Layered herb cake from the Oeconomia

I think I will stick with Johannes Coler for a while.

To make a good baked dish (Gebackens)

(marginalia: To make Gebackens)

If you would make a good baked dish of cake (dough), makle a good white dough of wheat flour and lukewarm salt water. Then take melted butter and make the dough nicely smooth (gelinde) so that it becomes all pliable (zehe) and always stays warm. Break it into pieces like (the size of) breadrolls (Semmeln), according to how large you would have your cake. Draw out the dough with your hands nicely thin and lay it on a concave (keulichte) wooden bowl on which bakers usually slide bread into the oven, and strew flour under it so that it does not stick. Then take leafy vegetables (kraut), white or green, cut it shaggy and blach (brüh) it in hot salt water. Press it out with your hands so that no water stays in it and strew the kraut on the drawn-out dough. If you wish, you may also strew in finely cut cheese, and drizzle it with melted butter and lay another sheet of dough atop it. Strew the same matter on that sheet again and add as many sheets as thick you would have it. Press it well together at the edges, slide it into an oven and let it bake. When it has baked, serve it. You may also make such cakes of apples, pears, raisins, and all manner of fruit and herbs.

(Book 3, page 70)

This is an interesting recipe, though modern tastes will likely prefer the alternative versions with apples or pears to the original which likely intends cabbage. I could imagine it would work very well with spinach. There are a lot of recipes in the Oeconomia that look like a good fit for farmers’ market shoppers.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am working from a 1645 edition.

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