Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Most Boring Picture Ever, but the Bread is Good

Perhaps I should have found something more colorful for my first post. Some berries, or tomatoes, or, if that's too crazy, maybe something with two shades of brown. Instead, it's this: brown bread, with a hint of sweetness and two types of whole grains.

“Cooking with Wholegrains,” a cookbook by Mildred Ellen Orton published in 1951, contains a brief history of whole grains by Vrest Orton. The Ortons operated a grain mill in Vermont, and Mr. Orton notes that prior to 1850 all cookbooks were whole grain cookbooks. The discussion of enriched flour, large companies, and human preference for food that isn’t good for them, is not out of place in 2007. The recipes encourage creativity and there are helpful notes throughout. I snagged my copy at a used bookstore; I don’t see many available online.

For our camping trip, I made a corn meal and whole wheat quick bread that (I’m hoping!) will hold up well in the August heat. It came together very quickly, especially since I ignored the suggestion to sift the dry ingredients into the wet. I know, I know, this can be an important step but I skip it whenever possible. As I am anxiously awaiting an order of non-aluminum baking powder, I substituted a mix of baking soda, arrowroot, and cream of tartar (found in this excellent cookbook), used melted butter instead of shortening, and used a 9x9 pan.

Early American Hot Bread
adapted from “Cooking with Wholegrains”

1 egg
1 cup milk
2 Tbs honey or maple syrup
2/3 cup corn meal
2 ½ tsp baking powder
3 Tbs melted shortening

Grease 8x8 pan and heat oven to 425F.

Beat egg until light; add milk and sweetener. Mix dry ingredients and sift into egg mixture. Add melted shortening. Mix together and pour into pan. Bake 20 minutes.

(The recipe also includes this note: “This hot bread is grand provender for growing kids to thrive on.”)


Catherine said...

did you order your baking powder from MaryJane Butters?

Me said...

No, I didn't even think of ordering from her (I have ordered a lot of camping food from her, but didn't think of baking powder). I ordered it, along with maple sugar and some different kinds of flour, from King Arthur.

Dave said...

You forgot 2 critical ingredients: 1 tsp salt and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour.