One tea-cup yeast, three pints warm water; make a thin sponge at tea time, cover and let it remain two hours or until very light. By adding the water to the flour first and having the sponge quite warm, it is never necessary to put the sponge over hot water or in an oven to make it rise. Knead into a loaf before going to bed; in the morning mold into three loaves, spreading a little lard between as they are put in the pan. When light, bake one hour, having oven quite hot when the bread is put in, and very moderate when it is done. (Bread made in this way is never sour or heavy.) To have fine, light biscuit, add shortening at night, and in the morning make into biscuit and bake for breakfast. By this recipe bread is baked before the stove is cold from breakfast, and out of the way for other baking.
To cool bread there should be a board for the purpose. An oaken board, covered with heavy white flannel, is the best; over this spread a fresh linen bread-cloth, and lay the bread on it right side up, with nothing over it except a very thin cover to keep off the flies. It should be placed immediately in the fresh air or wind to cool; when cool, place immediately in a tin box or stone jar, and cover closely. Bread cooled in this way will have a soft crust, and be filled with pure air. - Mrs J. T. Liggett, Detroit,
Bread with Potato Sponge. Pare and boil four or five potatoes, mash fine, and add one pint of flour; pour on the mixture first boiling water enough to moisten well, then about one quart of cold water, after which add flour enough to make a stiff batter. When cooled to "scarcely milk warm," put in one-half pint (or more will do no harm) of yeast, and let it stand in a warm place over night; in the morning add to this sponge one cup of lard, stir in flour, and knead well. The more kneading the finer and whiter the bread will be; pounding also with a potato-masher improves the bread greatly, and is rather easier than so much kneading. When quite stiff and well worked and pounded, let it rise again, and when light, make into loaves or biscuit, adding no more flour except to flour the hands and board - merely enough to prevent the bread from sticking. Let it rise again, then bake; and immediately after taking from the oven, wrap in a wet towel until partly cold, in order to soften the crust. If yeast and flour are good (essentials in all cases), the above process will make good bread. - Mrs. Clara Morey