Author: L.M. Montgomery
Book: Anne of Avonlea
Difficulty rating: Little Women
Deliciousness rating: Outstanding
Part of Anne’s Golden Picnic
Did it measure up?
We discussed what the filling would be in these unpoetical sandwiches. At first we thought chicken salad, but then realized that chicken salad is often served to guests in the Anne series, so it must be considered kind of fancy. (For a list references to chicken salad in the books, check out the Anne Series Food & Drink Index and Concordance.)
Cold ham bones are used for informal lunches when company’s not around, so we thought Anne would find cold ham sandwiches on brown bread very unpoetical. The Culinary Historians of Canada recommended thin slices of bone-in smoked ham. Our picnic partners Jenn and Grace betook themselves to Iowa Meat Farms and found us a glorious ham.
The sandwiches were by far the most delicious item on the menu. The bread was hearty, soft, and slightly sweet — not the usual dry, dense, depressing brown bread. Layered thickly with ham and salted KerryGold butter, the sandwiches were EXCELLENT.
ANNE’S UNPOETICAL SANDWICHES
Bread recipe adapted from Taste of Home‘s Old Fashioned Brown Bread Recipe (It’s from New Brunswick! Mr. Harrison’s hometown, you know. God, I am a nerd.)
- 2⅓ cups boiling water
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup butter, cubed
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 5½ to 6½ cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp salt
1. In a big bowl, pour the boiling water on the oats.
2. Stir in the butter and molasses.
3. Let stand until the mixture cools to 120°-130°, stirring occasionally.
4. In another bowl, combine 3½ cups of flour, yeast, and salt. Beat in the mixture in the first bowl until blended.
5. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
6. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. You may need to knead in quite a bit of extra flour to make it firm enough to hold a shape.
7. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides.
8. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles. It’ll take about 1 hour.
9. Preheat oven to 375°.
10. Punch the dough down.
11. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and shape into loaves.
12. Place in two greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Slash the tops of the loaves with a sharp knife.
13. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- Brown bread
1. Cut slices of bread. Spread a layer of butter. Don’t be too skimpy with the butter, ok?
2. Cut ham in thin slices and sandwich between buttered bread.
Montgomery, L.M. Anne of Avonlea. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc., 1909.