Friday, August 24, 2012

Black Bread Sandwich.


I remember some years ago including a recipe for ‘toast sandwiches’ in a blog post, and being very underwhelmed by the idea. It still remains in the ‘Why Bother?’ file in my head.

The recipe for toast sandwiches came from Mrs. Beeton’s Manual of Household Management. It was apparently intended for medicinal use, and certainly does have that bland and almost punitive lack of appeal that seemed to be a requirement of food for invalids of the time. It was almost as if tasty, tempting food might encourage invalid behaviour.

I came across a similar concept the other day, from the same era but different population. The Food Journal (London, 1870) had an article entitled The Working World: Holland. The following section details the worker's breakfast.

“The family breakfast consists of coffee with milk and sugar, and what may be called "black bread sandwiches,"a most universal article of diet in Holland, though perhaps more relished by the richer than the poorer classes, who usually prefer the white bread when they can get it. In this way they agree with the tastes of the English workman, who turns up his nose at anything but the whitest bread. The black bread is made by machinery, and left in the oven for 48 hours, acquiring at the end of this time a very dark colour, and a taste and consistence something like soft gingerbread. A slice of this is eaten at breakfast, placed between two thicker pieces of white bread and butter.”

I am intrigued by the idea of bread remaining in the oven for 48 hours, and would love some feedback if you are familiar with this technique.

As the recipe for the day, I give you a nice idea for using up your stale rye bread.

Black Bread Pudding.
Yolks of three eggs beaten with one cup of sugar; add one teaspoon of cinnamon, pinch of cloves, and pinch of allspice; one cup of stale rye bread crumbs added gradually. Mix well and add beaten whites. Bake slowly. Half an hour before serving, add one cup of claret or white wine. Serve with sherry wine sauce or whipped cream.

The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According to the Jewish Dietary Laws with the Rules for Kashering; the Favorite Recipes of America, Austria, Germany, Russia, France, Poland, Roumania, Etc., Etc (1919), by Florence Greenbaum.


Quotation for the Day.

Old bread isn't hard; what is hard is no bread.
Anon.

6 comments:

Oldskool said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Oldskool said...

I had actually seen an article about this on the BBC's site a while back, and ALMOST dismissed it... but luckily, I tried a variation on it:

Freshly toasted and still hot toast, on the softest white bread possible. I preppped the white bread with a generous layer of butter on both sides, and a thin layer of Marmite and fresh cracked black pepper on one side.

If you close your eyes, the difference of textures really fools you into 'tasting' a savory crispy 'patty' sandwich, like a chicken sandwich or such.

Late at night, when I have a craving for savory but do not want something that will upset my stomach later, this has become a fun 'indulgence'.

So nice to see further attention given to this classic idea.

Oh, and your 'captcha' is nearly impossible to read :(

Oldskool said...

I had actually seen an article about this on the BBC's site a while back, and ALMOST dismissed it... but luckily, I tried a variation on it:

Freshly toasted and still hot toast, on the softest white bread possible. I preppped the white bread with a generous layer of butter on both sides, and a thin layer of Marmite and fresh cracked black pepper on one side.

If you close your eyes, the difference of textures really fools you into 'tasting' a savory crispy 'patty' sandwich, like a chicken sandwich or such.

Late at night, when I have a craving for savory but do not want something that will upset my stomach later, this has become a fun 'indulgence'.

So nice to see further attention given to this classic idea.

Oh, and your 'captcha' is nearly impossible to read :(

Barm said...

The black bread described here is the classic pumpernickel method used in Germany, rather than the bread dyed dark brown with molasses that goes under that name elsewhere. The dough is baked in an enclosed tin in a very low oven for a very long time, lending it a sweet flavour.

Mercy said...

The 48 hour baking process is what gives traditionally made German pumpernickel (the stuff that comes in a small brick) its dark color by caramelizing the sugars in it.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Barm, and Mercy - I didnt know that - thanks for the advice. I love the Internet !