Chad always asks us what we want to do to demonstrate 18th century living skills and invariably, my mind turns to cooking. Slowly but surely, I’ve been collecting the right period pieces to make on the hearth nearly any thing people ate back then. Since I have to eat, I may as well make things that are good as well as something that reflects the ethnic identity of the area. It seems as though, I dip more into German cooking than anything else which, fortunately, is appropriate as many families did come from the Palatine area. thinking ahead, I was tryingto plan a bill of faire that wouldn’t be a ton of work on a hot day but tasty and pleasant. I was planning on a salmagundy, roasting the hen in a tin roaster but then I ran into a recipe for Wurstsalat from the Alsace region. God knows how much I love sausages so its going to be a sausage salad that i will make in September. The recipe below is from a Facebook site called “I Love Germany”. I’m going to go to Fresh Market and see if the traditional sausages are available. If not, I think I will use Summer Sausage.
German, ( literally sausage salad) is a tart sausage salad prepared with distilled white vinegar, oil and onions. It is normally made from a sort of boiled sausage like Lyoner, stadtwurst, regensburger (two types of cooked sausage) or extrawurst. It is a traditional snack in southern Germany, Alsace, Switzerland and Austria.
To prepare the dish, the sausage is cut into thin slices or strips and placed, along with raw onion rings or cubes, in a vinegar and oil marinade, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Common additional ingredients are finely cut gherkins, radishes, parsley or chives. Wurstsalat is normally served with bread and sometimes also with fried potatoes. (I don’t know about the fried pottoes but some boiled new potatoes, diced would be great)
Popular variants are the Schwäbischer Wurstsalat (Swabian wurstsalat), which is half composed of blood sausage, and especially the Schweizer Wurstsalat (Swiss wurstsalat), also called Straßburger Wurstsalat (Strasburg wurstsalat) or Elsässer Wurstsalat (Alsacian wurstsalat), and containing Emmental cheese.
I am also going to add yellow peppers for sweetness , Emmenthaler cheese and use sweet red onions , cut fine and fresh corn .My secret ingredient will be white wine vinegar and Styrian pumpkin seed oil. that stuff is so good, it’s almost a sin. Serve it up on artisinal lettuce and garnish with hard boioled eggs, OH MY!!!
I’m going to make rye bread too as the heart will make the dough rise easily. I’ve made it at home many times and it’s really wonderful. ( I got this recipe from http://www.whats4eats.com/breads/bauernbrot-recipe a while back and each time I use the variations, adding spelt and seeds)
1 large loaf
- Bread flour — 3/4 cup
- Rye flour — 3/4 cup
- Honey or malt syrup — 3 tablespoons
- Water, lukewarm — 1 1/2 cups
- Instant yeast — 1/2 teaspoon
- Bread flour — 2 1/2 cups
- Caraway seeds — 2 tablespoons
- Salt — 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Instant yeast — 1/2 teaspoon
- Oil — 1 tablespoon
- Cornmeal — for the baking tray
- Add the ingredients for the starter to a large bowl and mix together until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- While the starter is resting, mix together the remaining ingredients except for the oil and cornmeal. Pour the flour mixture over the starter. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and set aside for at least two hours and up to five hours. The starter will bubble up through the flour mixture.
- Add the oil to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the starter. As the mixture comes together, remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. The dough might be a little sticky. Knead in just enough extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Set the dough aside to rest for about 10 minutes, then knead for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Set the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and set in a draft-free area of the kitchen to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Punch down the dough and lightly knead it 3 or 4 times. Form into a ball, return to the bowl, cover and let rise for another 45 minutes or so.(I like to let it rise overnight.)
- Preheat oven to 450°F and set the shelf at the lowest level. Put a small metal pan in the oven (you will use this later). Lightly press down on the dough and form it into a ball. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto a baking sheet and set the dough onto the baking sheet. Lightly oil the top of the dough and cover it with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise for another hour.
- Use a sharp knife or razor blade to slash the top of the dough in 3 parallel lines about 1/4-inch thick. Then slash with another set of 3 lines perpendicular to the first set. Use a spray bottle to mist the dough with water.
- Set the baking sheet in the oven and pour about 1 cup of water into the small pan to create steam. Shut the door immediately and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400°F and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes. (An insta-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf should register 190°F.) When you bake it in a bastible, just add a tiny bit of water to the bottom of the pot. The cast iron creates it’s own steam and keeps it in.
- Set the loaf on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- For even better flavor, let the starter ferment for an hour a room temperature. Then set it in the refrigerator to ferment slowly for another 8 to 24 hours. Return it to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. (I’ll make the starter a day ahead and bring it with me.
- Vary the proportion of rye flour and bread flour to your liking. Or eliminate the rye flour altogether and use all bread flour. You can also make a whole wheat loaf by replacing about 1/2 of the bread flour with whole wheat flour. You will need to add a little more water if you do. I acrually like more rye flour rather than less
- Mix 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, linseeds, flaxseeds, cracked wheat, rye or spelt into the flour mixture for added texture. THIS IS A MUST!!!!
- For a darker crust, brush the dough with some buttermilk, yogurt or dark coffee just before baking.
- I use a bastible and bake it in that. It allows for a wonderful crust yet delicious interior texture.