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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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224                                     POTATO BREAD,
piece of charcoal. If white Irish potatoes, add a pinch of soda. The soda or charcoal improves them very much.
Sweet Potato Pone—(A Florida Recipe).—Grate the sweet po­tatoes, 2 cups flour, sweeten with molasses, sugar or honey to taste. Bake a long time. May be eaten cold or warm.
To Make Good Homemade Bread.—One quart of flour, 1 large tablespoonful of solid brewer's yeast or nearly 1 ounce of fresh German yeast, 1 1-4 to 1 1-2 pints of milk and water. Put the flour into a large bowl or deep pan ; then with strong metal or wooden spoon hollow out the middle, but do not clear it entirely away from the bottom of the pan, as, in that case, the sponge (or leaven, as it was formerly termed), would stick to it, which it ought not to do. Next take either a large tablespoonful of brewer's yeast, which has been rendered solid by mixing it with plenty of cold water, (and letting it afterwards stand to settle a day and night); or nearly an ounce of German yeast; put it into a large basin, and proceed to mix, so that it shall be as smooth as cream, with 3-4 of a pint of warm milk ancf water, or with water only ; though even a very little milk will improve the bread. Pour the yeast'into the hole made in the flour and stir into it as much of that which lies round it as will make a thick batter, in which there must be no lumps. Strew plenty of flour on the top, throw a clean, thick cloth over and set it where the air is warm, but do not place it upon the stove, for it will become too much heated there. Look at it from time to time; when it has been lam for nearly an hour, and when the yeast has risen and broken through the flour, so that bubbles appear in it, you will know that it is ready to be made up into dough. Then place the pan on a strong chair, or dresser, or table, of convenient height; pour into the sponge the remainder of the warm milk and water; stir into it as much of of the flour as you can with the spoon; then wipe it out clean with the fingers and lay it aside. Next take plenty of the remaining flour, throw it on the top of the leaven, and begin with the knuckles of both hands to knead it well. When the flour is nearly all kneaded in, begin to draw the edges of the dough towards the middle, in order to mix the whole thoroughly ; and when it is free from flour and lumps and crumbs, and does not stick to the hands whentouchd, it will be done, and may again be covered with the cloth and left to rise a second time. In 3-4 of an hour look at it, and should it have swollen very much and begin to crack, it will be light enough to bake. Turn it then into a pasteboard or very clean dresser, and with a sharp knife divide it in two, make it up quickly into loaves and dispatch them to the oven; make one or two incisions across the tops of the loaves, as they will rise n)pre readily if this be done. If baked in tins or pans rub them with a tiny piece of butter laid on a