Today I made a 18th century recipe using barm. Barm is the foam, or scum, formed on the top of fermented alcoholic beverages and used to be the prime source of yeast for baking back in the 18th century. I found an interesting video on YouTube by Jas Townsend who described how to make barm for use in Wigg Cakes, which is what I decided to use my barm in. Wigg is a Dutch world that means wedge, which is the shape that the cakes are cut into.
The barm was easy to make, all it took was some flour, water, yeast, and beer. I selected Mill Street Tank House Ale, a rich, dark malty ale that I hope will lend a slightly sweet flavor to the barm. It only had to brew for 20 minutes and it was ready to use.
I mixed up the dough, shaped it, cut it into wedges and set it to rise for 30 minutes.
I wish I had of been able to have baked these in a wood stove or Dutch oven, but I am recovering from surgery and still a little to wobbly on my feet to be working around hearths and wood stoves. So they were baked at home in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Normally I am not a fan of caraway seeds, however these are delicious. Mildly sweet and perfect with a cup of black tea.