In the making of bread-stuffs, there are so many varying conditions to contend with that it is impossible to give any set rule.
In fact there may be two mills in a town each making flour from practically the same wheat. You may be able to make good goods from the flour of one mill, and impossible to even make fair goods with flour from the other.
Again it is impossible to suit the tastes of every person.
Therefore the recipes in this book have been arranged so they may be changed to a certain extent to suit the taste and materials of the individuals.
By far the most important part of bread making is to get a knowledge of it. Give it part of your time and some study and by using good judgment you will then succeed. Failure is lack of knowledge, success is the result of knowledge.
Cleanliness is a very important part of the suc cess of baking, keep every thing clean, you will then have no trouble in turning out a good sweet loaf.
If the flour you are using is giving good satisfaction stick to it. The same may be said of yeast and other ingredients. But if they are not good do not hesitate to make a change.
Do not rush your doughs and work them up when they are not ready, it will only mean failure or partial failure.
Good hot oven does not mean red hot. It means an oven that has been properly heated to a certain degree so it will do good baking.
Do not put your bread in the oven to bake and then commence heating your stove, and wonder why your bread is soggy and heavy. Have the oven the right temperature and keep it that way.
Take less yeast and more salt in summer or warm weather and more yeast and a little less salt in winter or cold weather.
Always keep flour in a warm - not hot - dry place.
Always keep yeast in a dry cool place.
If you wish to put a gloss on your bread, rolls or biscuit take a little corn starch and dissolve in cold water, add boiling water until thick enough to spread under brush.
If you can not mould dough into loaves you will find the following way very easy to learn. Cut or weigh your dough into the size you want your loaf to be. Turn the smoothest side down on the bread board, press out flat with the hands, lap in the sides and mash, commence at end farthest from you and roll it up, just as though you were rolling up jelly roll, when you get to the end mash together, roll under the hands until you get it the desired length, then put in pan joined placed down, leaving smooth side up.
To shape rolls grease the hands with a little lard or butter, then pinch off a piece of dough the size of a small egg, roll between the hands until round.
It will improve the crust on bread, if before you put it in the oven you will grease the top of it with melted lard or butter.
Always sift flour before using it.
To tell good flour from bad, take a small amount of flour and lay on the hand, take a knife and make smooth, if it has a cream like color it is good but if you see red and black specks in it, it isn't good.
Milk can be used in bread, rolls, coffee cakes, instead of water, and it improves the goods very much, when milk is used in making sponge it should always be boiled and cooled to temperature desired.
The strength of baking powder varies so much with the different brands that it is impossible to state just how much to use. The only way to be successful is, to get a certain brand and learn to use it, that is learn how much to take then stick to that brand.