This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
A good bread mixer should be one of the first acquisitions of a new household, and among the first purchases for the household already established. I know no one article, which, for the expenditure involved, will save as much time, strength, and nervous energy as a good bread mixer. Then too, the bread will be exactly as good, and probably more uniform than if kneaded by hand. In making plain white, or whole-wheat, bread, pour in the warm water or milk, add the shortening, sweetening and salt, and the yeast dissolved in tepid water. The flour is then added all at once, exactly three times as much as there is liquid, and the handle of the mixer is turned for three minutes. It takes only about six minutes to mix up two loaves of bread, and there is nothing to be cleaned up afterward! At the same time less flour is needed than by the old method. After the bread has risen, cut it down and form it into loaves with the least possible handling, not even using a bread-board, but shaping it with the floured hands. In starting a rich bread like coffee cake, which needs a sponge, whip up the sponge in a bowl, using a heavy wire whisk, pour it into the bread mixer, and, when it has risen, add the flour and other ingredients. If the weather is very cold, set the pail of the bread mixer in a warm water bath, as described above.
Two kinds of sponge are used in making yeast-mixtures. The first is made up of the milk or water specified in the recipe, the proper amount of yeast dissolved in a little warm water, and twice as much flour as liquid. In the second the yeast is softened in a little water, and enough flour is stirred into this to make a soft dough; this is kneaded and dropped into the warm liquid which is to be used in mixing the bread. When this ball of dough rises to the top of the liquid, the rest of the ingredients may be added.