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Ein Ruzzige Kuechlin

A grated little Cake a.k.a. Medieval Pizza!

by THL Johann Wolfgang von Hesse

This fascinating recipe comes from the 14th century German cookbook, Ein Buch von Guter Spise published in 1345. I used a network copy provided by Alia Atlas c1993 and 1995, which is available on the WWW at http://www.medievalcookery.com/etexts/buch.html. This work was based upon a transcription published in 1844, the original manuscript was part of a household manual which Michael de Leone, the proto-notary of the Bishop of Wurzburg, had organized. The original is in the university library of Munich. The manuscript was dated between 1345 and 1354, and contains 101 recipes. The recipe used to create this dish was #52:

52: Ein Gute Fulle

Der ein gut kocherye machen wil. Der hacke petersylien und salbey. Glich vil. und brate sie in butern und tuftele eyer weich. und menge daz zu sammene. und ribe kese und brot dor in. und mache ein blat von eyern. und giuz butern dor under. und schute diz dor uf. gib im flur oben uf. und laz backen. Diz sint ruzzige kuechlin.

He who wants to make a good dish chops parsley and sage, exactly as much. And fry them in butter and beat eggs soft. And mix that together. And grate cheese and bread therein. And make a leaf from eggs. And pour butter thereunder. And pour this thereon. Give it flowers on top. And let bake. This is ruzzige cake.

The redaction provided by Alia Atlas for this recipe is as follows:

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Saute sage and parsley in butter for ~5 min. Mix cheeses, herbs, eggs and breadcrumbs together. Roll bread dough into flat rectangle, the size of a roasting pan. Line the roasting pan with foil, and butter the foil. Lay the flat dough in the pan. Spread the mixture evenly on the dough. Put the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350° F. It is done when the top cheese becomes reddish.

The first "pizza" I baked using this recipe was wonderful, with a subtle flavor and powerful aroma that filled the house! Having received very positive and creative input from family members and others in the Barony, I decided to improvise by adding meat to recipe. This follows with a traditional German orientation toward meat pies and even meat pastries which is evident in this same recipe book. In addition, Alia's redaction was not very specific on nature of the bread dough, and so I used a very basic whole wheat yeast dough to which I added 2 tbsp of Olive Oil to better allow the bread to separate from the pan, and to further "nudge" the flavor of the dish toward a modern "Pizza" flavor.