Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Viking Flatbread--Preparation

As described in my last post, I let my experimental beef stew simmer for close to 12 hours before I packed it up for subsequent reheating. (I find that most crockpot recipes benefit from short-term storage and reheating, though I'm sure that in period it was more probable that stews simmered over a low fire until eaten.) The stew did not burn, though a few bits of meat and barley stuck to the walls of the crockpot at the very top, where the liquid didn't reach.

I deferred reheating and tasting the stew, however, until I had an opportunity to make up some Viking flatbread to go with it. Tonight, I made up the dough, since the Hurstwic recipe states that the dough can be refrigerated or frozen until use.

I used equal amounts of oat, rye, whole wheat, and barley flour. Unfortunately, I could only find reduced fat buttermilk (2%), and the Portuguese honey I had been using for all purposes ran out and had to be supplemented from a jar of tupelo honey (not terribly period, or even Old World, I'm afraid). I added walnuts, as specified in the recipe, and put cranberries in about 1/3 of the batch, to please my husband.

With only the buttermilk, egg, and honey for fluid, the dough was very sticky, as the recipe predicted, but was easy to shape into two to three-inch balls once I remembered to keep my hands flour-coated and to dust each ball with flour while shaping it. The recipe makes up about 10 to 12 balls, which I plan to grill and eat with the stew later this week.

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