Use for two loaves of bread three quarts of sifted flour, nearly a quart of warm water, a level tablespoonful of salt and an ounce of compressed yeast. Dissolve the yeast in a pint of lukewarm water; then stir into it enough flour to make a thick batter. Cover the bowl containing the batter or sponge with a thick folded cloth and set it in a warm place to rise; if the temperature of heat is properly attended to the sponge will be foamy and light in half an hour. Now stir into this sponge the salt dissolved in a little warm water, add the rest of the flour and sufficient warm water to make the dough stiff enough to knead; then knead it from five to ten minutes, divide it into loaves, knead again each loaf and put them into buttered baking tins; cover them with a double thick cloth and set again in a warm place to rise twice their height, then bake the same as any bread. This bread has the advantage of that made of home-made yeast as it is made inside of three hours, whereas the other requires from twelve to fourteen hours.
Boil six large potatoes in three pints of water. Tie a handful of hops in a small muslin bag and boil with the potatoes; when thoroughly cooked drain the water on enough flour to make a thin batter; set this on the stove or range and scald it enough to cook the flour (this makes the yeast keep longer); remove it from the fire and when cool enough, add the potatoes mashed, also half a cup of sugar, half a tablespoonful of ginger, two of salt and a teacupful of yeast. Let it stand in a warm place, until it has thoroughly risen, then put it in a large mouthed jug and cork tightly; set away in a cool place. The jug should be scalded before putting in the yeast.
Two-thirds of a coffeecupful of this yeast will make four loaves.
On one morning boil two ounces of the best hops in four quarts of water half an hour; strain it, and let the liquor cool to the consistency of new milk; then put it in an earthen bowl and add half a cupful of salt and half a cupful of brown sugar; beat up one quart of flour with some of the liquor; then mix all well together, and let it stand till the third day after; then add six medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed through a colander; let it stand a day, then strain and bottle and it is fit for use. It must be stirred frequently while it is making, and kept near a fire. One advantage of this yeast is its spontaneous fermentation, requiring the help of no old yeast; if care be taken to let it ferment well in the bowl, it may immediately be corked tightly. Be careful to keep it in a cool place. Before using it shake the bottle up well. It will keep in a cool place two months, and is best the latter part of the time. Use about the same quantity as of other yeast.
Make a pan of yeast the same as "Home-Made Yeast;" mix in with it corn meal that has been sifted and dried, kneading it well until it is thick enough to roll out, when it can be cut into cakes or crumble up. Spread out and dry thoroughly in the shade; keep in a dry place.
When it is convenient to get compressed yeast, it is much better and cheaper than to make your own, a saving of time and trouble. Almost all groceries keep it, delivered to them fresh made daily.
At noon the day before baking, take half a cup of corn meal and pour over it enough sweet milk boiling hot to make it the thickness of batter-cakes. In the winter place it where it will keep warm. The next morning before breakfast pour into a pitcher a pint of boiling water; add one teaspoonful of soda and one of salt. When cool enough so that it will not scald the flour, add enough to make a stiff batter; then add the cup of meal set the day before. This will be full of little bubbles. Then place the pitcher in a kettle of warm water, cover the top with a folded towel and put it where it will keep warm, and you will be surprised to find how soon the yeast will be at the top of the pitcher.
Then pour the yeast into a bread-pan; add a pint and a half of warm water, or half water and half milk, and flour enough to knead into loaves. Knead but little harder than for biscuit and bake as soon as it rises to the top of the tin. This recipe makes five large loaves. Do not allow it to get too light before baking, for it will make the bread dry and crumbling. A cup of this milk yeast is excellent to raise buckwheat cakes.