February 20th – February 28th is Real Bread Week 2021. It is an annual, international celebration of Real Bread and the people who make it. We are encouraged to go to our local, independent Real Bread bakery, to support these business’s in our local communities and of course to bake our own bread.
There seems to have been a lot more baking going on during the current situation and lockdowns. My dusty old cookbook has finally seen the light of day and although I am not the most enthusiastic cook, I have to admit to finding a great deal of satisfaction from making something from scratch.
I found a very simple recipe here in our archives for ‘Vienna Bread’. It comes from one of our 1926 periodicals called the ‘White Ribbon and Wings’. Along with news of the National British Women’s Temperance Association (NBWTA) and the Women’s Total Abstinence Union (WTAU), these monthly periodicals also featured household tips and recipes.
This old recipe for bread probably wouldn’t be one that I would personally try, particularly with the lard content, but an online search produces many other up to date alternative recipes for Vienna Bread and all types of other delicious sounding bread. It is interesting to note that this recipe is included in a temperance publication, as advocates of temperance were known to promote baking powder as an alternative to the ‘demon’ yeast in bread and cakes – it is the yeast that is converted in the fermentation process of beer making, giving the beer its alcohol content and carbonation.
In the late 1800’s, Mary Docwra produced a recipe book called ‘The Non-Alcoholic Cookery Book’. She was a member of our Association (formerly the British Women’s Temperance Association) and went on to become President of the WTAU in 1898. This book included unfermented bread recipes alongside recipes for making your own yeast, presumably so you wouldn’t be using brewer’s yeast.
Changes to the ‘Official Organ’ of the BWTA over the years included several name changes (such as The White Ribbon and Wings as above), and also the inclusion of advertisements during different periods. During the 1920’s, advertisements were included and here are some I have come across from the archives, including ones for Hovis Bread.
I am definitely in agreement with the Hovis advert about a cheese and tomato sandwich; it’s a classic and how good would that be on freshly made bread?! I haven’t tackled baking bread for a very long time but who could resist the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house, especially on a cold winters’ day? I might just give it a go….
For further information regarding Real Bread Week – https://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/
(Please note that the recipes above have not been tried or tested by the White Ribbon Association)