The Best Bread Pudding Yet

Best Bread Pudding (Time 0_00_13;19)
The Best Bread Pudding yet from The Primitive Cookery Cookbook 1767 is a very simple bread pudding to make.

Bread Pudding

  • ¾ cup Flour
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 4 oz. Raisins or Currants
  • 2 tbsps. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground Ginger
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream

Pudding Sauce

  • 1/3 Butter
  • 1/3 Sugar
  • 1/3 Brandy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Best Bread Pudding (Time 0_01_19;14)Combine flour, bread crumbs, raisins, sugar and ginger in one bowl. In another bowl beat together the eggs, yolks, and heavy cream. Combine all the ingredients for a nice thick batter. Turn out into a well buttered dish. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

For sauce, melt butter and combine with sugar and brandy.

Best Bread Pudding (Time 0_02_07;12)Allow pudding to cool then turn out onto plate, slice and cover with sauce.

Transcript of Video:

Hi, I’m Jon Townsend. We’re continuing our series in Dutch oven cooking. Today we’re going to be using the skills that we’ve learned earlier to bake a pudding, a bread pudding, in one of these Dutch ovens. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

This recipe is rather simple. It’s from the Primitive Cookery cookbook 1767. That cookbook is available on our website and in our print catalog. Let’s get these simple ingredients together. Our ingredients are rather simple. We’ve got ¾ of a cup of flour along with 1 cup of bread crumbs. Also 4 ounces of raisins or currants. I’ve got 2 tablespoons of sugar and just a half a teaspoon or so of ground ginger. For the wet ingredients, I’ve got 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks and one cup of heavy cream.

Now that we’ve got the wet ingredients all beat up, let’s pour them in, mix the two together. We’re looking for a nice thick batter.

I’m going to turn this out into a well buttered dish.

This is ready to go. Let’s put it in the oven. It’s a beautiful day out and there’s very little wind so we found by previous experience with a 12 inch Dutch oven like this, we’ll need about 2 scoops of coals beneath and 3 scoops on top. We want this to bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. If you haven’t watched our previous episode where we talked about getting these ovens up to heat, make sure to go back and check those out. I’ll make sure to put a link down in the description section of this video. This is feeling like it’s really preheated and ready to go.

I’ve let this cool and we’re going to turn it out onto a plate and now slice it and oh yes we need finally, the thing that really sets all these puddings off is a pudding sauce. Do not forget the pudding sauce. This particular sauce is 1/3 butter, 1/3 sugar and 1/3 brandy, so let’s give this a try.

Mmm, superb flavors, and that sauce, I could eat that sauce all day, it is wonderful. A great little pudding, very easy to bake in one of these Dutch ovens. Extremely easy to mix up and very simple ingredients. This is superb. So we’re experimenting. We’re trying out different things and I really want to thank you for coming along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Posted in 1700's, 18th century, Baking, Bread, historic cooking, Ingredients, spices, Video | Tagged , | Leave a comment

1796 Beef Steak Pie

Beef Steak Pie (Time 0_00_13;25)Today we are doing a savory Beef Steak Pie using our Dutch oven. This recipe comes from Amelia Simmons’s 1796 cookbook American Cookery.

  • Puff Paste Pie Crust
  • ¼ pound Butter
  • 2 pounds Shoulder Beef Roast
  • White Onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Liquid of choice

Make sure to preheat your Dutch oven. This needs to cook rather slowly at a low temperature. We don’t want to overheat this, so maybe 300 degrees is what we’re shooting for.

Beef Steak Pie (Time 0_01_21;29)
To prepare this pie, I’m using a 9 inch red ware pie plate. Line the outside of the pie plate with puff paste which is a typical instruction you’ll get in 18th century cookbooks. You can use either puff paste that you buy at the store in the frozen food section or watch our video on making your own puff paste.

Beef Steak Pie (Time 0_02_18;00)
I’m starting by placing a tablespoon and a half of butter in the bottom of my pie pan. I’ve taken a 2 pound shoulder roast and sliced it into about ½ inch thick slices and trimmed all the gristle out. I’m going to put a layer of steak in the pie pan and follow this with a little bit of salt and pepper, then sprinkle a nice bit of flour on top of that. We want a good layer of flour here to make a great gravy.

Next, I’ve got some nice big slices of white onion and top off this layer with another tablespoon of butter. You should be able to repeat this step for about 3 layers. Don’t make your layers too thick so that they can cook evenly. Once our pie has all the layers built together, now it’s time to put in some liquid. We can use a couple of different liquids such as water, hard cider, a small beer or light beer, or even mushroom ketchup. Anything is going to make a good liquid for our pie. It’s best to pour in some of the liquid around the edges right now before you put the top on, because it can be hard to get all the liquid that we want into the pie.

Beef Steak Pie (Time 0_03_38;23)
Now it’s time to put on our puff paste top and pinch it down. You definitely want a good seal between the body of the pie crust and this lid so make sure to wet the edge if the top isn’t going to seal well. Once the lid is down nice and tight, then we’re going to cut a little hole in the top and pour in another tablespoon or two of our liquid and then we’re ready to bake.

Beef Steak Pie (Time 0_08_06;04)Gently place the pie into your preheated Dutch oven and replace the lid. We want maybe a scoop and a half of coals around the bottom edge of this Dutch oven and maybe two scoops on top, two and a half scoops max. We don’t want to overdo this or else our meat will be tough if we cook this at too high a temperature. We also want to make sure to remember that we need to continue to rotate this oven 90 degrees every 15 or 20 minutes and rotate the lid separately, because our coals might be hotter on one spot than the other and we don’t want to overcook one spot over another.

Beef Steak Pie (Time 0_08_32;11)When this pie is done, we definitely need to let this guy rest. It can even be eaten cold, and the colder we let this get, the more it’s going to come out in one piece.

Transcript of Video:

Dutch ovens were extremely versatile and that’s one of the reasons why they were so popular in 18th and 19th century North America. Today we’re doing a savory beef steak pie. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

This recipe comes from Amelia Simmons’s 1796 cookbook American Cookery. If you haven’t watched our earlier Dutch oven cookery series explaining getting these ovens up to heat, I would encourage you to do so. I’m setting my 12 inch Dutch oven over a bed of coals and putting a few coals on top to preheat it so that it’s ready to go when we’re ready to put this pie in.

To prepare this pie, I’m using a 9 inch red ware pie plate. These are the pie plates that our Master Potter Gary Nieter makes. They’re wonderful pie plates. You can find them on our website or in our print catalog. I’m lining the outside of the pie plate here with puff paste and this is a real typical instruction you’ll get in 18th century cookbooks, to just line the outside with puff paste. You can use either puff paste that you buy at the store. You can find it in the frozen food section or there’s a video that we do on making your own puff paste. I’ll make sure to put a link down in the description section for that.

I’m starting by placing a tablespoon and a half of butter in the bottom of my pie pan. In this recipe, we’ll end up using about a ¼ of a pound of butter so be prepared for that. I’ve taken a 2 pound shoulder roast and I’ve sliced it into about a ½ inch thick slices and now I’m going to start to layer that in, so first we put in a layer of our steak. This is a really nice cut. I’ve already trimmed all the gristle out. I’ll follow this with a little bit of salt and pepper and then I’ll sprinkle a nice bit of flour on top of that. We want a good little layer here. This is going to make a great gravy.

Next I’ve got some nice big slices of white onion and I’ll top off this layer with another tablespoon of butter. Now we’re going to repeat this again. Again we’re going to put down a layer of steak nice and thin. We don’t want it to double up here and again we put on the salt and the pepper and the flour and then the onions again and after the onions, butter again. You should be able to get about 3 layers in your pie. Now that our pie has got all the layers built together, now it’s time to put in some liquid and we can use a couple of different liquids. We could use water, we could use hard cider or a small beer or a light beer if you’ve got that. Anything is going to make a good liquid for our pie. I’m going to pour in some of the liquid right now before I put the top on, around the edges because it can be hard to get all the liquid into the pie that we want to get.

Now it’s time to put on our puff paste top, and here’s our puff paste that we’re going to put on the top of our pie and we’ll put this on and pinch it down. You definitely want a good seal between the body of the pie crust and this top layer, this lid that we’re going to put on, so make sure to wet the edge if the top isn’t going to seal well. Now make sure to pinch this lid down nice and tight, then we’re going to cut a little hole in the top and then pour in another tablespoon or two of our liquid on top of that and then we’re ready to bake.

The pie is ready to go into the oven and of course I’ve already preheated this oven so it should be close to temperature. I don’t need to worry about that. Let’s go ahead and remove the lid and place this pie in here gently and let’s close this up. This needs to cook rather slowly at a low temperature. We don’t want to overheat this, so maybe 300 degrees is what we’re shooting for. We talked about trying to keep a lower heat in an earlier episode in this series; in this case we want maybe a scoop and a half around the bottom edge of this Dutch oven, so make sure to refresh your coals after you preheat it and maybe two scoops on top, two and a half scoops max. We don’t want to overdo this or else our meat will be tough if we cook this at too high a temperature, and from an earlier episode, we want to make sure to remember that we need to continue to rotate this oven 90 degrees every 15 or 20 minutes and we keep picking up and rotating it around and rotate the lid separately. You want to keep rotating the lid. The problem, especially in this case where we’ve got the fire pit off to the side, it’s going to be hotter on one side than the other, so that’s why we want to keep rotating it and our coals might be hotter on one spot than the other, we don’t want to overcook one spot over another so we keep rotating those, the lid and the body around a little separately.

Someone asked in an earlier episode about the tools I was using and really I only need a couple real good tools for a Dutch oven cooking. You can do without some of these but you really need a couple of them to do it well and to do it easily, let’s just say that. Mainly we definitely are going to need a Dutch oven, we sell a couple different sizes of those. A trivet is probably the next most important piece. A nice triangular trivet. If you don’t want to have a trivet like this, you can just use a couple of stones that are the same size, 3 or 4 stones or even an S-hook thrown in the bottom here, a couple S-hooks will do the same job, but the trivet does a really good job. I like to use a real trivet when possible. A pie pan, these pie pans are great and we use them so many times, if you want to keep things up off the bottom you’re going to need to cook on top of that trivet with something like a pie plate.

Also, a pair of these little ember tongs, excellent for doing individual pieces. Sometimes you want to get pretty precise, ember tongs help you pick those up and do some precise work. The Dutch oven lid lifter is a killer tool that really makes it much easier to get the lid off of these without them falling over. I mean you can just use a hook, but the lid can tilt and all your ashes can drop right into the Dutch oven which ruins it. The Dutch oven lid lifter helps you lift that up and with these extra prongs balance it so it stays level, so it’s a really handy tool and you can just use the hook to pick up the whole Dutch oven and rotate it. You’ll really need that tool. Also you’re going to need some kind of a shovel and you really don’t need a big shovel. These little hearth shovels that we have in the catalog are perfect. They pick up just the right amount of coals and they’re nice and small and they don’t have a handle that can burn up so they’re really handy for working with these Dutch ovens.

And the last tool I really suggest is a pair of leather gloves. We don’t have these in the catalog but you can get a pair of welding gloves, look for something that’s not looking too modern. You don’t want blue ones, so if you can find a nice pair of brown welding gloves, these make it so much easier to get those pie pans out of there or to just lift up the oven or the lid at times when you don’t want to burn yourself obviously so these are really helpful to have. There are some other tools that we don’t carry that can make it easier like sometimes there’s a special tool to lift pie plates up out of the Dutch oven, boy that’s a lot of bother to carry too many tools, this is probably enough for just about anybody.

Wow this looks tremendous. It is ready to go. You know this reminds me of the beef pasty we did a number of years ago.

So we definitely need to let this guy rest. It can even be eaten cold, and the colder we let this get, probably the more it’s going to come out in one piece. I can’t wait that long, so let’s cut into this so we can try it out.

Okay this really smells good and it’s time to try it out. I really want to put some mushroom ketchup on it right away but I’m going to wait because I want to see what this really tastes like before I put the wonderful mushroom ketchup on it.

That’s a tremendous mix of flavors. Excellent. The beef, perfectly tender, wonderful. Puff paste, you can’t go wrong, and that onion flavor in there along with the spices and I did not put too much pepper, do not worry, you can always put a little bit more on but it’s perfect medley of flavors. Amazing, and now let’s try it with the mushroom ketchup. I know this is really going to set it off.

Mmm. Wow, that little bit of vinegar taste and the extra salt and the mushroom flavor, to die for. I think I wanted, instead of the water, I should have just dumped mushroom ketchup in right on top before I cooked it. This would be a tremendous thing to cook at an event. Everyone will love you so you should try this one out. The flavors are tremendous. It’s not difficult to do. There aren’t even that many ingredients, so definitely try this one out. I want to thank you for coming along as we try these things out as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here, also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Posted in 1700's, 18th century, Baking, historic cooking, Ingredients, pies, Recipe, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

White Pot Bread Pudding

White Pot (Time 0_01_02;03)White pot is a sweet, buttery, bready, custard type bread pudding originating from 18th century Devon in southwest England. The term white pot simply means white pudding. Recipes for white pot changed very little over the years and between regions. They primarily consist of bread, sometimes rice, sugar, eggs, usually cream, some spice, and sometimes a little bit of fruit.

  • 1 pint Cream
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Mace
  • Fresh Nutmeg
  • 2 whole Eggs plus 1 Egg Yolk
  • 4-5 tbsps. Sugar
  • Loaf of White Bread
  • ½ cup butter
  • Plenty of Raisins and Dates
  • Fresh Cream or Sac (optional)

The first thing we need to do is preheat our oven. If you’re going to use a Dutch oven you need to get an ember bed ready for that. If you’re using a wood fired oven, that needs to be fired up, but you’ll need to let it cool down a little bit to get to the right temperature. If you’re using a regular home oven, you need to preheat it to 350 degrees.

White Pot (Time 0_02_06;22)We’re using our everted saucepan today, but you could use a pipkin, a boiler. or whatever you have available. Begin by placing a pint of cream in the saucepan, followed by a stick of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, a little bit of mace, and some fresh ground nutmeg. As soon as this begins to simmer, you’re going to need to remove it from the heat to let it cool.

Now let’s take care of our eggs. We need two whole eggs one egg yolk, along with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, and whisk this all together.

Next we are going to take some nice white bread slice it very, very thin as well as removing the crust so you’re left with nothing but the crumb. You’ll need enough crumb to fill your baking pan or tin. In this case we are using one of our tin eating bowls, but you could also use something bigger, like one of our milk pans, but you would then need about twice the amount of ingredients and to increase the baking time. White Pot (Time 0_03_24;15)Butter each of these slices liberally on one side. You will end up using about a half a cup of butter or one full stick. While the butter is out, go ahead and butter your pan or tin as well. Make sure that this is buttered liberally as well or the sugar in the white pot will make it very difficult to release later.

White Pot (Time 0_03_31;19)
Once the cream has cooled a bit, you can remove the cinnamon stick, then add just a little bit of the warm cream mixture into the eggs while whisking it just a little, to temper the eggs, so the eggs don’t curdle. Once we’ve got a little bit completely whisked in, we can start adding the rest of the cream little by little.

Now we can start layering our pudding. We’re going to start by putting in a layer of bread on the bottom of our bowl butter side down to completely cover up the bottom of the bowl. Next, let’s put a layer of raisins and dates in on top of that. Then another layer of the bread, butter side down, making sure that there are no air gaps. If you need to tear your bread up a little bit to fill in the gaps do that. The next layer is the raisins and dates again.

Copy of White Pot Collage
Once we have our second layer in the pan, we can start to add some of the custard mixture. Pour in just enough that it soaks into the two bottom layers but doesn’t come up above the top of the bread. Once that is done, continue layering your pudding until the dish is filled up. Finally, pour in the rest of the custard mixture until it fills up the rest of the tin and soaks completely into the bread. Place the final pieces of bread butter side up to fill up the top and tamp them down a little so they soak up the custard from underneath. Sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on top and it’s ready to bake.

Check on your choice of oven to make sure that it has preheated to the correct temperature. If you are using a Dutch oven, set up a ring of coals to set it on and place a trivet inside to set the white pot on. Once the lid is added, place coals around the top of the lid as well. You will need to keep watching the Dutch oven to make sure the coals stay hot enough and renew the coals on the top and bottom as they cool. This will take about 35 minutes but it is a good idea to watch as it will burn quickly.

White Pot (Time 0_08_24;04)Allow to cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto a plate. For added enjoyment, you can sprinkle some sugar on top and brown it using a heated salamander, kitchen torch, or broiler, just be careful not to burn it. A nice finishing touch would be some fresh cream poured on top. Sac, which is what we call sweet cherry, was also very common in 18th century recipes.

Transcript of Video:

Foods of the 18th century were often very regional. Take for instance, this little dish, its sweet, it’s buttery, it’s custardy, and it’s bready. It’s a bready little dessert. It’s also got raisins and dates in it. In many places, this might be called a bread pudding, but this regional variation is famously known as white pot.

We found a number of white pot recipes, some as early as the 16th century and others right on into the 18th century. The term white pot is a provincial phrase originating from southwest England, specifically the Devon area and it simply means white pudding.

Recipes for white pot change very little over the years. They primarily consist of bread, sometimes rice, sugar, eggs, usually cream, some spice, and sometimes a little bit of fruit. Let’s get started. The first thing we need to do is preheat our oven. We’re going to be using the Dutch oven today. If you’re going to use a Dutch oven you need to get an ember bed ready for that. If you’re using a wood fired oven, that needs to be fired up, but you’ll need to let it cool down a little bit to get to the right temperature, and if you’re using a regular home oven, you need to preheat it to 350 degrees.

We’re using our everted saucepan today. You could use a pipkin or a boiler or whatever you have available. We’re going to begin by placing a pint of cream in our saucepan. Now let’s place a stick of cinnamon in that, a pinch of salt here, a little bit of mace, and now let’s grind some fresh nutmeg.

As soon as this begins to simmer, you’re going to need to remove it from the heat and let it cool down. Now let’s take care of our eggs. We need two whole eggs in this and we need one egg yolk, and now we need two to three tablespoons of sugar. Now all we have to do is whisk this together.

Now that our cream is simmering, let’s go ahead and take it off and let it cool down. I’m going to take some nice white bread now and I’m going to slice it very, very thin and then take off the crust so I’m left with nothing but the crumb. We’ll need enough crumb to fill up our baking. In this case I’m using one of our tin eating bowls. You could also, if you wanted a larger one, use one of these milk pans, but you definitely need about twice the amount of ingredients and you need to increase the baking time.

Each one of these slices, I’m going to butter quite liberally on one side. I’m going to end up using about a half a cup of butter, one stick. While we’ve got our butter out, it’s time to butter our pan. The bowl needs to be buttered liberally or the sugar that’s in our white pot will make it very difficult to release.

And now our cream has cooled a bit, we can take out the cinnamon stick and now we’re going to add just a little bit of the warm cream mixture into the eggs while we whisk it just a little bit first to temper the eggs so that the eggs don’t curdle. Once we’ve got a little bit in, we’ve got that totally whisked in; we can start adding the rest little by little.

Now let’s get started with our layering. We’re going to start by putting in bread on the bottom of our bowl. We want to put the butter side down. We’re going to put in two pieces here and we’ll cover up the bottom of the bowl and now let’s put a layer of raisins and dates in on top of that. That’s good. We’re going to do another layer, butter side down of the bread. So we want to make sure that there are no air gaps so if you need to tear your bread up a little bit to fill in the gaps do that. Our raisins and dates again. Once we’ve got our second layer here, we can start to add some of our custard mixture. We’re going to just pour in enough that it soaks into these two bottom layers but doesn’t come up above the top of that bread.

So that looks pretty good. Let’s just do another layer.

Our dish is filled up. Let’s put our custard mixture in until it fills it right up and soaks in. That looks good. I think we’ll be able to use just about all of it. That looks good. Now we’re going to take our final pieces of buttered bread and we’re just going to fill up the top. We’re going to put this in butter side up instead of butter side down and fill that top.

Oh yeah, there we go. We’re going to tamp that down just a little bit so that it soaks up from the bottom and now we’re going to add some sugar to the top of it. We probably got another tablespoon here or so. Now that’s ready to bake.

Now it’s time to bake this guy. We’re going to be using this Dutch oven. I’ve got it already preheated some, and we’re going to set it on a ring of coals that we’ve got already set up here. Now let’s place our trivet inside and then we can add our pudding, our white pot in, right up on top, and we can set our lid on. I’m going to put some coals up on top. Again, usually we just need a ring of coals that go around the outside edge here.

Okay, we’ve got our ring of coals up on top so I’m going to keep watching this and at times I’ll have to renew the coals up on top and maybe even tuck a few more in the bottom.

While white pots originated from the Devon area, they were certainly well known to colonial cooks as well. While they might not have kept the same name, they kept the same construction. Bread puddings are becoming popular again today and some chefs have even discovered this interesting variation.

It’s starting to smell really good and it’s only been about 35 minutes. Let’s take a quick look at this. As you can see this is already well on its way, so we’re going to take this out. This is done.

We’re going to let this cool and then turn it out onto a plate.

If you happen to have a salamander, you can heat it up very hot, then sprinkle some sugar on top of your white pot and brown it. You can also do that with a kitchen torch or with a broiler. Just be careful not to burn your white pot.

A nice finishing touch would be some fresh cream poured on top or maybe a little sac which is what we call sweet cherry, was very common in 18th century recipes.

Wow, that is excellent. Its buttery, the sweetness of the sweetmeats and the custard really sets it off. It’s delicious. You’re going to love this.

All the items you’ve seen here today, the cooking utensils, the clothing, all these things are available on our website or in our print catalog. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

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No-Knead French Bread

No-Knead Bread (Time 0_01_05;20)There is a bread baking technique that has been floating around the internet since about 2007, but it’s not a new idea, it’s been around for hundreds of years. A very simple dough with high moisture content that is baked in a Dutch oven. It’s called No-knead bread and, because of its simplicity and its great flavor, is a very innovative technique compared to modern bread baking methods. This no-knead bread is an 18th century French bread, though it is nothing like modern French breads which are known for being a firm white bread with an open crumb structure and a crispy crust. French breads in 18th century cookbooks are always made with milk and sometimes eggs and butter, had its crust either rasped away or chipped off with a knife, and was commonly used as an ingredient in other dishes such as porridges, soups, and even other breads.No-Knead Bread (Time 0_02_35;18)

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Salt
  • Barm or barm substitute:
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 heaping tbsp. Flour
    • ¼ – ½ tsp. Instant Yeast
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • 2 tbsps. Melted Butter

In a large bowl, put 3 cups of flour, bread flour or all-purpose flour will do, and about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.

The original recipe calls for barm and since nobody has barm, which is the foam from the top of beer, instead we’re going to make a substitute barm. In a separate container, let’s start with a half a cup of water. To that, add a heaping tablespoon of flour and a half a teaspoon of instant yeast, then we can stir this all together and let it rest.

Now for the rest of the wet ingredients, take just one egg white and add that to ¾ of a cup of milk and whisk together.

No-Knead Bread (Time 0_03_48;08)
Now take 2 tablespoons of melted butter and put that in with the 2 egg yolks and whisk those together.

Now let’s add all the wet ingredients together including the barm mixture, then mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Copy of No-Knead Bread Collage 2As soon as the dough is formed and all the flour is absorbed, it’s time to stop mixing because they call for this dough not to be kneaded. It makes a very wet and sticky dough, a very light paste.

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set it aside 12-24 hours. You could divide this dough up and put it into smaller, well-floured bowls to make rolls as well.

Once it has a nice spongy texture to it, it’s time to preheat your Dutch oven. Don’t skimp on preheating this or your bread won’t turn out right. Once it is preheated, sprinkle some cornmeal into the bottom to keep it from sticking. If your Dutch oven is preheated correctly you should see the cornmeal brown up just a hair. If you’re going to bake this in your home oven, you’re going to want to set your oven to 450 degrees.

Turn your dough out onto a liberally floured surface. Now your dough may be very sticky, but that’s okay. It’ll help to flour your hands so that it doesn’t stick. Pat down the dough a little bit, then fold it a third of the way then fold the other side over on top of that, turn it and fold it over again the same way so that you folded it four times then place it in the Dutch oven. Copy of No-Knead Bread Collage
You want to keep a close eye on this while it’s cooking. It’s going to take 25-30 minutes. You want it to be a nice deep golden brown without burning on the bottom.

No-Knead Bread (Time 0_00_35;10)
You want to make sure that your bread is completely cooled before you rasp or chip off the outer crust. The crust and also the French bread as it is, is used in many 18th century recipes.

Transcript of Video:

There’s been a very interesting bread baking technique that’s been floating around the internet since about 2007. It’s called No-knead bread. It uses a very simple dough, a high moisture content and it’s baked in a Dutch oven. I would encourage you to watch the video sometime, it’s very worthwhile. No-knead bread, because of its simplicity and its great flavor, is a very innovative technique compared to modern bread baking methods, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, now this is not a new idea. In fact, no-knead breads have been around for hundreds of years. Today I’m going to show you how to do an 18th century version of no-knead bread. We’re going to bake it in an 18th century manner. We’re going to use that old Dutch oven that so many modern bakers are falling in love with.

There are many different kinds of breads in the 18th century. Some of them were baked from very fine white flour, others made from very course flour, still others were made with wheat flour mixed with other grains, but today we’re going to focus on a bread known by the 18th century British and North American colonists as French bread. Now when I say French bread, what one might think is a baguette, a batard, or a brioche. Most people think of a French bread as a firm white bread with an open crumb structure and a crispy crust. Numerous 18th century English cookbooks contain recipes for French bread, but this French bread is nothing like the modern French bread. Modern breads made with just flour, water, yeast and some salt. No, these French breads in these 18th century cookbooks are always made with milk and sometimes eggs and butter. This English version of French bread was made into loaves or into rolls. The rolls were sometimes referred to as machete bread which can mean the quality of a bread or sometimes its size and shape. This French bread had its crust either rasped away or chipped off with a knife. 18th century French bread was commonly used as an ingredient in other dishes. The bread crust was often used in porridges, soups, even in other breads. Let’s make some of this French bread.

In a large bowl, let’s put 3 cups of flour, bread flour or all-purpose flour will do, and about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. That’s it for the dry ingredients. Let’s do the wet ingredients. The original recipe calls for barm and since nobody has barm, which is the foam from the top of beer, instead we’re going to make a substitute barm. Let’s start with a half a cup of water. To that I’m going to add a heaping tablespoon of flour and then we need some yeast.  We’re going to use instant yeast. You need about a quarter of a teaspoon to a half a teaspoon and then we can stir this all together.

Now for the rest of the wet ingredients. I’m going to take just one egg white. Let me crack this egg, and we’re going to add that to ¾ of a cup of milk and whisk that together.

Now I’ve got here 2 tablespoons of melted butter and I’m going to put that in with 2 egg yolks and we’re going to whisk those together. Now let’s add this all together and we can put in our barm mixture too, and that’s it for our wet ingredients. Now we’ll mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and I’ll mix them with these.

As soon as the dough is formed and all the flour is absorbed, it’s time to stop mixing. Now one of the interesting things about the 18th century recipes is that they call for this dough not to be kneaded. It makes a very wet and sticky dough. They call it in the recipe a very light paste. We’ll cover this with a damp cloth and set it aside 12-24 hours. We could divide this dough up and put it into smaller, well-floured bowls to make rolls.

Now we’ve prepared this batch ahead of time and it’s been rising about 18 hours so it’s got a very nice spongy texture, so it looks like it’s time to start preheating our Dutch oven.

We’re going to be baking our bread in a Dutch oven today. Baking bread in Dutch ovens is very common in the 18th century although our recipes don’t call for that specifically. We have this oven over the fire and it’s warmed up. Don’t skimp on preheating this. You want it to be nice and hot when you get started. I’m going to go ahead and sprinkle some cornmeal into the bottom of that. This’ll keep the loaf from sticking. Just a very thin layer here looks good, and it should brown up just a hair so you can see that the oven is getting the right temperature.

Now it’s time to look at our dough. Now I’m going to turn this out onto a liberally floured surface. Now your dough may be a lot stickier than this, but that’s okay, but it’ll help to flour your hands so that it doesn’t stick, and now let’s pat this down a little bit, let’s fold it once, let’s fold it twice, three times, and one last time. Four times we’re going to fold this and now let’s put it in our Dutch oven. You want to keep a close eye on this while it’s cooking. It’s going to take 25-30 minutes. You want it to be a nice deep golden brown without burning on the bottom.

If you’re going to bake this in your home oven, you’re going to want to set your oven to 450 degrees. There, that looks perfect. I’m going to take it off. And there it is, an 18th century enriched no-knead bread. Something that they called, in the time period, French bread. We want to make sure that our bread is completely cooled before we rasp or chip off the outer crust. The crust and also the French bread as it is, is used in many 18th century recipes.

I invite you to subscribe to our new blog, SavoringThePast.net. On there you’ll find recipes and discoveries about 18th century cooking. Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can get notification of all the new videos as soon as they come out and of course follow us on Facebook so you can find out all the great news from Jas. Townsend and Son. Jas. Townsend and Son carries hundreds of quality 18th and 19th century reproduction clothing items and personal accessories, including a great line of cooking vessels and utensils. All these can be found on our website or in our print catalog. Thanks for watching and I invite you to come along and join us as we savor the aromas and flavors of the 18th century.

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Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken (Time 0_05_46;03)
We usually think of fried chicken traditionally as an American dish, but today I’m going to share with you an old English recipe from a little recipe book by Nathan Bailey called “Dictionarium Domesticum” written in 1736 that I think will change the way you make fried chicken. It’s set up like a dictionary so it’s in alphabetical order and you’ll find this recipe under marinade.Fried Chicken

  • Whole Chicken Quartered
  • Oil for frying
  • Parsley Sprigs

Marinade

  • 2 Large Lemons
  • Equal amount Distilled Vinegar
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Cloves
  • ½ cup Green Onions or Shallots

Batter

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose Flour
  • White Wine like Rhine Wine
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp. Salt

 

Fried Chicken (Time 0_02_52;09)
Now this recipe is actually pretty simple. It starts off with a very basic marinade of lemon juice and verjuice or vinegar. Verjuice is actually a very common ingredient you’ll find in early 18th century recipes. It comes from the juice of unripe unfermented grapes, and while it’s very sour, actually has a very mild flavor. If you’re going to use vinegar, what would have been typical in an 18th century English setting would be malt vinegar, but the time period, it was called wine vinegar. If you can’t find malt vinegar or you are looking for a milder flavor you can use cider vinegar or even distilled vinegar.

We are going to use the juice of two large lemons and an equal amount of distilled vinegar. To that, I am going to add two bay leaves, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper, and a quarter of a teaspoon of cloves. The last ingredient is something called chaebols and we had to look that one up. We found out that it is a spring onion or as we would call it, green onions and we are going to use a half a cup. You could substitute this with shallots as they were also very common in the 18th century and it would probably make a very interesting flavor addition.

The recipe calls for quartering your chicken. I’ve actually cut it up into individual pieces so that it’ll go a little farther. The recipe suggests marinating this chicken for 3 hours and you should probably stick to that. Some of the more powerful ingredients, like the malt vinegar, can really enhance the flavor too much if you marinate for too long.

Fried Chicken (Time 0_04_45;17)
Once you come to the 3 hour mark, it’s time to work on the batter portion. Like our marinade, the batter is also very easy to make. I’m using about a cup and a half of flour, just regular all-purpose flour will work fine. Add enough white wine, like Rhine wine would be good, to make this into a thin pancake batter. If you don’t want to use wine, you could use cider instead or maybe just water. Finally, add the yolks of 3 eggs and a teaspoon of salt. You can top this off with a little more wine if needed to get the right batter consistency.

There was no suggestion of the particular kind of oil to fry in. In the 18th century, they would most likely have used lard or even a clarified butter. You can use the modern oil of your choice. Be very careful If you are deep frying over an open fire. You want to heat your oil to about 350 degrees. You should see a little shimmer on the top, but definitely not smoking.

We’re going to fry this in batches of 3 or 4, maybe 5 pieces, depending on the size of your pot. I’m not sure exactly how long you want to cook it, but you want to get to the point where the color is a nice light mahogany brown.

Fried Chicken (Time 0_05_03;26)
Now before we serve this, there’s just one more component that we need to do, fried parsley. Now you may think that’s strange, but trust me, you’ll love it. Before you fry your parsley, make sure it is very, very dry. Blot it as much as possible, or the results can be disastrous. Fry it in small batches for several minutes until it gets nice and crispy. We’ll crumble this over the chicken as a tasty garnish.

Fried Chicken (Time 0_06_00;03)
18th century fried chicken flavors are definitely a little different than what you’re used to. That marinade does something really special. You get a little bit of that lemon flavor coming through just a little bit with a hint of that wonderful flavor and the crispiness and the fried parsley is really interesting. I really love this recipe. If you give this one a try, I really hope you go down in the comments section and tell us how it works out. I love this one and I think everyone should try it.

Transcript of Video:

We usually think of fried chicken as well, traditionally an American dish, but today I’m going to share with you an old English recipe from 1736 that I think will change the way you make fried chicken. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

The recipe today comes from the little recipe book by Nathan Bailey called “Dictionarium Domesticum” from 1736 and it’s an odd little cookbook. It’s set up like a dictionary so it’s in alphabetical order and this recipe you’ll find under marinade. So that’s where we need to start with this recipe, with the marinade. Now this one’s actually pretty simple. It starts off with the liquid portion which is lemon juice and verjuice or vinegar. Verjuice is actually a very common ingredient you’ll find in early 18th century recipes. It comes from the juice of unripe grapes, unfermented, and while it’s very sour, it actually has a very mild flavor. If you’re going to use vinegar, the vinegar that would have been typical in an 18th century, especially English, setting would be malt vinegar. In the time period, they called it wine vinegar, but it’s actually malt vinegar today. If you can’t find that or you want to use something that doesn’t quite have that kind of a flavor, then you can use cider vinegar or even distilled vinegar. Lemons were available as well, depending on your location and your social position and interestingly enough, lemon zest or lemon peel was the second most common type of spice you’ll find in many of the 18th century cookbooks, so very common. In this case I’m opting for the juice of two large lemons and an equal amount of distilled vinegar. The recipe suggests salt, pepper, cloves and bay leaf, but no real amounts here, except for the number of bay leaves, two bay leaves, so we’re guessing maybe a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper, and a quarter of a teaspoon of cloves, and the last ingredient is something called chaebols and we had to look that one up. That’s a spring onions or as we would call it, green onions. I’ve got about a half a cup. Shallots are something that you could substitute in in this place as shallots were very common in the 18th century and it would probably make a very interesting flavor addition.

The recipe calls for quartering your chicken. I’ve actually cut it up into individual pieces so that it’ll go a little farther. The recipe suggests marinating this chicken for 3 hours and you should probably stick to that. If you used some of the more powerful, like the malt vinegar, it can really enhance the flavor too much so 3 hours is a good time.

We’re coming up on our 3 hour mark and it’s time to work on the batter portion and this is a little bit different than what I’m used to. Like our marinade, the batter is also very easy to make. I’m using about a cup and a half of flour, just regular all-purpose flour will work fine and enough white wine, like a Rhine wine, would be good, adding enough to make this into a thin pancake batter, and finally I’m going to add the yolks of 3 eggs. You can top this off with a little more wine if you need to to get to the right batter consistency, and finally a teaspoon of salt will finish this off and mix it so that it’s nice and even. If you don’t want to use wine, you could use cider instead or maybe just water. There was no suggestion of the particular kind of oil to fry it in. In the 18th century, they would have used lard probably or even a clarified butter. You can use the modern oil of your choice. We are deep frying with oil right over an open fire. Obviously you have to be very careful when you’re doing it like this. You want to heat your oil to about 350 degrees. You should see a little shimmer in the top, definitely not smoking.

We’re going to fry this in batches of 3 or 4 pieces, maybe 5 pieces. Really it depends on the size of your pot, and I’m not sure exactly how long you want to cook it, but you want to get to the point where the color is a nice light mahogany brown.

Now before we serve this, there’s just one more component that we need to do, fried parsley. Now you may think that’s strange, but trust me, you’ll love it. Before you fry this parsley, make sure it is very, very dry. Completely dry, blot it as much as possible, or the results can be disastrous. Fry it in small batches for several minutes until it gets nice and crispy. We’ll crumble this over the chicken as a tasty garnish.

Well, there it is. It looks wonderful, let’s find out just how it tastes.

Wow, 18th century fried chicken, and the flavors are definitely a little different than what you’re used to. That marinade does something really special. You get a little bit of that lemon flavor comes through just a little bit, a hint of that wonderful flavor and the crispiness, the fried parsley is really interesting. Mmm, I really love this recipe. This one is great! Who would have thought 18th century fried chicken? It’s great. If you give this one a try, I really hope you go down in the comments section and tell us how it works out. I love this one and I think everyone should try it. I want to thank you for coming along as we experiment. We try these really interesting things out, this food from history. I want to thank you for joining me as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here, also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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Quaking Pudding

Quaking Pudding (Time 0_09_16;27)

Quaking pudding is much more like the modern day pudding idea that we have in our heads. . It is definitely different than the plum pudding. The ratios are much different, a lot less flour and a lot more liquid parts.

  • ½ cup Flour
  • 2 tbsps. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Mace
  • 1 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ – ½ of a Nutmeg grated
  • 1 cup Slivered Almonds split
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ButterQuaking Pudding (Time 0_06_38;00)

First, go ahead and get your pot of water boiling; however for this pudding you will not be putting your cloth into the water. We will take care of the cloth later once the pudding is ready for it.

Quaking Pudding (Time 0_05_06;05)
So, let’s put together this pudding. We’re going to put together our dry ingredients first and then our wet ingredients. The measurements don’t have to be precise for this recipe to work. Add together about a half a cup of flour, about 2 tablespoons of sugar, a half a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon full of mace, the same amount of ground ginger, a quarter to a half of a nutmeg grated up, and for our last dry ingredient some slivered almonds. Before adding the almonds, take about a ½ cup of them and mash them up really good, then add those into the dry ingredients. We will use the rest of the almonds later. Mix up the dry ingredients well.

Now we need a cup of heavy cream and four eggs. We actually want two whole eggs and just the yolks of the other two and then we’re going to whisk these together, so there are eggs in our cream. You want to get these whisked really well.

Now that we’ve got these all mixed, put our wet and dry ingredients together.

Quaking Pudding (Time 0_06_14;20)
Once these are well mixed, we can now get our pudding cloth ready. So, for this pudding, we didn’t want to put the cloth in the boiling water. We need to seal the cloth a little tighter for this pudding so we are going to butter it first and then flour it. Rub the butter into the cloth well so the pudding doesn’t just strain out of the cloth. Once it’s buttered, we can just put our flour on just like before, then place it in a bowl and pour the pudding mix in.

Quaking Pudding (Time 0_07_07;20)When you tie the ends for this pudding, you want to make sure to give it a bit of room to grow. When your water is boiling, carefully place your pudding into the pot. It will take about a half hour to cook.

Quaking Pudding (Time 0_07_27;16)While the quaking pudding is cooking, we’re going to make a quick sauce with some butter and sugar. In a small saucepan or pipkin, on gentle heat, mix together equal parts butter and sugar until fully melted.

Quaking Pudding (Time 0_09_16;27)When removing your quaking pudding, you have to be gentler with it. Use the remaining slivered almonds to dress up the top and the pour the sauce on before serving. This is a very delectable dish. It is more custardy than the other puddings that we have been making. With all that butter and sugar on top and the almonds, it looks beautiful and it tastes good. You’ve got no excuse. You really must try one of these wonderful boiled puddings.

Transcript of Video:

So in last week’s episode, we covered a simple boiled plum pudding, which consisted of equal parts flour, milk, eggs, butter, and the plums or raisins in that case, but I thought we would look at the boiled puddings and explore this idea a little bit farther. I think there’s a lot more to learn.

So here’s a little piece that I ran into while I was doing research. It’s from a 1780 gentleman’s monthly intelligence. It was a section on diet. It says, “There is at this time residing in Essex a person famed for his mode of living. Being formally reduced to a state of general weakness from free and luxurious living, he took up a resolution of dieting himself thus, he has a pound of flour and a pint of cold water mixed and then tied up in a cloth and boiled and on this food he’s lived entirely for many years. Though he is old, he is hardy, strong, vigorous and active.”

I thought that was very interesting, somebody living on nothing but flour, a flour pudding, boiled, and then I was thinking about soldiers living on nothing but their meat and a simple flour ration.

Also, many period recipes cover putting apples inside of a pudding and boiling that. Those two ideas, I thought we’d put together and make a simple soldier style pudding. Nothing but flour, an apple off of a tree and wrapped in a little bit of scrap cloth. Just what a soldier might be able to make.

So let’s make up a very simple, nothing but flour and water  paste. We’re just going to take about two handfuls of flour and we’re going to add in some nice cool water and then mix that up. We kind of want it to be not very stiff kind of a paste here. Okay, so not too stiff. We want to be able to form it around it without it fighting.

Once that’s ready, we need to take our apple and I’ve already quartered this. We’re going to take out the seeds and the stem.

Let’s take our quartered apple and put it back together into an apple shape and then take our paste, which has thickened up a little bit as I was working on it, and we’re just going to wrap it around that apple so it’s all about a quarter of an inch thick. It grows as it cooks so it doesn’t need to be terribly thick.

And there we can see, now we can put this inside of our floured cloth.

There we are.

And let’s flour this up.

And now it’s time to wrap it up in the cloth. We’re just going to set it in the center and gather it up, and you definitely want to give it a little bit of room so that it can grow while it’s cooking. Not too tight. Let’s go toss it in.

Let’s make sure our water is boiling and it should take about an hour for this apple pudding. While this is cooking, we’re going to cover a quaking pudding. Those don’t take very long to cook either.

So, quaking pudding is much more like that modern day pudding idea that we have in our heads. Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

So, let’s put together this pudding. We’re going to put together our dry ingredients first and then our wet ingredients. We’re going to need about a half a cup of flour. Now we don’t have to be precise. This is definitely different than the plum pudding. The ratios are much different, a lot less flour and a lot more liquid parts. About a half a cup of flour, now let’s put in, we need about 2 tablespoons of sugar, we’ve got this pretty much all ground up.

There we are.

We need some salt, maybe a half a teaspoon of salt. We’re definitely going to need some of those same kind of spices. We’ve got some mace here, a teaspoon full. We’ve got some ground ginger, same amount. So, you’ll need a quarter to a half of a nutmeg grated up. For our last dry ingredient I have some almonds here. I’ve got maybe a half a cup of slivered almonds here. We’re going to mash these up.

Once these are good and mashed up, we can add these to our dry ingredients, the rest of them here. There we are.

Now we need a cup of heavy cream and four eggs. We actually want two whole eggs and just the yolks of the other two and then we’re going to whisk these together, so there are eggs in our cream. You want to get these whisked really well.

Now that we’ve got these all mixed, put our wet and dry ingredients together.

There we are.

Once these are well mixed, we need to get our pudding cloth ready. Okay, now we’ve got our cloth but instead of putting it in the boiling water and then flouring it, this one we want to seal a little tighter, so we’re going to butter it first and then flour it. Get it to seal all the way into our fabric there. Now once it’s buttered, we can just put our flour on just like before.

Now we can take our buttered and floured cloth and put it in the bowl and pour our pudding mix in.

There we are, and tie it up.

This is another pudding that you want to give a little bit of room to grow. And there we go, and it’s ready to go in. Let’s make sure that water’s boiling.

Okay, this quaking pudding should take about a half hour to cook.

Now that that quaking pudding is cooking, we’re going to make a quick sauce with some butter and some sugar.

When you use these pipkins, you want to make sure that you don’t put them on direct heat with flames. You want to use them only on coals. You want to make sure that you always have something in them or else they get too hot and they’ll crack and use them gently with gentle heat.

It’s been about a half hour for the quaking pudding and about an hour for the apple one, so both of those should be ready to come out.

Let’s cut open this apple pudding or apple dumpling.

And there is our pudding. Let’s slice it and see how it turned out.

Look at that.

You’d be amazed with nothing but a little bit of flour and one apple what you can turn out. It is really good.

So I haven’t found much about soldiers doing boiled puddings yet, but there is a piece in Joseph Plum Martin’s book about soldiers coming and stealing a woman’s food, including her pudding, bag and all.

Now for our quaking pudding. This one’s a little bit more, you have to be more gentle with it. Now let’s dress this up with a few slivered almonds and then put sauce on top.

Wow, that’s delectable. You’ll love this wonderful quaking pudding. A lot more custardy than the other one. It’s not nearly as bready and that butter and sugar on top with the almonds, it looks beautiful and it tastes good.

You’ve got no excuse. You really must try one of these wonderful boiled puddings. Hey, all the things you’ve seen here today, all the cooking equipment, all the clothing, all these things are available on our website, they’re available in our print catalog and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

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Payn Perdu (French Toast)

Pain Perdu (Time 0_05_30;26)
Who doesn’t like a nice big plate of French toast? Nice firm bread soaked in eggs with milk, maybe garnished with a little bit of fresh fruit, some cinnamon and slathered over the top with maple syrup. Have you ever wondered where this dish came from? What genius mind created it and who throughout history savored this delectable dish?

Pain Perdu (Time 0_01_20;19)
The earliest recipe for French toast can be found in the Apicius. It’s a 4th and 5th century collection of Roman recipes. The dish is simply titled A Sweet Treat and the translation reads thus, “Break a slice of fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces, soak in milk and beat in eggs, fry in oil, cover in honey, and serve.”

Bread was extremely important to survival in the 18th century, but what does one do when the bread goes stale? In an old English cookbook from about 1430, we find a recipe for bread that’s sliced, dipped in eggs, fried in butter and then sprinkled with a little bit of sugar. The name of this recipe was payn perdu, a French word that means lost bread or wasted bread, suggesting that this recipe was meant to use up stale bread.

Pain Perdu (Time 0_02_09;22)Karen Hess who transcribed Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery has this to about the recipe, “The English early took to payn perdu and made it their own. It was rarely omitted from a cookbook, usually listed under made dishes. Made dishes are any dish that amuses the cook or shows off her skill.”

Let’s make French toast or payn perdu in a true 18th century fashion.

French Toast

  • Any firm bread made stale
  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 1 cup Cream
  • ¼ cup Sac
  • 2 tbsps. Sugar
  • Nutmeg
  • Butter

Sauce

  • 4 tbsps. Butter
  • 2 tbsps. Sac
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar

You can use any nice enriched bread. The no knead French bread like we made in a previous episode would be perfect. If you want to use a modern bread, you can use a challah bread or a brioche. Any firm bread will do.

Cut the crust off and let it set out overnight, so we start off with stale bread. Pain Perdu (Time 0_03_21;19)
In a bowl, take about 8 egg yolks; add about a cup of cream, about a quarter of a cup of sac, and two tablespoons of sugar. Finally, scrape in a little bit of nutmeg and whisk this all together.

Pain Perdu (Time 0_03_35;05)
Now let’s take our individual bread pieces and put them in the batter and let them set for maybe 15 minutes or up to an hour to get them a real good chance to soak in. It really depends on how stale your bread is. While the bread is soaking, you can go ahead and start on the sauce, because we want to have the sauce ready to put on it as soon as they’re cooked.

Pain Perdu (Time 0_04_26;08)We’re going to start off with about four tablespoons of butter and then once that’s melted, add in about two tablespoons of sac, and a tablespoon of sugar. Now you want to whisk this all together and set aside where it will stay warm, but won’t cook.

Pain Perdu (Time 0_04_56;19) Once the toast has finished soaking, melt the butter in your frying pan and put in the toast. If your bread’s really stale, sometimes it can be very fragile so you might have to be careful as you put it in the pan. Cook them until they are golden brown on both sides, flipping once halfway through cooking.

Pain Perdu (Time 0_05_18;03)
This topping’s a little different from what you and I might expect or what we’re used to, but it’s taste is right out of the 18th century cookbooks. Maple syrup is a perfect North American variation on the same theme to replace the sugar.

Transcription of Video:

Mmm. Who doesn’t like a nice big plate of French toast? Nice firm bread soaked in eggs with milk, maybe garnished with a little bit of fresh fruit, some cinnamon and slathered over the top with maple syrup. Have you ever wondered where this dish came from? What genius mind created it and who throughout history savored this delectable dish? Well that’s what we’re going to look at today in 18th Century Cooking with Jas. Townsend and Son.

We’re wrapping up our second series of 18th Century Cooking with Jas. Townsend and Son. Most recently we’ve been looking at 18th century breads and we thought it would be appropriate to conclude this series with a little sweet treat made with bread.

The earliest recipe for French toast can be found in the Apicius. It’s a 4th and 5th century collection of Roman recipes. The dish is simply titled A Sweet Treat and the translation reads thus, “Break a slice of fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces, soak in milk and beat in eggs, fry in oil, cover in honey, and serve.”

Bread was known as a staff of life. It was a dietary pillar, but what does one do when one’s bread goes stale? In an old English cookbook from about 1430, we find a recipe for bread that’s sliced, dipped in eggs, fried in butter and then sprinkled with a little bit of sugar. The name of this recipe was Payn perdu, a French word that means lost bread or wasted bread, suggesting that this recipe was meant to use up stale bread.

Karen Hess who transcribed Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery has this to say in a recipe after Payn Perdu. It says, “The English early took to Payn Perdu and made it their own. It was rarely omitted from a cookbook, usually listed under made dishes. Made dishes are any dish that amuses the cook or shows off her skill.”

Let’s make French toast or Payn Perdu in a true 18th century fashion.

We’re going to start off with a nice enriched bread. The no knead French bread like we made in our last episode would be perfect. If you want to use a more modern bread, you can use a challah bread or a brioche, any firm bread will do.

We’ve cut the crust off this and we’ve let it set out overnight, so we’re starting off with a nice stale bread. I’m going to start off here with about 8 egg yolks and to that I’m going to add about a cup of cream and I’m also going to add some wine, some sac here. We’re going to use about a quarter of a cup. Now I’m going to add about two tablespoons of sugar and finally I’m going to scrape in a little bit of nutmeg and we’ll whisk this all together.

Now let’s take our individual bread pieces and put them in the batter.

I’m going to let these set for maybe 15 minutes or up to an hour to get this a real good chance to soak in. It really depends on how stale your bread is. While these toasts are steeping, I’m going to go ahead and start on our sauce, because we want to have the sauce ready to put on it as soon as they’re cooked.

We’re going to start off with about four tablespoons of butter and then once that’s melted, let’s add in about two tablespoons of sac, and after the sac we’re going to add about a tablespoon of sugar.

Now you want to whisk this altogether, then you want it to get nice and warm, but we’re really not cooking it, we’re just really mixing it together, so what I’m going to do is set this aside where it’ll stay nice and warm waiting for us to put it on.

I’ve got the butter going in the pan, let’s put in our toasts. If your bread’s really stale, sometimes it can be very fragile so you might have to be careful as you put it in the pan.

These look done. Let’s get them out of here.

Here’s our Payn Perdu, an early version of French toast. Let’s give it a try.

Mmm. That is excellent. This topping’s a little different from what you and I might expect or what we’re used to. Very nice. Right out of the 18th century cookbooks. Maple syrup as a topping is a perfect North American variation on that same theme. They’re substitute for sugar, maple syrup. Excellent.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of 18th Century Cooking with Jas. Townsend and Son. Be sure to watch for more episodes in the near future. Also, make sure to check out our new cooking blog SavoringThePast.net for today’s recipe as well as other documentation and discoveries in 18th century cooking.

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Here’s our Payn Perdu an early version of French toast. Let’s give it a try.

That is excellent. You know, It is, it’s really… {Beep}

Mmm. That is excellent. Tha… the… the…. Gosh… {Beep}

So that’s why you see maple syrup in so many different… mmmm… that was stupid… {Beep}

Ahh, that is, that is super {Beep}

This would be used as a dessert, not as a brexst, breakfast… {Beep}

Mmm, that is excellent. This topping’s a little bit different than what you and I mi(cough)… Here I get it stuck in my throat and I can’t talk. {Beep}

Have you ever wondered where this comes from? I have. (Laughing)

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