I am interested in the surfaces of breads. When we think back on the history of bread, how often is surface decoration part of one’s vision? I bought this stencil at a stationary store. This is an experiment I made when writing an article for Mother Earth News about stencilling breads. Shouldn’t we imagine stencilled … Continue reading Stencil on Bread
Those who inabit the Mountains of Calabria, which are ver'd with Snow almost the whole Year, toast their Bread, as also t heir Bacon, which they press between two hot Toasts, in order to make the Bread imbibe the Fat expres'd from the Bacon; and they enjoy good Healh by Means of this Nourishment, which … Continue reading Bacon Sandwich, circa 1747
Fleischmann's Yeast Advertisement circa 1912 When The American yeast company, Fleischmann's, had a pictorial logo in the first decades of the twentieth-century, they made it male. From the Neolithic and up until very recently, women were responsible for most of the process of producing bread. With the limited exception of baking bread in commercial operations … Continue reading Male Bias in the History of Bread: Logo for Fleischmann’s Yeast
An Imagined Early Bread Natufian & Pre Pottery Neolithic The first breads were made by Natufian hunter gatherers around 14,000 years ago. Naatufians are the people in southwest Asia that we know for sure first utilized bread grains for bread. We know this because we have proof in the form of archeological remains. Natufians, and … Continue reading Recipes for Bread History Seminar #14, Domestication of the Bread Grains
Tony Shahan, historian of milling, and director of the Newlin Grist Mill, suggests we make a maslin bread -- a bread of mixed wheat and rye OR a bread that somehow reflects the trade in export flour between North American and the United Kingdom in the later decades of the 18th century. The first cookbook … Continue reading Maslin Bread for August 20, 2020 Seminar
We are back again this Thursday with an exciting Seminar/Workahop. As always, you need to register with EventBrite for this Zoom meeting. In terms of time zones, this Seminar/Workshop works for people from the California and South American Pacificas Coast through to India, where the Seminar starts at 9:30 pm in Bangalore. For easy reference, … Continue reading Thursday Bread History Seminar/Workshop #10 July 16, 2020, 9am Pacific: Sourdough
Zadock Steele was captured by Mohawk Indians allied with the British in a raid in Vermont in 1780. It was called the Royalton raid. Zadock was transferred to British custody and eventually escapes. Starving, he and a companion are taken in by a "poor widow". In this short scene he describes over eating what she … Continue reading Zadock Steele, starving, eats too much bread.
I've been reading the bread section from The Thrift Book: A Cyclopaedia of Cottage Management, a British book published in the 1880s. It is interesting for being written during a transitional period in home baking when bakers were shifting to tinned breads. The recipe for a cake couldn't be more different from modern bread and cake recipes … Continue reading Making Cake from Bread Dough circa 1880
Today, as part of my work on the glossary section of the history of bread I’m writing for UC Press, I have been researching the British Northern dialect term knodden cake, and its Standard English parallel, kneaded cake. I’m still working on the words and can today only say that I think they were enriched … Continue reading Spit Roast Bread — The Kneaded Loaf of 1823
There is one of the earliest bread recipes written in English and this is its first publication.
The recipe is found in a manuscript book mostly written by Sir Hugh Plat but as Malcom Thick points out in his book, Sir Hugh Plat: The Search for Useful Knowledge in Early Modern London, many of the food recipes, including this one, were written by an unknown author with the initials TT. Malcolm Thick believes that this recipe probably dates to the 1550s or 1560s. I am preparing these early manuscript bread recipes for publication. If you would like to be notified when this book will be available for publication please sign up for my mailing list.