We’re here today again at Genesee Country
Village and Museum and they’ve got a great episode for me today. We’re making bread with barm. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century
Cooking. [Jon] I’m here today with Peggy Roll. She’s the hired cook here in this house
and she’s going to show me exactly how to make bread with barm. So, I can’t help but notice, this is a huge
kitchen. Can you tell me a bit about the house and
maybe even the kitchen? [Peggy] Alright, well this house was built
in downtown Rochester in 1827 by a miller, Mr. Livingston, and it was right after the Eerie
Canal came through around 1825, and so a lot of wealth was coming into this area and he
could afford to have a big house like this, but then the mill started moving west and
he became bankrupt and so he sold the house to a Dr. Backus in the 30’s and Dr. Backus
lived here. He was the second Doctor to come into the
Rochester area and he lived here until the 50’s and he had a hired cook, and that’s
me. He became a state senator later on too, so
Dr. Backus and his wife, I’m sure, were doing a fair amount of entertaining, and I
would have been cooking for them. [Jon] Yeah, this is an amazing, amazing kitchen,
you know, fully equipped, nice and large with this wonderful… [Peggy] We have a lovely bread oven that we
use and she probably would have baked once or twice a week and baked the breads and pies
and cakes and everything for the family. [Jon] Great. So, let’s talk a little bit about this barm
and getting it ready for baking bread. What do we have here? [Peggy] Well, I got some barm from the local
brewery [Jon] Right
[Peggy] and I was able to make a liquid starter from it, and so what I did was, I started
out with a little bit of flour, add a little bit of cold water just to mix it up and added
two quarts of boiling water. [Jon] Okay
[Peggy] And then I added some brown sugar and I let that cool down. [Jon] Ah, Mmhm. [Peggy] I had to cool it down, because otherwise
it would have killed my yeast. [Jon] Right. [Peggy] And then I added 4 tablespoons of
my fresh barm and stirred it up and then I put it in front of the fire overnight and then
the next day we can use that for our bread. [Jon] So there’s more that we need to know
about barm. I’m going to go over to the brewery and
talk to Brian Nagel about where barm comes from and what it is. [Brian] There’s been a strong connection
between bread and beer for about 8 thousand years. Ever since they started brewing back in the
fertile crescent in the Mesopotamians and Syrians, there’s a connection with the bakeries
and the breweries, so we’re very happy to be able to continue that tradition here at
the museum by offering up our bakers some of the barm, the yeast that’s coming on
the surface of the wort here. Our yeast is worting very nicely. The worts beginning to ferment here in the
fermenting tub and I do know that our village cooks are quite excited about coming in to
collect some barm from us for baking some breads in the village kitchens. So, I’m going to dip in and pull out some
of that barm, some of our top fermenting yeast, for them to have, to do some bread baking. There’s a great painting by Lewis Miller,
a Pennsylvania German artist from the early part of the 1800’s showcasing a lot of the
villagers coming to the brewery to glute not only beer, but also to pick up some barm for
their baking as well, so we’re quite excited to be able to do that here at the museum as
well for our village cooks. [Peggy] So now what I’m going to do, is
I’m adding this to about 8 cups of flour. [Jon] Okay
[Peggy] and I’m just going to make a well into my flour and I dump it right in. [Jon] Okay so we have our flour, we have our
yeast. [Peggy] And I’d like to make what’s called
a sponge. [Jon] Okay
[Peggy] And so I’m going to try to stir in some of this. I’m not going to stir in all the flour right
now because we’ll need to add a little bit more water to it. [Jon] Okay
[Peggy] But I’m going to stir this in like this [Jon] Okay [Peggy] and then Mrs. Leslies cookbook tells
us that we’re supposed to scatter a little flour on top and then when you can see it
bubbling up through the flour then we’re ready to go.
[Jon] Okay. [Peggy] So we’re checking to make sure that
our yeast is active by making a sponge. [Jon] Okay, so you’re going to set this
aside? How long are we going to wait? [Peggy] You know, it might be about an hour,
maybe, and sometimes a little longer, and then what I’ll be doing is adding some more
water. This is sort of reversed to the normal way
we’d make bread; in that I start out with the flour that I want and add the liquid that
I need. [Jon] and do we set this by the fire or just
somewhere sort of warmish? [Peggy] In a warm place. I would cover it up, then I will be able to
set it in a warm place. I usually put it on a trivet near the fire
but not right next to it. [Jon] Okay, wonderful. [Peggy] So here I have a nice ugly little
mess here. [Jon] You can tell it’s active and it’s
ready to go. [Peggy] I do have to add a little bit of salt,
so I put about 2 teaspoons of salt in here. I’m going to put some flour on my board
here and a little flour on top so we can dig it out of here, so then we can start kneading
it. It’s really nice dough. [Jon] It’s so very wet and very white too.
[Peggy] It is. Well, this is a wealthy household, so we probably
would have gotten the finest flour we could have gotten. [Jon] I’m here today with Pat Mead. She’s the head of Foodways here at Genesee
Country Village and Museum. We’re talking about this recipe. The recipe that we’re making this bread
from is… [Pat] Is from Mrs. Leslies cookbook and Mrs.
Leslie is an author from Philadelphia, but she sites in her book, “When you make bread,
you need to use the finest ingredients, and especially your flour” and she also says,
“you should purchase it from Hyrum Smith from Rochester, New York.” Now, where we are here, in the village or
so, is Wheatland and this is where they would be growing the wheat. It is also mentioned in books that Queen Victoria
ordered her flour from here, because it was known as the some of the finest flour around. [Jon] That’s happening right here in Rochester. [Pat] That’s right. [Jon] So it was a wheat growing area, specifically
a good wheat growing area and it did have lots of mills in the area too? [Pat] It did. A lot later on, they moved out west, but there
were quite a few here and also what was very interesting is that down in Mumford, not too
far from here, is the Presbyterian Church, and you can find Hyrum Smiths window there. Stained glass window in memory of him. [Jon] So he probably paid or his family paid
for a special window in the church right here in Mumford.
[Pat] Right.
[Jon] Wow. So, I want to thank Pat for giving us this
little bit of extra knowledge about wheat and the flour that came from right here in
the Rochester, New York area. Thank you so much.
[Pat] Thank you. [Peggy] So I would knead this probably for
8 or 10 minutes until it’s nice and stretchy and you have a nice ball, but this is actually
pretty good, and you’re just making it nice and firm. You’re developing the gluten, but you notice
I didn’t add any butter or oil or sugar to this, this is a very simple receipt and
it just has flour and salt and this barm starter and that’s it.
[Jon] and water, yeah. [Peggy] It gave wonderful flavor. So, this was a double batch of bread and so
I’m going to cut the loaf here in half and make two rounds out of it and I’m going
to put it in my butter dish here just like that and I will cover it up and I’ll put
it in my warm place for an hour or so. [Jon] Okay
[Peggy] and I’ll wait for my bake oven to be ready and
[Jon] So you’re just going to let this rise about an hour?
[Peggy] Right, about an hour. That’s right.
[Jon] Until it, maybe, doubles in size? [Peggy] Yeah, it’s about doubles in size.
That’s right. [Jon] So here, this one is ready.
This one’s risen an hour. [Peggy] Right.
[Jon] Is it ready to go in the oven just like this? [Peggy] I think it’s ready to go. I think we can see and we can feel it’s
sort of soft around the side. [Jon] Alright, okay, so this one’s ready
to go in the oven, what about this oven? [Peggy] This is our bake oven over there that
we use. To use my bake oven, I heat it up for 3 hours
with very good fire and that’s going to bring it up to a quick oven, about what we
would call 425 degrees, so I’m going to use my peel and I’m going to take all the
coals out of there and then I’m going to sweep it out with a wet broom and by sweeping
it out with a wet broom, not only am I getting the rest of the coals out, but I’m also
adding a little steam to the oven. [Jon] So I just saw you stick your arm in
there. What were you doing? [Peggy] Well, I’m feeling the temperature
of the air that’s in the oven. I’m not going to touch anything, I’m not
going to get burnt, I’m just going to stick my arm in there. If I get up to 7, its about 425 degrees. [Jon] So this loaf is just out of the oven.
[Peggy] Right. [Jon] It’s baked about 20 minutes.
[Peggy] 25 minutes. I checked it and put it in for another minute
or two. [Jon] and out it comes in the oven. What are we doing now? [Peggy] well we wrapped it up in a damp cloth
and they liked soft crust. [Jon] Okay. [Peggy] And so we have a damp cloth and we’ll
let it cool here and then I will put it in a dry cloth and we’ll put it in our bread
box. [Jon] So we’re not just going to cut it
open right away and start trying to eat it? [Peggy] They didn’t like that. We do, they didn’t like it that way. [Jon] Well,
[Peggy] They didn’t even think it was healthy. [Jon] Mmm
[Peggy] They thought, you know, you really should let it sit for a day or so, before
you try to eat it. Here’s our loaf of bread and we could cut
this and try and see what it tastes like. [Jon] Great, let’s go ahead and try out
your bread. You don’t, obviously, you never know what
we’re going to find inside of bread. Well, hopefully we’re going to find bread. It smells like a wonderful bread. [Peggy] It smells good. [Jon] And it’s got some wonderful crumb
and texture. It’s a great shape.
[Peggy] Pretty good. [Jon] Yeah, it’s got some nice rich flavor,
it must have really developed some of that sponge there, sitting and waiting, it’s
developed some wonderful flavors. Obviously, it’s baked the perfect amount. This looks really good and it’s a great
and very easy. [Peggy] It’s very easy. [Jon] Very easy bread to make. Peggy, I so want to thank you for showing
me this whole process and how to use this barm. Thank you so much for showing everyone here
about this process. It’s been very, very interesting, so thank
you so much. [Peggy] Well, thank you. [Jon] And I really do encourage anyone who
is in the area, if you’re in this western New York area or even anywhere close, you
should really come and visit the Genesee Country Village and Museum. It’s an amazing place with all these wonderful
buildings and great interpreters and truly a great living history site, so make sure
to come here if you’re in the area at all and I want to thank everyone as you watch
these videos, you experiment, you experience these experiments in historical cooking and
all these wonderful flavors that we get out of this. Thank you so much for joining us today as
we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th and early 19th century. I want to give a special thanks to all the
folks at Genesee Country Village and Museum for all their help. Make sure to check out their website. If you’re new to our channel, I want to
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