Monday, 24 May 2010

Diet Bread

"What's that?" I hear you all say, ears pricking up in anticipation. "Bread that you can actually eat on a diet instead of crossing the room to avoid?"

No, sadly. This is Georgian 'Diet Bread'. In those days, there wasn't the phrase 'to go on a diet' like there is today. It had a much wider meaning than simply to lose weight. This recipe incorporates fennel and sage in the dough to aid digestion and, er, movement. In other words, it was a bread that helped with your general diet.

The diet-bread rolls shown were made by Pat as the refreshments for last week's lecture. She has many historical recipe books and likes to treat us to something authentic each week. This time she spread half the rolls with butter (above) and the other half with potted cheese (below), giving a completely different taste. The potted cheese was made by mixing grated cheese, butter, mace, cinnamon and a dash of sherry, then pressing the mixture into a pot before spreading. A sort of upmarket Ploughman's to go with the subject of the talk - "The Inns, Taverns and Alehouses of Georgian Suffolk"!


Kate Hardy said...

I was getting excited then, thinking that you'd found carb-free bread that actually tasted nice (because those rolls look gorgeous!).

Fennel and sage sounds a v nice addition (I adore rosemary bread).

And that potted cheese sounds UTTERLY scrumptious.

Sarah Callejo said...

Your diet bread has the opposite effect, now I'm hungry and thinking about eating any kind of bread I can get my hands on... Wonder if they worried as much about diets in that period as we do today.

Jan Jones said...

Sorry, Kate! Sorry, Sarah!

Kate - Yes it did taste nice. The one with the potted cheese was completely different from the one without. Much stronger flavour.

Sarah - I don't think they worried very much at all about their weight. They didn't have the problems with humongous amounts of refined carbs in food that we have these days.

Debs said...

I could do with some diet bread. Maybe I'll have some toast now instead?

Nicola Cornick said...

Wonderful post, Jan! I too like the sound of fennel and sage bread.

Jan Jones said...

Oooh, Debs. Toast. The trouble with toast is that it's almost impossible not to have butter with it.

Thanks, Nicola. It was certainly different. Can't say I noticed any particularly spectacular effect on my general health, but maybe I would have done then.