Salt-Rising Bread, or Pioneer Bread
This old-fashioned method of making bread with a cornmeal starter is worth the effort! It's a good thing this recipe makes 3 loaves - everyone will want "one more slice"!
- 8 tablespoons cornmeal
- Pinch salt
- Pinch baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Scalding hot water
- 1 quart milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 to 4 tablespoons shortening, butter or lard
- Additional flour, if needed
- Butter for tops of loaves
Cooking time 600mins
The night before you wish to do your baking:
Put cornmeal in a pint jar. Add a pinches of salt and soda. Add sugar.
Add enough hot water to fill the jar. Stir well. Cover with a lid and let stand overnight in a warm place.
The next morning, combine of milk, cornmeal mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt and flour. Stir well to make a stiff batter.
Cover and place the entire bowl in a container of warm water and set in a warm place. You will likely have to drain some of the water off and replace with warmer water on a continuing basis. Try to hold the temperature as constant as possible. It will take 3 to 4 hours to rise. If it is very slow in rising, you can stir it again, then place the bowl back in the warm water.
When the dough rises, combine 1 teaspoon salt, shortening and flour enough to make a stiff dough. Knead 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Shape dough into 3 loaves. Grease the sides of the loaf pans well with butter, then place the loaves in pans and let rise until they are doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes. When the bread has finished baking, grease the crust heavily with butter as soon as you remove from the oven.