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A Fine Manchet
by
Aethelind of Erbeswald


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Original Recipe

The making of a fine manchet

from "The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen" (1594)
Take halfe a bushell of fine flower twise boulted, and a gallon of faire luke warm water, almost a handful of white salt, and almost a pinte of yest, then timper all these together, without any more liquour, as hard as you can handle it;  then let it lie halfe an hower, then take it up, and make your Manchetts, and let them stande almost an hower in the oven.


Redaction

Ingredients:

One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast -- (double for refrigerator rising)
1 cup warm water (80 - 100 degrees F) -- (+up to 1/4 cup if necessary)
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup gluten flour
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour -- (+up to 1 additional cup if needed)

Preparation Steps

Dissolve yeast in warm water with about 1 teaspoon of the honey.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes until it bubbles up.

Measure and blend flours in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl combine remaining honey and salt; add yeast and 1 1/2 cups flour blend.

Beat by hand (200 strokes with wooden spoon) or for 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer.

Add one more cup flour and beat briefly. **

Stir in enough remaining flour until a soft dough results.

Turn dough out onto firm, lightly floured surface (low enough so arms can be straightened out comfortably).  Knead dough by pushing palms of hands into the dough, then fold the dough over towards the body, then give it a quarter turn.  Repeat - push, fold, turn - for 10 to 15 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.  (THIS CAN ALSO BE EASILY DONE WITH AN ELECTRIC MIXER EQUIPPED WITH A DOUGH HOOK!)

Place kneaded dough in a greased bowl large enough for the dough to double in size.  Turn the dough over so top of dough is greased too.  Cover loosely with a clean towel, waxed paper, or plastic wrap.

Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  (Can also let rise overnight in the refrigerator.)

After risen, punch (literally) the dough down.  Shape into loaf, and place onto greased or parchment lined baking sheet.

Cover loosely and let rise again until doubled in size, usually 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove covering, and place loaf on center rack of oven preheated to 375 degrees F.  Bake 35 to 45 minutes until golden.

To test for doneness, stick cake tester, toothpick, or clean sharp knife through bottom of loaf - if it comes out clean, it is done.

Cool on wire racks, uncovered for crisp crust, covered with clean cloth for soft crust.

**The incomplete dough is called a "sponge" at this point.  If desired, the sponge can be refrigerated overnight, then the recipe finished the next day.

Number of Servings

12

Yield

1 loaf


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