This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Model CookBook" book
Bread is one of the most important articles of diet. It is made of flour, salt, water, and yeast.
The flour best adapted for bread-making is that from wheat, because it will produce the most appetizing and nutritious loaf at the least cost. The quality of wheat bread depends to a great extent upon the kind of flour used, whether whole-wheat, Graham, or bread flour (as the ordinary flour is called).
The so-called bread flour is made by grinding the wheat, screening out the bran and sifting the flour through linen or bolting cloth several times, thus making a fine white flour composed chiefly of starch and gluten. The whole-wheat flour differs from this in that the whole grain is ground fine, thus obtaining more gluten and some mineral matter, both of which lie close to the bran.
Graham flour is made from the whole grain ground coarse.
Both the whole-wheat flour and the Graham are dark in color and make dark bread.
Pastry flour contains a very small amount of gluten, and is used for pies and cakes.
There are certain general rules by which good bread flour can be tested.
First. It should have a yellowish tinge.
Second. When pressed in the hand it should fall loosely apart.
Third. When rubbed between the fingers it should feel slightly granular.
In bread-making an indispensible requisite is good yeast; and though modern bread and cake makers avail themselves largely of baking powders, a recipe for satisfactory yeast is of the first importance. The one given below has the warrant of experienced housekeepers.