A slice of pumpkin and current quick bread

Venoge Quick Bread

Venoge Quick Bread is indispensable in the Venoge kitchen. This bread is very versatile and depending on what fruits we have on hand the taste of the bread can change dramatically. We have tried the recipe with pumpkin, sweet potato, applesauce, raisins, nuts or currants, even bits of candied ginger. Try using grated carrots or various cooked squash, it usually works fine. Spice it up with cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves.

We bake it in the bake oven or on the tin baker, as shown below, in front of the hearth.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup mashed or grated fruits or vegetables
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currents (optional)
  • 1 cup regular all purpose flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Instructions

Melt butter and blend in sugar. Mix in beaten eggs and mashed fruit or vegetables. Sift flour with salt and baking soda. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with hot water.

Turn into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan or a 9″ round pan (it will bake quicker in this). Bake in slow (350°) oven for 1 hour and 10 min.


 

Sweet Corn Bread

There are many kinds of corn breads and they come in many shapes. We usually cook corn bread in a round pan.

Jacob Weaver writes to his father in New York State in 1814 “The people here have another way of living than where you live. Their principle bread is corn, but not because they can’t raise no other sorts of grain.” Corn bread then is appropriate to make in Jacob Weaver’s house. We prefer a sweet corn bread.  Try our fool-proof recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

Mix sugar and butter, blend in eggs.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt, add corn meal. Blend dry ingredients with the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour into buttered and floured 9 inch square or round pan.

Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.


 

Grandmother Nora’s Pie Crust

This wonderful pie crust recipe came to us from one of our volunteers, Sharon Reavis Ward. We find this recipe will make two 8 or 9 inch crusts or one 10 inch deep dish crust with enough for a lattice top.

My grandmother, Nora Lee Reavis, was born in 1898 on a farm in North Carolina. There were ten children in the family, and she, being one of the oldest, was expected to help with the cooking . . . so she became one of the best.

When my grandparents were married, they moved to Indiana. As a child, walking into her big farmhouse kitchen was like walking into Heaven for me. She always had pies in the freezer, ready to put in the oven. Anytime anyone walked through the door she would lift the lid to that big old freezer to reveal pies whose fillings would have been grown and canned there on the farm. Grandfather and she worked side by side to fill the basement pantry. My heart is warmed just to think of her.

Sharon Reavis Ward

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 3 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup lard

Instructions

Break egg in a cup and beat with a fork. Add vinegar and water.

In mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and cut in lard. Mix wet ingredients to the dry.

Knead lightly until a ball is formed and roll out to desired thickness.

Place pie plate on crust, trim and lay crust into plate.

Fold under the outer edge. Flute edges as desired.


 

Onion Herb Bread

This bread smells wonderful just out of the oven and it tastes just as good. An incredible crust is created when cooked in the bake oven making this bread the perfect complement to our Venoge Summer Soup.

We use fresh herbs from our kitchen garden so the flavors vary from batch to batch in the summer. It pairs well with our Fresh Cheese with Herbs and also toasts well over the fire.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons butter
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (for yeast)
  • 2 1/4 cups regular flour (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of herbs on hand such as dill, rosemary, and chives
  • Melted butter
  • Salt

Instructions

Gather and prepare herbs.

Scald milk, remove from heat, stir in sugar, salt and butter. Cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk mixture. Stir flour into yeast mixture. Add your selected herbs. Stir all together until well blended, about 2 minutes.

Cover and let rise in warm place until tripled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Stir down, and beat vigorously about 1/2 minute. Turn into a greased 8-inch cake pan or 9-inch pie pan.

Bake in a medium oven at 350° for about 1 hour. Brush top crust with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt.

Cool on rack.

 


 

Round Loaf

This recipe was a surprise; it was simple and produced a beautiful, delicious loaf easy to cut.   It went well with our soup or plain with butter and jam. The original recipe called for slashing the top which also works nicely.

Our recipe is adapted from English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David, Biscuit Books Inc., Newton, MA

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached flour (approximately), of which 3/4 cup may be whole wheat
  • 2 teaspoons of salt (approximately)
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • A scant cup water

Instructions

Mix the yeast to a cream with a little tepid water. Stir the salt into flour.

Mix the creamed yeast into it, add the tepid water. Mix well and shape the dough into a ball. If it is too wet, sprinkle with little more flour. Cover, and leave in a warm place to rise.

In an hour to an hour and a half the dough should have doubled volume and feel spongy and light. Scoop it up, and slap it down hard on a board. Repeat this three or four times. The more the dough is knocked down at this stage the better the loaf will be.

Knead and roll the dough into a ball, place this in the center of a floured baking sheet. At this stage fold the ball of dough all round, tucking the edges underneath, so that the uncooked loaf looks like a little, round, plump cushion. If this detail is omitted, the loaf will spread out flat. Shape the loaf.

It is advisable to cover the dough while it is rising for the second time and the easiest way to do this is to invert a clean bowl over it. Once risen, you may now make slashes on the loaf; one from side to side the other two crossing that one.

Cook in a 450° degree oven on center shelf for 15 minutes and then 400° for the next 15 minutes. If the bottom is not done, turn upside down and leave in the oven for 10-15 minutes more with the heat off.

We baked our Round Loaf in the outdoor bake oven, the temperature was roughly 425° throughout the baking. We did put it back in upside down for about 15 minutes.


 

 

Charlotte’s Dessert Bread

This quick bread is dark and rich and has a distinctly different texture from others.  Finding extra space in the bake oven, we quickly combined ingredients on hand and created this uniquely simple bread.  Searching for an appropriate name we went to the first known housewife in the Venoge cottage, Charlotte Golay Weaver.

Charlotte Golay Weaver was born in 1787 in Le Chenit, a municipality in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland.  She came to live in New York state where she met and married Jacob Weaver.  They arrived in Vevay, Indiana in 1813 and by 1814 settled in a house owned by her father, David Golay.  As Jacob Weaver would write in a letter to his father in New York, Charlotte and Jacob lived “close to his door”.  We suspect Charlotte was the first to cook in the kitchen at Venoge. Charlotte, we remember you.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Instructions

Melt butter and blend in sugar. Mix in eggs. Sift flour with salt and soda and add to wet ingredients. Add cornmeal. Mix ingredients. Add hot water and mix. Add raisins and currants. Add cinnamon.

Turn into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan or 9 inch round pan. Bake in slow oven at 350° for about 1 hour.

Serve when cooled with fresh butter.