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#40553 - 09/02/01 03:09 PM salt rising bread
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
This is not a food thread, it is about history, culture, and coping with primitive conditions. I doubt that many board members have ever had any, or could get it if they wanted it. I found a few things on the Internet. but I'll bet none of you can find is how it got its name. It took me over twenty years to find out.

In the first place, remember that a hundred and fifty years ago, you had no place to buy yeast. You had to rely on airborne yeast, but could not afford to have batches of precious flour become unfit to eat if mould spores took over before any yeast arrived. The 49ers carried specimens of previous dough under their armpits to keep it warm. That made sourdough, which makes a good bread. But salt rising bread is much nicer. Some say the flavour suggests that of cheese. But it also has a very nice tender texture, and the crust is not rough on your gums like sourdough. Again though, you had to depend on airborne yeast. You had to have a starter mixture that would enable a suitable airborne yeast to grow rapidly. Tomorrow I will give a few more clues.


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#40554 - 09/02/01 08:39 PM Re: salt rising bread
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Apparently nobody so far knows about salt rising bread. The next clue is, do you know what a salt box house looks like, and how it got its name? A picture may be seen at"
http://www.mckieroth.com


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#40555 - 09/02/01 08:49 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#40556 - 09/02/01 10:50 PM Re: salt rising bread
belMarduk Offline
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Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Well, I think anyone who lives in a snow zone like I do will know exactly why the salt box house is called that.

They look exactly like the boxes we store, oh geez, I don't know what the English name is, well anyway, we call "du gros sel" (litteral translation...big salt).

It is the salt we put on the streets and anywhere where you want to melt the ice so as not to slip on it.


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#40557 - 09/03/01 09:05 AM Re: salt rising bread
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear belMarduk: Remember that in the early days you had to buy salt in bulk and it was not always available. When you got it, you had to protect it from moisture. So it was kept in a "saltbox" on a shelf above the kitchen stove.


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#40558 - 09/03/01 09:47 AM Re: salt rising bread
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
in the early days you had to buy salt in bulk and it was not always available. When you got it, you had to protect it from moisture. So it was kept in a "saltbox" on a shelf above the kitchen stove.

Of course you mean table salt, Dr. Bill ? My Grandmother had a salt box where she stored table salt even when it was easy to purchase in stores ... a holdover from earlier times.
I've never seen a salt box to store "melting" salt. In nearby Portsmouth, on the river's edge, there are huge piles of salt - out in the open - for spreading on icy roads.



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#40559 - 09/03/01 10:00 AM Re: melting salt
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10525
Loc: this too shall pass
around here you can often find it in 55-gallon drums along the side of the road. :^)


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#40560 - 09/03/01 10:57 AM Re: salt rising bread
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
i hate to say it, but i know all about salt rising bread.
1-- joy of cooking has a recipe for it.--at least the older editions did --

2-- as a science project in 8 grade, my son made salt rising bread.. it was a good demonstration of finding help full bacteria, by creating an environment that eleminated harmful bacteria..

3-- it is, to say the least, an aromatic process! but the bread taste good.

i used to bake all my own bread, so my kitchen has yeast spores about. i don't know if you'd be able for find yeast spores handy if there wasn't bread baking done on a regular basis.. but i could be wrong. most grapes have a "haze" on them, it is actually a varity of yeast that grows on the surface, making the fermenting of grapes rather easy.. i don't know what the yeast lives on when its not making bread.

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#40561 - 09/03/01 11:21 AM Re: salt rising bread
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear wow: surely you must have many times found that the top of your saltshaker had moist salt clooging the tip so no salt would come out. The same thing would happen to bulk kitchen salt, that's why it was kept in the saltboxes on the shelf above the kitchen stove.
Incidentally, when I mentioned the 49ers making sourdough, I forgot to note that they were for this reason often referred to as "sourdoughs". I am not sure what figure of speech that it.
My wife told me that when she was a girl, she could tell if any neighbor within half a mile was making saltrising bread. When the airborne yeast begins to work, it makes a gas with a very strong but not vile odor, not as pleasing as the odor of regular yeast. But even she did not know the secret, for which all the clues have now been given. It took me twenty years to find a book that mentioned it, so I would be surprised and even a bit chagrined if you could quickly figure it out.


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#40562 - 09/03/01 11:38 AM Salt of the earth-- or at least US
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
dear bel-- in US, there are several salts-- salt for the street, is usually called "rock salt" but i like the name big salt..since rock salt is large (small pea --petit poi) sized crystals. it is almost never used for "consumption", but finds it way into "salt beds" for baking oysters, and in with the ice for making home made icecream. most commonly, it is used to melt ice on the street. Some of the new compounds, the are less caustic, and work at lower temputures, are simple referred to as "good" or the "the good stuff" rock salt, but these are not sodium chloride.

next down in size is Kosher salt, which is used for lots of things, ethnicaly, it is use by Jews in a koshering process, to remove all the blood from food, but it is also the salt used for salted pretzels, and other food. it is a very pure salt, and most pickles recipes call for kosher salt.

sea salt-- sold as a gourmet item, is the next size in salt. it is almost the same size as kosher salt, maybe a little finer, and is almost always served in a grinder, like a pepper grinder, to grind it to a finer consistanty. (and i confess, my personal preference)

finaly, table salt, both iodized, and plain. very fine crystals.

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