This section is from the book "A Treatise On Flour, Yeast, Fermentation And Baking Together With RecipesFor Bread And Cakes", by Julius Emil Wihlfahrt. Also available from Amazon: A treatise on flour, yeast, fermentation and baking, together with recipes for bread and cakes.
In writing this book it has been my aim to present, in a form as condensed as possible, a work valuable to all persons interested in the baking trade.
One of my chief purposes is in the interest of practical baking, which requires exact knowledge of flours and fermentations, together with all such recipes known to me in which compressed yeast should be used.
All trades and professions have their sources of information. For the baker his is the recipe book.
Ideas based upon experience gained from trade books are more valuable in this competitive age than ever before, and those who do not believe in trade books should realize what they have lost through failure to compare their own ideas with those of others.
Of course, judgment must be exercised in the use of recipes, and they must not be condemned because the possessor of them can not at once succeed with every formula presented; as much depends upon the judgment of the workman.
Having had more than twelve years of actual practice and an equal number of years of study pertaining to the contents of this book, I have found that some of the supposed best authorities make the most discriminating statements against the food value, and others against the proper manufacture of bread, etc., and in this I would advise the theorist and the expert alike that I do not think it possible for them to be so proficient that they can not add to their existing store of knowledge by consulting the ideas of others. The theorist as well as the practical man needs the ideas of others, in order to evolve new ideas for himself.
Of all the food-cranks, none is more persistent than the bread-crank. Sometimes he condemns wheat bread as absolutely without nourishment; again he claims that rye and graham breads are too soggy, and that only white bread is wholesome.
Between the two extremes, a practical man must make his way carefully to arrive at the right conclusion.
The truth of the matter is that bread is now a perfect product, attractive and nourishing. Justly indeed it is termed the "Staff of Life."
Everybody eats of it daily with zest and enjoyment. Bread is an outpost of civilization. Where bread is on the daily bill of fare, health, comfort and all that modernization implies is found.
The notable changes in the manufacture of bread made in the past century have been made possible by men of enterprise, who led the way to success for others. Enthusiasm is necessary and is the key for many a man to unlock barred doors.
There is plenty of room for the progressive baker who recognizes that to succeed he must produce a good article, display it in a clean and bright-looking store, be attentive to his customers, and give value for money received.
With all the disadvantages of a small business, the small baker is not yet exterminated, and, after all, today, the same as in the past, the most successful baker is he who makes the best goods.
Some bakers believe that by substituting cheaper materials at a lower price, their success is assured; but the wise have learned that the best is always the cheapest in the end, and those following this plan will be assured of success.