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Mon Feb 8, 2021, 12:43 PM

Looking for tips making salt-rising bread

I am going to try making salt-rising bread this week. I have a recipe that will make 2 loaves, so if it turns out, I'll add a loaf to a Valentine treat tower I am putting together for my daughter. I'm planning to put together the starter Th. or Fri. to give it plenty of time to work. And hoping the recipe is complete by Sat. or Sun.

I tried making it years ago, but I didn't understand bread-making except for yeast. My effort failed and I never tried again.

If anyone has made salt-rising bread, do you have any tips for a successful effort? Many thanks!

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Reply Looking for tips making salt-rising bread (Original post)
Marthe48 Feb 2021 OP
soothsayer Feb 2021 #1
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #3
StatGirl Feb 2021 #2
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #4
StatGirl Feb 2021 #5
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #6
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #7
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #8
StatGirl Feb 2021 #9
StatGirl Feb 2021 #10
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #11
StatGirl Feb 2021 #12
yellowdogintexas Feb 2021 #13
Marthe48 Feb 2021 #14

Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Mon Feb 8, 2021, 01:31 PM

1. How did I never hear of this? Found this -- might be helpful

People say it works and is very authentic and delicious

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/7061/salt-rising-bread/

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 8, 2021, 03:59 PM

3. Thank you

I am using a 1940s cookbook (which is what I used so many years ago), the King Arthur site, and the All Recipe site. The recipes are all similar. I never heard of it till my husband told me about how good it was when a relative made it. I'll let you know how it goes

I grew up near Cleveland Ohio and Hough Bakery sold potato bread, which was soooo good. I think I made that when I was still in Cleveland, but not sure.



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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Mon Feb 8, 2021, 01:59 PM

2. I used to make this decades ago . . .

. . . because my dad made it when I was a kid. The bread itself is merely "meh", but the toast is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.

I used the recipe from "Joy of Cooking", the one with cornmeal rather than potato. As I recall, I scalded the milk, mixed it with the cornmeal, and let it sit out for a couple of days at room temperature (probably covered). I might have put it in a gas oven with a pilot light, for warmth, but that's not my memory.

You can tell when it's ready to go, not only by the look, but also by the characteristic odor.

You have to allow plenty of time for the two risings, since they will be slow relative to commercial yeast.

Sorry I can't remember more! I'm looking at my Joy of Cooking now, but I'm not sure the recipe is the same. They suggest leaving the milk / cornmeal / sugar mixture at 90-95 degrees, but there was no place in my house that was that warm.

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Response to StatGirl (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 8, 2021, 04:05 PM

4. Good points

I read tips on several sites, but it is great to hear from someone who has made it. The recipes are similar on the sites and in the cookbook, and they all emphasize keeping the starters warm. I've been having good luck with yeast bread by starting the oven for a few minutes, then shutting it off, and turning on the light when I put the dough in to rise. As I get used to doing that, I get the temp just right for a good rise.

I'll probably start the first starter Th.

I have cornmeal, milk and I hope patience this time.

Thank you for your comments

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Response to Marthe48 (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 8, 2021, 04:56 PM

5. You've inspired me to do some research!

Cook's Illustrated has a bit on creating a proofing oven at https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6398-turning-your-oven-into-a-proof-box.

It's important to use un-degerminated corn meal for this, or so I understand, because it provides the right food for the bacteria. (Our town has a local natural-foods store that sells it in bulk, and I think it is a popular-enough item that it stays fresh.)

Your post is bringing back memories! I made this, and several other types of bread, in the mid-1980s, when I was in grad school. I mostly gave them away, because I'm not actually a big bread eater. But once I started working full time, the bread-making went by the wayside.

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Response to StatGirl (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 8, 2021, 05:55 PM

6. I looked at the link

My cornmeal is degermed. I measured out what I need, and set it in a shallow bowl, hoping some willing bacteria land on it by Th I have some sour cream. I will see if I can put a dab of that in the starter to improve my chances. That might make up for the degermed cornmeal.

Good idea about the proofing oven. I am thinking about something like a double boiler, where I can add hot water periodically through the day.

I've been baking yeast bread since my teens, but usually just for holidays. I went on a low carb diet over a year ago. I decided to start baking my own bread, because I could control the ingredients, and portion size. I bake a loaf every week or 10 days. Sometimes I bake 2 loaves and give one to my daughter and her family. I have a sourdough starter in the fridge, feed it weekly in case anyone wants another loaf of that. I made brioche buns the end of last summer. And bagels a couple of times.

Bread has carbs, but not as tempting as cookies

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Fri Feb 12, 2021, 08:07 PM

7. Update: the going is tough

I set up the starter at 7 am today, have kept it warm all day. I just added a dab of sour cream in an effort to encourage some action.

I am afraid that the ingredients I used might not be conducive to fermentation. But we'll see.

I don't think this is a recipe for people who have an active life. I am retired, and Covid isolating, but I can see passing on this recipe if I had a different kind of life.

I was reading on the King Arthur flour site, and a person said it took 5 tries. Another said her starter took 12 hours to work. So we'll see.

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Sat Feb 13, 2021, 12:39 PM

8. Last update on salt-rising bread

Adding about a tsp of sour cream worked like magic. The 1st starter was working by 10:30 pm, so I made the 2nd starter then. I went to bed until about 1:30 am, got up and added the rest of the flour, kneaded the bread and shaped the loaves. Got back up just before 5 am and the loaves were ready to bake. They came out of the oven at 5:30 and I was back in bed by 6.

I learned a lot from making salt-rising bread. The sour cream was past its best by date, so that might have also been a factor, more chance of the bacteria and fermentation working. I'll do it again, but I will add sour cream or yogurt when I start the first starter. I think modern products are so sanitized, it would be hard to find a germ in it! I read in the King Arthur comments, that you can't let the starters work too long, or they'll go flat. If I make yeast bread, I can stick it in the fridge to slow it down. After the salt-rising bread starter began working, it was my boss.

The loaves aren't as high as yeast bread loaves, but they are pretty. I toasted a heel when I got up at 10:30 am. I will make it again, with more assurance. Now, please excuse me. I'm going to hitch up the mules and go pioneer something!

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Response to Marthe48 (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 14, 2021, 03:13 PM

9. Sounds good!

Did you like the toast?

The main issue with using sour cream or yogurt is that you're not trying to use the lactobacillus bacteria, which you would want for making sour dough bread or sauerkraut (yum, sauerkraut! Far easier to make than people think.)

Rather, you're aiming to culture "Clostridium perfringens", according to what I read online. That should just be free-floating in the air, but maybe it's also in corn meal (?).

The recipe I have from Joy of Cooking has milk, rather than water, as the liquid for the bread itself. This should make a difference to the flavor and texture. It took some digging to find the recipe online, but this is it: https://www.learningelectronics.net/VA3AVR/recipes/breads/saltcb.htm. (I think the milk needs to cool to below 100 degrees F after scalding, to avoid killing the bacteria.)

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Response to StatGirl (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 14, 2021, 07:10 PM

10. Correction: The milk should be hot

Apparently part of the point of using the scalded milk is to kill the unwanted yeast and bacteria, so the Clostridium can flourish.

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Response to StatGirl (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 14, 2021, 10:39 PM

11. Sorry for delay

I wrote out a long answer to your post a few hours ago, and it is not here

I liked the toast. Yesterday, the aroma was not as distinctive as it was today. My daughter and her family liked the bread, too.

I used milk and cornmeal. The milk I used has a long shelf-life, and the corn meal was degermed, so I think those played a factor in the really long time it took to work. I've been isolating, so it was a matter of using what I had. Glad that the sour cream didn't add anything sickening to my recipe. My grandson wanted sourdough in Dec, so I made a starter of flour, water yeast, and sugar, and keeping it handy in case we want more.

When I set up the first starter, I scalded the milk, let it cool slightly, then added the other ingredients. The recipe I followed was in the War-Time Edition of The American Woman's Cookbook (1944). I also looked at the online King Arthur recipe and the comments. The recipe in the old cookbook called for keeping the starters at 120 degrees, and the website said 90-100 degrees. I think I was keeping it about 100. I was afraid that I didn't let the milk cool enough, so I am glad you found information about the temperature. I was more careful when I put the 2nd starter together. I learned a lot, and the next time, I think it'll be easier to do.

I made sauerkraut for the first time last fall. I posted about that here on DU and several DUers posted funny stories about when a batch of sauerkraut went bad. And you could really tell if it went bad. My first batch turned out really good. I set up another batch, planning to have it for New Year's. It went bad and you could really tell! I'll try again, but not right now.

It is a lot of fun to try new recipes, or bring old ones to life. I posted a picture of the s.r. bread on facebook. It turns out one of my friends has her Mom's copy of American Woman's cookbook and is going to try the same recipe. I had my Mom's copy, but gave it to my older daughter. A few years after that, I got the copy I have at a yard sale. It is a good cookbook to have

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Response to Marthe48 (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 01:26 AM

12. No worries!

I'll have to check out that cookbook.

The trick to easy sauerkraut is to make it in a Fido jar. For a 1-liter jar, I mix 2 lbs of cabbage and 3.6 teaspoons salt. You press the salted, wilted cabbage into the jar no further than the shoulder, clamp the lid shut, put it on a plate to catch any overflow, and don't open or even burp it for 3-4 weeks. I also put a bag around it in case it explodes, but so far it hasn't happened. The fermentation creates just enough pressure inside to keep the oxygen out, but excess gas can escape.

There used to be a web site called "nourishing treasures" that went into great and interesting detail on the method, but it disappeared. If you do a web search for sauerkraut and Fido jars, you'll find details on what to do.

The only time I had it go bad was when I experimented with using less salt.

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Response to Marthe48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 10:58 PM

13. my family used to eat this when I was growing up

It was always a treat to have it.

And I agree that the bread itself isn't all that but it does indeed make divine toast.

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Response to yellowdogintexas (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:33 PM

14. It was a kitchen adventure

The untoasted texture reminds me of some of the pre-packaged pastries you can get in the bread aisle. I would like to try it with something spread on it. I heard it is wonderful topped with butter and jam.

I looked through a good many of my other cookbooks, and the recipe isn't in any other of the books. I read that it was a recipe rooted in Appalachia, so now I'm wondering how widespread the method is? I have more cookbooks in the basement and I want to look through them when I get a chance.

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