This section is from the book "A Book Of Recipes For The Cooking School", by Carrie Alberta Lyford. Also available from Amazon: A book of recipes for the cooking school.
2 ounces hops 2 quarts water 1/2 pound brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt 1 pound flour
3 pounds potatoes
Boil the hops and water 1 hour. Add the sugar, salt, and flour. Let stand for three days in a warm place. If it foams over the top of the jar stir it well. On the third day add the potatoes, boiled and mashed. On the fourth day strain, bottle, and keep in a cool place. Use one cup of yeast to one quart of liquid when starting bread.
The best flours for yeast breads are those prepared from wheat and rye because these two cereals contain a large amount of gluten. Gluten is one of the principal proteins of wheat and is valuable in bread making because it is very tough and elastic, binding the particles of flour together and thus retaining the gas bubbles that are formed during the growth of the yeast.
Spring wheat or hard wheat flours are best for bread making when yeast is used because they contain a high per cent of gluten. Winter wheat or soft wheat flours are more desirable for all baking powder mixtures and are known as pastry flours.
A good pastry flour is much whiter in color and smoother and finer in texture than is bread flour, and it retains the impress of the fingers much more readily.
A good bread flour should be creamy white in color and slightly granular to the touch. It should not show a tendency to lump or cake, nor readily hold the impress of the fingers if squeezed in the hand.
Flour should be kept in a cool, dry place. It should have no musty odor and should be looked over carefully before using to be sure that it is free from insects.
"Whole wheat flour may be used in all recipes in the same way that white flour is used. In whole wheat or entire wheat flour the outer covering has been removed and enough of the whole grain is retained to give the flour a dark color. The germ is usually retained in the whole wheat, hence the keeping qualities of whole wheat flour are not so good as those of white flour because of the larger per cent of fat present.
The bread made from whole wheat flour is not so light as that from white flour because the siliceous covering of the grain which is retained contains a ferment resembling diastase, called cerealin. While the dough is rising this ferment acts upon a good portion of the starch, forming viscid compounds of dextrin and sugar preventing carbon dioxide from puffing up the bread as much as it otherwise would.
Graham flour was originally a coarse, unbolted flour made by grinding the whole wheat which is first washed and cleaned. At the present time much of the graham flour is prepared by more or less perfect bolting. The food value of graham flour is the same as that of the so-called whole wheat flour.
The graham flour is valued because it irritates the mucous membrane of the intestines, increases peristaltic action, thus giving the digestive tract needed exercise and acting as a laxative, and supplies bulk to the food. It is usd in the same ways that white flour is used.
Salt is added to the bread dough for flavor.
Sugar is used in bread, not so much to give flavor as to feed the yeast plant.
Lard or butter is used for shortening but the presence of shortening retards, rather than favors, the growth of the yeast plants and so is used in small quantities except in fancy breads, then it it is well to add it after the sponge has become well started.
Milk gives a whiter bread than water but both may be used either alone or in combination. The liquid used should always be scalded first to prevent the introduction of bacteria into the bread dough and to make sure that there is no danger of the milk souring during the time of rising.
Mashed potatoes and potato water are often used, especially with dry yeast, as they favor the growth of the yeast plant and produce a bread which retains its moisture well. Whey is sometimes used as the liquid.