While getting breakfast in the morning, as soon as the tea-kettle has boiled, take a quart tin cup or an earthen quart milk pitcher, scald it, then fill one-third full of water about as warm as the finger could be held in; then to this add a teaspoonful of salt, a pinch of brown sugar and coarse flour enough to make a batter of about the right consistency for griddle-CAKES. Set the cup, with the spoon in it, in a closed vessel half-filled with water moderately hot, but not scalding. Keep the tem[Pg 243]perature as nearly even as possible and add a teaspoonful of flour once or twice during the process of fermentation. The yeast ought to reach to the top of the bowl in about five hours. Sift your flour into a pan, make an opening in the centre and pour in your yeast. Have ready a pitcher of warm milk, salted, or milk and water (not too hot, or you will scald the yeast germs), and stir rapidly into a pulpy mass with a spoon. Cover this sponge closely and keep warm for an hour, then knead into loaves, adding flour to make the proper consistency. Place in warm, well-greased pans, cover closely and leave till it is light. Bake in a steady oven, and when done let all the hot steam escape. Wrap closely in damp towels and keep in closed earthen jars until it is wanted.
This, in our grandmothers’ time, used to be considered the prize Bread, on account of its being sweet and wholesome and required no prepared yeast to make it. Nowadays yeast-Bread is made with very little trouble, as the yeast can be procured at almost any grocery.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)