Friday, August 13, 2010

Crackling Bread.

Yesterday’s post introduced me to the possibilities of pork rind. I realise that the amazing culinary potential of pork rind may not be a novelty to my American friends, particularly those in the South, but to this Aussie Yorkshire lass, it has been quite revelatory.

I have never tasted it, but I am in love with ‘Goody-bread’. For those of you not familiar with it, it is Crackling Bread by an even more appealing name. The ‘cracklings’ are of course, the crispy shreds of pork rind remaining after lard is rendered, and, as the name suggests, when this is incorporated in bread dough – you end up with ‘crackling bread’! I guess if I use crispy bits of bacon rind I get ‘bacon bread’ - and there is no way that anything with those two words in the title can be anything but delicious.

Here, for your delectation, are three interpretations of this wonderful idea:

Crackling Bread.
Cracklings are the residue after lard is rendered. Beat or mash the cracklings fine, add one egg, salt, sweet milk and meal enough to make a thick batter for cornbread. Add one teaspoonful of quickeast (not soda) and bake in a quick oven in pones formed by hand and “with the prints of fingers on them.”
Galveston Daily News, February 21, 1909

Crackling Bread.
To one cup of cornmeal allow three-fourths teaspoonful salt and half a cupful of cracklings – the crisp brown particles that are left after lard is rendered. If the cracklings contain a great deal of fat, place them while warm in a cheesecloth and squeeze out part of the fat. Pour boiling water over the meal until it is of such consistency that it can be mashed with the hand. Add the cracklings, shape into cakes, and bake.
Pinedale [Wyoming] Roundup, July 26, 1923.

Crackling Bread.
One cup sifted all-purpose flour
One-half teaspoon baking powder
Two teaspoons baking powder
One teaspoon salt
Two tablespoons sugar
Three fourths cup cornmeal
One half cupbran
One egg
One and one-half cups sour milk or buttermilk
Four tablespoons all-vegetable shortening
One-half cup dry, chopped cracklings.
Method:
1.Sift flour before measuring, sift again with baking powder, soda, salt and sugar; mic with cornmeal and bran.
2. Beat egg well, add milk and combine with dry ingredients, stirring only until flour disappears. Add fat and cracklings.
3. Bake in greased pan in moderately hot oven (400 degrees F.) about 40 minutes. Serve hot with butter. Makes nine three-inch squares.
[Note: To make cracklings, cut fat from fresh pork into small pieces, add a small amount of water to prevent burning at first, then fry very slowly in heavy frying pan or kettle until fat is crisp. Drain thoroughly.]
San Antonio Light, April 12, 1937

Quotation for the Day

Friends are the Bacon Bits in the Salad Bowl of Life.

5 comments:

Leaking Moonlight said...

I grew up in little town Deep South USA on "shortnin' bread." Bacon grease to flour in a 1:2 ratio, and a touch of brown sugar. Patted down, and baked quickly on high heat like focaccia.

It sure does sound similar to Goody-bread.

Pete said...

We are all over the Midwest this week, huh? That word "goody" to refer to an extra something in the making of a dish is very old fashioned. My great-grandmother, who was born about 1858, used to call pie filling the "goody" sometimes, especially if some extra care had been taken over it. She was an Illinois girl, but her family had been in Kentucky in the generation previous, so it may be a word of the upper South. I'd forgotten it -- thank you for reminding me!

jakestone said...

I'm from the South and my experience with cracklin' bread is a bit different than any recipe I've seen online. My Grand Mommy was part Cherokee Indian and her cracklin' bread was never baked, she fried it. Kind of like corn pone. Every meal she made some sort of bread like biscuit, cornbread or Cracklin' bread. My Grand Daddy (born in 1898)wouldn't eat store bought bread. He would joke about it saying it was "tasteless". As unhealthy as we think their diets were, he lived to 87 and she lived to 95. I've NEVER had biscuits as good as my Grand Mommy's. I've found that so much of what passes for Southern country cooking is really "citified".

jakestone said...

I'm from the South and my experience with cracklin' bread is a bit different than any recipe I've seen online. My Grand Mommy was part Cherokee Indian and her cracklin' bread was never baked, she fried it. Kind of like corn pone. Every meal she made some sort of bread like biscuit, cornbread or Cracklin' bread. My Grand Daddy (born in 1898)wouldn't eat store bought bread. He would joke about it saying it was "tasteless". As unhealthy as we think their diets were, he lived to 87 and she lived to 95. I've NEVER had biscuits as good as my Grand Mommy's. I've found that so much of what passes for Southern country cooking is really "citified".

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks, jakestone. I love it when a story or recipe touches a chord, and that the memory is shared.