On Bread
An authentic bread recipe from Platina - contributed by David Friedman

Original recipe from Platina pp. 13-14 (Book 1):

"... Therefore I recommend to anyone who is a baker that he use flour from wheat meal, well ground and then passed through a fine seive to sift it; then put it in a bread pan with warm water, to which has been added salt, after the manner of the people of Ferrari in Italy. After adding the right amount of leaven, keep it in a damp place if you can and let it rise.... The bread should be well baked in an oven, and not on the same day; bread from fresh flour is most nourishing of all, and should be baked slowly."

Modern recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cup sourdough
  • 1 cup whole wheat
  • 2 1/4 cup warm water
  • 5 3/4 cup white flour: 5 1/4 cup at first, 1/2 cup later
  • 1 T salt
Put sourdough in a bowl. Add warm (not hot!) water and salt, mix. Add whole wheat flour, then white, 1 or 2 cup at a time, first stirring in with a wooden spoon and then kneading it in. Cover with a wet towel, set aside. Let rise overnight (16-20 hours). Turn out on a floured board, shape into two or three round loaves, working in another 1/2 cup or so of flour. Let rise again in a warm place for an hour. Bake at 350° about 50 minutes. Makes 2 loaves, about 8" across, 3"-4" thick, about 1.5 lb, or three smaller loaves.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

David Friedman is the noted and distinguished Professor of Law at Santa Clara University. He and his wife are experts in the field of historical food and cooking and are the authors of A Miscellany.

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