Salt Rising Bread

Been loving this bread for nearly 60 years. My grandkids call it stinky-feet bread because when the loaves are baking, or you re toasting slices (we like it best toasted!), it smells like stinky feet. Toasted slices are very crunchy on the outside, and moist and chewy on the inside. DELICIOUS!!!!! NOT easy to make, but well worth the effort! Our home town bakery used to make this once a week, and throughout the 1950s and 60s my dad was always first in line to buy half a dozen loaves. These days the only way you re likely to experience this delicious bread is to bake it yourself.

Ingredients

  1. 3 large baking potatoes
  2. 3 tbsp NOT DEgerminated yellow cornmeal
  3. 1 tsp sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 4 cup boiling water
  6. 2 cup warm milk
  7. 1 cup warm water
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 2 tsp salt
  10. 2 tbsp vegetable oil OR melted shortening
  11. 5 lb bag of bread flour

Method

  1. Wash and peel potatoes Slice raw potatoes thinly into a large non-reactive bowl (I use Tupperware ceramic also works) Sprinkle with cornmeal sugar and salt and pour on the boiling water Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and set aside
  2. Change Fill a crockpot half full of water heat that up on high then turn it down to low Invert the crockpot lid set a dinner plate on top of that with a pot holder or 2 place your bowl of starter ingredients on top and cover the whole thing with a couple of thick bath towels The trick to a successful starter is keeping it at a constant temperature of 100-105-degrees
  3. Change After 12 to 15 hours your starter should be foamy (see photo) and have a strong sour smell (kind of like stinky feet) If after 12 to 15 hours the starter isnt foamy and stinky the starter has failed Do not continue with the recipe You must have the foam and the smell!
  4. Now in a separate bowl mix together the warm milk (even skim is fine) warm water baking soda salt and melted shortening or oil
  5. Drain the potato mixture in a colander saving the starter liquid (discard the potato slices) and mix the starter liquid with the milk amp water mixture Stir in enough flour to make smooth dough
  6. Knead until smooth and elastic as you would for yeast dough about 8 to 10 minutes adding more flour as needed to prevent stickiness
  7. Divide the kneaded dough into 6 greased 1 pound small loaf (8 x 4) pans Dough should fill pan 1/3 full
  8. Lightly cover the bread pans with a floured tea towel or a sheet of plastic wrap thats been lightly sprayed with Pam Let the breads rise in a consistent warm place until dough has almost doubled (About 2 hours)
  9. With a fine-misting spray bottle spritz the top of the dough with water Bake in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes or until golden
  10. Remove to racks to cool Brush tops of loaves with melted butter
  11. The characteristic strong odor you smell as the bread is baking will not overly manifest itself in the flavor of the bread The bread has a nice grain and texture and pleasant taste and is MOST delicious when toasted! It also freezes very well
  12. UPDATE 7/25/17: FINALLY found a bakery (in Pennsylvania) that sells authentic Salt Rising Bread Somewhat pricey with shipping (but worth it) BUT they also sell a dried starter that makes it a bit easier to make your own Also recently got a sous vide gadget and found it much easier to use than the crockpot to maintain the consistent temperature for a successful starter

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