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NEWS! We are making Salt-Rising Bread again

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Early American Toaster Bread & Muffins

made from the historical recipe for

SALT-RISING BREAD

After many tries (a few good batches, and a few not so good ones) we finally sent head bread baker Mike King, to a bakery in Western PA to learn the art of making this uniquely American bread.

I grew up in Binghamton, NY where in the 60′s and 70′s, a few bakeries still made Salt-Rising. By the 90′s my parents were driving to Owego, NY to get it.  After that bakery closed, my father succeeded in nagging me enough to go back to making it at Crossroads.

We did make it in the early years at the bakery, and a few customers would remind us about it, and like my dad, kindly nudged us along to make it again.   But it is such pain-in-the-neck bread to make!  We soon stopped bothering with it.  At Crossroads we are very used to monitoring starters, feeding sourdough moms 3 times a day and basically being a slave to many different fermentations going on around us.  But this particular starter is just so finicky!

After I asked Mike to attempt another batch (my dad was visiting in a few days…), he proposed that I send him to a bakery that makes it commercially.  He said he would be willing to stay a few days and bake with them to learn the craft.   What a brilliant idea, why didn’t I think of that!   So I called Rising Creek Bakery in Mt. Morris, PA, and they were thrilled to have a baker from Crossroads work with them a few days as well.  So, we set up and exchange.  We taught them our method of making croissant, and they taught us how the heck to make Salt-Rising Bread perfect every time!  They were lovely people and we thank them for the opportunity for the exchange.

Salt-Rising is a generally considered a dense white bread.  I wanted to make our version unique, and in doing so, I decided to alter the flour in our version for a few reasons.  First, I like a bit of whole wheat or grain in my breakfast toast, but also, I wanted to replicate what might be found in the original bread the Early Americans would have made.  They didn’t have the high tech refining facilities we have now, so their white flour would have been a “dirty” flour.  In other words, there might have been specks of rye, or buckwheat and some bran in it.  So you will find that our Salt-Rising is not perfectly white, we made up our own “dirty” flour to add more flavor, nutrition and texture.

If you are here on the day we are growing the starter, you will unfortunately observe how badly it smells – like a nasty ripe cheese.  Well, that is what makes it so good as well!  Salt-Rising Bread is also know as a “mock” cheese bread because of the taste it has when you toast it.  And toasting it is what it is all about (read in “your comments” a post about salt rising from a mail order customer in California).

Because Doylestown has no idea what this bread is all about, I decided to give it another name, “Early American Toasting Bread”.  I think it better describes the history of the bread, and how best to enjoy it.  We also decided to make Toaster Muffins out of them because then our customers would automatically toast them and find out what this bread is all about. We couldn’t call them English Muffins, for one because they are American, and also because they do not have the nooks and crannies you’ll find in an English muffin.  After all, I am not out looking for complaints!

Salt Rising is made about every two weeks at the bakery, but it is kept in the freezer for everyday availability. Please let us know how you like it!

To learn everything you need to know about this unique bread, visit this website!

http://home.comcast.net/~petsonk/


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