There is no one thing upon which health and comfort in a family so much depend as bread. With good bread the coarsest fare is tolerable; without it, the most luxurious table is not comfortable.
* The pan which is set on this brick may need a paper over it to keep the top from burning, and after a while should be set on the oven bottom, and another put on the brick.
It is best economy to purchase the best flour, even at an extra cost. Good flour adheres slightly to the hand, and if pressed in it, shows the impress of the lines of the skin. Dough made of it is a yellowish white, and does not stick to the hands after sufficient kneading. There is much bad flour in market, which can in no way be made into nutritious food.
When you find good flour, notice the brand, and afterwards purchase the same kind. The writer knows a family that for eleven years purchased flour in this way, without once having a poor barrel; then the mills passed to another owner, and though the brand was the same, the flour was good no more.
If you raise wheat, or buy it in the grain, always wash it before sending it to the mill. Take two or three bushels at a time, pour in water and stir it, and then pour off the water. Repeat this till the water is clear. Do not let the grain stand in the water, as it will swell and be injured; spread it on a large cloth in the sun, or where it will have warmth and fresh air, and stir it often, and in a day or two it will be dry. The flour is much improved by this process.
Newly ground flour which has never been packed, is very superior to barrel flour, so that the people in Western New York, that land of finest wheat, say that New England people do not know what good flour is.
Indian meal, also, is much the best when freshly ground. The meal made of Southern corn is often injured by salt water, or dampness acquired in the hold of a ship.
Rye flour is very apt to be musty or grown. There is no way to detect this but by trial. It is well to engage a farmer to supply you with the same he provides for his own family.