Medieval Cream of Wheat
“Or even better, to wake in Castle Black behind the Wall and go to the common room for a bowl of Three-Finger Hobb’s thick cream of wheat, with a big spoon of butter melting in the middle and a dollop of honey besides. Just the thought of it made his empty stomach rumble.” (Storm of Swords)
Modern Cream of Wheat
The medieval cream of wheat is incredibly heavy and hearty. The hulled wheat never really loses its structural integrity without going through a sieve, so the texture is more like that of a very creamy pottage. The honey and butter sweeten it just enough for it not to be overwhelming. This recipe will definitely stick to your ribs! The way it comes out is more like a thick cream with the wheatberries, and the stock makes it taste quite nice. It would be best served with a breakfast meat and/or eggs
The modern cream of wheat is much more like what you would buy from the store. It has a smoother texture and the consistency of apple sauce. The reduced milk creates a very sweet flavor when paired with the honey butter, almost too sweet for a breakfast food. The honey butter is divine, and wonderful on an assortment of baked goods!
Medieval Cream of Wheat Recipe
To make frumente. Tak clene whete & braye yt wel in a morter tyl þe holes gon of; seþe it til it breste in water. Nym it vp & lat it cole. Tak good broþ & swete mylk of kyn or of almand & tempere it þerwith. Nym yelkys of eyren rawe & saffroun & cast þerto; salt it; lat it nauyt boyle after þe eyren ben cast þerinne. Messe it forth with venesoun or with fat motoun fresch. – Curye on Inglish, 14th Century
Our Changes: We
- 6 cups chicken or beef broth
- 1/2 cup Hulled Wheat (Wheatberries)
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- pinch saffron
- pinch salt
- butter, honey, and/or maple syrup to taste
Add six cups of water and one Tbs chicken base to the wheat berries. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally, until the wheat berries start to burst open and get soft. This might be done the night before.
Then add 1 1/4 cups of your milk and saffron and cook, on medium heat, to allow wheat berries to absorb milk, stirring frequently.
When milk is almost absorbed, add an egg yolk beaten with 1/4 milk. Slowly add the egg mixture to the wheatberries stirring constantly and continue to cook until it is set like a soft pudding.
Serve with butter and honey or maple syrup as a side to meat and/or eggs.
Modern Cream of Wheat
Ingredients for Cream of Wheat:
- 1 cup coarse ground wheat
- 4 cups milk
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp honey
Bring milk and salt to just before a boil in a saucepan. Do not boil, just heat till there are bubble around the edge. Pour in the wheat while stirring with a whisk, and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick. Add vanilla to taste.
To make honey butter, whip butter by hand or in a mixer. Whip in honey till evenly distributed. Place honey on a piece of parchment paper, and roll into a cylinder. Refrigerate till butter has hardened. Serve over cream of wheat, toast, scones, hush puppies, pretty much anything!