Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hints for Bread-Baking

"Mrs. L.M. child says, 'Economical People will use fagots and brush to heat the Oven.' Hard wood heats it quicker and hotter.  Take four foot wood split fine and pile it criss-cross so as to nearly fill the oven, and keep putting in.

A roaring Fire for an Hour or more is usually enough.  The Top and Sides will at first be covered with black soot.  See that it is all burned off.  Rake the coals over the bottom and let them lie a minute.  Then sweep it out clean.  If you can hold your hand inside while you count Forty it is about right for flour bread; to count twenty is right for Rye and indian.

Bake the Brown bread first, then flour bread and Pies, then Cake or puddings, and last custards.  After everything else is out put in a pan of apples.  Next morning they will be deliciously baked.  A pot of Beans can be baking back side, out of the way, with the Rest."

The Pocumtuc Housewife; A Guide to Domestic Cookery, As It Is Practiced In The Connecticut Valley.  To which are added plain directions for soap-making, brewing, candle-dipping, clear starching, caring for the sick and all duties of a careful housewife.  Especially adapted to the use of young wives who come from outside places and are not coversant with the ways of the Valley, and of female orphans who have not had a mother's training.  By Several Ladies.  Deerfield, first edition 1805, reprint with additions 1897.

The 1897 version, complete with helpings of late-Victorian snark, can be downloaded from

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