This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
Sugar is added to improve flavor, to produce a better bloom in the crust and to hasten the activity of the yeast. Too much sugar slackens or softens the dough. In making large quantities of bread, the liquid is decreased if a large quantity of sugar is used.
Salt is used to improve the flavor of bread. Too much salt retards the activity of the yeast.
Fat is added to give slight tenderness to both crust and crumb and to improve the keeping qualities of the loaf. Any soft fat of mild flavor may be used as shortening in bread.
Eggs give a yellow color to the crumb and a brown rich bloom to the crust. Because of their leavening power, eggs add to the lightness of the loaf.
Scald All Liquids to ensure destruction of micro-organisms which might interfere with the action of the yeast plant.
Add Fat, Sugar and Salt to the hot liquid and let it cool until it is lukewarm.
Add the Yeast Cake, softened in a small amount of water to which one teaspoon of sugar may be added.
Add one-half of the flour to the liquid-and-yeast mixture and beat thoroughly. Set in a warm place. When the batter is light, add the remaining flour, or enough to make a dough of the desired stiffness, and knead thoroughly until it no longer sticks to the board.
Bread should be removed from the tins as soon as it is taken from the oven, and placed on racks or crosswise of the tins so that air can circulate on all sides of it. Quick cooling prevents loss of moisture.
1/2 cup boiling water 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fat
2 cups mashed potato
1 cake yeast softened in 1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 cups flour (enough to make medium dough)
Combine in order given, following general directions for bread-making, straight dough method (page 100).
(Liquid, Railroad or Starter)
6 medium-sized potatoes 4 pints boiling water 1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/3 cup sugar 3 tablespoons salt 1 yeast cake softened in 1 cup lukewarm water
Pare potatoes and cut in small pieces. Cook in the boiling water until well done. Mash the potatoes or force them through a colander.
Mix sugar, salt, ginger and flour. Pour over these ingredients the hot, cooked, mashed potatoes with the water in which they were cooked. When lukewarm add the softened yeast. Keep at room temperature twenty-four hours.
Pour into sterilized crock or jar. Cover and store in a cool, dark place. Liquid yeast may be used for two weeks. It is not desirable to keep it longer. When making new liquid yeast, use one cup of the old liquid yeast or a compound yeast cake to start it.