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THE PHILOSOPHY OF BREAD AND BREAD MAKING.
BY JAMES SHIRLEY HIBBERD, Operative Chemist. (Continued from page 25.)
A method lately adopted to prevent this serious waste of the staple food of civilized man, is that of creating an atmosphere of carbonic acid in the bread by means of chemical preparations. The only one of the modes of effecting this which is at all admissible is in the ad
Soda consists of
CARBONATE OF SODA consists of
MURIATIC ACID consists of
The various baking powders are, without exception, unwholesome; they are mixtures of citric or tartaric acid with carbonate of soda; and when they combine with each other under the influence of moisture, a pernicious salt of soda is produced.
Another mode of raising bread is by means of leaven. In this process a portion of flour is wetted, and allowed to ferment spontaneously, and then mingled with dough consisting only of flour and water; and the bread produced is remarkably mellow in flavour and easy of digestion. The last mode of making bread is by simply mixing flour and water in the proper proportion, and then baking without any lightening whatever. This is unfermented bread, and from chemical reasoning and experience together, I do not hesitate to pronounce it to be the best bread that can be eaten; although it has a strange flavour and appearance to those unaccustomed to eat it. I have myself used for some time past the unleavened biscuits made by the Messrs. Edwards, of the Albion Mills. Blackfriars, and find them to be the best bread I can obtain, in the absence of home-made unleavened loaves.
dition of a proper proportion of muriatic acid to the water used in making the bread, and of carbonate of soda to the flour. The philosophy of their action is thus:-Muriatic acid is a compound of chlorine, hydrogen, and water. Carbonate of soda is a compound of soda and carbonic acid. The muriatic acid sets free the carbonic acid, and combines with the metallic base of the soda, forming common salt, while the carbonic acid expands within the dough and gives the bread the same spongy texture as fermentation. The theory of the process can be rendered simple by a diagram :—
The relative value of these different modes of making bread may be briefly stated thus :— The Panary fermentation has an advantage possessed by no other process of furnishing test of the quality of the flour. Its indications of the comparative excellence and soundness of wheaten flour is unequivocal. Wheaten flour is distinguished from that of all other cerelia by its gluten and the completeness of its panary fermentation; and this completeness is just in the precise ratio of its amount of gluten. But by the use of the chemical agents mentioned, no indications are afforded as to whether the flour is of the first excellence, or altogether unwholesome and worthless.
This peculiarity of the panary fermentation is useful as a test of the value of the flour, but in daily use must be balanced against the 22
CHLORIDE OF SODIUM, or Common Salt.
per cent. loss in the substance and nutritive properties of the flour itself.
The use of muriatic acid is acceptible on the score of economy, but it is not safe to use the muriatic acid of commerce, as that is never sufficiently pure to he allowed to enter into a mortal stomach. It invariably contains iron and very often arsenic. So great a difficulty have I, on many occasions, experienced in getting this acid in a pure condition for chemical purposes, that I have been under the necessity of preparing it myself. I denounce in a wholesale manner, and without reserve, all "Baking Powders," as insiduous and destructive to health. In fact, the purest, most pleasant, and most economieal bread is that made without any lightening or leavening whatever. It will keep sweet and moist longer than any other kind, is of a most relishing flavour, and the most wholesome food that can be eaten.
Leaving these facts to the reader, I now present a few recipes for making bread, according to each method mentioned.
RECIPES FOR MAKING BREAD.
1. Household Bread.-Take one bushel of good flour, and mix with it two gallons of lukewarm water, and three pints of good yeast; stir well with the hands till it becomes tough. Let it rise, and then add another two gallons of warm water and a pound of salt, work it well, and cover it with a cloth; then prepare your oven, and by the time it is ready, the dough also will be ready; divide the dough into loaves of about five or six pounds each clean the oven, put in the bread; shut close and bake for three hours. Coarse flour ab sorbs more water than fine.
2. Hagget's Economical Bread. -Take five pounds of coarse bran, and boil it in five gallons of water, so that, when smooth, you may have three-and-a-half gallons of it fit for use. With this knead four stones of flour, with salt
and yeast in the same proportion as in other bread; bake it two hours and a half. The water in which the bran has been boiled has imbibed a considerable amount of nutritive matter, and hence the bread made from it is more nutritious than if made from pure water. The above quantity of flour made with plain water yields 69 lbs. 8 ozs. of bread, but when mixed with bran-water it produces 83 lbs. 8ozs. leaving a balance of 14 lbs. of excellent bread on every 56 lbs. of flour.
4. Fermented Bread.-Take 2 lbs. of wheatmeal or fine flour, 2 tea-spoonsful (or oz.) of Powell's saccharine powder, and 1 pint of water. Mix the powder well with the meal (and salt if preferred), and pour the water on gradually, stirring it quickly with a wooden spoon into a light dough of such consistency as will scarcely bear kneading, which it will not require. Put it into a tin, or make it into a round loaf and bake it immediately, or it should not stand more than twenty minutes before being placed in the oven. The oven should be rather quicker than that usually required for yeast bread. That all may be well mixed, it is better only to make up one or two loaves at once (which only requires a few minutes,) and then another portion in the same way, till all is prepared, then the whole can be put in the oven at once.
baked they will keep many weeks, and improve by keeping. These are well known in London as "Digestive Biscuits."
9. Potato Bread.-Boil six pounds of potatoes, and mix them well with as much milk as will enable them to pass through a colander. Take a pint of yeast and the same quantity of warm water, and mix with the potatoes, add this to 10 lbs. of flour and a quarter a pound of salt. Knead it well, and let it stand before the fire one hour to rise; then divide into loaves, and bake for three hours.
10. Rice Bread.-Simmer 2 lbs. of rice in a gallon of water till it becomes perfectly soft When sufficiently cool, mix it well with 8 lbs. of flour, with yeast and salt as for other bread. When well kneaded, set it before the fire to rise. Bake as other bread. It is very economical.
11. Tea Cakes.-Flour 1 lb., sugar 1 oz., butter 1 oz., muriatic acid 100 minims, sesquicarbonate of soda 80 grs., milk 7 fluid ozs., water 7 fluid ozs. Rub the butter with the flour; dissolve the sugar and soda in the milk, and the acid in the water. First add the milk, &c. to the flour, and partially mix; then the water and acid, and mix well together; divide into three portions, and bake twenty-fiye minutes. Flat round tins are the best to bake them in.
12. French Bread.-To a peck of fine flour add the yolks of twelve and the whites of eight eggs, beaten and strained, a quart of good yeast and some salt. Then mix with as much milk as will make the whole into a light dough, stirring it well, but without kneading. Have ready several wooden dishes, holding about a quart each; divide the dough among them; set it to rise; and then turn them out of the bowls into a quick oven. When baked, rasp them.
13. To make Yeast.-An excellent substitute for yeast may be prepared from potatoes. Boil and peal some mealy potatoes, and break them up very fine, adding as much water as will make them of the consistence of yeast. To every pound of potatoes add two ounces of coarse sugar, and when just warm, stir it up with two spoonsful of yeast. Keep it warm till the fermentation is over, and in twentyfour hours it will be fit for use. A quart of yeast may thus be made from one pound of potatoes, which will keep good for three months. The sponge should be set eight hours before the bread is baked. If it works well, so much the better.
THE VALUE OF LABOUR.-Cast-iron worth £1 sterling, is worth, converted into ordinary machinery, 24; larger ornamented work, 45; buckles aud Berlin work, £660, neck chains, &c., £1386; shirt buttons, £5896. Bar-iron, worth £1 sterling, in knives, £36; needles, £71; penknife blades, £958; polished buttons and buckles, £897; balance springs of watches, £500.
From the Roman Catholic directory it ap pears that there are now in England 674 chapels, 888 priests, 13 monasteries, 41 convents, 11 colleges, and 250 schools.
ALMANAC OF NATURE-APRIL, 1850.
of a reddish tinge, and the beech too opens its sprays of purple; and over all the chesnut and the lime throw a soft shadow of tender green. And now that the forest trees have got their leaves, they begin to show their blossoms. Those of the lime are peculiarly beautiful, being attached to a long, thin, membraneous bract, which renders them easy of recognition, and they are delightfully fragrant. The flowers of the maples have no petals, but the anthers of their stamens are deeply colouredeither red or yellow, and are very ornamental. The plane trees still retain the ball-like fruits of the previous year and these do not fall off
till summer has invested the branches with their own massive robes. Towards the end of the month the large red catkins of the black poplar begin to fall, and look on the ground "Beting'd with yellowish white, or lusty hue;" like caterpillars of the goat-moth. The catdog violets, purple anemonies, the lady orchis,kins of the Italian poplar (Populus mondifera) wood sorrel, ground ivy, meadow saxifrage, the also begin to fall and scatter the ground with forget-me-not, wood scorpion-grass, and varimasses of cottony substance. The ash now ous kinds of ranunculus or crow-foot. These produces its curious seed-pods, which in some make the fields and banks gay with their blos-parts are called ash-keys. The hop hornsoms, and sweet with their refreshing odours. bearn, and the common horn-bearn are also in A very curious plant, the toothwort (Latheæ squamaria) may be found occasionally at this season growing on the roots of trees. It has a yellow stalk, clothed with white tooth-like scales, and bears purple flowers. The curious liverwort (Marchantia hemisphærica) is usually in perfection at this season: it has the appearance of a number of little green toadstools growing out of flat leaves, and frequently grows in company with the common liverwort, on the earth in flower-pots, on the banks of ditches, or in the moist crevices of rocks. The trees come into leaf one after the other, and by the end of the month the forest is clothed in a garment of emerald. The elm puts on its delicate robes; the oak assumes its new foilage
The furze is yellow on the heath,
The banks with speedwell flowers are gay,
THE year has now entirely shaken off the traces
Dis. of Sun from Earth, at noon, 94,190,000 m.
Moon in Cap. Toothwort (Latheæa squamaria)
Moon in Cetus, moving near Pisces and Aries.
Water ranunculus and meadow saxifrage fl.
Moon Occults Ald. at Sh. 3m. p.m.
16 Procyon S. 5h. 53m. p.m. Death watch now
T30 Crab-apple, pear and common plum, fi.
Most of the migratory birds make their appearance in this month. About the fourteenth we hear the first notes of the cuckoo, which
Hid in some bush, now sings her idle song,
The planet Mercury will be in the constellations Pisces, Cetus, Pisces, Aries and Taurus, respectively from the 1st to the 30th of the month. He is favourably situated for observation during a few evenings at the end of the month. The planet Venus will be in the constellations Pisces, Aries, and Taurus, and is an evening star throughout the month. Mars is in the group Gemini and is an evening star, noving eastward throughout the month. Jupiter is in the constellation Leo, and moves westward during the month. Saturn is in the constellation Cetus, and being near the sun is unfavourably situated for observation.
The common sand-piper may now be seen in the marshes and beside lakes and ponds. It is said that when diving, this bird uses its wings under water the same as in flying. This bird is supposed to pass its winters generally in the south of Europe, but it has been found at Tangiers, in Asia Minor, and even in India.
Answers to Correspondents, &c.
Editor's Address:-16, Hardinge-street, Islington.
Parties who wish to have their communications inserted or noticed, must furnish us with their names and addresses in confidence.
PRIZE POEM.-We had hoped that the Prize Poem on Home, would have appeared in the present number, but we have not yet received the decision of the adjudicators; who, we fear, will have some difficulty in deciding, on account of the large number of very good poems which have been sent us.
We wish all the competitors to distinctly understand that no poem will be rejected that falls within the limits of either of the announcements which appeared in the February and March numbers. Any poem that is eighty lines or upwards, and that does not extend beyond a page, will be eligible for the prize. We have received several that, whatever may be their merits, cannot obtain the prize on account of their shortness. We cannot undertake to return the manuscripts of the unsuccessful com. petitors.
Our readers will see, in the announcement in the last page, that the periods for sending in the competing manuscripts for the Prose Tale on the Early Closing Question, and the Essay on Mechanics' Institutions, is extended to meet the convenience of competitors. If any one, previous to seeing this announcement, should have sent in his manuscript, and who would wish it to be returned, we should be most happy to comply with his request.
Mr. Jolin Lilwall, Secretary of the Early Closing Association, 32, Ludgate Hill, has kindly offered to supply, on application, any competitor for the Tale, who may be in want of any accurate information on the subject, with any of the publications of the association.
The proprietor of the Public Good, being a member of the Whittington Club, has offered Shakspear's Works in one Volume, beautifully bound, for the best short essay on Elocution Classes, and Milton's Poetical Works in one volume, beautifully bound, for the best Descriptive Poem for recitation in elocution classes. Only members of the Whittington Club are eligible as competitors. We merely notice the matter here to let our numerous readers know that the successful essay and poem will appear in our pages.
"The Spelling Reform."-The paper on this subject by one of the Pitmans, which appeared in the 2nd and 3rd numbers of the Public Good, has, it appears, elicited contrary opinions as to the utility and practicability of the new system. This being the case, we shall have no objection to admitting a short paper in defence of the old system. We think a temperate, reasonable controversy on the subject will do no harm but good. In future, it is our intention to devote a small portion of each number to matters of controversy, in which parties for or against disputed questions may take a part. It may be called the "controversial department." We should prefer short, pithy, and pointed communications, and all of them pointing to the public good.
We wish it to be distinctly understood, that we cannot, under any circumstances, insert quack medicine advertisements. We believe quack medicine sellers, whatever may be their professions, are in most cases injurious to the community, and consequently we can in no way promote or sanction their practices.
For the conveniance of Reformers, it is our intention, from time to time, to give forms of petitions to the Houses of Parliament. We do this, as we are very well aware of the indisposition on the part of a great many people, who feel desirous to petition the Legislature for the redress of some grievance, or for the removal of some abuse, but who do not like the work of constructing the petition. With the present number we give forms of petitions for the abelition of taxes on knowledge and for arbitration and disarmament.
(FOR ARBITRATION AND DISARMAMENT.) To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britian and Ireland, in Parliament assembled. The Petition of the
That your petitioners believe the present enormous standing armaments, maintained by the various countries of Christendom, are a great evil, by the large and unproductive exby the feelings of mutual suspicion and dispenditure of wealth which they occasion, and quietude which they foster and perpetuate among the nations.
That your petitioners are convinced that a
prudent and timely recourse to Arbitration, is à more certain and satisfactory, as well as a more rational and Christian method, of settling international differences, than the practice of appealing to the sword.
Your petitioners therefore pray your Honourable House, to adopt such measures as may seem requisite to promote negotiations between the Government of this country and other Governments of the world respectively, calling their attention to the necessity of entering, by a general and simultaneous measure, upon a system of disarmainent, and the wisdom of forming such Treaties of Arbitration, as shall bind the parties, in case of any future misunderstanding, to refer the subject matter of dispute to the decision of Arbitrators.
And your petitioners will ever pray, &c.
(FOR REPEAL OF TAXES ON KNOWLEDGE.) To the Honourable the House of Commons, the Petition of the undersigned.
That all taxes which specially and directly impede the diffusion of knowledge, are injurious to the best interests of the public.
That the Tax upon Newspapers-called the Stamp; the Excise Duty upon l'aper, and the Tax upon Advertisements, are direct obstacles to the spread of all kinds of valuable information amongst the great body of the people.
Your petitioners therefore pray, that the Excise Tax upon Paper, the Tax upon Advertisements, and the Stamp Tax upon Newspapers, may be abolished, leaving the proper authorities to fix a small charge for the transmission of Newspapers by the Post.
And your Petitioners will ever pray.
These forms of petition must be copied in writing, as no printed petitions are received; every person signing them should state his or her name and address; the petitions may then be directed, open at the sides, to any Liberal Member of the House of Commons, who will receive them post free.
E. U., NEWPORT. "Captain Sword and Captain Pen," by Leigh Hunt, is an admirable poem on the advantages of peace and the horrors of war.
J. H. P., Bodmin, says, "You have done incalculable good by calling public attention to the undeveloped resources of England.' In this county (Cornwall) there are thousands and tens of thousands of acres uncultivated and unprofitable; and there are at the same time hundreds if not thousands of men out of employ. Emigration may be a good thing for some, tut there are large numbers who have not the money to emigrate. Would it not be better if some arrangement were come to so that the poor could obtain possession of those uncultivated waste lands, more cheaply and more easily than they can now? Most decidedly it would be. At present there is little inducement for any poor man to 'hedge round' and 'break up' a few acres. It will take several years before the waste land could be brought into a thorough good condition, when perhaps the lives on the lease may die, and the cultivated farm falls into the hands of the landlords, who are the only persons benefited. Under such circumstances, it is not to be wondered at when we see so much undeveloped land, and so much unappropriated labour, in such a poor county as ours."
A. G., Dalston, Cumberland.-Not exactly suitable. We do not wish to perpetually parade the words "the public good" before the public. When they are applied, let them fall into their places, like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
A Financial Reformer.-It is true that Mr. William Arpthorp, 26, Bishopsgate-street, is appointed one of the collecting agents of the Parliamentary and Reform Association.
Aliquis. It was Mr. George Cox, of Barbican, who delivered the lectures on Emigration at the National Hall with dissolving views. We have no means of answering the other question.
These words had the desired effect: I finished the job, and felt quite cheered that the little child had stimulated me." W. C., Sturminster. -His "little paper" would very likely be " acceptable" at "some future period."
The Beard. Amicus says, "In reply to W. F., I will just remark, that my argument for perimitting the growth of the beard is not applicable to toe and finger nails; because there is no probability that people will be disposed to cut their nails entirely off as they do the beard. He must distinguish between paring or trimming and an entire removal. A short beard is a beard still."
Another correspondent says:-" In answer to W. F. saying it would require more time to keep the beard thoroughly clean and trim than would suffice to shave,' I beg to say that if such be the case, the beard-trimmer must be a very slow hand at his work. I shave every day, and it occupies at least seven minutes on the average. This will be found to be 49 minutes a week. Of course I make no calculation for a bit of a cut now and then. If I let my beard grow, trimming it once a week would be sufficient; and I think, after I got used to it, I could do it in seven minutes. This would leave 42 minutes in favour of letting the beard grow, as far as the time part of the matter is concerned."
W., Bridgewater.-Thanks for the "Gems." Spiritual Utopians.-Most respectfully de
G. W. W.-Thanks. J. P., Bridgewater. enough for our book.
John Allen, Pontefract.-We are glad to find he is gratified at our proposal to publish a supplementary number of "Public Good" poetry.
J. F., jun.-It may be so. We do not 'pre tend to compete with any one in stationery, The cheapness of a periodical does not depend on its size.
"Lines to April," by Minna; "Lays of the Gibbet" and " Sonnet," by Kent; all very good, but not inserted for want of space. If our poetical contributors could send us space as well as lines, we would satisfy them, and pacify the public by inserting their effusions more generally than we do.
"He that hath Pity on the Poor lendeth to the Lord," by A. B.-Respectfully declined.