For convenience I have added a small department for breads. For a greater variety of recipes and the reasons why, I refer you to my book on Bread-making.


(saccharomyces) Yeasts are living plants belonging to the large group of fungi, so called, because they do not contain chlorophyl, the green coloring matter of plants. One variety (known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is best adapted to bread-making. It is quite impossible, however, for anyone to put out for household purposes a perfectly pure growth of yeast; because the air is filled with wild yeast plants which are continually dropping into the sponge and on the pans and utensils which are used for bread-making. The moist compressed yeasts rolled in tin-foil are perhaps the best of the commercial varieties. The dry yeasts, especially the cakes, are not active because so many of the plants die in the drying. For this reason they are slow and rather unsatisfactory. The compressed yeast is also known as German yeast, and, being compressed, contains many more yeast plants than can be obtained in the same volume of dry or liquid yeasts.

The term "sponge" is used in bread-making to denote a batter that can be beaten and dropped from a spoon. "Dough" is a batter sufficiently thick to be kneaded with the hands. With compressed yeast the best bread is made by making a dough at once, while with the dry yeast a sponge gives better results.

Home-Made Yeast

To make good home-made yeast, grate four medium-sized potatoes into a quart of boiling water. Bring to boiling-point, and when cool, add two tablespoonfuls of salt, four tablespoonfuls of sugar, and half a cake of compressed yeast or one dry yeast-cake that has been soaked in warm water for half an hour, or you may use a half cupful of left-over home-made yeast. Stand this in a jar in a warm place and beat it down each time it comes to the top of the jar until it ceases to bubble. Screw down the lid of the jar and stand it in a cold place. For four loaves of bread, use one cupful. Save a cupful of this yeast to use as a starter for yeast again.

Graham Bread

To make one Graham loaf, put a pint of whole wheat sponge, after it is light, into a bowl. Add a tablespoonful of New Orleans molasses and sufficient Graham flour to make a stiff batter, one that can be manipulated with a spoon, but not kneaded. Turn this into a square greased pan, cover and stand in a warm place. When it has doubled its bulk and is light, brush the top with water and bake in a moderate oven three-quarters of an hour.

Rye Bread

Make rye bread precisely the same as whole wheat bread, using rye flour instead of whole wheat.