January 24, 2021

World War 1 Turkish Bazlama

Turkish World War 1 Recipes

Concealment was impossible; besides, we were in our usual trouble for water. The only inhabitant seemed to be an old woman, who came out of the tent to find out why the children had run back...
 For some minutes the Circassian (for we thought she must be one) stood talking to the two envoys at the door of her tent. Then she signaled us to approach, and invited the whole party inside her abode. Here she offered the equivalent in the East of a chair — namely, a seat on the mats which covered the earthen floor. The amiable old dame next produced a large circular tray, which she set in our midst, and on which she placed some wafer-like chupatties and a couple of bowls of the inevitable " yourt." 

Never did simple meal taste so sweet, but the amount provided served only to whet the appetite of the eight hungry travellers. It was gently suggested that we should like a little more ; we told her we would pay for everything we had. At the same time we produced some of our mugs as likely to provide a method of eating the " yourt " more in keeping with our hunger...Not a thing, however, would our hostess sell : neither flour, wheat, cheese, goat, nor fowls. We asked her to make us some more chupatties, but without avail. No money would tempt her — she was evidently not a Turk, — even the offer of a little tea could not work the oracle. Her hospitality — and it was true hospitality that she had shown to us — was limited to what we might eat on the premises. From what we could gather from her rather peculiar Turkish, the old lady seemed afraid to sell us anything without her husband's consent. It was impossible not to admire her steadfast- ness, and as we left we presented her with three silver medjidies (worth altogether about twelve shillings). On this she relaxed to the extent of allowing us to take three eggs that she had. 

 We tried to find out how far we were from the sea ; but she seemed hardly to know of its existence, so cut off had she been all her life in her mountain fastness. She directed us, however, to some other tents farther down one of the valleys, and said we might be able to buy some food there; so thither we now wended our way. There was a well outside the tent, but it was dry at the time and was being deepened. A few drops of water which she had given us within had come from some distant stream, she said. "Yourt," however, is a wonderful thirst - quencher, so lack of water did not cause any worry for the time being.  

-Maurice Andrew Brackereid Johnston, 1919  

I was inspired to make this after reading 450 Miles to Freedom by Maurice Andrew Brackenreed Johnston, an Indian born soldier in the British army during WWI. In the book, Johnston details his account of his escape from a Turkish POW camp along with 7 other officers. He details eating Chupattis as part of their foraged food but he was likely eating Bazlama, a Turkish version of pita that includes yogurt. It is pronounced "baz-luh-ma." 

This recipe is really good. We ended up eating some of it fresh and the next day we ate it with falafel and tzatziki. Next time I make it, I might add some garlic and herbs. You can store them overnight in ziplock bags at room temperature or freeze them. 

Turkish Bazlama


- 4 Cups Flour
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Oil

- Butter for coating
- Parsley for garnishing 


Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water. Combine flour, yogurt, salt, sugar, oil, and yeast water until a soft ball of dough is formed. Coat the dough in oil and cover the bowl with a warm cloth for about an hour.

Cut into 4-6 pieces and roll into balls. Let the balls sit, covered with a cloth for 10-15 mins. 

Roll the balls out on a lightly floured surface.

Preheat in a cast iron pan on medium to high heat until you see bubbles forming, flip and cook for about 30 more seconds. (Don't grease the pan.) 

Rub with a bit of butter and top with parsley. Eat fresh with some yogurt.    

December 21, 2020

Apple Sauce Candy Recipe | World War 2 Era


The weather outside is frightful. No really, we just got that pandemic blizzard. I tried to find something fun to do inside and stumbled upon this candy recipe in the December 1941 issue of Woman's Day Magazine. I liked that it's candy made from real fruit instead of the flavorings we're used to. 

These ended up being the consistency of fruit snacks and had a similar taste. I was hoping they'd be a bit spicy, but it's a very tasty but mild flavor.  


World War 2 Era Apple Sauce Candy


- 3 Cups Apple Sauce, Unsweetened
- 2 Cups Sugar
- Powdered Sugar. 
- 1/4 Pound Red Cinnamon Imperials (4 ounces)


Cook apple sauce, sugar, and cinnamon candies in a heavy saucepan on medium heat, until thick, about an hour. Let cool about 15 minutes. Prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper. Pour the candy onto the cookie sheet, let it cool and use a spoon to flatten it to 1/4 and inch thick. Let stand overnight to dry. Once dry, cut into shapes and dip in powdered sugar. Let dry one more night on powdered sugar. Keep stored in a tin.  

Tips: Mine wasn't fully dry after one night, but I couldn't stop due to time constraints. If I was to make this again, I would plan it out to have at least 2 days of drying before cutting. I would also use more candies. These would be very fun as holiday cake decorations.  

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December 8, 2020

Simplifying Bagels | Vintage Jewish Bagel Recipe (1921)

This recipe is from the Settlement Cook Book (1921). Written by progressive reformer, Elizabeth Black Kander, the book was so popular, it went through 35 editions from 1901 to 1940.  

Kander, was the daughter of Jewish, English and Bavarian immigrants.  She was a  member of many charity organizations, such as the Ladies Relief Sewing Society, the National Council of Jewish Women, and founded the Settlement House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

The Settlement House was part of the Settlement Movement which was a philanthropic response to Nativism, racism, and calls for restrictive immigration policies in the early 20th century. Followers of the movement lived and worked among the poor with an aim to reform society by working for better labor standards, education, living conditions, and healthcare. The Settlement House provided Eastern European immigrants, classes on English, sewing, and cooking. The Settlement Cook book was used in their cooking classes and also raised money to fund their mission. 

The earlier editions of the cook book were focused on helping immigrants assimilate and contained many Eastern European recipes, but specifically Jewish and Kosher recipes were added in later editions including holiday recipes. 

I was interested in trying this recipe because "bagel pretzel rolls" intrigued me. I always thought making bagels was too hard but it ended up being easy and it cost less that a $1 for 12 bagels. Seeing the process done in the home and not in a bagel shop really demystifies the process. 


Vintage Jewish Bagel Recipe 


- 1 cup warm Milk 
- 1 Yeast Cake or 1 Tablespoon of Yeast 
- 1/4 Cup Butter, melted but cool
- 1 Egg, seperated 
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar 
- 3 3/4 Cups Flour 
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt 


Stir the sugar into the warm milk . Pour yeast on top of the warm milk, let sit a minute and stir in.  Pour Flour, yeast, egg white, butter, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix until it is too hard to mix with a spoon then use hands. Knead for about 6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise, covered for 1 hour. Punch the dough down, cut it in two. Set aside half covered. Cut the other half into 6 pieces and roll into bagel shapes. Seal with water and place on a greased baking pan.

 For the cinnamon version, roll out the other half of the dough, coat the dough with water and sprinkle with a mixture of 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon. Cut into 6 pieces an roll into bagel shapes and put on a greased cookie sheet. 

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Bring a large, shallow pot of water to just below simmering. Put your bagels in a few at a time and cook for 20 seconds. Flip them over and cook another 20 seconds. Remove to a greased cookie pan. Lightly brush the bagels with a mixture of egg yolk and water. Add your toppings ( I used poppy seeds and almonds on top of the cinnamon ones as the recipes called for). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  

For those asking where I got my tray, it's this one painted.


This is an early version of The Settlement Cook Book:

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November 11, 2020

Civil War Cider Cake Recipe

Clifton, Va
Sept. 18, 1864

[79th Regiment, New York Infantry] Dear Mother;
Punch would find rare pickings in the army. The everyday jokes and incidents of campaign life are rich enough. The other day in a cavalry charge the enemy broke and a rebel soldier was chased into a fence corner whence he could not escape. "I surrender! I surrender!" he cried to the pursuing trooper. "What do you think of the old flag now!" replied the soldier aiming a cut at him. The men in the ranks get off many a good thing. It is curious to see what a zest some of them take in man hunting, skirmishing, scouting and the like. They are as much pleased when they bring down an opponent as a successful sportsman with his bird. Everything has remained in its usual quiet since I last wrote. We have a most beautiful little camp for Headquarters, and are quite comfortable. I have gone to the length of building a stable for my horses, and if we don't move soon shall think about building a chimney for my tent. We have plenty of grapes peaches and apples and I found some sweet cider a few days ago. So you see we are very well off, as fare as physical comfort goes. General Grant, U. S. is here, which looks like action. Probably to see what is doing and whether any force can be spared to reinforce his army at Petersburg. As for McClellan, he will make a worse failure as a politician than as a soldier. I think his army strength is all gone. Few are left of his old army and they have changed in their feelings towards him to some extent. Nowadays they are making everybody Brevent Major General.

Tit-Bits (Boston) 1864

Civil War Cider Cake Recipe


- 5 Cups Flour
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Butter (2 Sticks)
- 5 Eggs
- 2 teaspoons Baking Soda (2 Tablespoons Baking Powder) 
- 2 Cups Cider 
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger (To Taste) 


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cream 1 cup of butter with 3 cups of sugar. Beat in your eggs. Dissolve the baking soda in the cider and add to the mixture. Pour the liquid ingredients on the dry ingredients and spice to taste. Bake in a greased pan until a toothpick comes out clean (30-60 minutes.)   

This recipe makes enough for two 8 inch cake pans. 

November 3, 2020

What is Election Cake? | Colonial Recipe | Amelia Simmons, 1796

Colonial Recipe Election Cake

Many cookbooks include a recipe for Election Cake. What is it? The hallmark of an election cake recipe is the enormous batch size. Some of the finished cakes weighed over 10 pounds. In the 1700s, Election Cake was a yeast leavened cake with prunes or other dried fruits, intended to feed dozens of people. Sometimes they were made of soft gingerbread. Regardless of the ingredients, Election Cake was frequently served with cider. 

Election Cake seems to be derived from "Muster Cake." In the late 1600s and throughout the 1700s, some men were expected to attend military musters for training and were supplied with cake and cider as a reward. In the late 1700s, Election Day was new and a day of celebration. Eligible men who made the trek out to vote were given cake, cider, and alcohol outside of the polls and at parties.   

This recipe is from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, the second edition published in 1796. This book is known for being the first known American cookbook. The full recipe makes a lot of cake. It contains 30 cups of flour and 36 eggs! I cut the recipe by about 1/7! The recipe also assumes you're cooking in the 1700s and that it will take 24 hours for your sponge to rise. It took me about 45 minutes in my 21st century oven. Likewise, if your house is heated in November, you won't have to cream the butter for 30 minutes. When I make this again (even the family liked it) I'll probably add a cup of crushed walnuts.  


Colonial Recipe Election Cake

Colonial Election Cake


- 4 Cups Flour
- 1 1/2 Sticks Butter 
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 1/4 Cup Raisins, Prunes, or other dried fruit, chopped
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tablespoon Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Brandy
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Coriander seed  

- 2 Tablespoons Yeast (1 Packet)
- 1 1/2 Cups Warm Milk 


Combine your flour, milk, and yeast, cover with a warm, wet cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs, spices, brandy, and wine and mix until combined. Pour the butter mixture into the dough and mix (with your hands, if necessary). Mix in the fruit.  Pour into greased pans and bake 45-60 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 F. Let cool then cover and let sit for a day.   


Humble, Nicola. Cake: a Global History. London: Reaktion Books, 2010.

Simmons, Amelia. American Cookery; or, The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables and the Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes from the Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake, Adapted to This Country and All Grades of Life. . 2nd ed. Hartford: Hudson & Goodwin, 1796.

Stradley, Linda. “Election Day Cake History and Recipe,” November 3, 2020. https://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/ElectionCake.htm. 

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