Salt Rising Bread
*One of the most difficult breads to make ever encountered, it may turn out perfect, or it may turn out a failure. Always keep everything, dishes, utensils, etc. warm and allow absolutely no drafts in the working area. But donít despair if it fails; keep on trying. Even the experts have trouble with this one. But the end result is worth the trouble the first time you sink your teeth into a piece of buttered toast made with this rich bread!
2 1/2 cups new firm potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal
4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
11 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup milk, scalded
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Place potatoes in large bowl and sprinkle salt and cornmeal over all. Add boiling water, stirring to dissolve salt. Place on heating pad set on low (or anywhere there are no drafts and temperature maintains a constant 115°) and cover and wrap with towel. Allow to stand 2 days until contents are very bubbly. Squeeze and discard potatoes. In large bowl, combine leftover liquid, baking soda, salt and about half (5 1/2 cups) of the flour.
Beat thoroughly for 2 minutes on medium speed. Return to warm place, cover and allow to rise until increased in volume by about half (approximately 2 hours). Scald the milk and cool to lukewarm; add honey and butter and pour all into sponge with remaining flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into 3 loaves and allow to rise in well-greased loaf pans until doubled. Bake for about 1 hour or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire racks.
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