The Microbiology of Salt Rising Bread (Special Article) (Report)
Introduction The baking of salt rising bread (SRB) is a long-standing Appalachian tradition that may have originated when pioneer women, lacking yeast, discovered that an alternative “rising agent” is spontaneously created when a mixture of flour and milk is kept overnight in a very warm (38-450[degrees]C) location. This yeast-less bread uses a starter of corn or wheat flour, milk and (often) potatoes. Despite its name, salt is not an essential ingredient and not all starters generate the necessary bacteria for success. However when the “rising” or starter works, this bread is characterized by a distinctive cheese-like taste and odor with a dense white “crumb” or structure. SRB keeps well and can be enjoyed either plain or toasted. Although less popular today due to its extensive preparation time, SRB still survives as primary fare in rural settings and as a specialty or artisan bread in more urban environments.