The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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Bread, Willow.—The leaves of our common basket willow makes an excellent yeast or leaven for light bread when treated as hops. It mixes much quicker than hops ; in 1-2 the time ; imparts none of that disagreeable hop flavor which is so objectionable to many. In­deed, it makes better bread every way. The willow is a most health­ful tonic. Is used as potent against ague in malarious districts. Simply use a very weak tea made of these leaves to a quart of boil­ing water.
Yeast that will keep 3 Months.—(N. Y. T.)—In the hottest weather and much longer in cold, and never become sour. The flour should be thoroughly dried by the fire ; stirred up often before made into a sponge, an important item of which many farmer's wives are ignorant. The sponge or dough should be set at noon, mixed at night and moulded next morning ; stirring the sponge after it begins to ferment makes it white.
Recipe.—One quart of hops put lightly in a cup, 1 quart of pota­toes peeled and sliced, 1 pint of corn browned like coffee; put the hops in the small bag, add 3 quarts of boiling water, boil 2 hours. Strain through a colander, add 1 cup of white sugar, 1-2 cup of salt and water to make 5 quarts of the mixture. When luke warm add 1 pint of the same kind of yeast to ferment it. If that is not at hand, use potato yeast without meal or flour, as that might sour after a while; 1-2 a cup is enough for a baking, large and small. The yeast must be made in tin or porcelain. Set it about 24 hours in a warm room, then bottle or cork tightly and keep in a cool room; 1-2 the ingredients will do for a small family.
Mrs. Gen. R. E. Lee's Yeast.—Boil 6 Irish potatoes and ahand-ftil of hops in 2 quarts of water, when cooked wash the potatoes, strain the hop tea and mix with the potatoes, thicken with 1-2 pint of flour, return all to the kettle and bring to the boiling point; add a heaping tablespoonful of salt and set the proportion with 1-2 pint of yeast. This will keep good one week in a cool place.
Buttermilk Yeast.—One quart of buttermilk, 2 teaspoonfuls of sugar, 1 quart of meal, 1-2 cupful of hop yeast, set to rise 8 hours, then stir in 1 quart of corn meal, make it out in thin cakes and dry them in a cool, airy place. Use one quart of flour to each cake.
Mrs. Janson's Yeast.—Mash 3 moderate sized Irish potatoes, boiled with the skins on with a good pinch of hops, when done mash with the skins on, then put back into the liquid in which they were boiled with 2 cups of flour, then pour it through a sieve, still stirring it over the flour, and let it stand till luke warm, then stir in 3 tablespoonfuls of brown sugar, 1 heaped tablespoon­ful of salt, add a little brewer's or domestic yeast, as convenient. Let stand over night to ferment, place in a jar kept closely cov­ered ; allow 4 tablespoonfuls of yeast to one pound of flour.