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used, but is not as sweet as the freshly ground. The name "meal" seems to be used for both the fine and coarsely ground.
Hoe cake or corn pone.
This, whether made from fine or coarsely ground corn, is cooked like grits. (See page 255.)
One quart Indian meal, one teaspoonful salt. Moisten to a dough with boiling water or milk; let it stand a few hours till it shows air bubbles on the surface, then make into thick cakes and bake in the oven, or cut in slices and fry in pork fat on a griddle. Break, not cut, and eat hot.
This preparation of wheat, though finely ground, may be treated somewhat like grits, and a bread may be made of it with the addition of water only, which will be light and palatable. The secret of success is in having the oven very hot.
Mix salted graham flour with cold water to a batter Graham gems. thick enough to drop, then put it into iron forms already heated, and bake in a very hot oven for about fifteen minutes.
FINE WHEAT FLOUR.
Flour may be cooked, of course, in boiling water or milk, and in this way is used to thicken gravies or soups, and also to make a sort of mush with milk and eggs.
The principle of cooking it in this case differs not at all from the cooking of a potato; in both cases the starch granules soak up the hot water till they burst their cellulose walls. But if we were to try to bake flour when wet up into a thick paste, we would find it, in the first place, difficult to accomplish, the heat being very slowly communicated from the surface to the interior, and when done, we would have only a tough, indigestible mass. There is, however, one way of preparing such a paste for cooking, which we will consider before treating the "raising" of flour for bread. Flour dough is in this case kneaded hard, rolled thin, and then dried. So treated we know it in the form of
MACARONI AND NOODLES.
A trade article extensively used abroad, where the best kinds cost only ten to twelve cents a pound, and the broken
or imperfect sticks not more than seven. It is a valuable article of food, but its use will not become extensive among us while it is so dear. Like the fine flour of which it is principally composed, it is deficient in fat, and must be eaten with the addition of butter, cheese, or milk.
How cooked. Put into plenty of salted boiling water, and boil twenty or thirty minutes, till it is perfectly tender (if old it takes longer to cook). Drain carefully, pouring it into a colander or lifting out with a skimmer.
1. (Best). Put it in the dish in layers with grated
cheese and butter.
2. Serve with milk and butter sauce.
3. Add two beaten eggs to the milk and butter sauce.
Like bread and rice, macaroni when cooked is made into a great number of dishes; it is added to soups, it is mixed with meat in ragouts, and it is cooked with certain vegetables, as tomatoes.
Arrange the macaroni in a pudding dish in layers with grated cheese and stewed tomatoes. Brown in
This is also a trade article, but that of home manufacture is much better. It may be called one of the German national dishes, so extensive is its use among that people, with whom it often constitutes the main dish of a meal with
Ingredients: Three eggs, three tablespoonfuls milk or water, one teaspoonful salt, and flour. Make a hole in the middle of the flour, put in the other ingredients and work to a stiff dough, then cut in four strips, knead each till fine grained, roll out as thin as possible, and lay the sheet out to dry. When all are rolled, begin with the first, cut it into four equal pieces, lay pieces together and shave off very fine as you would cabbage, pick the shavings apart with floured hands, and let them dry a little.
To use: Boil them, a few at a time, in salted water, taking them out with a skimmer and keeping them warm. Strew them bread crumbs fried in butter, or use like macaroni. page 257.)
These noodles will keep indefinitely when dried hard; therefore, when eggs are cheap they may be made and laid up for the winter. The water in which they are boiled is the basis of noodle soup; it needs only the addition of a little butter, a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, and a few of the cooked noodles. Experimenters have proved that flour in the form of noodles and macaroni is more perfectly digested than even in bread.
Principles in- So far we have used in the cooking of flour no other principle than the simple application of water and heat. We must now consider how fine flour is to be made into what is known as bread. As before said, the particles easily pack together when wet into a pasty dough which, if so baked, would defy mastication and digestion. We must contrive in some way to separate these flour particles by forcing between them air or some other gas, so as to present as large a surface as possible to the action of the digestive juices and this may be done first, by surrounding these particles by fat, as in making pie crust; second, by the air contained in beaten egg; third, by forcing carbonic acid gas through the mass by the action of (a) yeast, or (b) of bicarbonate of soda acting on some acid.
FLOUR RAISED WITH FAT.
The familiar example of this method is pie crust, where a paste of water and flour is repeatedly rolled and spread with some fat, as lard, until the paste is in paper-thick layers with the fat between. When baked, the air expands and separates the flour particles, a true lightness being the result. So much fat must be employed to produce this result, however, that the use of this method will of course be limited to the construction of dessert dishes, of which not much is eaten at once. A flour rich in starch is better for this purpose than a gluten flour.
FLOUR RAISED WITH EGG.
The next most simple method of cooking fine flour is to introduce between its particles the air adherent to beaten egg, and by
the immediate application of heat to expand the air and stiffen the mass thus aerated. By this method none of the food principle is wasted as when yeast is used, nor is a chemical salt left in the dough as in the action of soda, but the method is expensive and is limited in its use to what may be called fancy breads and cakes. We have selected the following mixture as the foundation for egg breads; of course others are possible:
One quart of milk, three eggs, one tablespoonful egg breads. butter, and one teaspoonful salt. This mixture is then thickened with any kind of flour, or with part flour and part bread, boiled rice, boiled hominy, or corn mush.
To mix: First beat the eggs very light, whites and yolks separately, then the yolks smoothly with the flour and milk, stir the whites in at last very lightly and bake immediately. The eggs must be beaten very light and the batter just of good pouring consistency, thinner than if no eggs were used.
or corn pancakes.
hominy, or corn
Add to above foundation mixture a scant pint of either of these flours.
Add to the foundation mixture one cupful of flour mush pancakes.and two cupfuls of boiled rice, hominy, or corn mush (or the proportions may be reversed). Bake in small, rather thick cakes. If they stick to the griddle add a little more flour. Add to the foundation mixture, one cupful of flour Bread pancakes. and two cupfuls of bread crumbs that have been soaked soft in milk or water and mashed smooth. The batter should be rather thick. Bake in small cakes, adding more flour if they
Muffins and waffles.
Other egg doughs.
Muffins and waffles of all sorts are made like pancakes, but a little stiffer with flour.
Other egg-raised doughs, mixed in somewhat dif ferent proportions and differently cooked, as fritters, sponge cakes, and batter puddings, will be found in another section.
FLOUR RAISED WITH CARBONIC ACID GAS.
This is brought about by (a) the growth of the yeast plant, or by the action (b) of bicarbonate of soda on some acid. of these methods have their advantages.
The action of the yeast plant when brought into contact with flour and water is to develop carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This it does at the expense of the little sugar already in the flour, but still more at the expense of that which it manufactures out of the starch, or, as some say, out of the gluten.
The chemist ascertains this loss of nutritive matter to be as high as one per cent, and Liebig, who was strongly opposed to this method of bread raising, estimated that forty thousand people might be fed on the flour that was wasted in this way in Germany alone. But notwithstanding this waste, the method, on account of its convenience and the good taste it gives to bread, still holds its ground.
The time cannot be far distant when the baker will furnish us better and cheaper bread than we can make in our own kitchens. This has long been the case on the continent of Europe, but for some reason we have not yet reached that point in civilization and the housekeeper must still learn this art and practice it, for good bread is a necessity.
Quality of flour.
The best flour is, even for the poor, the cheapest, as it makes more and better bread to the pound. There should always be two kinds kept on hand, the yellowish, high-priced, gluten flour for bread making, and the whiter, cheaper sort for pastry, cake, and thickenings.
No recipe for yeast will be given, as the compressed yeast is so much better than the housewife can make and is now obtainable even in small towns.
To make bread.
Proportions: one quart of warm water, two and one half quarts (about) of flour, one tablespoonful salt, one tablespoonful or one cake of compressed yeast, or one half cup of liquid yeast. The proportions of flour and water differ according to the quality of the flour, the gluten flours taking up much more water than the starch flours.
Put the flour and salt into your bread pan and make a hole in the middle, then pour in gradually the water in which the yeast has been dissolved, mixing as you pour with your hand or with a spoon. As soon as the mass will hold together, take it out on a molding-board and with floured hands work it gradually into a tender dough, using as little flour as possible, for the dough must remain as soft as can be handled. This first molding should