The object of baking bread is to kill the ferment, rupture the starch grains, fix the air cells, and form a nicety flavored crust. Bread could be baked by steam, as the air cells become fixed at 212°, and the temperature of the inside of the loaf, owing to the moisture, never rises above that point; but, to give the delicious flavor of the browned crust, a much higher temperature is needed. The oven should be hot enough to brown a teaspoonful of flour in one minute for rolls, and in five minutes for loaves. This is a good rule for those who do not use a thermometer, or cannot judge of the heat by their hands. The heat should be greater at the bottom than at the top of the oven, and of sufficient strength to last through the time of baking (which is about an hour) without replenishing the fire. Divide the time into thirds; the first fifteen or twenty minutes the heat should increase, remain steady during the next, and decrease toward the last. The dough should rise, and, after fifteen minutes, begin to brown slightly. If the oven be too hot, and the loaf brown too fast, a hard crust will be formed before the heat reaches the centre, and, pressing down on the air cells, make a heavy streak; or, if removed from the oven too soon, it will be raw and doughy inside. If the heat be not sufficient to form the crust in fifteen minutes, the dough will go on rising until it becomes sour and pasty, and the air cells will run together, making a hole in the middle. The baking of bread is something that will not take care of itself. The old notion that you must not look at anything in the oven is erroneous; and until you have learned by experience just how to regulate the fire and oven, and the many tests by which every good cook determines when bread is done, look at it often, and bake according to the clock from fifty to sixty minutes. Better bake ten minutes too long, putting a paper over the top to prevent a burned crust, than not long enough. Bake it brown, not black, nor pale whity-brown, but brown all over. Rolls are often brushed with milk just before and after baking, to give them a richer brown color. Rubbing over with soft butter while still hot makes a crisp, delicious crust. When well baked, if tapped with the fingers, a hollow, empty sound will be emitted; the crust feels firm, and, if broken apart, the inside rebounds instantly on any slight pressure.