Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Recipe: Some Time Travel

In a week when scientists have just announced the discovery of ripples in the space/time continuum, it is not inappropriate, I think, to enjoy a touch of time travel--back, rather than forward. I confess, this trip was actually initiated by a bout of binge watching from the TVO program page--specifically, Tudor Monastery Farm. If you can't access TVO on your computer (that darn geo-blocking!), you can get the series here on Youtube. There's nothing better (perhaps a good audiobook?) to get you through a boring stage of knitting, than a good documentary, especially on a bitterly cold February day. I particularly like this BBC series because it's not set up as a reality show with the inevitable artificial deadlines and predictable personality conflicts. It's just a team of two archeologists and one historian living as they would have in Tudor times. (And for more of the same, there's Secrets of the Castle.) As someone who delights in playing Tudor-era music, I was hooked at once. As a bonus, there's sheep washing and shearing, and a discussion of the importance of wool exports to 16th century England.
Back to the bread. Two kinds of bread were eaten at the time: manchet bread was made from wheat flour, sifted to remove as much of the bran as possible, and eaten by the upper classes; and maslin bread, was made from a mixture of wheat, barley, and rye, and eaten by labourers, farmers, and the poor. (Click on the links for recipes.)It was the latter I wanted to re-create. So, off I trotted to my local natural food shop to pick up some stoneground flours. I chose the dried yeast option, because that's what I had on hand, but if I wanted to be totally authentic I would have taken time to produce my own sourdough starter. There are limits to authenticity. I started the bread after breakfast, and by about 2:00 in the afternoon, here's what I had.

Not bad, eh? I paired it with butter, roasted carrots and parsnips, and creamy lentil soup for a more-or-less authentic Tudor supper. BTW, do check out the main recipe page on the above site for a selection of mouth-watering, historically authentic baked treats.

While the soup was simmering, and the vegetables roasting, I made a start on the next sweater. Remember this little swatch?

Time for it to come to life!


  1. That maslin bread looks and sounds very tasty. I think that'll need to find its way to my mixing bowl. Also lentil soup and roasted veggies? Oh my - that would be perfect for our very cold and windy weather and soothing to my scratchy throat and drippy nose!
    I look forward to seeing what the swatch becomes.

  2. What beautiful cabling. I shall be very interested to watch it come to life.
    We watched some of the Tudor Monastery series. If you enjoyed that you might enjoy an earlier series which we watched on TVO, but which I see is on YouTube. It is called Tales from the Green Valley and set in 1620, on a farm in Wales, and features the same two historians.
    Your bread looks yummy!

    1. Yes, I've watched "Tales etc". Very enjoyable. I actually enjoyed the "Castle" series more. I think it's because it's a 25-year project and therefore large in scale and depth.
      Cabling is slow work, so you might have to wait a while to see where this project is going. Don't hold your breath!