[Sca-cooks] Bread baking in December

James Prescott prescotj at telusplanet.net
Wed Dec 28 17:49:23 PST 2011

Ouverture de Cuisine (published 1604, written perhaps 1557-1585) uses
the word 'trencher' in three recipes, but there is no indication whether
this is actual bread or (my guess) some kind of plate or pan of the same
size and shape.  The contexts are not eating off a trencher, but using
the trencher during food preparation or simply as an indication of size
and shape.


At 12:10 AM -0600 12/27/11, Terry Decker wrote:
>  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.
>  Bear
>  ----- 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]
> http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/0003/bsb00033969/images/index.html?fip=
>  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.
>  Katherine
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