Monday, July 20, 2009

Rocket Ships and Train Cars

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the most TV watching I've ever done.

"That's one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind."

It was hot in Danbury, Connecticut that July. My father had told me that men would be landing on the moon that day, and I watched TV all day. I was fascinated, regardless of the fact that I'm disturbed by the universe (you really don't want to know about that). It was a wonderful accomplishment for all of us, and I join many others in saluting Neil Armstrong and the Apollo crew. And if you think space travel is no big thing, think of the things which have benefited us Earthlings
as a result: velcro and teflon come to mind!

Rocket travel leads me to think of a slower, more gracious mode of travel, and this bread recipe went right with this. With the caveat that I've never traveled more than 30 miles by train, we all think of train travel in terms of elegance. Heck, I always heard stories of gentlemen commuting from NYC to Connecticut in the bar car, preferring that to the dining car. That's the origin of the story behind this bread.

I happened upon this in one of the cookbooks I bought in April, entitled It's All American Food. The story is that this bread was so named either because it looks like a Pullman car, or because it was served in Pullman dining cars. In this day of being stuffed in aircraf
t like sausages, and charged for everything, soon to include using the restrooms if the airlines think they can get away with it, isn't it nice to harken back to an era when travel took time, and nice dining was expected to be part of the experience?


2/3 cup warm milk
2/3 cup warm water

4 cups flour
3 tsp or 6 tsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp butter

Egg wash:

1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp sugar

all beaten together

Use your bread machine to mix the ingredients, or combine by hand (my link to complete directions is to your right, should you want them). When the bread has risen, punch it down, form into loaves, place in two loaf pans, and let it rise again until almost doubled in size. Brush with egg wash, and let it rise for a few minutes longer. Bake at 350F for glass pans or 375F for metal pans for 22 to 25 minutes, until desired degree of darkness is reached.

I found this bread much too salty for my taste, although there were others in the house who enjoyed it. I did, however, greatly enjoy having bread with a story; oral history comes in many forms, after all, and as wise men have said, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.


SissySees said...

What a great walk through planes (well, rockets), trains and automobiles!

Pam said...

Perfectly baked like usual. Looks yummy!

foodcreate said...

Ultrasatisfying afternoon pick me up beautiful baked LOOK Delcious:)

Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

Have a wonderful Day~

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Wonderful looking bread. You are my "go to" for bread recipes.

noble pig said...

We were recently at a train museum and the old dining cars were so elegant with all the china and fancy silverware. Yes it would be nice to travel like that. And the Pullman Bread would be a perfect addition to the experience.

Lakeland Jo said...

I like salty food and would like to try this. Have you tried olive bread?

tavolini said...

Great story to go along with the bread! I've also had things come out too salty with kosher salt--did you use unsalted butter?

Making a new bread is one of my favorite cooking pastimes :)

sartaj faisal said...

Making a good recipe.

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pam said...

I was in elementary school when this happened, and since my last name was Armstrong, I told everyone that he was my uncle.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

A very nice tribute to a time gone by when living was slower and easier. I remember exactly where I was when the men landed on the moon. Great looking loaf of bread too.

buffalodick said...

Looked good to me! A little salt flavor in bread is something I enjoy..