Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Great Medieval Bake Off

So, The Great British Bake Off final has come and gone (congratulations to Nadiya!). Is anybody else have withdrawal symptoms? Well, never fear! Welcome to ...  The Great Medieval Bake Off!

A few weeks ago I asked my readers to send in a recipe of their medieval bakes along with a photo of the end result. I'll post those here and then I will open a public poll for you to decide which one is your favourite. Don't for get to vote! The poll is to the top-right of this page.


Set ...


Entry 1 is from Keira: Tredure: Golden Caudel 

  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Fresh, Soft Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
  • 1 tsp Anise Seed, crushed
  • 1 pinch Saffron, crushed
  • 4 tbsp Lemon Juice
In a medium saucepan, mix chicken broth and bread together. Bring to a boil. Beat eggs and mix in the spices. Stir the egg mixture into the broth, stirring vigorously. Reduce heat to low and stir until thickened. Add salt as needed. Add lemon juice just before serving.

Entry 2 is also from KeiraA Fritur (Fretoure) ├×at Hatte Emeles: Almond Fritters


  • 5 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh, Soft Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Salt to taste (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, salt, almonds, and breadcrumbs. Mix in beaten egg. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow breadcrumbs to absorb egg. In a medium frypan, melt butter over medium heat. Form the almond mixture into small patties. Fry the patties in butter, turning them occasionally until golden brown. Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with white sugar.

Entry 3 is from Shermin: Almond Fingers (Lausinaj)

Lausinaj is a sweet little pastry, stuffed with a filling of sugar, almonds and rose water. They are mentioned in the 13th century manuscript The Book of Dishes (Kitab al-Tabikh) from Al Baghdadi.

Shermin's adapted this recipe to make a slightly more modern version of this medieval treat. She's used Claudia Roden's cookbook The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

(makes around 30)

  • 250 g grounded almonds
  • 110 g fine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 250 g thin filo/yufka-pastry sheets
  • plenty of butter (melted)
  • icing sugar and (if wanted) chopped pistachios to sprinkle on

In a bowl mix and knead almonds, sugar and orange blossom water together.
Cut the pastry sheets with a sharp knife in rectangular strips. Mine had the size 10 x 40 cm. This must not be exact, the size can vary.
Pile the strips on top of each other so that they don't dry out. (I always put a only slightly moistened kitchen towel on the pile.)
Take the first strip and brush it slightly with the melted butter.
Take some of the filling and press it in the hand into a little sausage.
Place it on the short end of the strip, fold the longer sides over the filling and roll it to a cigar shape. (Please have a look at the step-by-step photos in my blog.)
Place the little pastries on a sheet with baking paper and bake them in the oven at 160° (preheated) for circa 30 minutes until golden brown.
Let them cool a little bit and sprinkle with icing powder and chopped pistachios. Store in a dry container. (I like them best when they are still warm).

Entry 4 is from Anne: Medieval Gingerbread

Anne's used the recipe from over at Gode Cookery to create her gingerbread (the medieval version of course, is quite literally gingered bread!).

  • 4 tbspn of honey
  • Approximately 150 ml of water
  • Around 250g of unseasoned breadcrumbs (or, however much is needed) or about 5 slices of bread
  • 1 tbspn of ginger
  • 1 tbspn of cinnamon
  • Up to 1 tspn of ground white pepper
  • Pinch of saffron (if desired, but was not used in this bake)
Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Break up around 5 slices of bread into 1 inch squares. Put them in the oven to toast for 15-20 minutes. Take them out and allow to cool. Then put them in a bag and break them up with something heavy into breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, use fresh unseasoned breadcrumbs).
Mix the honey and water together and bring to the boil. Let it simmer and add in the spices.
Stir in enough breadcrumbs to make a thick, stiff, mixture.
Press the sticky mixture evenly into a fairly deep, baking tray (around 1 inch deep) that has been lined with baking paper.
Turn it out and cut into 1 inch squares.

So, that's the end of the bake off. Thank you to everybody who took part! Vote for your favourite recipe in the poll to the top-right of the page, and keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages where I'll announce the winner next week!

Update! The winner, with 55% of the vote, is the Almond Fingers by Shermin – congratulations!