Merry Meet! 15th Century Bread for Your Holiday Table

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Pan de Mayne 1

HANDS-ON OLD WORLD BAKING: WILDOMAR, CA

November 2,  1-4pm – $20

Anita Burns: 32939 Greenwood Dr. Wildomar, CA

Do something extra special for. your holiday table and make Pan de Mayne bread. It’s sweet, soft, luscious texture has a hint of rosewater, almond, and coriander. Just the fragrance alone can send you into heaven.

White bread new and exciting in the 14th century. Only the nobility could afford it. The peasantry Ate a dark, dense, chewy loaf that was coarse enough to grind down molars. The gentry dined on, rich, sumptuous bread made with white flour, spices, and sweetness. White bread was available for others, but it lacked the artistry and elegance of that made in the manors.

This was the bread of nobility and originally unique to York, England as a gift for Richard the III on his visit to that city in 1482. After 1595, the mayor of York ordered bakers to make this bread every Friday morning.

It has been a tradition in York since then to bury a loaf of this bread to increase abundance and prosperity. It is still a ritual in Kenilworth Castle’s Medieval village.

Not only will we make this bread, we will munch on it and enjoy a special tea and jam to go with it. So live, love, and laugh, and celebrate Old England. Impress everyone with your special treat of a bread that goes back 700 years!

You will have small loaves to take home and enjoy. You will also receive a free copy of the recipe.

Merry Meet!
To prepay: 951 738 8802 or go to

MERRY MEET! 15TH CENTURY BREAD FOR YOU HOLIDAY TABLE

Saturday, Nov 2, 2019, 1:00 PM

Anita and Allen’s home
32939 Greenwood Drive Wildomar, CA

2 Members Attending

November2 – 1-4pm $20 Do something extra special for. your holiday table and make Pan de Mayne bread. It’s sweet, soft, luscious texture has a hint of rosewater, almond, and coriander. Just the fragrance alone can send you into heaven. White bread new and exciting in the 14th century. Only the nobility could afford it. The peasantry Ate a dark, den…

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Time Travel with Bread

 

Weissbrot Mit Kummel 6 inch

In those days, the good bread was white. White flour was difficult to make, so of course, only the rich could afford it. But what amazing bread it was. I’ve made several loaves now and have formed a new appreciation for the chefs of old.

The bread I just made—Weissbrot Mit Kummel—is white bread with caraway seeds. The traditional 15th century way to make it is beyond bizarre with soaking a dense ball of dough in warm water to hydrate it. It’s messy and difficult too master. I experimented and found a more fool-proof way to achieve the same results.

It is soft and tender with a subtle taste of caraway. I thought the crust would be tough, but it is not.

Enjoy and let me know how it turns out for you?

Medieval_peasant_meal

WEISSBROT MIT KUMMEL

INGREDIENTS

4-5 Cups Unbleached bread flour

1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Tablespoon Caraway seeds

2 Tablespoons Dry yeast, or use rapid rise/instant yeast

3 Tablespoons Honey or sugar

1/2 Cup Milk, warmed to 115° F

2 Large Eggs, room temperature (the fresher the better)

1/2 Cup Unsalted butter

1 1/2-2 Cups Water, warmed to 110° to 115° F

 

METHOD

  1. In a large, heavy-duty mixer, add 2 cups of the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and mix to blend.
  2. Add the milk, honey (if using instead of sugar).
  3. Add half the water.
  4. Add eggs.
  5. Mix until a batter forms.
  6. Add enough flour to make a soft but cohesive dough.
  7. Add more water if the dough is too stiff. More flour if dough is too liquid.
  8. Add the caraway seeds. Mix.
  9. Cover mixer bowl and let the dough stand for about 30 minutes. It should puff up a lot.
  10. Stir down and add more flour until a kneadable dough forms.
  11. Remove from the mixer and knead until the dough is springy and stretchy.
  12. Let rise in a towel-covered, buttered bowl until doubled in size.
  13. Knead a few times to release any gas pockets.
  14. Shape into one or two round or baton-shaped loaves and place on a parchment-covered baking sheet or pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal.
  15. Spritz with water and lightly cover with a towel.
  16. Let rise until nearly doubled in size. A shallow, finger-indent should slowly fill back in.
  17. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375° F. NOTE: You can also cook this in a clay baker or enameled Dutch oven. If you do this, you do not need to spritz with water.
  18. Slice along the top or not.
  19. Bake for 60 minutes, spritzing with water twice during that time.
  20. Internal temperature should be 200° to 204° F when done. The loaf (loaves) will be large and golden brown.
  21. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

No Boogers in the Wine. Table Manners in Medieval and Renaissance Times.

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1569 Pieter_Aertsen_-_Market_Scene_-_Google_Art_Project

It is a common misconception that people in the Late Medieval and Early Renaissance meals were hedonistic, violent, and with no sense of cleanliness or manners.

In truth, etiquette guidelines were complex and exacting. These rules, however, varied from country to country. In England, meals remained fairly bawdy even when the rest of Europe was seriously reigning in the ribaldry.

For example, an Italian guest at the royal table reported that Henry VIII would thrust “gobbits” of food into one cheek then the next. But In the rest of Europe, more refined manners had been adopted by the time Henry VIII reigned in England.

The authority on etiquette was mainly guided by Giovanni della Casa’s book, Galateo: Oero de ‘costume, (The Rules of Polite Behavior). It included how to dress well, develop witty conversation, and how to behave at table.

In his book, he admonished:

  • It is not polite, while at the table, to scratch your head or somewhere else. A man should also, as much as possible, avoid spitting, but if he must, he should do it discreetly.

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Handy Dandy Tips, Tricks, and Quick Reference THE CHEF’S SECRET – RATIOS

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baking

When I cook, it seems I’m always looking up things like converting cups to grams or ounces, a simple brine for poultry, ratios for baking, bread dough conditioners, internal temps for baked goods, conversions for not-sugar sweeteners, or how to cook with gluten-free flours, etc.

If only I had that information in one file that I could print out and plaster to my refrigerator door or put in a sheet-protected notebook.. Hmmm. I’m so brilliant sometimes, I scare myself. Maybe others, too but not for the brilliant part.

Let’s start with… RATIOS

scale antique

scale

Baking is science and alchemy all rolled into one. But, the amazing thing about baking is that there are simple formulas to help you bake without a recipe.

Recipes are relative. Weather, humidity, air temperature, measuring methods, oven temperature quirks, bakeware materials, how old your ingredients are, different techniques for mixing and combining ingredients, elevation, and more can all affect how your cake, brownies, bread, cookies, pie, and such will turn out.

The FAB four – Not the Beetles

Any baked good has a foundation. Almost all baked goods consist of varying amounts of:

  • Flour
  • Liquid
  • Eggs, Fat

 

For those of you who like Memes, think, FLEB.

There is often also salt, yeast, and sweetener

You also need to know how to combine the ingredients and the finer points of baking, such as kneading, cutting butter into flour for pie crust, oven temperature, rolling out dough, doneness temperature, and such. But if you know your ingredient ratio half or more of the battle for baking amazing goodies is done.

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GMO—Good, Bad, Ugly or Harmless and No Big Deal?

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In my never-to-be-humble opinion, most people are prone to knee-jerk reactions and will believe and repeat, reblog, repost, Tweet, and share nearly anything without fact-checking. A good example of this is the ridiculous but staunch belief by some that jet-airplane contrails are actually “chemtrails”— a government plot to make people stupid. My reply is that most of the people in government are already too stupid to devise such a plot (sic).

Genetically Modified Organisms, (GMOs) is a huge controversy. People rant and rave about them without knowing the facts.

There may be no harm to the actual food. (scientificamerican.com/article/why-people-oppose-gmos-even-though-science-says-they-are-safe). Research has shown that many GMO practices are harmless and don’t change the nutritional value at all. We’ve been genetically modifying our food since ancient times but without the help of modern science.

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38 Uses for Vodka!

The Healthy Hybrid - A Life in Transition

vodka

Neither my husband nor myself drink alcohol. We’ve nothing against it; it just hasn’t found a place in our lives.  We do, however, keep a ginormous bottle of vodka that gets used pretty liberally.  The stuff is as awesome as baking soda or castile soap!

For instance, the other day I noticed that one of my locs (dreadlocks) had some build up.  Locs tend to hold onto EVERYTHING and while I have locs to avoid having to do much with my hair, I don’t actually want to LOOK like I don’t do anything with my hair.  It was time to bring out the big guns.  I did my usual apple cider vinegar and baking soda wash and after rinsing that out, I mixed vodka and castile soap and washed with that.  It always does the trick!  My hair is super duper clean, soft and as shiny as my hair gets.  🙂

Hair…

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Curry Pickles to Die For

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curry-pickles-2013 Adapted from: All About Pickling – Ortho Books, 1975

These are my all-time favorite pickle. If you like mild curry flavor you will love these.

Stage 1

4 pounds small to medium-size cucumbers (about 11-12)

2 gallons water

½ cup pickling lime

Fill a plastic tub with the cool water (tap is fine at this stage).

Add ½ cup *pickling lime (available on the Internet or in stores that carry canning and pickling supplies.) It doesn’t dissolve, so you will need to stir it up with a wooden (or metal) spoon. Continue reading

Chocolate cupcakes without sugar and flour

This sounds amazing. I’m going to make these and try some variations. I’ll post the results.

Cooking Without Limits

Yeah!! Finally I found a recipe for my boy for cupcakes without flour and sugar. They called it Paleo recipe, I call it a very healthy and with a great taste recipe for cupcakes.

I added a chocolate frosting without sugar and I got an amazing dessert for our family.

GAB_6913_res_mix Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

With white sugar being added in almost everything these days, I want to try to eat white sugar as less as possible. So, trying healthy recipes is one of the steps I do to cut white sugar from our daily meals.

GAB_6936_res_mix Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

Ingredients cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup coconut powder or flakes
  • 1/2 cup carob or cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 juice from 1 lemon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (375 degrees F). Line  a cupcake pan cups with paper liners.

Mix all the…

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Mini Chocolate Muffin Yum

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buona mangiata
Mini Chocolate Muffins

chololate cupcake

Adapted From: Allrecipes.com, a recipe by LONESTAR1

These are moist and delicious. They are versatile and can be adapted to dozens of flavor and texture variations. Mini muffins are two-bite delights.

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I Told you Thag. Too Much Fire Under Bread. Sheesh!

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Extract from The Dough Also Rises–How to Make Great Bread, Anita Burns

breadWow! I am stunned when I think about how long bread has been a staple in the human diet. It’s even mentioned in the Bible. In my twisted mind, I pictured one of the Old Testament prophets trekking to the marketplace and handing out a few sheckels for a nice white loaf so light it could float. What a miracle. What a “wonder.” NOT!

Bread then was flat, dense, gritty, and hard to chew without soaking it in liquid.
As humans, we love our bread. Always have. People have been making flour for at least 30,000 years. Bread making goes back at least 5,000 years, but it was nothing like what we call bread today—that baby is a modern invention.

If you were sitting around the fire in Neolithic times (stone axes, spear points, and such), you would be munching on hard, grainy, dense, flat bread. Most likely it would also be burnt on the outside. Regulating the temperature on a communal fire pit wasn’t easy.

Neolithic Bread“I told  you, Thag, not so much fire! I’m making bread. Just need hot stones. What’s the matter with you, dung-head?”

The oldest bread that we can really call bread was found in Oxfordshire, UK and dated to around 5,500 years ago. The two “loaves” look like lumps of coal. It was analyzed at the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit in New Zealand, then Dr. Mark Robinson from Oxford University looked at them through a microscope. Imagine his surprise. “Holy yeast farts, Batman. This was BREAD!” Maybe that’s not what he really said, but I would have.

And so it went for centuries. Even though ovens date back to around 29,000 BCE, they were really built to roast mammoth, not bake bread. In pre-dynastic Egypt, home oven pits were used, but they were not made for baking bread and were cumbersome to operate.

Greek Bread OvenIt was the clever Greeks who invented a free-standing, front-loading bread oven. It was a hit, and everyone along the trade route had to have one. It was the latest high-tech fad and a must-have for the up and coming in-the-know couple.
Imagine the sales pitch:
“Ladies, picture yourself with the latest in homemaking convenience—the Klibanos 4000!”

“Have more time for your family, visiting with friends, or just plain relaxing. The Klibanos 4000 is portable. Place it anywhere in your home or take it with you when you travel. Front loading, light weight, and easy to clean.”

“Your bread will be the envy of the neighborhood. Shipped directly to you from the capital of innovation—Santorini. Order now before they run out and you have to hang your head in shame.”

But, even with the convenience of a portable, front-loading bread oven, the end product was pretty hard and chewy. Yeast-leavened bread was still the dream of sorcerers. Any leavening that entered bread dough came from vagabond yeasts riding the wild winds. They dropped down into sticky dough and became trapped like dinosaurs in tar.

“Hmmm! Look at this, Aristophanes. Why is my bread puffing up? Have a bite.”
“Whoa! Holy Zeus, this is good. How did you do this?”

The baker then spent a lifetime trying to figure out why sometimes the dough puffed up and other times it just laid there like a lazy donkey.

egyptianangelMost likely it was the Egyptians (of course, wasn’t it always the Egyptians) who figured out about leavened bread. Maybe they ran out of water for their dough and were too lazy to trek down to the well to get more. Looking around, someone said, “Hey, use beer. They’ll never know the difference.” Voila! It rose up and the magic was born.
Even with leavening, the bread would have been heavy and dense. Why? Because the flour we use today is NOTHING like ancient flours. Depending on geography, they used barley, millet, spelt, kamut, emmerkorn, or rye. These have gluten, (essential for a light, stretchy loaf) but very little.

In Egypt, thanks to their obsession with preserving everything, there are hundreds of bread loaves to examine. Most looked like large pizzas without the toppings. Some were round, but still pretty flat. They, too, used a variety of grains, but a common grain was Emmer. This takes some doing when processing it into flour because its thick chaff has to be removed.

To process it, the Egyptians sprinkled the grain with water, then pounded it with a wooden pestle in a limestone mortar. Then it was dried in the hot sun. Next, the grain was winnowed to let the chaff fly off into the air and the grain sink back to the ground. After that, there was sieving to remove any leftover flakes of bran, chaff, and stone from the pestle. The sieves were made of rushes and not very efficient, so, as a last step, it was picked over by hand. Finally, the grain was milled into flour using a flat grinding stone. Phew!

Even with all this, some chaff, stone grit, and bran remained, so the Egyptians just got used to having stuff stuck between their teeth.

There’s an ancient Egyptian bread recipe included in my book, The Dough Also Rises. It is based on one found in an ancient tomb, minus the grit and stones.

So fast forward to this century. What a difference! Is there anything better, more sensual, and more addicting than the aroma of fresh bread baking? Don’t answer that. You gotta admit, though, that this is one helluva great smell. It’s so good that some bakeries install a fresh bread fragrance atomizer in their shops and pump the fragrance outside to attract customers.

This fragrance speaks to our ancestral pleasure centers. It is so powerful that some real estate agents spray an artificial fresh bread aroma in the houses they are trying to sell or in model homes.

My book, The Dough Also Rises–How to Make Great Bread is available in Ebook from Metastudies.com, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

Good Eating!

Do you make bread? I’d love to hear about it.