Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sponge Bread with Olive Oil (1720)

  • 5 cups sifted unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tspns salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast, softened in 1/2 cup warm water
Combine softened yeast, raw sugar, warm water, and 2 cups of the unbleached flour in a large bowl, and beat until smooth.  Cover with a cloth, set in a warm spot, and let rise about 30 minutes until very light and spongy.

Stir in salt and olive oil, then mix in whole wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour.  Again cover with cloth, set in a warm spot, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.  

Turn out on a very well-floured board (dough will be soft and sticky), and knead in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup unbleached flour until dough is elastic and no longer sticky.  Knead vigorously about 10 minutes, flouring the board and your hands as necessary.

Divide dough in half, knead each half about 25 to 30 times, then shape into round loaves about 5 inches across.  Place in greased layer cake pans, cover with cloth, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.  

Bake in hot over (400 degrees) about 30 minutes until richly browned and loaves give hollow sound when thumped with your finders.  Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks at least 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.  Make 2 loaves.

(Origin - "Recipes from America's Restored Villages" by Jean Anderson, 1975. This recipe was taken from Historic St. Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida, in existence from 1565 to 1821, when Florida joined the United States.)

Also from "America's Restored Villages"

Parsnips Stewed in Dark Beer (1627)

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