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Bread Trenchers

Posted in: Cuisine

Washing dishes is a sucky camp duty. It's an icky job and it's not terribly fun.. and there are about a hundred other things you'd rather be doing at event.

After this last Estrella (2006) my camp suggested we start using paper plates.

Outside of the SCA I hate paper plates, they're wasteful. Inside of the SCA I hate paper plates. They're not period and they're wasteful. But they did have a point. Paper plates can be burned and eliminate the "doing dishes" part of the meal.

After mulling this over for a long while I proposed that we should start using bread trenchers at event. It's still wasteful.. but more period than paper plates. They seem amiable to the idea. Now I just need to work out the logistics.

This topic is to gather trencher ideas.. and to document how it all works out.

From http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/trenchers-msg.html

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 18:42:00 EST
From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - Trenchers Oh my!

stefan at texas.net writes:
<< So, what recipe did you use when you made these trenchers and how did
they work out? So far, no one has been able to relate to me whether
they got soggy and were a total mess, whether they soaked up all the
juice and thus left nothing for the food, whether they collapsed in
folks laps or table or just what. >>

I worked out a recipe from Bear's suggestions about using only flour, water,
yeast, and salt, and relative proportions from my breadmaker book. The
current recipe for a 1.5 lb loaf is:

1.75 cups water
3.33 cups + 2.5 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1.25 tsp salt
1.5 tsp bread machine yeast, or 2 tsp regular yeast.

The odd measurements are due to trying to get the dough to the right
consistency. For some reason, this seems to be much more senstive to
atmospheric moisture that regular bread dough, so I nearly always have to
adjust something.

I usually make them either the Tuesday or Wednesday before a weekend event,
and let them sit on the counter until we are ready to pack, at which point
they go into a muslin bag, tied shut. We have learned that it is best to cut
them after only a day or two of drying; a saw would work better than a bread
knife if you leave it till the last minute. I have been making them in the
bread machine (normal loaf shape, not round), so we slice them into 3 or four
sections from the top down, and usually discard the top because it tends to
be very lumpy. We have used two side by side for most feasts, and have not
needed to use the "spare". Of course, anything really soupy goes in the
wooden bowl anyway ;-) We have not had any problems with them getting too
saturated, or falling apart; they mostly just tend to leave crumbs everywhere!

Brangwayna Morgan

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