Digger Bread (another recipe)

My friend Frank notified me that a local bulletin board had a listing for sale of a copy of The Mother Earth News, volume 1, number 1 (Jan 1970). Somehow, Frank (who is a collecting wizard in his own right) knew that this particular issue had a copy of the Digger Bread recipe. Last year, I completed the Digger Bread & Free Bakery(ies) page and one of the clippings I included from 1970 mentioned the forthcoming premier issue of TMEN and a listing of articles, one of which was the “digger bread” recipe. Due to Frank’s swift alertness, I was able to obtain this issue and scan the article. Here then is the recipe that Mother Earth News printed in their premier issue:

[Note: for background info on “digger bread” and the Free Bakery, refer to link above.]

diggerbread_recipe_the_mother_earth_news_v1-no1-jan1970-m

Note the “correction” at the bottom of the recipe. This was obviously added by the editors at Mother Earth News. If any curious reader will compare this version to the original recipe that the All Saints Church diggers published, there are several differences worth mentioning. First, of course, is the mistake in the amount of water. In the original recipe, it was “2-1/2 cups warm water.” Here (before the correction) it is “1/2 cup lukewarm water.” Obviously somewhere along the line the “2” got dropped in transcription. (The editors at Mother Earth News realized this, but their version only uses 1-1/2 cups of water and a banana, an innovation of their local baker.) Another interesting difference (although, in reality, just a difference of emphasis) is the discussion of whole wheat flour. The original recipe stated emphatically, “White flour, or bleached whole-wheat, is not allowed for Free Bread.” The recipe (above) says, “Nasty old white flour will never do!” So, the emphasis on whole wheat versus white flour remains; the emphasis on Free has been dropped. Undoubtedly the baking of bread was (by 1969) more of a daily, communal operation — rather than a revolutionary act.

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