My quest for the perfect homemade loaf continues. I've enjoyed browsing my granny's old recipe books on the search. Some handy hints and quotes therein have made me smile:
To A New Husband
Remember this my darling
I fully realize
You loved your mother's cooking
Her Christmas cakes and pies
But when comparing efforts
Restrain your family pride
You did not have to eat the flops
She cooked when just a bride.
Husband, you reading this? Not hard to tell the book was published in the '70s. There were other hints from a 1908 cookbook that sounded downright dangerous: "For a cold in the head sniff powdered borax up the nose" (Yikes!) and interesting: "Do not approach contagious diseases with an empty stomach, nor sit between the sick and the fire, because the heat attracts the vapor". Food for thought.
In the meantime, I think I've found a winner.
Five Grain Health Bread
submitted to the Hillmond and District Cookbook (1976) by Tillie Hoegl
1 package granular yeast
1/2 cup honey
3 cups lukewarm water
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 cup skim milk powder
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
plus 3 cups more all-purpose flour to make a firm dough.
In a very large bowl soak yeast, honey and shortening in the warm water for 10-15 mins while measuring remaining ingredients. Add to yeast mixture in order given: wheat and rye flours, cornmeal, oats, salt, white flour, skim milk powder. Stir 50 times. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 2 hours).
Sprinkle kneading board with 1 1/2 cups of the remaining white flour, punch down dough and turn dough onto surface. Knead flour into dough--before you are done you will have added remaining white flour to make a dough firm enough to handle. Now knead it 250 times, calling in your helpers to knead. Shape into a 2 foot roll, cut in half and shape into two loaves and place in well buttered loaf pans. Let rise about 1" above rim of pans. Bake at approximately 400F for 20 mins, then reduce to 350F and bake about 40 minutes longer, until crust is dark gold and crisp.
When I rewrote the recipe to share here I realized that I left out the salt altogether, did not add white flour to initial mixture ( instead kneading all of it in after it rose). I baked it for 20 minutes at 400F but only left it in for 15 at 350F. It was quite dark and sounded hollow when tapped. Looks like it turned out, either way, and we are off now to sample with butter and jam.
Do you have any recipe books that were handed down?