Anetta requested a recipe for " Salt Rising Bread". Here are some responses.
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This recipe was copied by my mother Helen Silsbee Pierson on the back of an
envelope from the Camp Shop on 5th Avenue in NY. It was copied in pencil.
My mother and dad loved salt rising bread and used to slice it thin and toast it
to have with their breakfast. The bakery only made it on Wednesdays. This
recipe was probably from about 1964.
Scald 1 cup of milk. Take off the fire, stir in 1 TBL granulated sugar.
1and 1/2 tsp sale, 1/3 cup water ground cornmeal. Mix thoroughly and turn
into a 2 Qt. jar or pitcher, cover, and sit the pitcher in a pan of water has a
temp of 120 degrees F. Let the batter stand in a warm place for 6 or 7 hours or
until it has fermented. When the gas escapes freely stir in 1 cup lukewarm
water mixed with 1 Tbl granulated sugar. Stir in 2 cups sifted bread flour and
beat thoroughly. Return the jar to the hot water bath and let the sponge rise
until is it very light and full of bubbles. Turn the sponge at once into a large, warm
mixing bowl and stir in gradually 2 cups of sifted bread flour or just enough to
mix a stiff dough. Divide the dough in halves. Shape the loaves and place in
bread pans generously greased with lard. Brush the top with 2 TBL lard melted to
spreading consistency. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place until the
dough is 2 and 1/2 times its original bulk. Bake loaves in moderately hot oven of
375 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 25 minutes.
I saw an article in the paper about reasons why bakeries no longer make salt
rising bread. Apparently the bread mixture can form dangerous microbes of
some sort so they no longer make that delicious bread. Brings many happy
memories. Sincerely, Sallie Pierson Holden
PS I wonder what the Camp Shop sold and what they were writing to my mother
about. The address was 562 Fifth Ave.
My Mom made the best salt rising bread. I have never been able to duplicate it
but here is her recipe. Dad always said that it smelled like "stinky feet" but he
loved it - especially toasted with real butter on it. Mom did the potato one.
Peggy in North Central PA
I found the recipe for salt-rising bread in my very old “Joy of Cooking”.
The instructions start out with “do not attempt this bread in damp, cold weather
unless the house is heated….”. There are two versions, with the potato recipe
being a little less stinky.
Have all ingredients at about 75 degrees.
CORN MEAL SALT-RISING BREAD
Measure ½ cup coarse WATER-GROUND cornmeal. Scald 1 cup milk and pour
over cornmeal. Let sit in a warm place until it ferments – about 24 hours. By
then, it should be light and have a number of small cracks over the surface. If it
isn’t light in texture, it is useless to proceed, as the bread will not rise properly.
Scald 3 cups milk. Pour it over
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons lard
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Stir in the corn mixture. Place the bowl containing these ingredients in a pan of
lukewarm water for about 2 hours, until bubbles work up from the bottom. Keep
the water warm during this time.
5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Knead in until smooth, but not stiff
2-1/2 cups more flour.
Place dough in 3 - 5x9 inch loaf pans, cover and let rise until it has doubled in
bulk. **Watch it, for if it gets too high, it may sour.**
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the
heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake another 25 to 30 minutes more until
POTATO SALT RISING BREAD
**to lessen the fantastic odors of salt-rising, use non-mealy, 2-1/2”diameter new
Place into stainless steel bowl
2-1/c cups thinly sliced potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons WATER-GROUND corn meal.
Add and stir until salt is dissolved
4 cups boiling water
Keep at 115 to 120 degrees for about 15 hours. (Place bowl in
electric dutch oven or a yogurt maker. If not available, use the
water-bath method mentioned above.)
Squeeze out the potatoes and discard. Drain the liquid into a
bowl, and add, stirring until very well blended
1 teaspoon soda
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Beat and beat “until the arm rebels”. Set the sponge in a warm
place to rise until light. Bubbles should come to the surface and
the sponge should increase its volume by about 1/3.
(about 1-1/2 hours)
1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon sugar
When lukewarm, add 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
Add this to the potato sponge with 6 cups all purpose flour.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes, shape into 3 – 5x9 loaves.
Place into greased pans and permit to rise, covered, until light
and not quite double in bulk.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour.
Salt-rising bread is one of the oldest breads in this country. It has a
delicious and unusual flavor and a very smooth texture. In fact, it is one
of the most remarkable of all breads. It does present one great difficulty
for the breadmaker. It is unpredictable. It is a worthy recipe,so give it a
To keep the starter at a steady temperature, which the recipe requires,
leave it in an electric oven with the light on--this will provide just enough
warmth--or in a gas oven with the pilot light on.
The foam that forms may not be one, two, or three inches in thickness,
but if it FOAMS at all make the loaf and see what happens. Good luck!
For the salt-rising starter:
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 medium potato, peeled and sliced thin
2 tablespoons white or yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix the starter ingredients and pour into a 2-quart jar or a deep bowl that
has been rinsed well with hot water. Cover with a lid or plate. Put the jar
into a larger bowl or pan and surround with boiling water. Cover the large
bowl with plastic or a towel, and cover this with three or four towels or a
blanket. It should stand at a temperature of 100 degrees when the mixture
is finally foaming. The electric oven turned to warm will provide the right
temperature, and so will a gas range with a pilot light on. In either case,
let the starter stand about 12 hours, or until the top is covered with 1/2
to 1 inch of foam. Sometimes it will take longer to foam, even 24 hours,
but continue to keep it warm.
FOR THE BREAD
Liquid from starter (above)
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 115 degrees, approximately)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup undiluted evaporated milk or 1/2 cup lukewarm whole milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose or hard-wheat flour
Let the liquid from the potato starter drip through a strainer into a mixing
bowl, and then pour the warm water through the potatoes, pressing out
as much liquid as possible. Discard the potatoes.
Add to the drained liquid the soda, milk, melted butter, and salt, mixing well.
Stir in 2 cups of the flour and beat until very smooth. Stir in the remaining
flour, a cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed, using up to 4 1/2 cups.
Put a cup of flour on the bread board and turn the dough onto it. Sprinkle
a little of the flour on top of the dough and knead lightly for 10 to 12
minutes, or until the dough is smooth but still soft.
Divide the dough and shape into two loaves (this bread does not have a
rising between the kneading and the shaping).
Place in well-buttered bread pans, brush the top of each loaf with melted
butter, cover, and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled
in bulk. (This will take longer than regular bread--as long as 4 to 5 hours,
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, or until
the loaves shrink from the sides of the pans. Remove from pans to cool.
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