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each, add one-half a teacup of potatoe yeast. Let it rise about six hours; then knead it; then let it rise three hours longer ; then knead it again ; put in baking pans; let it rise about half an hour ; then bake.
STATEMENT OF MRS. M. S. WEST. Yeast.—Two large potatoes, pared and boiled in two quarts of water until they mash easily in the water ; one handful of hops (a small quantity ;) boil until the hops do not float on the surface ; then strain the boiling liquor ; add half a pint of flour and two teaspoonsful of brown sugar, stirring carefully; when lukewarm, add half a cup of yeast.
BREAD.-To two quarts of milk, add two cups of yeast and two spoonsful of salt; mix to a stiff batter, and let it rise over night; in the morning add sufficient flour to make into loaves, kneading thoroughly ; let the loaves rise again before baking ; -- but they must be carefully watched, lest they pass into the stage of acetous fermentation. If they should, they must be taken out of the pans and a little soda, or saleratus, added to correct the acidity; but it should be avoided, if possible. If large loaves, bake an hour and a quarter.
Your Committee were pleased to see the evidence of the nterest taken in the Bread Department, but they regret that so many neglected to furnish a statement of the process of making. From the specimens before us, we infer that there is a laudable ambition among the ladies of our county to excel in making bread; and this certainly is zeal in the right direction, for we consider poor bread one of the most unhealthy articles that can be put into the human stomach. We have seen bread on the table, hard, heavy, dark, waxy, and tough,
colored green throughout with saleratus. We never see persons making a feed (it cannot be a meal) on such indigestible stuff but visions of dyspepsia, nightmare, and work for the dentist come up before us; for it is now admitted by all that nothing destroys the enamel of teeth like saleratus taken into the stomach. Yet we have heard people who daily eat bread made green by saleratus, cursing the doctor, who, in a case of sickness years ago, gave them a dose of calomel and destroyed their teeth.
We once heard a lady, who took pride in her cooking, assert that to have good bread it must rise till it was thoroughly sour, then add saleratus till it was sweet; that would make nice bread. It was suggested that it could be soured with cream of tartar. Ah! no; she knew better; she wanted the natural sour.
We could never imagine why people who use cream of tartar to sour their dough, do not buy sour flour as a matter of economy; it can be bought less, and would save buying cream of tartar. We do not see why the same result could not be obtained. We wish every family in this country (rebels included) could have, daily, as good bread as the poorest specimen offered for our inspection ;-although we suppose some persons, who have been used to eating bread of the brickbat sort, would not relish decent bread, because the taste gets so depraved they could not recognize good bread when they eat it. This ought not so to be ; for of all the various kinds of ailment to which civilized man has had recourse during our historical period, none have been so universally employed as bread.
Like most arts of primary importance, the invention of bread undoubtedly long preceded its history, which is involved in the usual obscurity of early times. The Greeks ascribe the introduction of agriculture to Ceres, and the invention of bread to Pan; but we know that the Chaldeans and Egyptians were acquainted with these arts at an earlier period. “And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it and make cakes
upon the hearth.” There is reason to think, from some of the ancient writers, that the art of fermenting bread with yeast was known eighteen hundred years ago. Yet it was not common in Europe till within two hundred years. In 1688, the French government prohibited the use of yeast in making bread under a severe penalty, in consequence of the representation of a college of physicians, who declared it to be injurious to health. But the superiority of yeast bread soon became apparent; the decisions of the medical faculty were forgotten; the laws were allowed to sink into oblivion, and the new mode of making bread soon found its way to other countries. The primitive mode of making bread is still preserved among the Arabs of the desert, who, as Niebuhr informs us, “ lay cakes of dough in the coals, covering them with ashes till they are done, when they eat them warm.” In the northern counties of England, in Scotland and in Wales, un fermented bread is mostly used among the poorer classes. In Scotland it is baked in thin cakes, dried hard on racks, and kept for months. Not having been used to saleratus in their bread, the people there are able to operate on these cakes with their teeth, which the inhabitants of some localities we know would not be able to do.
Unfermented bread may be flaky, but it is never porous or spongy As a general rule, it is not so wholesome, not being so digestible as fermented bread; but we believe, notwithstanding this, it would be better than the tough, clammy, sour, alkaline stuff which some people call fermented bread -- and it is certainly time that every female, in our county at least, should know how to make good fermented bread; and we know no easier way to impart this knowledge and scatter it broadcast among the people, than for our Society to offer premiums, require a statement, have them published ; then those that run may read, and those that read may know how to make good bread. Then again, our Society may become popular by these same exhibitions of bread.
Some of the loaves offered for our inspection were very
beautiful, and were made by an unmarried lady. Before we had finished our examination a young gentleman praised the bread very much, and said he would certainly visit the lady before he went home. Now, if this visit should result in marriage, or if any exhibition of bread hereafter should have such results (and nothing can be more probable,) we may feel that where a man gets a good wife, or vice versa, they would be decided friends of the Society.
In the Honey Department we were disappointed to find but two specimens offered. Your Committee were unanimous in the opinion that our county ought to make a better show of honey than this. We should have been gratified to have seen, instead of two, twenty specimens of honey, with statements by the owner of the number of his hives, the amount of honey made by each, the number of swarms (natural or artificial) added the past season, with other facts calculated to give information and awaken an interest on this subject. The past season has been an unfavorable one for natural swarms. As very often happens, bees near the sea were taken all aback by the prevalence of chilling northeasterly winds,
«« which sweeping from the ice,
just as they were preparing to swarm; and as the result, we hear from all the county no swarms this season. But the season has been a good one for honey. The drought which prevailed throughout the Northern States made a good honey season, as there is a larger amount of sweets in, or on, the flowers during dry weather than wet. We say in, or on, as many bee keepers argue that bees never obtain honey produced by flowers; or, in other words, that honey is deposited
on the flowers and leaves of plants from the atmosphere, or by insects. It is well known that the Aphis, or plant louse, deposites honey dew in abundance on the plants which it frequents. Bees certainly obtain a large amount of honey from this source, and it is probably the same substance which was gathered by the Israelites under the name of Manna. Bevan says it is found chiefly on the oak, elm, maple, plane, sycamore, lime, hazle and blackberry, - sometimes on the cherry, currant, etc. The oak generally affords the largest quantity, and when it is abundant the happy humming of the bees may be heard at a great distance.
“ Nor scorn ye now, fond elves, the foliage sear,
It is amusing, to a person acquainted with bees, to see or hear some statements which have been made in regard to them. For instance a writer in the New York Tribune, a year or two since, after describing a common box hive, which he recommends, says a stock of fifty swarms, in the spring, WILL produce 2000 pounds of honey, and increase to one hundred swarms in autumn. Now, what a chance to make money! Suppose a swarm to be worth ten dollars in the spring, we get forty pounds of honey, which at present is worth
10.00 Giving us for $10.00 invested in the spring, $36.00 in autumn.
Perhaps a good swarm, in a favorable season, may have done this, but we apprehend such cases are as rare as cows that give thirty quarts per day, or horses that make a mile in 2.40; but this writer says this will be the result. We are aware that bee keeping can be made profitable, but there is no reason in making such extravagant assertions as this. The