[Sca-cooks] Bread baking in December

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Dec 26 22:10:07 PST 2011

That's a little late for trenchers.  Trencher use appears to have declined 
beginning in the 14th Century, although they continued to appear in various 
references on table manners until the modern era.  They were used in some 
regions for Holy feasts into the 18th Century, but throughout the entire 
span of their use, trenchers in general use were limited to very wealthy 
household.  As this book appears to address the needs of the small manor 
wife, I would say they are not considering baking for trenchers.

The question of the mill being frozen in requires some consideration.  Mills 
need some fairly fast moving water, so it takes some serious weather to 
freeze their water source, but this was also a period of some rather 
horrendous cold spells.  It would take some extensive research to try to 
determine what was happening.  If they did freeze in winter, then I would 
suspect that the grain was milled to flour before the bad weather set in.

Bugs are an issue for grain, flour or bread.  If you can't keep the weevils 
out of hardtack, you can't keep them out of ordinary bread.


----- Original Message ----- 

1592 is the date of the work.  It can be found at the Bavarian State
Library site:

Coler, Johann: Calendarium Oeconomicum & perpetuum, Das ist Ein
stetswerender Calender, darzu ein sehr nützliches & nötiges Haußbuch, vor
die Haußwirt ..., Jetzund zum andern mahl in Druck geben, und an vielen
Orthen verb., Wittenberg, [1592]


I haven't read the whole work yet, so I don't have a sense of what grain
would be used, but it may be implied from other months.  One of my friends
suggested that if rivers froze that perhaps there may be issues with
grinding the grain?  It may be easier to keep bugs out of the bread?

Based on a contemporary recipe for zweiback, it may very well be rye.


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