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#1
Old 08-27-2008, 09:12 PM
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Could you actually make bread from bones?

Like giants do in fairy tales. Could you actually do that with appropriate equipment?
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#2
Old 08-27-2008, 09:24 PM
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Bone Meal?

Bone meal has no gluten or other yeasty, bready things. All you'd have is nasty cooked bone meal. You can add some small amount of bone meal to bread flour but not sure how that tastes.
#3
Old 08-27-2008, 09:25 PM
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I don't see why you couldn't put some bonemeal into the dough, but I'm not sure an all-bone loaf would work. Why don't you try one cup of bonemeal in your regular recipe, and see how that works? (Note: I do not advocate the killing of any Englishmen, for breadmaking purposes or otherwise.)

To be fair to the giants, though, I don't think they ever actually make such loaves, much less eat them; they just threaten.

ETA: Drat you, astro! Faster on the submit button, with a link no less.

Last edited by Dr. Drake; 08-27-2008 at 09:26 PM.
#4
Old 08-27-2008, 09:27 PM
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No.
#5
Old 08-27-2008, 09:28 PM
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With no sugars for the yeast to process, you would not get any CO2. So all-bone meal would have to rise from the action of eggs or (more likely) baking soda (or am I off on that?). In any case, at some point it is no longer bread.
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#6
Old 08-27-2008, 10:21 PM
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Well, you couldn't make yeast-risen bread, but you could make a flatbread. Like a tortilla or an Indian chapatti, patted out into a thin cake and baked on a hot stone. Wet bone meal will cake up like a mudpie, and you could squish it into something bake-able.

So yeah, the giant could have ground his bones to make his bread, as long as by "bread" you don't insist on yeast bread.
#7
Old 08-27-2008, 10:24 PM
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What about the nourishing marrowbone jelly? The giant didn't specify which part of the bone he'd be using.
#8
Old 08-28-2008, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Saudi
With no sugars for the yeast to process, you would not get any CO2. So all-bone meal would have to rise from the action of eggs or (more likely) baking soda (or am I off on that?). In any case, at some point it is no longer bread.
Could you add some sort of sugar product for the yeast to act upon, and have... sweet bone-bread?
#9
Old 08-28-2008, 06:47 AM
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You will need some protien to coagulate. I think you would just be adding bone to bread mix since I don't think that the bone will do anything essential in the bread process.

Last edited by WarmNPrickly; 08-28-2008 at 06:47 AM.
#10
Old 08-28-2008, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
Well, you couldn't make yeast-risen bread, but you could make a flatbread. Like a tortilla or an Indian chapatti, patted out into a thin cake and baked on a hot stone. Wet bone meal will cake up like a mudpie, and you could squish it into something bake-able.

So yeah, the giant could have ground his bones to make his bread, as long as by "bread" you don't insist on yeast bread.
The problem is that bonemeal won't have the cohesion of gluten-filled wheat paste, or even starch-covered tortilla/polenta/risotto. So with bonemeal and water you wouldn't get a chapati; just a pile of bonemeal that falls apart as soon as the heat dries it out again (like a dried-out sandcastle).
#11
Old 08-28-2008, 01:06 PM
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Well, if he's going to grind up fresh bones (because the story doesn't actually say, "I'll steam your bones, and then grind them", it just says "I'll grind your bones"), presumably the marrow would be in with it, which is fat, which would probably serve to glue it together into a reasonable simulacrum of a chapatti.

I still think it could work.




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#12
Old 08-28-2008, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
Bone Meal?

Bone meal has no gluten or other yeasty, bready things. All you'd have is nasty cooked bone meal. You can add some small amount of bone meal to bread flour but not sure how that tastes.
As to texture, rather than taste, it would be rather gritty. Ever taste a dog biscuit?
#13
Old 08-28-2008, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Duck Goose
I still think it could work.

I love this place.
Given the other advanced experimental work other GQ threads have prompted, surely we can get a volunteer to make the test?

I would, however, encourage the use of beef soup bones rather than the bones of an Englishmun.
#14
Old 08-28-2008, 02:44 PM
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While the marrow could contain some protien to form the bread, I don't think it is enough to compensate for the large quantity of essentially useless calcium phosphate powder.
#15
Old 08-28-2008, 03:50 PM
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Maybe an egg matrix, then, with some form of acid-and-base leavening? Although that might be more of a fluffy, gritty omelette than "bread", per se.
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#16
Old 08-28-2008, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus
The problem is that bonemeal won't have the cohesion of gluten-filled wheat paste, or even starch-covered tortilla/polenta/risotto. So with bonemeal and water you wouldn't get a chapati; just a pile of bonemeal that falls apart as soon as the heat dries it out again (like a dried-out sandcastle).
At best, you might get a very crumbly bone-cookie.

Bone meal has been used to adulterate flour in the past (not sure if this was the content of astro's link - because it isn't working for me)

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/32/3/340
#17
Old 08-28-2008, 04:01 PM
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If you are gonna try this, be sure to use bone-meal not contaminated with lead or bovine spongiform encephalopathy organisms!!!
#18
Old 08-28-2008, 04:21 PM
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"Bread" used to have a more broader meaning: A piece or morsel of food, entymologically related to the word "break".
#19
Old 08-28-2008, 04:22 PM
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I'm normally very much on board for culinary experiments, but this one does nothing for me.
#20
Old 08-28-2008, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ouryL
"Bread" used to have a more broader meaning: A piece or morsel of food, entymologically related to the word "break".
Interestingly, 'meat' was once similarly generic.
#21
Old 08-28-2008, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ouryL
"Bread" used to have a more broader meaning: A piece or morsel of food, entymologically related to the word "break".
I always imagined the giant making something like meatloaf out of the bones.
#22
Old 08-28-2008, 06:10 PM
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Perhaps there is an archaic definition for bread.

Could it simply mean food?
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#23
Old 08-28-2008, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake
. . . To be fair to the giants, though, I don't think they ever actually make such loaves, much less eat them; they just threaten. . .
I'd interpret it as an idiomatic phrase. He'll grind his bones to make his bread about the same way he'll have his guts for garters.

The word history is interesting though. Is the story the right age to match up with bread being a generic term for food?
#24
Old 08-28-2008, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria
I'd interpret it as an idiomatic phrase. He'll grind his bones to make his bread about the same way he'll have his guts for garters.
Exactly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria
The word history is interesting though. Is the story the right age to match up with bread being a generic term for food?
No. The OED has that sense "only in Old English," i.e. well and truly dead by about 1100. Jack and the Beanstalk, if I recall, appears in print first about 600 years after that in chapbook form. Since it is a poem within a folktale, we can assume it predates the written text, but I doubt if it goes back to Old English.
#25
Old 08-28-2008, 07:47 PM
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Sweet.

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#26
Old 08-28-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yllaria
I'd interpret it as an idiomatic phrase. He'll grind his bones to make his bread about the same way he'll have his guts for garters.
Or make a pencil holder from his shin bone...
#27
Old 08-28-2008, 09:49 PM
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Hmm I guess even as a kid my brain worked differently.

I had always assumed he was going to use the bones to actually grind the flour for bread. I figured a skull and Femur would make a passable Mortar and pestle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmNPrickly
While the marrow could contain some protien to form the bread, I don't think it is enough to compensate for the large quantity of essentially useless calcium phosphate powder.
ALthough it might work as an antacid. Maybe the Giant had bad GERD, and had invented TUMS in cracker form.

Last edited by wolfman; 08-28-2008 at 09:53 PM.
#28
Old 08-28-2008, 09:54 PM
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I always read it as a allegory for the voracity of the giant. Not content to devour the meat and organs of Jack, he will even grind the bones into meal and bake them into bread to totally consume him!
#29
Old 08-28-2008, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetbridge
If you are gonna try this, be sure to use bone-meal not contaminated with lead or bovine spongiform encephalopathy organisms!!!
What bovine spongiform encephalopathy organisms? I thought it was caused by a prion, no organisms needed.
#30
Old 08-29-2008, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Lamp
I always read it as a allegory for the voracity of the giant. Not content to devour the meat and organs of Jack, he will even grind the bones into meal and bake them into bread to totally consume him!
Well, to be honest, being a giant means he have to had big, sturdy bones to keep all that weight while upright walking. So a lot of calcium supplements is a must for his nutrition.
#31
Old 08-29-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crescend
What bovine spongiform encephalopathy organisms? I thought it was caused by a prion, no organisms needed.
You are correct. Lacking RNA or DNA, the prion is more correctly called an agent than an organism.
#32
Old 08-29-2008, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Hmm I guess even as a kid my brain worked differently.

I had always assumed he was going to use the bones to actually grind the flour for bread. I figured a skull and Femur would make a passable Mortar and pestle. ...
Damn it, I wrote this exact same post yesterday,
This has bothered me for a long time and I wonder if there isn't a, now lost, version of the story where the line was "I'll use his bones to grind (the flour for) my bread".

The long bones of the human body seem like they could be pressed into service as pestles, particularly the heads of the humerus and the femur, and the skull a perfect mortar.

CMC +fnord!

and never bothered to hit the submit button, wolfman your not the only who's brain works differently.
#33
Old 09-03-2008, 04:11 AM
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I've goot nothing to back it up, but judging from the etymology and British origins of the story, as well as medieval traditions, I think it most likely that the Giant's bread of custom would have been similar to a Welsh Cake {a.ka. Bannock}. I can see a bannock made with millet flour, marrow, and long fatted and simmered bones, seems it might be possible. You can make a very soft and fine product of bone if you boil them in oil long enough.
#34
Old 09-03-2008, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by crowmanyclouds View Post
Damn it, I wrote this exact same post yesterday,
This has bothered me for a long time and I wonder if there isn't a, now lost, version of the story where the line was "I'll use his bones to grind (the flour for) my bread".

The long bones of the human body seem like they could be pressed into service as pestles, particularly the heads of the humerus and the femur, and the skull a perfect mortar.

CMC +fnord!

and never bothered to hit the submit button, wolfman your not the only who's brain works differently.
The terror in this story was being eaten by a giant. People were more likely to be eaten by Giant things in those days. The Greeks did it long before JatB.

I think it is linguo-evolutionary information. Paleolithic-Angst in our genes.
#35
Old 09-03-2008, 05:55 AM
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Boil dem bones.

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it really is...

Last edited by devilsknew; 09-03-2008 at 05:56 AM.
#36
Old 09-03-2008, 06:36 AM
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Also, if they were making bone bannock in britain...it would more likely be from boned and rendered sheep or pigs.
#37
Old 09-20-2008, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drake View Post
Exactly.No. The OED has that sense "only in Old English," i.e. well and truly dead by about 1100. Jack and the Beanstalk, if I recall, appears in print first about 600 years after that in chapbook form. Since it is a poem within a folktale, we can assume it predates the written text, but I doubt if it goes back to Old English.
I don't know about that, it could go back to old English (unless someone has a cite saying no). Plus I could imagine a story that was created after the loss of that sense, but using a conscious archaism. Furthermore, even if it loss the "generic food" meaning, it might have retained a "generic baked item" type meaning.
#38
Old 02-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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While you cannot make bread from bones alone back in the old days when people still made their own bread, a tiny dash of bone meal was sometimes added for the calcium and phosphorus.

Last edited by kula_michael; 02-07-2013 at 12:00 PM.
#39
Old 02-07-2013, 12:11 PM
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Shakespeare seems to have been under the impression that you could make pastry from them, and provides a helpful recipe:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus Andronicus
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
And make two pasties of your shameful heads...
...
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
#40
Old 02-07-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjc View Post
I don't know about that, it could go back to old English (unless someone has a cite saying no). Plus I could imagine a story that was created after the loss of that sense, but using a conscious archaism. Furthermore, even if it loss the "generic food" meaning, it might have retained a "generic baked item" type meaning.
Even now we have references like "Give us this day our daily bread," which I, at least, have always taken to mean "meal" or "food" rather than bread specifically. It's archaic, sure, but hardly out of use.
#41
Old 02-07-2013, 01:00 PM
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What's truly amazing is that zombie bones actually contain gluten and make a pretty good loaf.
#42
Old 02-07-2013, 02:10 PM
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Seems a lot of quibbling. My recollection is not that the giant says 'I'll grind your bones to make my bread without the addition of any other ingredients.'
#43
Old 02-07-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankJBN View Post
My recollection is not that the giant says 'I'll grind your bones to make my bread without the addition of any other ingredients.'
I think we can all agree life would be better were giants required to disclose their recipes.
#44
Old 02-07-2013, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
I think we can all agree life would be better were giants required to disclose their recipes.
FDA labeling requirements were much more lax in those days, so I suppose the English rules might have been too. If it were today, then for sure he'd have to include a complete ingredient list and nutritional label.

Today, we have a big stink about all those hamburgers with the horsemeat mixed in. Back then, though, you could have mixed horse bones (even non-English horse bones) with British human bones, and ground them all together and gotten away with it.
#45
Old 02-07-2013, 06:40 PM
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In Tibet, they do make a sort of bread from human bone meal. It's for the purpose of "sky burial" where they dispose of corpses by feeding them to birds. After cutting all the flesh from the bones, they grind the bones into meal, make them into bannock-like cakes, and set them out for the birds.
#46
Old 02-07-2013, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretful Porpentine View Post
Shakespeare seems to have been under the impression that you could make pastry from them, and provides a helpful recipe:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus Andronicus
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
And make two pasties of your shameful heads...
...
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Let me go grind their bones to powder small
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
Seems like alternative versions lumped together. Anyway, just a note that "coffin" was the word for any hollowed out baked good/pastry/pie that was pre-baked (today sometimes called "baked blind") to be filled with another food and baked again or served up. Shakespeare's play on the two meanings of the word is clear (as well as the one on paste/pasties).

It's considered S.'s first play. It has not much going for it except its extreme goriness. Don't even ask what this meal was in retribution for.


I too have experimented with novel things-that-look-like-flour baking experiments. I once shook a huge amount of talcum powder in the tub and let the water mix in to see what happens.

I'm embarrassed to say at what age as an adult I did this.
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