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"white Of Wood Ash" And Snow?
#1
I recently read in Kephart that the "white in wood ash" may be used as a substitute for baking soda in the cooking of breads, using the exact same measures.



Whelen also mentions the use of snow instead of eggs in the baking of biscuits.



So lemme see... flour + wood ash + water + snow = biscuits? <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':blink:' /> WTH?!



Has any tried this?!
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
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#2
Ash cakes work with no problem in my experience. The snow trick works with wet breads, like spoon bread. I've never tried it with things meant to be dry.
Men are, that they might have joy.
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#3
[Image: KephartBooks.jpg]



I have, sitting in my lap as I write this, my original 1910 copy of Horace Kephart’s Camp Cookery.



As to the use of “white wood ash:” Kephart notes it as a substitute for baking soda (note, not baking powder) in various bread and biscuit recipes. Both baking soda and baking powder leaven breads by releasing carbon dioxide in a chemical process, rather than through fermentation as yeast does. Baking powder releases the gas when you add water (in the dough or batter). Baking soda releases the gas when it reacts with an acidic ingredient in the mix (like buttermilk).



As to the use of snow: Kephart mentions this as well, in a recipe for “Snow Bread.” Note here that there is no liquid (water) in the recipe, just corn meal, baking soda, salt, lard, and “light, feathery” snow.



As to Ash Cakes: Generally, this term is used for a bread/biscuit that doesn’t included powered ashes as an ingredient mixed into the dough as a leavening agent, but rather some bread product which is baked on a bed of ashes and/or covered with hot ashes and coals as it’s baked. We often made these with Ron in the field, and it’s easy to experiment with if anyone here would like. Here’s what we did, which is about as simple as it gets:



Build a fire on a flat, hard surface. This can be compacted earth, but a nice flat rock slab works even better. Let it burn for a while. Generally, this would be our campfire, and we’d use it to boil water for coffee, as a light source, etc. It really doesn’t matter what kind of wood you use.



We’d bring a couple of cups of Bisquick (brand name) with us. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Bisquick is an easy-to-find product that’s a mixture made of flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder. We always carried this in our pack using Ziploc bag.



After a while, when the flat surface has gotten good and hot and you’ve generated a lot of ash and coals, we’d scrape the fire away. Then we’d dump some water into the Ziploc and knead it a little to mix it with the Bisquick. Scooping out the mixture, we’d flatten it into cakes, put it on the ashes where the fire had been, and then cover it with ashes and coals. After a while we’d pick out one of the cakes, brush the ash off the outside, and chow down.



Want to make your own Bisquick equivalent? Take one cup of flour, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt and 2 ½ tablespoons of oil or melted butter (or cut in 2 ½ tablespoons of Crisco or lard).



Cheers!



–ML



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#4
I guess I should try it then <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />



I'll do a test of the wood ash in cold and hot water first - make sure to make it worth my while by checking for the bubbles/frothing action. I recall reading that hickory makes the best white ash for such so I'll have to go get and burn some exclusively the next time I'm up at the place. I wonder if the ash has to be "fresh"?



I had been looking up the differences between baking powder and soda lately and I think it is starting to make sense.



Now I need to time my supply of ash with a very cold day and a fresh snowfall. I gather that the dough/batter would need to be practically at freezing temp for the "mechanical action" of snow to work (referring to Whelen here) and this type of cookery thus implies working and cooking outside.



Hmmmm... very interesting. <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
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#5
Yes, very interesting indeed, in my Larry Dean Olsen book, he talks about eating ash cakes and warm Brigham drink (Ephedra) a lot. but made like ML said, in the ashes, not of the ashes. <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />



However, I've heard tell about substituting ashes into acorn flour bread to help leaven it. Along with many other uses for the white wood ashes- like soap making and use as a tooth paste....Alukban you are right-I'll be needing to try this too, maybe a post coming up! substituting ingredients I need for those found in nature, fascinates me....I've been reading about the yeast found on grapes in the fall (harvested, multiplied and used to make booze and bread) and how the miners in Alaska use to guard their sourdough mixtures with their lives!!





AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#6
You can use wood ash to make lye so its a base. Baking soda is also a base. It is added to some things to change the PH. If I'm not mistaken eggs for instance are acidic and so are other ingredients. Having a ph that is wrong can affect how things like baking powder and yeast work as leaven. So in a pinch you probably could use a small amount of white ash, no microbes there, to counteract acidic ingredients. Although I don't think you would need it in most bisquits, Although some of the original recipes for ash bread may have taken the ash into account without specifically using it in the ingredient list.



And water(snow) can be used to stretch an egg. If the recipe calls for two whole eggs or two egg yolks. A table spoon or two of water could be substituted for one of the eggs. That's why whipped egg yolks foam up because it traps air with a bubble of water.
Remember, Noah was the ORIGINAL prepper.



Paranoids are just people that know all the facts - Warren Ellis
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#7
Tried some ash and baking powder with some warm water, side by side. The BP fizzed as it should but the ash did nothing. Fail.



[Image: C66B476C-EFAF-435B-847D-63B6C2A1EE2F_zpsqn9jfibq.jpg]



I figured I'd bake with it anyway because it may leaven the bread by some other action.



[Image: 1B544DC9-CCA3-4A1A-8B5A-48B340FDDE87_zpsyfcw7g0a.jpg]



dubious dough



[Image: 7E0BFDDB-4BB1-4B2F-91C2-7FD92F0BE976_zpsz2lbod6h.jpg]



10 minutes at 400°F



[Image: E1274768-5B07-4E53-9EAF-E6525673C380_zps38pnighn.jpg]



Inside was totally unleavened - still a fail.



[Image: 23DBA557-33EF-4A53-93C0-C6ADC8378A72_zpsigfsazjd.jpg]



It tasted like warm mud - wet dirt really.



I think I failed in the selection of the ash. The stuff I had was more gray. I need to try the really white, wispy, totally burned and about to fly away with any puff of breeze kind. Maybe that is the stuff.
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
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#8
When I taught my nephews to make ash cakes, we began with Hudson Cream plain white flour and the fluffy white ashes of the campfire from the night before. About two cups of flour got about a tablespoon of loose white ashes mixed in, then got about two tablespoons of bacon grease mixed in until the flour started to crumb. To the dry ingredients, we added about a half cup of buttermilk. Then we stirred it into a loose batter just sticky enough to wrap around a green stick. Those we stuck near the freshly-laid fire and turned as they baked. If you roll them thin, they bake through without too much trouble. If you roll them too thick, you can eat the outside away as they cook... that's especially yummy if you add cinnamon and sugar to dough.
Men are, that they might have joy.
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#9
But like I said before ash itself is NOT leaven. Its a base which can counteract an acid. Ash by its self will not leaven anything. Eggs are acidic and so is buttermilk. SO you might get some bubbles from those but it does depend on how strong of a base you have.
Remember, Noah was the ORIGINAL prepper.



Paranoids are just people that know all the facts - Warren Ellis
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#10
[quote name='doctari' timestamp='1424834177' post='599180']

But like I said before ash itself is NOT leaven. Its a base which can counteract an acid. Ash by its self will not leaven anything. Eggs are acidic and so is buttermilk. SO you might get some bubbles from those but it does depend on how strong of a base you have.

[/quote]



I don't understand doctari. I thought it was "baking soda" that needed an acid in order to get the bubbles and thus leavening. The white ash substitute thing was clearly described as being in place of "baking powder" which bubbles with liquid and, supposedly, heat. Eh?
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
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#11
This entire series of videos is pretty interesting.



http://youtu.be/hD7mNUAj9MA
Men are, that they might have joy.
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#12
[quote name='thatmckenzie' timestamp='1424839394' post='599185']

This entire series of videos is pretty interesting.



http://youtu.be/hD7mNUAj9MA

[/quote]



Alukban, even though the dubious dough tasted like poo-poo....I enjoyed this post....and yes Doctari and everyone else interested, it seems you CAN get potassium carbonate from vegetable alkali (from burning trees and scoopin the ashes), or rock/mineral alkali....



Check this out!!!!



"The chemical name for potash is potassium carbonate (K 2 CO 3 ). Early humans also knew about a similar substance called mineral alkali. This material was made from certain kinds of rocks. But it also had alkali properties. "Mineral alkali" was also called soda ash. The modern chemical name for soda ash is sodium carbonate (Na 2 CO 3 ).



"Environmentalists often say that everything in nature is related. Here is a good example of that principle:



Potash was a widely used material in Colonial America. People used the compound to make soap, glass, and dozens of other products. At the time, potash was easy to get. All one had to do was burn a tree and collect potash from its ashes.



The only problem was that a single tree does not produce much potash. To get all the potash a family might need, one might have to burn dozens or hundreds of trees....One can imagine what America would have looked like if Colonists continued this practice. Fortunately, they did not have to. In the 1780s, French chemist Nicolas Le Blanc (1742-1806) invented an inexpensive method for making soda ash. Le Blanc's method used salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl); limestone, or calcium carbonate (CaCO 3 ); and coal (pure carbon). These three materials are all common and inexpensive. The Le Blanc method of making soda ash is quick, easy, and cheap. Before long, soda ash had become one of the least expensive chemicals made artificially. In the United States, trees were no longer burned to get potash.



Read more: http://www.chemistryexplained.com/elemen...z3SmCpU27P"





Read more: http://www.chemistryexplained.com/elemen...z3SmB3xwfO





AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#13
[quote name='alukban' timestamp='1424838393' post='599184']

[quote name='doctari' timestamp='1424834177' post='599180']

But like I said before ash itself is NOT leaven. Its a base which can counteract an acid. Ash by its self will not leaven anything. Eggs are acidic and so is buttermilk. SO you might get some bubbles from those but it does depend on how strong of a base you have.

[/quote]



I don't understand doctari. I thought it was "baking soda" that needed an acid in order to get the bubbles and thus leavening. The white ash substitute thing was clearly described as being in place of "baking powder" which bubbles with liquid and, supposedly, heat. Eh?

[/quote]





Yes I was very confused too but now I think get it <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Rolleyes' /> ...I re-read what Doctari and ML said..carefully...baking powder does that not baking soda/ ashes.



"As to the use of “white wood ash:” Kephart notes it as a substitute for baking soda (note, not baking powder) in various bread and biscuit recipes. Both baking soda and baking powder leaven breads by releasing carbon dioxide in a chemical process, rather than through fermentation as yeast does. Baking powder releases the gas when you add water (in the dough or batter). Baking soda releases the gas when it reacts with an acidic ingredient in the mix (like buttermilk)." ML





"But like I said before ash itself is NOT leaven. Its a base which can counteract an acid..." Doctari



wonder if there's anything else acidic you could use instead, if ya had no egg, no milk? maybe an acidic forest food like berries or nuts? or an acidic oil? egg yolk is 6.1 pH, blueberries are 3.3, walnuts are 5.4



http://www.livestrong.com/article/23346-...oods-list/



or maybe that crazy? <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />





AOC
"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson

"Buy land- they are not making it anymore"- Mark Twain

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile €”hoping it will eat him last." -Winston Churchill

"Wilderness is in our hearts first and always. All of us can't have a cabin in the mountains. It's the wilderness within we must strive for first."- R. Sullivan
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#14
I was mistaken.



Kephart does describe white ash as a direct substitute for "baking soda" and not "baking powder".



Interestingly, all his recipes call for the use of "baking powder" except one - the recipe for "snow bread". That recipe only calls for: snow, corn meal, "soda", salt and lard. I guess the lard is the acid.



Maybe I will try the white ash thing again as a biscuit - add butter <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />
{  "Trust in Jesus but carry a sixgun in the bathroom."€  Phantom  }
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#15
If i remember correctly baking powder, not baking soda, is made up of an acid and a base to create bubbles from their interaction. But modern baking powder may also be called double reaction, or double rising, because carbon dioxide is first created by the acid, base, water combination but then when heat is applied more CO2 comes out. But a simple baking powder could be improvised by mixing baking soda (base) and cream of tartar (acid, and not for tartar sauce). Lemon juice would work too. That would be a single reaction baking powder.



The alkali in ash can be removed by placing the cold ashes in a cloth and running hot water over it then taking that weak but hot solution and pouring it over the same bundle. Repeat. Just be careful because you are leaching out more and more alkali as you do this. Its basically lye. Mix the lye with animal fat and add heat and you have soap.
Remember, Noah was the ORIGINAL prepper.



Paranoids are just people that know all the facts - Warren Ellis
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