Flour

Flour should always be kept in a cool, dry place, away from dust, flies, and vermin, and, since it absorbs flavors easily, away from other foods or other supplies which have strong odors. This applies equally to the home and to the store.

Yeast

When in good condition compressed yeast is soft and yet brittle and is the same color throughout, a creamy white. It should have no odor except that of yeast, which is familiar to most people but difficult to describe.

Fat. Fat, if used, may be butter, lard, beef fat, cottonseed oil, or any other of the ordinary fats used in cooking. It should, however, be wholesome, of good quality, and in good condition. Bread is so little improved by the addition of fat that it is a mistake to run the slightest risk of injuring its flavor by using fat of questionable quality.

Kneading

Dust a little flour on the dough and on the palms of your hands. Fold the edge of the dough farthest from you toward the center of the mass, immediately pressing the dough down and away from you with a gentle rolling motion of the palms of the hands, twice repeated. Turn the dough so that what was the right-hand part of it shall be farthest away from you ; fold over and knead as before; continue to do this, turning the dough and flouring your hands, the board, and the dough, to keep the dough from sticking. Should it stick to the board, scrape it free with a dull knife and flour the board anew. Knead the dough until it does not stick to your hands or the board, is smooth on the surface, feels spongy and elastic, and rises quickly after being indented.

The use of a bread-mixer saves labor and is more sanitary than kneading by hand.

First Rising

Replace the dough-ball in a wet bowl, brush the top with water, cover the bowl with several thicknesses of cloth, and set it near the stove or in a pan of warm water, turning another pan over it.

Second Rising

When the dough has risen to twice its original bulk, lift it on to the board and shape into small loaves, handling lightly and using no additional flour. Put into pans, and let it stand in a warm place, covered with a thick clean cloth, until it has again doubled in bulk.

Baking

When the dough is nearly risen, test the oven; it should be hot enough to turn a piece of writing paper dark brown in six minutes. Bake,small loaves thirty-five minutes; brick loaves, four inches thick, fifty to sixty minutes. Turn the pans if the bread does not bake evenly.

Whole - Wheat Bread (with a sponge).

Whole - wheat flour, about 3 cups Lukewarm water, 1 1/4 cups

Compressed yeast, 1 cake Salt, 3 teaspoons Sugar, 2 tablespoons

Mix the yeast smoothly with one - fourth of a cup of the water; dissolve salt and sugar in the rest of the water in a bowl; stir the yeast into this; and then stir in enough flour to make a drop-batter. beat until the batter is full of bubbles (not less than five minutes), cover the bowl, and let the batter, or sponge, rise until doubled in bulk. Stir in the rest of the flour, beat thoroughly. Turn out on a floured board and knead thoroughly. Turn into pans, and let rise until not quite doubled in bulk, and bake for 45 or 50 minutes. For an overnight rising use half the amount of yeast.