[Sca-cooks] Final thoughts from my Laurel's Prize Tourney entry

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Sep 11 11:02:36 PDT 2007

On Sep 11, 2007, at 1:10 PM, Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise wrote:

>> I STR Gervase Markham discussing manchets and saying they should be
>> slashed with a sharp blade around the waist, or circumference, of the
>> loaf, before baking, and this makes them expand like a cylindrical
>> bellows into a sort of hatbox shape, with a nearly flat top and
>> nearly straight, vertical sides. At least this is what happened the
>> couple of times I followed those instructions.
> Hm... that sounds like what Elizabeth David says to do for "Cottage
> Loaves" but those poof out at the top. Are the slashes vertical or
> horizontal?

He says to "mold it into manchets, round and flat; scotch around the  
waist to give it leave to rise, and prick it with your knife at the  

The scotching I took to mean a simple slash running around the  
circumference, or perhaps a series of cross-hatched diagonals running  
around the edge. Either way, the effect seems to be the same: instead  
of being blown up to a would-be spheroid, all the distortion is  
allowed to take place in the region around the edge, and the almost- 
flat top crust is simply lifted into the air -- a hatbox.

I suspect the poofing out at the top might be prevented somewhat by  
the pricking with a knife.

Markham says "a gentle oven", BTW, Gunthar. You might try for 325F  
and see what happens. Also, how big did you make them?


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