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Bread Rolls Etc

(Breakfast Dainties)







Bread

The word is derived from the Anglo-Saxon bracan, to bruise, to

pound, which is expressive of the ancient mode of preparing the grain.

Bread was not introduced into Rome until five hundred and fifty years

after its foundation. Pliny informs us that the Romans learned this,

with many other improvements, during the war with Perseus, King of

Macedon. The armies, on their return, brought Grecian bakers with them

into Italy, who were called pistores, from their ancient practice of

bruising the grain in mortars.



The Greeks ascribed the invention of bread-making to Pan; but the

Chaldeans and Egyptians were acquainted with it at a still more remote

period. In the paintings discovered in the tombs of Egypt the various

processes used by them in bread-making are distinctly represented.



Bread from wheat was first made in China, 2000 B.C.



An extensive variety of substances is used in making bread; the roots,

shoots, bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds of trees and plants have been,

and are still, made into bread by semi-civilized races. In Iceland

codfish is dried and beaten to a powder, and made into bread.



Bread is universally admitted to be a matter deserving the serious

consideration of all good housewives. It is no longer a luxury, as in

olden times, but a positive necessity; upon it depends the health of all

mankind. It is, therefore, highly important that its ingredients should

be of the very best quality. At no time is this question more seriously

to be considered than when changing the food of infants from liquids to

solid food.



Bakers' bread cannot always be relied upon. One never knows to what

extent the flour has been mixed with brands of flour made from musty or

sprouted wheat, as the baker can make what appears to be good bread from

these by mixing them with what is known as garlic flour, which is a

grade of flour ground with garlic, the effect being to conceal other

unpleasant odors.



Their flour is often stored in damp cellars, where, under the influence

of heat that is not strong enough to expel moisture, fermentation takes

place in it, exactly as it does in bread-making, except on a smaller

scale.



Any flour containing too much moisture is likely to "heat," or sour, and

flour of the best quality, when placed in damp, stuffy cellars, where

it will absorb moisture, is likely to do the same thing. The yeast used

by many bakers is deserving the attention of the Health Department.

Damaged hops are often used, which, when boiled too long, impart their

obnoxious flavor to the yeast, and to the bread made from it.



If what is known as "head yeast" be allowed to ferment too far--as is

often the case--it will sour the stock yeast; or if the fermentation be

too feeble, the result in either case will be unhealthy bread.



Potatoes used in making "potato ferment" are often of a very inferior

quality, and impart their rankness to the bread. When bread is sold by

weight an excess of water is introduced to brands of dry flour, which

absorb more than others, and the result is heavy, dark, pasty bread,

which is often sour.



By the producer of inferior bread these little items are not taken into

consideration. The bread has been made, and it must be sold; and the

unsuspecting housewife who buys bread from certain bakers because they

sell it a few cents less per loaf than the price asked by firms who will

not jeopardize their reputations, is endangering the health of her

family.



I particularly warn my readers against bakers seeking customers by

cutting rates; they cannot supply good bread at low rates without using

inferior flour.



Home-made Bread

To make good bread or rolls, take five potatoes; peel

and cut them up, and boil in water enough to cover them; when done, mash

them smooth in the water in which they were boiled; when cool, not

cold, add a gill of liquid yeast, a dessert-spoonful of sugar, a

salt-tablespoonful of lard, and a pint of flour. Mix together lightly

until it is of a pasty, sticky consistency; cover and set it in a warm

place to rise; it will rise in two or three hours, and should look

almost like yeast. Stir into this three pints of flour and, if

necessary, a little cold water; the dough should be rather soft, and

need not be kneaded more than half an hour. Set in a moderately warm

place for four hours; it is now ready to be shaped into loaves and

baked; but it is better to push it down from the sides of the bread-pan,

and let it rise again and again, until the third time, which is ample.

Knead until smooth, and if too soft, add a little more flour. For rolls,

roll out and cut into rounds. Use the rolling-pin slightly, batter, and

fold. Baking-pans should be well greased.



Salt

is always used in bread-making, not only on account of its flavor,

which destroys the insipid, raw taste of the flour, but because it

makes the dough rise better. It is therefore highly important that it

should be of the best quality, as it has an affinity for the kidneys and

other organs, and acts upon them powerfully.



As it is the smallest item in the expense of a family, no pains should

be spared in procuring the best in market.



American manufacturers have not as yet made a salt free from foreign

flavors and suitable to delicate cookery; its peculiar fishy flavor is

objectionable, and gives to bread a taste that leads the eater thereof

to imagine it had been sliced with a fish-knife.



Most of the leading grocers sell an English salt that is a very valuable

assistant in bread-making.



Maize or Indian Corn

is the noblest of the cereal grasses, and deserves

our liberal patronage and constant praise. From it can be produced an

infinite variety of nutritious food, from Tennyson's "dusky loaf that

smelt of home" to the simple "hoe cake" of "Old Black Joe."



To enumerate all of the good things produced from corn would make a

volume five times the size of this little book. Enough has been said to

practically demonstrate the necessity of our being at all times aware

of its excellent qualities, if we value health and subsequent happiness.



In America no national question is of more importance than the success

or failure of the corn crop. Upon it depends the success not only of

large business enterprises, but of business centres. Nearly all of the

important domestic animals that are used as food are fed upon it

exclusively, and a large percentage of the population depends upon

it--directly or indirectly--for very existence, which is conclusive

evidence that a failure of this important cereal means starvation and

bankruptcy to many, which the failure of the wheat crop would not

effect.



Corn Bread

Sift half a pound each of corn meal and flour, add a scant

teaspoonful of salt and a tablespoonful of wheat baking powder. Beat

together one ounce of powdered sugar, two eggs, and one ounce of butter;

add these to the flour; then gradually add nearly a pint of milk, to

make a thin batter, and bake in a hot oven.



Corn-meal Custard

Beat up three eggs; add to them a quart of milk and

an ounce each of butter and sugar. Mix and add gradually a quarter of a

pound of very fine corn meal; flavor with nutmeg. Pour into custard

cups, and boil or steam for ten minutes; then put them in the oven a

moment to brown on top.



Boston Brown Bread

Sift together half a pound each of rye and wheat

flour, one pound of corn meal, one heaping teaspoonful of salt, a

heaping tablespoonful of brown sugar, and one of wheat baking powder.

Wash, peel, and boil two medium-sized potatoes; rub them through a

sieve; thin out the potato with nearly a pint of water, and use this to

make the batter. Pour it into well-greased moulds having covers; set

them into hot water to within two inches of the top of the moulds, and

boil for two hours; then take them out of the water, remove the cover,

and place them in the oven for twenty minutes.



A Boston brown bread preparation put up by the Boston Cereal

Manufacturing Company is an article of food quite recently introduced,

which saves much of the difficult details necessary to make this

excellent New England loaf.



Maize Muffins

This very latest preparation deserves special mention,

as being the highest and most scientific product of corn that has been

introduced for public consideration. It is known as shredded maize, and

from it a most excellent porridge can be made in ten minutes. Griddle

cakes, sweet puddings, and especially breakfast rolls made of it are

delightful. Most excellent muffins are prepared as follows: Mix together

one pound of shredded maize, one pint of hot milk, a teaspoonful of

salt, and one ounce of butter; let it cool, and whisk into it three

beaten eggs, one ounce of sugar, and two teaspoonfuls of wheat baking

powder; mix thoroughly; half fill the muffin-rings, and bake in a hot

oven.



Graham Muffins

Sift one quart of graham flour, half a teaspoonful of

salt, and a heaping tablespoonful of wheat baking powder; add two ounces

of butter and two beaten eggs, with milk enough to make a thin batter.

Mix. Half fill the greased muffin-rings, and bake in a quick oven.



Breakfast Biscuits

Sift one quart of flour, half a teaspoonful of

salt, and a scant tablespoonful of wheat baking powder; add half an

ounce of butter; mix together, and add milk enough to make a batter;

roll out the dough on a floured board; dredge it with flour; cut out the

biscuits; place them on a buttered tin, and bake in a quick oven.



Milk Bread

Sift one and a half pounds of flour, a teaspoonful of salt,

half an ounce of powdered sugar, same of melted butter, and two

tablespoonfuls of wheat baking powder. Simmer a pint of milk; let it

cool; add it to the flour; beat it with a plated knife; shape it into

loaves. Let stand for half an hour in well-greased pans, covered, then

bake in a quick oven.



Rolled-wheat Biscuit

Half a pint each of rolled wheat and flour, one

coffeespoonful of salt, two teaspoonfuls of wheat baking powder, one

tablespoonful of powdered sugar, and one teaspoonful of lard or melted

butter. Add milk enough to make a batter, and bake in small tins in a

quick oven.



To Test the Oven

Throw on the floor of the oven a tablespoonful of new

flour; if it takes fire or assumes a dark brown color, the temperature

is too high, and the oven must be allowed to cool. If the flour remains

white after the lapse of a few seconds, the temperature is too low. When

the oven is of the proper temperature the flour will turn a brownish

yellow and look slightly scorched.











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