Souffles or, as the name means, "puffed ups" are properly speaking baked omelets, in which the eggs have been beaten separately, the air, which has been incorporated into the whites, being used to puff up the dish. True souffles will not stand any time after taking from the oven, and so must be served at once, unless they are reinforced with bread crumbs, flour or some other starchy element.

Souffles may be divided into two classes, savory souffles and sweet souffles.

The simplest form of a savory souffle is called baked omelet, or omelet souffle. Other souffles may be made by combining the eggs, with a certain percentage of thickened sauce and other ingredients, as, for instance, 1/2 cupful White Sauce No. 3, 3 eggs, and 2 cupfuls of minced meat, vegetables or fish with suitable seasonings. If this proportion is kept in mind, many a left-over can be made into a suitable luncheon or supper dish with the additional expense only of the eggs.

General Directions For Cooking Souffles

Whenever possible, souffles should be baked in individual glass or earthenware dishes which are well-oiled, as they are usually made very heavy by the cutting of the spoon when served from a large dish. The dishes should be well rubbed with butter, oleomargarine or bacon fat and should be filled half-full, as the souffle, if properly made, should rise to double its bulk. Individual dishes should be baked in a moderate oven for fifteen minutes, and dishes holding enough to serve six should be baked for thirty minutes. When done the center will feel dry and firm, like sponge or angel cake.

Baked Omelet, Or Omelet Souffle

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoonful salt

4 tablespoonfuls cold water or milk 1/8 teaspoonful pepper

3 tablespoonfuls hot ham or bacon drippings or chicken fat

1 1/2 tablespoonfuls flour

Separate the eggs; beat the yolks until lemon-colored; add the flour, pepper and salt, and stir in the liquid. Beat the whites until dry, pour in the yolk mixture and transfer to a deep baking dish containing the melted hot fat. Bake in a moderate oven about twenty minutes.

Baked Crumb Omelet Or Souffle

4 eggs

1/2 cupful coarse stale bread crumbs 1 cupful milk

1 1/4 teaspoonfuls salt 1/8 teaspoonful pepper 1 tablespoonful hot ham drippings or bacon fat

Let the crumbs stand in the milk until softened. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks until lemon-colored, and add the seasonings and crumb mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiffened. Fold in the egg whites, and bake in a well-oiled dish according to the general directions for cooking souffles.

Cheese Souffle

4 tablespoonfuls butter or oleomargarine 3 tablespoonfuls flour 1/2 cupful scalded milk 1/2 teaspoonful salt

Few grains cayenne

1/2 cupful grated American cheese 3 eggs, separated

Melt the butter, add the flour, the milk gradually, and then the seasonings and cheese. Boil up once and add to the egg yolks beaten until lemon-colored. Cool the mixture and fold in the egg whites beaten stiff. Pour into a well-oiled baking dish and bake according to the general directions for cooking souffles.