Friday, April 2, 2010

1886 Graham Bread on Foody Friday

A couple years ago I received this cookbook for Christmas from my wonderful brother in law.

The author had compiled and refined recipes from Prairie Farmer magazines from 1841 to 1900. This cookbook is so fun to read because it also includes poems and stories from Prairie Farmer magazine as well as a bit of history of cooking and day to day living during the time period. The first chapter, of course, is bread since bread was the mainstay of the frontier diet.

I was intrigued to find the recipe for Graham Bread dated January 10, 1886 with the editor's note;

"This bread tastes very much like a yeast whole wheat loaf, but is made in a fraction of the time. We are used to having quick breads be sweet; this is heartier. The light nutty flavor of this bread makes it perfect for toasting, or serving with a cheese spread."

I love to bake bread! I just don't have the time so I just had to try out this recipe. Here it is:

2 c light cream
2 t. vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. graham (whole wheat) flour
1 c. regular flour (not bread flour)
1 t. baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sour cream by combining the cream and vinegar in a medium size mixing bowl. Let it stand about 5 minutes til curdled. Add the sugar, flours and soda. Mix well with a spoon. Pour batter into lightly greased bread pans. Bake until the loaves are lightly browned, pulling away from the side of the pan and firm in the center, about 45-55 minutes. Cool in pans about 5 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

This was really quick and easy. I used whole milk instead because I didn't have cream. My only complaint was the batter was too much for one loaf pan but not enough for two. Plus it was much sweeter than I expected, 1/2 c. brown sugar is a lot! So I changed it just a bit to make larger loaves of bread.

Here is my revised recipe;

Revised Graham Bread Recipe 2010

3 c. whole milk
3 t. vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda

Follow instructions as in above recipe.

And here is the results!

My boys really like this bread. We have been eating it all the time even with bratwurst sandwiches! Even cutting down the sugar it is sweeter than regular whole wheat bread but still very yummy.

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