Thanks to Patty for today’s awesome review of The Rose and the Whip at https://bookscookslooks.com/. In her honor, I’m sharing a recipe for Rye & Injun Bread. The name comes from the rye flour and cornmeal (Indian meal) used, is historically accurate for the time when Lidia Wardell would have been making it, and is not intended to be disrespectful. I found lots of recipes, mostly updated for the modern convenience of cooking at a higher temperature so it doesn’t take all day. But I like this recipe exactly because it calls for the slower cooking that Lidia would have endured. The result is a sweet dark bread. In one article I read, it is supposed to have had a crust so sturdy it was used to scoop or ladle stew from the pot into the bowl, and from the bowl into Eliakim’s hungry mouth. The first time I tried it myself, I got a sweet bread better suited to a dessert than a stew. I tried it a second time, with some minor modifications. This batch came out sturdier, grittier, less sweet--much better and probably closer to the crustier version that Lidia would have made. Try it with a dollop of coco-whip on top.
1 1/2 c. corn meal
1 1/2 c . rye flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c molasses
1 c. buttermilk
In a large bowl, mix flours, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, molasses and buttermilk. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well mixed. Do not beat. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a 9x13” pan with honey butter and a dusting of dry cornmeal; put pan in the preheated oven until warm to the touch. Spread mixture in the pan and dust top with dry cornmeal. Bake 4 hours. Cut into squares. Serve hot or cold. Makes 16 servings. (based on the SparkRecipe from the Little House Cookbook at https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=327994).
Rye & Injun Bread, Huntsville, Alabama, July 2020