We asked for the lost and it was found again, by one of our most dedicated Lost Recipe Rangers, Amanda Robinson-Lingenfelter of Maple Ridge, BC. Eric Carstens emailed us about a bread recipe that he couldn’t remember anything else about, except that it was delicious. He had a subscription to Harrowsmith magazine while working on his PhD in Sherbrooke, Quebec from 1974-1977. “At that time, I discovered a wonderful bread recipe in the magazine and baked bread every week for a year.” Eric had kept copies of the magazine from that time period “until we moved out of our house of 30+ years in 2007 and had to discard a lot of good stuff. I currently live in Kingston, Ontario and am a professor of virology at Queen’s University. I completed my PhD in virology at the University of Sherbrooke in 1977.
The recipe was found in issue #24, December 1979. It’s a simple recipe that calls for “hard flour”–special thanks to Ellen Downe who posted a short Wikipedia tutorial on soft and hard flour for us (or me, who was dumbfounded) on Facebook. Basically, hard flour is for bread, soft is for cake. Who knew? I know, I know, everyone with a loaf pan! Wiki also says that ‘soft’ or ‘weak’ wheat flour indicates low gluten content. ‘Hard’ and ‘strong’ flour has high gluten content. Hard flour also has a tough elasticity which helps it keep its shape once baked while soft cake flours lend to a crumbly texture. Furthermore, cake flour is the lowest in gluten and pastry flour has slightly more gluten than cake flour. Case closed. Thanks to Amanda who earns an honorary Harrowsmith PhD in Recipe Finding. Happy loafing around, Eric! If anyone rises to the occasion (couldn’t help myself) and bakes this bread, please send photos to [email protected] and we’ll make you famous.
- (makes 2 big loaves)
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast (or 1 package)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 1/2 cups warm milk or water
- 2 Tbsp. oil or melted butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 7 or 8 cups hard wheat flour. This may be all whole wheat or all unbleached white or a combination of both.
Jules Torti’s resume reads more like a well-folded treasure map. She has been a canoe outtripper, outdoor educator, colouring book illustrator and freelancer. Jules has volunteered (and eaten all sorts of questionable things) in the soupy jungles of Costa Rica, Uganda and the Congo. Her work has been published in The Harrowsmith Almanac, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe & Mail, travelife, Canadian Running and Coast Mountain Culture. She actively feeds her blog, Alphabet Soup, with posts on books, birds, burgers and beer (in no particular order) across the latitudes from Zanzibar to Iceland. Closer to home, she was grandfathered into the Galt Horticultural Society, was the caretaker of a 155-year-old stone heritage cottage and has chronic fantasies about church conversions, beekeeping and owning llamas. She has been known to slam on the brakes for photo ops of saltbox houses, saddle roof barns, snowy owls and sunflower fields. As editor-in-chief of Harrowsmith she is thrilled to be able to curate, write and read about the very best things in life.