The 17th century was a period of great change throughout
England. During the middle years of this century there was
the English Civil War when Parliament and the King competed for control
of the country. At the start of this period in history,
people were cooking largely over open wood fires and using medieval
type bread ovens. Bread baking had not changed much since Tudor
times. People were eating from wooden trenchers, using
knives, and tearing or cutting bread from small round loaves.
With the ready availability of the printing press, books and pamphlets were easily and cheaply produced. John Morrell published his "New Booke of Cookerie" in 1617, making a whole range of recipes available nation wide.
F P de la Verenne's "Cuisinier françois" was translated into English as "The French Cook" in 1653. This introduced a range of sauces and gravies as well as new bread recipes into English cuisine. Bakers were introduced to the dough kneading trough for professional use and Knotts (notts) or Gumballs (jumbles) were also becoming a regular snack sale item.
By 1660, the knife, fork (2 prongs) and spoon were becoming the norm. At this time it was normal to take breakfast at about 9am and dinner at 3pm onwards.
By the end of this century, the Iron fire grate was becoming more common. With a reduction in the availability of wood for cooking and heating, coal was used more. This required a different arrangement as coal burns hotter and longer than wood. Spit roasts and fire kettles were starting to be used more, though bread was still being baked in wood fired arched brick ovens.
Download the following .pdf recipes
This part of the Bread Pages looks at the key recipes that were used in different periods of history.