[Sca-cooks] On Nattes

wheezul at canby.com wheezul at canby.com
Thu Jun 24 00:04:49 PDT 2010

> On 6/23/2010 8:59 PM, wheezul at canby.com wrote:
>> The next question is about wafers - ablaten/oblaten in this case.  I
>> know
>> that they refer to unleavened communion wafers and are still available
>> for
>> baking German lebkuchen. >
> I have lots of period recipes for non-communion wafers!  Markham even
> mentions white vs. brown color:
> ***
> To make the best Wafers, take the finest wheat-flowers you can get, and
> mix it with Cream, the yelks of Eggs, Rose-water, Sugar, and Cinamon,
> till it be a little thicker than Pancake-batter, and then warming your
> Wafter Irons on a charcoal-fire, anoint them first with sweet Butter,
> and than lay on your batter, and press it, and bake it white or brown at
> your pleasure.
> ***
> (I have a handout on wafers from a class I taught at Caid's Collegium,
> if you're interested.)
> I make wafers using a krumkake iron which I bought on e-bay.  It has a
> little ring which supports it over a burner; the handles are too short
> for a fire, I think.  You can see some pictures here:
In Anna Wecker's lovely recipe for almond waffles she tells us that waffle
irons are not smooth (and round) like the ones specifically for "oblaten"
and that waffle irons have designs engraved.  Weirdly though, most of the
extant 16th century irons are round and feature designs.  She also tells
one to regulate the thickness of the batter depending on the depth of the
waffle iron.

One of the tidbits I have run across about oblaten comes with my
experiments at baking lebkuchen.  Some traditional recipes bake modern
versions on "back-oblaten" which are thin white unseasoned wafers. 
Although I can't exactly call to mind - I think it was in a book on
lebkuchen molds maybe - I read that the practice was started by medieval
monks as the baking surface in the oven for the sticky honey-based baked
good.  No citation given though, as I recall.

Is the English word wafer a variant of the word waffle?  If so, maybe
wafer is not the best translation for the word oblaten.  They sound
positively nummy, at any rate!


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