[Sca-cooks] Manchet

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Tue Sep 11 20:08:43 PDT 2007

> My main "d'oh" reasoning is that the period mindset was to have things
> as white as possible. Looking at illuminations of manchets or pretty much
> any bread, they appear yellowish and not the dark brown that modern
> folk seem to enjoy. So painting on the milk actually diminished the visual
> appeal to a period diner.
> The crust was thick and took a bit of sawing, especially on the bottom,
> but it was not hard or unpleasant, it was plesantly chewy.

A basic dough of flour, water, yeast and salt baked at around 400 to 450 
degrees should give you the light golden yellow crust.  Enriched doughs, 
especially those made with milk or sugar, tend to produce darker crusts.

If you are looking for a white crust, check out German semmel rolls.

> The oven wasn't particularly hot. I baked it at 350 F for an hour. This
> came from a modern bread recipe since there were no guidelines
> to go on in the original recipe. The bread baked up just fine although
> the inside was dense and chewy and not light. Still, it felt like real 
> bread
> should feel. Like the true staff of life. This was bread that could be
> grated
> into proper breadcrumbs. Were I to make it again I'd add a little more
> salt, but as I explained at the demo there aren't any references in period
> manuals about spreading butter or anything on bread. I have seen
> references about bread being sprinkled with a little salt. This bread
> bore that out. A pinch of salt would have really brought out the flavor.
> Gunthar

If you didn't have enough salt in the dough, your yeast may have been 
over-active.  Salt moderates the yeast and the rise.


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