In some parts of this country, the dough is made by the hand, but in the more populous towns and cities, the process is generally performed with the naked feet; a practice which deserves severe cen-sure, as it may be easily avoided by the introduction of a certain machine, employed for the same purpose in the public baking-houses of Genoa. The object of this machine is, to convert a large quan-tity of flour into dough, and to knead it as completely as may be necessary, with a considerable saving of time and labour.
The machine consists of a frame or wall of wood, 14 palms (about 31/2 English feet) high, that supports an axis, 30 palms (71/2 feet) long, and 11/3 palm (4 inches) thick; to which is joined a large wheel.. In this wheel are steps, on which the men tread, turn it with great velo-city,- and thus impart motion to a cog-wheel that is fixed almost at the extremity of the axis, and acts upon various small pieces of machinery, or beaters, which communicate with a strong wooden tub, well hooped with iron. This rub will contain 18 rubbi of flour, which is carried to it in barrels, and mixed with leaven. As soon as the whole is tempered with a proper quantity of warm water, the wheel is turned round, by which the dough is exprditiously and completely kneaded. In ge neral, a quarter of an hour is suffi-cient to make very good dough ; but an experienced baker, who superintends the operation,determines whether it is to be continued for a few minutes, more or less, according to circumstances.
Those who think with us, that kneading the dough with leaked feet, is a disgusting custom, and ought, without hesitation, to be abolished, will find a more copious description of the Italian machinery above mentioned, as well as a plate representing the whole apparatus, in the third volume of the Repertory of the Arts and Manufactures. - These improvements were sanctioned, and originally published, by the Patriotic Society of Milan, in their valuable Transactions ; and we trust, that most of our bakers in the metropolis are sufficiently wealthy and intelligent to adopt the rational and cleanly practice here proposed.