Even Grandmother will like this bread


March 01, 1995|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff Writer

Salt-rising bread and a spaghetti casserole are palate pleasers. Test your taste with one or both.

Ann Townsend of Moravia, N.Y., requested the bread, "which is the kind grandmother made that tasted so good when it was toasted," she wrote.

The salt-rising bread recipe chosen by Chef Syglowski, was sent in by Joan Ross of Columbia who writes that she found it in The Complete Book of Breads, by Bernard Clayton Jr. The recipe, the book noted, was credited to a 1912 publication by the Ladies Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church in Polson, Montana where the women were fine cooks and bakers and salt-rising bread was a specialty.

Salt-Rising Bread

1/4 cup milk, scalding hot

2 tablespoons cornmeal

2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon each salt and baking soda

7 to 8 cups bread flour

1/3 cup lard or other shortening

In a small bowl, pour scalding milk over cornmeal and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir well, then cover tightly with a plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot (90 to 95 degrees) for 8 to 10 hours, after which a bubbly foam will cover surface of the cornmeal. It will smell sweet and fermented.

In a large mixing bowl pour boiling water over 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and baking soda. Stir briefly with a large wooden spoon and gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour to make a batter. Stir this until it is smooth, about 50 strokes. The batter should be luke warm (100 degrees) to the touch, not hot. Stir in the fermented cornmeal mixture. Cover bowl tightly and return to the warm place until the batter had bubbled and foamed to more than double its volume. The smell will be quite strong.

With a wooden spoon, mix in the lard (or other shortening). Gradually add the additional flour 1/2 cup at a time, first with the spoon and then by hand, working it well between the fingers. Add more flour, if necessary, until the dough has lost its wetness and a rough mass is formed.

Turn dough onto a floured work surface and begin the kneading process. Knead for 10 minutes and let rest on the board under a cloth for 10 minutes. Divide the dough and roll each piece into a rectangle, fold in half, pinch the seam closed, and shape the dough into a loaf. Place each loaf in an 8 1/2 -by-4 1/2 -inch pan, seam side down. Brush top lightly with oil or melted lard.

Cover with wax paper and return to the warm place until dough has doubled. The dough will fill about 1/3 of the pan when set aside and is sufficiently risen when it reaches 2/3 up the side of the pan.

Heat oven to 375 degrees (if glass baking pans are use, reduce heat by 25 degrees). Bake about 45 minutes or until loaves are nicely browned. Turn bread out immediately onto a metal cooling rack. It can be kept frozen for several months.

Winnie Hoagland of Beechmont, N.Y., requested a spaghetti casserole that she "had five years ago and lost. I loved it but all I can remember is that it went into a 9-by-12-inch pan and was delicious," she wrote.


Jane Tolar Kollinger of Easton responded to the request. She calls her recipe a Spaghetti Pie and writes that it was given to her "by a friend's granddaughter. It freezes well and is better on the second day. I sometime substitute carrots or another vegetable for the spinach or I skip the vegetables all together."

Spaghetti Pie

1 (12-ounce) package thin spaghetti cooked and drained.

1 egg beaten

1 tablespoon margarine

1/4 cup milk

16 ounces ricotta or cottage cheese

2 (12-ounce) cans spinach, well drained.

1 pound ground beef or bulk sausage, browned in a skillet using spray oil. Crumbled.

1 (12-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.

Mix together the cooked spaghetti, egg, margarine and milk and spread in bottom of greased lasagna pan.

Layer into the pan, the ricotta, spinach, beef and spaghetti sauce. Bake for about 20-minutes in a 350-degree oven. Sprinkle mozzarella on top and bake 5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

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