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Friday, May 17, 2013

COMIDA, LA - WITH A 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR BREAD


Dough Being Left to Rise
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Cat. menjar, the meal. It was served at 12 p.m in medieval Spain. The meal was synonymous with abundance in the Middle Ages. This could be a banquet in castles and palaces consisting of poultry, boar, trout, and wine. A good host was one who offered enough food to satisfy a lion. 

A meal consisting of small quantities was synonymous with poverty, a despicable position in a class-orientated society. Consumption in convents varied. The nuns of the Berciano (León) ate botillo del Bierzo (“half a boot,” tripe filled with minced pork) while the monks of Sahagún were as opulent as the nuns of San Pedro de las Dueñas (Burgos) who ate bread as well as hearty dishes and drank wine, matured in kegs covered with mold and spider’s webs. 

Pilgrims and peasants nibbled on bread, a little salt pork and sipped wine. Bread is synonymous with “meal”. Even in the 20th C, a foreign bride in Spain, who forgot the bread, was asked by her Spanish father-in-law ‘where was the meal?’ She could not understand until her husband explained that the bread was missing. The noun comida and verb comer actually are derived from verb comedir, meaning to think, premeditate, to take measures for something or to be moderate and to contain oneself. [Alonso Luengo. 1994:39; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:entire; and Lladonosa. 1976:158]
ADiffrent Shape of Dough Ready for the Oven
Photo by: Lord-Williams

BAKED BREAD ADAPTED FROM FADALAT [1] PAN COCIDO EN EL HORNO[1]

So Yummy!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

200 g hot water
400 g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 pk  dry yeast
50 g animal fat[2] or oil

Preparation

Lightly oil bread pans.


Heat the water. Pour it into a bowl. Originally, the recipe calls for soaking the flour. There is no need for that today. Add the rest of the ingredients except the fat or oil. Rub this on hands and knead. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time if necessary and continue kneading for 10 minutes until soft and elastic.


Divide the dough shape it into loaves as desired. Sprinkle with flour. Brush the loaves with olive oil. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. When it has risen sufficiently, it will emit a noise when struck.

PREHEAT OVEN 450ºF/220ºC.

Immediately, bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.  Clean the loaves and put them in a breadbasket for consumption.



[1] See blog titled aludir published September 15, 2011 for a different version of this recipe.
[2] As this is a Hispano-Arabic recipe, lard should not be used due to the prohibition of pork in the Muslim religion.

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