Salt Rising Bread

"From Bob's Red Mill web site"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
48hrs 45mins
2 loaves




  • Preparation: the evening before, in a saucepan scald the milk. In a small bowl pour the scalding hot (but not boiling) milk over the cornmeal and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir together and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot (90°-100°) where it will remain for 8 to 10 hours. A bubbly foam will develop over the surface of the cornmeal and it will smell sweet and fermented.
  • By Hand: In a large mixing or mixer bowl (warmed under hot water tap), pour the hot water over the 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt, and baking soda. Stir this briefly with a large spoon. Gradually add 1-1/2 cups flour to make a thick batter. Stir until smooth – about 50 strokes. The batter should be lukewarm to the touch. Not hot. Stir in the fermented cornmeal mixture.
  • First Rising: Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap; return to the warm place until the batter has bubbled and foamed to more than double its volume, about 2 hours. When you turn back the plastic wrap the aroma will be quite strong.
  • By Hand or Mixer: With the wooden spoon or flat beater mix in the shortening. Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, first with the spoon and then by hand. Work it well between the fingers, adding more flour, if necessary, until the dough has lost its wetness and a rough mass has formed. If using a mixer, when the dough becomes heavy remove the flat beater and replace it with the dough hook. Continue adding flour until a rough mass forms under the hook.
  • Kneading: Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and begin the kneading process. This dough will feel alive under your palms, elastic and soft. The dough under the dough hook will form a soft ball around the revolving arm. Add sprinkles of flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Knead for 10 minutes.
  • By Processor: the fist 2 steps in the preparation of the dough will be done in 2 bowls, as above. Processing will come later.
  • Attach the steel blade. After the batter has risen for the second time and the shortening has been added, pour the mixture into the processor work bowl. With the machine running, add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a rough mass that whirls with the blade and cleans the sides of the bowl. If flour remains along the bottom edge of the bowl, scrape it free with a spatula.
  • Kneading: With the processor running, knead for 60 seconds.
  • Shaping: Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece into a rectangle, fold in half, pinch the seam closed, and shape the dough into a loaf. Place in the pans, seam to the bottom. The dough usually fills only half of the pan. Brush the tops lightly with oil or melted butter.
  • Second Rising: Cover with wax paper and allow to rise until the dough has doubled, about 50 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375° about 20 minutes before baking.
  • Baking: Place the pans in the oven. When the loaves are nicely browned and tapping the bottom crust yields a hard and hollow sound, about 45 minute, they are done. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50°.).
  • Final Step: Remove the bread from the oven and turn out immediately onto a metal cooling rack.
  • Toasting enhances the flavor of salt-rising bread. It may be kept frozen for several months at 0°.
  • recipe courtesy of Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads.

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I live in the desert with my husband where we enjoy traveling, camping, amateur astronomy, and listening to short-wave broadcasts on our vintage radios. We like to eat wholesome, nutritious foods free of pesticides and preservatives; therefore, we try to purchase only organic foods. I love to cook and am discovering new ways to prepare fish and vegetables. My ancestors came from Scotland, England, and Germany and I am very much interested in learning about past and current culture and food preparations there as well. Lately, I have been developing a taste for more Indian and Asian cuisines and have enjoyed experimenting in my kitchen! I love to collect cookbooks from a variety of cuisines and have one that catered to the rationing needs of WWII. I like old movies, enjoy shopping for antiques, and love many things vintage. FAVORITE FOODS: I enjoy cooking comfort foods, pot roast and brisket, curries, and love a roast chicken. We like to go out for Asian, Italian, Indian, and Seafood. My cookbooks are a compilation of a few of my own recipes as well as those of Zaar members' whose recipes I've tried and loved or are on my "can't wait to try" list. <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"> MY RATING SYSTEM: If the dish is outstanding, I will rate it a 5. If I really like it and hope to make it again, I will rate it a 4. If the dish was just "ok" and I might make it again w/ adjustments, I'll rate it a 3. I will give it a 2 if it was fair and I probably won't make it again. I will give a recipe a 1 if I just didn't like it or it didn't work out. I will try to give a fair explanation of why I give a low rating. Please don't be offended as my low ratings will not be personal, but rather a true reflection of my experience w/ the recipe. Not everyone likes the same things and our tastes can be different, so please bear that in mind as well. <a href="" target="_blank" title="free hit counter"><img border="0" alt="free hit counter" src=""></a>
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