are made and sold by members of the Baker’s Guild in bake shops.

But manchets are also are being made in individual households. Some of the recipes for manchets are attributed to specific ladies. So there is a range of what manchet can mean when it’s made  outside of the Bakers Shops.

The making of manchets after my Ladie Graies use.
Take two peckes of fine flower, which must be twise boulted, if you wil haue your manchet verie faire: The lay it in a place where you doe use to lay dowe for your bread, and make a litle hole in it, and take a quart of faire water blood warme, and put in that water as much leaven as a crab, or a pretie big apple, and as much white salt as will fill an Egshell, and all to breake your leuen in the water, and put into your flower halfe a pinte of good Ale yest, and so stir this liquor among a litle of your flower, so that you must make it but thin at the first meeting, and then cover it with flower, and if it be in the winter, ye must keepe it verie warm, and iin summer it shall not need so much heate, for in the Winter it will not rise without warmeth. Thus let it lie two howers and a halfe: then at the second opening take more liquor as ye thinke will serue to wet al the flower. Then put in a pinte and a halfe of good yest, and so all to breake it in short pieces, after yee have well laboured it, and wrought it fiue or sixe tymes, so that yee bee sure it is throughlie mingled together, so continue labouring it, till it come to a smooth paste, and be well ware at the second opening that yee put not in too much liquor sodenlie, for then it will run, and if ye take a litle it will be stiffe, and after the second working it must lie a good quarter of hower, and keep it warme: then take it up to the moulding board, and with as much speede as is possible to be made, mould it up, and set it into the Oven, of one pecke of flower ye may make ten caste of Manchets faire and good.”
- 1594. The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kichin. London fasc ed. pp. 51-2.

 

NOTES:

  • Great details in this version, especially of measurements
  • Two pecks is half a bushel – this is still making quite a bit of bread
  • Twice bolting – or sifting – would make the flour fair because more of the darker germ and husk would have been removed. The whiter the flour, the fairer the bread.
  • dowe = dough
  • leaven as much as a crab – which I believe in this case is a crab apple, because apple are the next measure.
  • European crabapples

    European crabapples

  • as much salt as will fill an egg shell – that’s still fairly salt-free compared to modern breads
  • Eggshell

    Eggshell

  • Notice that the leaven seems to be something somewhat solid (perhaps a piece of sourdough) and there is also ale-yeast,which has a liquid measure
  • The section about keeping it covered in Winter so it will rise make this sound like a 17th century ‘quick’ bread – you want a fast rising, no long slow rise – and therefore a very different flavour profile.
  • More yeast, and lots of kneading. This is going to make a firm crumb – none of this big, irregular holes of the modern artisan  – this is bread that has been touched – a lot – by human hands.
  • Biscuit brake

    Biscuit brake -another tool to help really,really knead your bread. Or you can have your apprentices tread the dough with their bare feet….

  • The moulding board is not a nasty, mildewy place, but rather where the loaves are moulded -or shaped . Lady Graie is have you go tout suit on this; no second rising, get them into shape and pop them into the oven.
  • I’m still unclear how the math works out for year. If one peck of flour  makes 10 caste of Manchets fair and good, the two pecks here should make 20 caste, so how many loaves in a caste?
  • More mysteries…
This is definitely a white bread...but is it a manchet - or whatever the Dutch equivalent would be

This is definitely a white bread…but is it a manchet ? – or whatever the Dutch equivalent would be – noticed how the loaf kissed the one beside it in the oven

 

Breads, or, Let Them Eat Cake

September 13th, 2013 by KM Wall

Bread. Seems simple enough. It’s bread. Everyone knows what it is, even when everyone knows something different.

For many now, bread is a wonder….or I should hope wonderful

Wonder Bread

Wonder Bread

A 17th century Englishman would have a hard time finding the bread in that package. There is some current bread that would seem more familiar to him:

220px-Pain_Poîlane-_Paris_15e

Pain Poilane – fancy French bread, now called artisan, in the 17th century called household, or daily, bread. Or just bread.

But according to the cookbooks there are whole categories of items that we no longer consider bread, that were, in no uncertain terms, called bread then.

 

Breads.

49 – To make red Ginger-bread, commonly called Leach-lumbar.
50 – To make white Ginger-bread.
51 – To make Italian Bisket.
52 – To make an excellent Bread called Ginetoes.
53 – To make Prince Bisket.
54 – To make French Macaroons.
55 – To make Naples Bisket.
56 – To make shell bread.
57 – To make Countesse cakes.
58 – To make fine Sugar cake.

1617. John Murrell. A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewoman. Falconwood Press: 1990. table of contents.

Breads.

1 – To make French Mackroones of the best fashion.

2 – To make greene Mackroones.
3 – To make letters and knots in Almonds.
4 – To make Shrewsbery Cakes.
5 – To make English Bisket.
6 – To make Iambles.
7 – To make french Biskets,
8 – To make Bread called Italian crust.
9 – To make puff depine.
10 – To make Cracknels.

1621. John Murrell. A delightful daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen. Falconwood Press: 1990. table of contents

Gingerbread??? Interesting addition to the bread world…..the red gingerbread calls for a mold.

Gingerbread mold from the Stuart era

Gingerbread mold from the Stuart era

French Macaroons, the best fashion of  French Mackroones and greene Mackroones…..all breads?

Macaron, French and green

Macaron, French and green – we still make them that way!

At least shell bread is a bread….or is it?

To make shell bread.

Beate a quarter of a pound of double refined Sugar, cearse it with two or three spoonefulls of the finest, the youlkes of three new laid egs, and the white of one, beate all this together in with two or three spoonefulls of sweete creame, a graine of muske, a thimble full of the powder of a dried Lemond, and a little Annise-seede beaten and cearsed, and a little Rose-water, then baste Muskle-shells with sweete butter, as thinne as you can lay it on with a feather, fill your shells with the batter and lay them on a gridiron or a lattise of wickers into the ouen, and bake them, and take them out of the shells, and ise them with Rose-water & Sugar. It is a delicate bread, some call it the Italian Mushle, if you keepe them any long time, then alwaies in wet weather put them in your ouen.

1617. John Murrell. A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewoman. Falconwood Press: 1990.

So this is bread MADE in shells – well, who ever heard of such a thing?

Is this recipe only a Remembrance of Things Past?

Madeleines de Commercy

Madeleines de Commercy – looks like shell bread to me.

 

Fine Manchet

September 9th, 2013 by KM Wall

The making of fine Manchet.

Take halfe a bushell of fine flower twise boulted, and a gallon of faire luke warm water, almost a handful of white salt, and almost a pinte of yest, then temper all these together, without any more liquor, as hard as ye can handle it: then let it lie halfe an hower, then take it up, and make your Manchetts, and let them stand almost an hower in the oven. memorandum, that of every bushell of meale may be made fiue and twentie caste of bread, and euerie loafe to way a pounde besyde the chessill,

-  1594. The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kichin. London fasc ed. pp. 51-2.

NOTES:

  • half a bushel is a lot of flour…it’s 2 pecks or 32 pounds. Feel free to scale down….there are other manchets, in smaller quantites coming if you want to wait a bit.
  • twise bolted means well sifted – twice sifted, once through a courser sieve, and then again through a finer cloth. Fine flour.
  • A gallon of water (it IS a halfe a bushell) a handful of salt – which is very undersalted to current tastes
  • almost a pint of yeast – I’m pretty sure that this is a liquid measure, and that the yeast is the the yeasty liquidy froth that  comes from brewing – or it couls be the liquidy glop the sits on the bottom. If you don’t have a brew-house near your bakehouse, adding baker’s yeast to beer  -  will give you a reasonable effect.
  • As hard as you can handle it means to knead, knead, KNEAD and then knead a little more. A serious 1/2 hour of kneading. No skimping on this step. It make all the difference.
  • Let rise in a warm place (if you HAD a bakehouse, you’d be starting the fire in the oven). Shape them into one pound loaves and bake. I’d use a 375° or 400° oven to star, and then drop it to 350 to finish them. A one pound loaf should take about an hour.Your nose will tell you when it’s done. Trust your nose (or teach it)
  • The ole fake falling oven trick. It mimics the way a woodfired oven works AND it gives you great first contact ovenspring and lets the loaves bake through without burning.

 

Gabriel Metsu - the Baker These aren't manchets. but he isn't English....

Gabriel Metsu – the Baker
These aren’t manchets. but he isn’t English….

 

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