Ancient Times

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Some recipes have been adapted for modern use.

Cottage Cheese


Harvest in fall. Shell, grind in flour mill or mortar and pestle, or with a matate'. Mix with boiling water, press out liquid through cloth. This is fine for acorns from White Oak; from Red Oak, repeat the soakings until the bitter taste is gone. Spread meal in shallow pan and allow to dry in oven at low temperature, or in sun.

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. acorn meal
3 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. honey
1 egg
1 c. milk or rice milk
3 tbsp. salad oil: esp. safflower oil

Mix flour, meal, baking powder and honey. In separate bowl beat in 1 egg, add milk and oil. Add this to dry mixture and stir. Bake as you would bread, 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until done.

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. acorn meal
3 tsp. honey
3 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 c. milk, or rice milk
3 tbsp. salad oil
1/2 c. raisins

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg, add rest of wet ingredients. Stir all together. Pour 2/3 full into muffin tins. Bake 20 minutes as you would muffins.

Essene Bread
1 c. sprouted wheat berries
Honey, raisins, nuts to suit taste

Sprout wheat berries to taste; I prefer sprouts at about 4 times the length of the seed. Put them through meat grinder. Add other ingredients. Mix can be baked as you would bread dough; in the ancient Middle East, it was also baked on rocks in the sun. It is a very heavy loaf, something like a fruitcake.

Daylily Fritters
1 qt. washed flowers
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
Salt and pepper, bread crumbs

Wash and pat dry flowers. In a large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup milk, salt and pepper to taste. Mix. In a skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil. Dip each flower into the batter and roll in bread crumbs. Then fry to golden brown. Sliced burdock root makes a great addition; fry just as you did with flowers.

Hot Cross Buns

Though breads have been decorated with crosses since ancient times, the custom of serving hot cross buns at Easter probably began in 14th century England. According to legend, a kind-hearted monk baked them on Good Friday to feed the poor. As his gesture evolved into a seasonal tradition, many people believed the little breads contained sacred powers of protection.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water (about 110°F)
1 c. warm milk (about 110°F)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. each salt and ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each ground cloves and ground nutmeg
2 eggs
3/4 c. currants
1/4 c. finely diced candied orange peel or citron
About 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Lemon Frosting*

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water; let stand until bubbly. Stir in milk, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Beat in eggs. Stir in currants, orange peel, and enough of the flour (about 4 cups) to make a soft dough. dough out onto a floured board; knead until smooth and satiny (10 to 20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Turn dough over in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours). dough down and divide into 36 equal pieces; shape each into a smooth ball. Place balls about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Brush each gently with egg yolk mixture. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 35 minutes).
Bake in a 400°F oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on racks for about 5 minutes. Prepare lemon frosting and, with a spoon or the tip of a knife, drizzle frosting over top of each bun to make a small cross. Makes about 3 dozen buns.
*Lemon Frosting: Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon water; beat until smooth.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread

The evening before baking prepare the sponge

1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups warm water

Mix together in a wooden or glass bowl (avoid metal or plastic) and let sit overnight in a warm place. Remove one cup of sponge and set aside to be used as a starter in the future. The next day, prepare the dough as follows.

6 cups whole wheat flour, plus
one cup for kneading
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
Sesame seed or black cumin

Combine flour, water, salt, and honey with sponge into a smooth dough and turn onto a floured board. Knead with floured hands for 10 minutes or 300 times, adding more flour if necessary to keep dough stiff and surfaces floured. If you are kneading with a food processor use only 5 1/2 cups flour. Process for 30 seconds until a ball of dough forms. Place kneaded dough in bowl (no metal or plastic bowls), brush top with oil, and cover. Allow to rise for 3 hours in a warm place.
Reknead briefly and shape into 2 loaves. Let sit in warm place for another 2 hours. Slit the tops, so loaves will not crack while baking. Brush tops with water occasionally to retain moisture. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake one hour. Test for doneness by inserting a knife. If bread is done, the knife will come out dry. If bread is undercooked, check again after 10 more minutes. Allow the bread to rest at least 10 minutes before serving or slicing.

Shaped Rolls

After allowing dough to rise for 3 hours, reknead briefly and divide into 16 pieces. Make snakes or spirals by rolling dough with hands into thin ropes on a floured surface. Braid, coil, or attach ends for circlets. Shape into triangles. Sprinkle with sesame seed or black cumin if desired. Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake 10 to 15 minutes.

Pitas or Pocket Breads

After allowing dough to rise for 3 hours, reknead briefly and divide dough into 16 small balls. Shape each piece into a ball on a floured surface or between palms. Cover to keep off drafts and let sit in warm place for 10 to 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 4500°F. Roll out with a rolling pin on a floured surface, turning pin to make a circle between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. The rounds must be evenly flat to make a pocket. Place on unoiled baking sheets and bake 10 minutes.

Bread Baked in a Clay Pot

In ancient times, a wet clay pot was started at the edge of the fire and moved into the hot coals gradually, so that the clay would not break. A small clay pot with a cover, approximately 6" x 9", works well for a single loaf of bread. Cut the whole wheat sourdough bread recipe by one-half. Soak the bottom section of the pot in water for 15 minutes before shaping the dough and putting it into the soaked pot for the last rising. Do not grease the pot. Fifteen minutes before baking, soak the clay top in water. Cover the bread and put in a cold oven you turn immediately to 475°F. Bake for 45 minutes, taking the cover off for the last ten minutes to brown the top. Test by inserting a knife. If it comes out dry, bread is done. If bread is undercooked, check after 10 minutes. Remove bread from clay pot, allow the bread to sit at least 10 minutes before serving or slicing.
Recipe from: The Good Cook Cookbook by Goodman, Marcus & Woolhandler

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