Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Salt Rising Bread

Ever since I was a child, my dad and his mother used to talk with fond memories of salt-rising bread. It is rare to ever see it in stores or bakeries now. It is truly a country-cooking food from early American days- probably before yeast was available. This is a type of sourdough bread. Looking to try something new? Give this one a try.


2 1/2 cups potatoes, sliced
2 Tbsp corn meal
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 quart boiling water
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbsp shortening, melted (I use palm shortening or coconut/olive oil)
11 cups flour

Sprinkle 1 Tbsp salt and the cornmeal over the potatoes in a glass jar. Add boiling water and stir until salt has dissolved.  Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm from noon until the following morning- crock pot works well on warm or placed on a radiator with a towel over it. Then drain off the liquid into a large glass bowl. Add to it the soda, 1 1/2 tsp sugar and 5 cups flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well blended; this sponge should be the consistency of a cake batter. Set mixture in a warm place and let rise until light and full of bubbles. This requires about 1 1/2 hours.  Scald milk and cool to lukewarm; add shortening/oil. Add milk and remaining flour to sponge.  Knead for 10-12 minutes and shape into loaves.  Makes 3 medium loaves. Let rise until light, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Delicious  toasted for breakfast.

*Recipe adapted from Maggie Driver and Mrs. G. H. Brunk in Mennonite Community Cookbook 1978.

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