Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: bread wrapping dilemma.  (Read 10529 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Sue Leurgans
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 697



« on: April 06, 2016, 10:56:24 AM »

The  question is what can I do to cover a loaf of bread to keep it fresh (or reasonably so) at an Immersion type event?

Specifics.
I buy multiple loaves of bread, 6 sometimes 12 loaves for a couple of events.
I buy them the day before I leave for the event .. usually Thursday sometimes Friday just b/4 the event.
I don't always know what shape the loaves will be until I get to the store, but oval and long loaf are often what I purchase.
I hate leaving the plastic wrapping on the bread but do that so it doesn't dry out and  identifies the kind of bread it is. Which may sound unnecessary, but for one event to encourage visiting between buildings, I give all the bread  to one house and suggest that "Mrs Smith" has used the beehive oven yesterday.  Leaving the label helps "Mrs Smith" to know what she has.
For other items, I do get back all the containers I have distributed at the events, therefore would like something reusable. 

I think about making fabric bags but would a muslin cloth bag be able to keep the loaf fresh?
If I lined the bag with parchment paper I would feel better about it staying fresh, but wonder how many uses the paper would give me.
I could wrap the loaves in parchment and label, but with all the recontainering (I've made up a word apparently) I want a quicker solution. IE recontainering  and dividing up the food is usually is a 4 to 6 hour job without re-wrapping bread.

Thoughts, experiences?
Logged

Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
Jessamyn
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3095



« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 04:17:44 PM »

Well, the plastic bag of old is the tin box, but that would be a lot of (or one rather large) box(es).

Cloth alone is not going to do much of anything for preservation.

What kind of climate are you in? Growing up in dry California, it was all about eating bread before it turned into Melba toast. Here in North Carolina, it's all about eating it before it molds. Are you trying to keep moisture out, or in?
Logged
Sue Leurgans
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 697



« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 07:11:41 AM »

Good question.
The events are in PA and Upstate NY.  Mostly 60's to 70's in temperature and humidity is moderate, occasionally high.
It would be the drying out that concerns me more than molding.

Hm, a large tin box.  If I could find a large box or have made ( by a tinsmith) that might be useful. Or a wooden crate maybe, which would also keep the loaves from getting squashed in transport.   Liking this idea!
Logged

Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
Ms. Jean
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1860


« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 08:24:56 AM »

Iffy on the accuracy scale, but I remember folks talking about a small unfinished trunk available at Hobby Lobby that held the Omaha Steaks shipping cooler?

Kept closed, would hide plastic bags and hold moisture steady.

Never tried this myself, mind you.
Logged

Ms. Jean
Route 66
Anna Worden Bauersmith
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3610



WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 09:02:57 AM »

You hit a recent pondering of mine - When did tin bread boxes start?
This was in the midst of something completely not food related. I didn't come up with an answer. But, it would be useful for you.

Maybe paintings of kitchens or pantries may give a clue as to what they used. Inventories would help as well.

The 1852 Economist lists bread being exported from NY. So, they must have had some sort of shipping container as well. https://books.google.com/books?id=Z80pAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA443&dq=bread+box&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiYtdX38PzLAhWKuoMKHZxXCo8Q6AEIPDAC#v=onepage&q=bread%20box&f=false

This is an inventory of personal items at the NJ Lunatic Asylum.  The lists mention bread box, bread jar and bread can.
https://books.google.com/books?id=Vm5MAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA593&dq=bread+box&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPjcfj8fzLAhWlnYMKHUMlA8Y4ChDoAQg4MAE#v=onepage&q=bread%20box&f=false

You might want to get your hands on this book since there seems to possibly be another meaning to bread box. https://books.google.com/books?id=B28KAQAAMAAJ&q=bread+box&dq=bread+box&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivroTj8vzLAhUGSiYKHeCUANc4FBDoAQhSMAY

See page 162 re "flannels" https://books.google.com/books?id=xvAHAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA154&dq=bread+box&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivroTj8vzLAhUGSiYKHeCUANc4FBDoAQhiMAk#v=onepage&q=bread%20box&f=false

btw - Depending on where you are buying the bread, stale out weighs mold here. Wegman's seems to use a preservative. The Amish and Mennonite bakeries do not seem to. I don't think Union Street's bakery does either.
Logged

Anna Worden Bauersmith
http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
Straw & Winter Millinery - Available on Etsy
Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books
From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet
Anna Worden Bauersmith
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3610



WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 10:20:22 AM »

Here you go... You ought to have a tin bread box.

https://books.google.com/books?id=gHUEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA8&dq=%22bread+box%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2gOKchP3LAhXI7R4KHdEHBQQ4ChDoAQg5MAE#v=onepage&q=%22bread%20box%22&f=false

A tin cake box would be neat to have too.

Now, what shall it look like?Huh square, rectangular, round? plain, painted solid, tole painted?
Logged

Anna Worden Bauersmith
http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
Straw & Winter Millinery - Available on Etsy
Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books
From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet
Jessamyn
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3095



« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 06:49:35 PM »

Crates of "army bread" (but is that bread, or hardtack?):

http://www.shorpy.com/node/9477
Logged
Sue Leurgans
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 697



« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 12:08:03 PM »

Well reading through the lists in the asylum now has created other things to figure out.  Smiley   What is a keeler, a drudge box and an unsociable.... one of the rooms had 3.  Wink    Also laughed when i saw the 100 lbs of prunes in one storeroom, not a 100 lbs of anything else, but a 100 lbs of prunes.  Cheesy    Also one of the stewards had 4 wrappers!  Interesting.

Flannel for the top of the bread... wool, cotton... hm? but does provide an idea.

Here you go... You ought to have a tin bread box.

https://books.google.com/books?id=gHUEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA8&dq=%22bread+box%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2gOKchP3LAhXI7R4KHdEHBQQ4ChDoAQg5MAE#v=onepage&q=%22bread%20box%22&f=false

A tin cake box would be neat to have too.

Now, what shall it look like?Huh square, rectangular, round? plain, painted solid, tole painted?


Rectangular would be my choice.   Actually read a good portion of the book, found it entertaining.  Sent me down a tangent to see what a slack mattress was.  Think it's a corn shuck mattress, but I'm not sure. There wasn't a lot of listing on books. google.com about slack mattress.
Logged

Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
Anna Worden Bauersmith
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3610



WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2016, 10:05:36 AM »

I've been looking at paintings and illustrations of kitchens hoping to see one. I haven't yet. There are lots of pots, bowls, pottery, etc. This makes me wonder where they put the bread boxes. Would there be benefits of putting them in a cupboard?

100 pounds of prunes does make one wonder.  Huh
Logged

Anna Worden Bauersmith
http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
Straw & Winter Millinery - Available on Etsy
Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books
From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet
Jessamyn
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3095



« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2016, 04:03:53 PM »

There's a very depressing westward-migration story (true story, I mean) about a woman whose 2 1/2-year-old baby died on the trail; she carried it for three days because she couldn't bear the thought of burying it out on the open plain. Finally they reached Chimney Rock in Nebraska, and the head of the expedition went and "emptied his bread box" to serve as a coffin. It must have been a pretty sizable box to fit a 2 1/2-year-old, even one who had been sickly for quite awhile.
Logged
Sue Leurgans
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 697



« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 10:57:19 AM »

Wow, on a lot of points. Carried for 3 days, bread box, large enough for a child...
Logged

Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
Elizabeth
Administrator
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7894


WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 09:46:33 PM »

In that context, the bread box probably refers to pilot bread/hardtack. And in quantities sufficient for the western emigration, it would be a fairly large box.

Still tragic and awful.

I found one reference to an advertisement for hardtack from the St. Louis Missouri Republican, 12 April 1850:

TO CALIFORNIA AND OREGON EMIGRANTS:  J. Noe Brook has now on hand one thousand bbl. [barrels] best kiln dried hard bread, just baked expressively for California emigrants warranted to keep perfectly good for two year. He is constantly baking the above articles and will be prepared to fill all orders either in boxes or bags.

It was the boxes part that caught my eye, which led me to wonder if there were extant hardtack boxes to be found, and one of the few sources seems to have been military rations during the Civil War years, which may or may not apply to any citizen setting. The advertisement above certainly seems to lean toward a variety of options, and some emigrant notes specify hardtack and crackers in *barrels* rather than boxes or bags.

I found a diagram of a CW-era hardtack bread crate on-line that showed it 11x17x26 according to Federal regulations.

This image shows an army "bread box" holding 50 pounds of hardtack, with a man sitting on it for relative size:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Hard_Tack.jpg

BUT, I have not found any documented hard tack, cracker, or pilot bread boxes, crates, etc for the emigration path, so I don't have a correlation just now.


Logged

Regards,
Elizabeth
Anna Worden Bauersmith
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3610



WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2016, 06:18:27 AM »

It sounds like Sue could end up needing two different breadboxes depending on the interpretive situation. The larger box could work for camp scenarios. A box meant for the home when she is in a house, or maybe tavern/inn.

For the larger, shipping size, boxes that would have been for hardtack type bread, do we think they were lined with additional packing material or just stacked in the boxes?
Logged

Anna Worden Bauersmith
http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
Straw & Winter Millinery - Available on Etsy
Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books
From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet
E L Watkins-Morris
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 765



« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 09:22:16 AM »

I keep reading this subject line as BEAD wrapping dilemma and trying to click on it because I want to know what kind of beads need wrapping!  Tongue

Liz W.
Logged

Materium Superbat Opus-Ovid
Simple yet complex...-Mark Baldridge, Art 101: The Principles of Design
The Sewing-Bird.
Frequent Scribbler
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 165


« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 05:01:51 PM »

I have been seeing it suggested on many household blogs that linen bread bags keep bread longer than plastic bags. Example: http://1840farm.com/2012/10/the-best-way-to-store-fresh-bread/

Tests have been done, converts have been made, and I wonder how far back linen bread bags go. I decided to do a Google Books search on keeping bread. Here's what I found.

What I Know, Or, Hints on the Daily Duties of a Housekeeper
Elizabeth Nicholson (1856)
https://books.google.com/books?id=KAIFAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA142&dq=keeping+bread&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf85rwh8fOAhXBOiYKHaInChAQ6AEIRTAH#v=onepage&q=keeping%20bread&f=false
Quote
Moist Bread. - There is a nice box of Japanned tin, now in use, for keeping bread and cake from the air, (which already dries both.) Costs from $1 to $3. (142)
Quote
Stale bread is freshened by steaming it 1/2 hour. (112)

Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million...Being a Complete Family Directory
Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale (1857)
https://books.google.com/books?id=IXkEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA258&dq=keeping+bread&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf85rwh8fOAhXBOiYKHaInChAQ6AEIJDAB#v=onepage&q=keeping%20bread&f=false
Quote
985. Cleaning Bread-pans, &c. - Your pan for keeping bread should be wiped out every day, and scalded once a week; in the same way clean the cheese-pan, or both your bread and cheese will become mouldy and musty; and cheese should always be kept standing on its rind; and the rind should be scraped before it is sent to the table. (258)

A shilling cookery for the people
Alexis Benoit Soyer (1854)
https://books.google.com/books?id=0EACAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA148&dq=keeping+bread&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf85rwh8fOAhXBOiYKHaInChAQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=keeping%20bread&f=false
Quote
409. Good Keeping Bread. - Mix one quarter of a pound of very light mashed potatoes with four pounds of flour, made into dough for bread, is very good; this kind of bread will keep moist for a long time.

(Somewhat off-topic commentary self-removed.)

Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt-book
Catharine Esther Beecher ()
https://books.google.com/books?id=2HIEAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA233&dq=keeping+bread&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf85rwh8fOAhXBOiYKHaInChAQ6AEIKjAC#v=onepage&q=keeping%20bread&f=false
Quote
Stale bread is improved by steaming it half an hour or more. (285)
Quote
Keep Bread in a tin covered box, and it will keep fresh and good longer than if left exposed to the air. Cake also should be kept in a tight tin box. Tin boxes made with covers like trunks, with handles at the ends, are best for bread and cake.

The search results I'm getting for bread bag between the years of 1835 and 1870 mostly reference sailors' gum-elastic bags. "We did find one bag of bread floating on the water, and this we secured" (Ballou's Dollar Monthly Magazine, Volume 3, 1856). "Well, just as this here now boat lies alongside the bread-bag" (The Old Sailor's Jolly Boat, Laden with Tales and Yarns to Please, 1855). "When Smallbones had retired, with the empty bread bags" (Complete Works of Captain F. Marryatt, 1850). "...and the son took the boat-hook, and with it dragged the bread- bags towards the boat" (The Dog Fiend: Or, Snarleyyou, 1865).

Gum-elastic and Its Varieties by Charles Goodyear (1853) actually has a definition of bread bags for sailors: "BREAD BAGS. Are made in the same way as ships' letter bags, of gum-elastic fabrics ; they are designed for containing bread for ships' use, instead of barrels, by which means bread may be kept dry, and room saved in storage."

There's also an 1856 book, The House and Farm Accounts of the Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe Hall, documenting a house c. 1601 which mentions the possibility of bread bags being listed in house accounts.

So, tin it is!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:28:13 PM by The Sewing-Bird. » Logged

"The much-celebrated Miss Middleton, lately of Chicago."
Elizabeth
Administrator
Scribblor Infinitus
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7894


WWW
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2016, 09:47:35 AM »

Ashley, this is great stuff! Thank you!!
Logged

Regards,
Elizabeth
Sue Leurgans
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 697



« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2016, 06:20:03 AM »

Wow, good info. Thanks.  The Linen bags are intriguing.

For now, reality is a 5 sided (I'll make a lid) rectangular wooden crate I found at JoAnn's for $9.99! Bonus, it's made in the US. For that price I couldn't resist. I'll line it with parchment paper and it will serve the purpose much better than modern plastic bags.

Going to have to pull out the staples that hold it together and replace with nails.  Have my suspicions that the staples will be difficult to remove.
Logged

Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
BetsyConnolly
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 787



WWW
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2016, 10:09:22 AM »

A possible solution to consider, either now or for future upgrades depending on how much you can devote to this project: perhaps lining the box in linen would provide both stability/durability and guarantee freshness? Either way, I'm looking forward to hearing your report back as to how it worked. You are doing a lot of experimentation for our benefit lately Smiley
Logged

Betsy Connolly
Living History Society of Minnesota
In The Past Lane - my blog
Sue Leurgans
Veteran Scribbler
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 697



« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2016, 05:16:25 PM »

Linen ordered.  One yard will work quite well so, not a big expense and better than parchment. Good idea.
Logged

Sue Leurgans
AKA Miss Lawrence
"The secret of happiness is something to do" - John Burroughs
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines