How to make bread

Place in a large pan twenty-eight pounds of flour; make a hole with the hand in the centre of it like a large basin, into which strain a. pint of brewers, yeast; this must be tested, and if too bitter a little flour sprinkled into it, and then strained directly, then pour in two quarts of water of the temperature of 100, or blood heat, and stir the flour round from the bottom of the hole formed by the hand till that part of the flour is quite thick and well mixed, though all the rest must remain unwetted; then sprinkle a little flour over the moist part and cover it with a cloth; this is called sponge, and must be left to rise. Some leave it only half an hour, others all night.

When the sponge is light, however, add four quarts of water the same temperature as above, and well knead the whole mass into a smooth dough. This is hard work if done well. Then cover the dough and leave it for au hour. In cold weather both sponge and dough must be placed on the kitchen hearth, or in some room not too cold, or it will not rise well. Before the last water is put in two tablespoonful of salt must be sprinkled over the flour. Sometimes the flour will absorb another pint of water.

After the dough has risen it should be made quickly into loaves; if much handled then the bread will be heavy. It will require an hour and a half to bake, if made into fourpound loaves. The oven should be well heated before the dough is put into it. To try its heat, throw a little flour into it; if it brown directly, it will do.

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