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"AN OLD RECIPE" FOR GOOD BREAD

(German) - (Pennsylvania Germans)







This country cook invariably baked good bread and always used
potato-water in preference to any other liquid for setting sponge.
She stood aside water, in which potatoes had been boiled for dinner
(usually about one quart or less) and added two finely-mashed
potatoes. About 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the day _before_
that on which she intended baking bread, she dissolved one cake of
yeast (she used the small cornmeal commercial yeast cakes, sold under
different names, such as National, Magic, etc.) in a half-cup of
luke-warm water, added 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sufficient warmed,
well-dried flour to make a thin batter. She placed all in a bowl and
stood it in a warm place, closely-covered, until about 9 o'clock in
the evening, when she added this sponge, which should be light and
foamy, to the potato water, which should be lukewarm. She also added 1
tablespoon of salt and enough flour to make a rather thick batter.
Heat thoroughly and allow this sponge to stand, well-covered, in a
warm place until morning, when add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon
butter or lard and warmed flour enough to make a stiff dough. Turn out
on the bread board and knead for about twenty minutes, until the dough
does not stick to the hands. Place stiffened dough into howl; allow it
to rise until bulk is doubled. Mold into loaves, adding as little
extra flour as possible. Cut several gashes on top of loaves, brush
with melted butter, place in bread pans, and when loaves have doubled
in bulk, place in moderately hot oven and bake about one hour.











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