I found recipes presented by Mrs. Belle De Graf in a California newspaper series. She is a cooking authority from California in the early 1900’s. I will be sharing many of her recipes in my blog. She has some great recipes and she shares amazing tips for cooking food.
Mrs. De Graf’s white bread is made with six simple ingredients. One loaf of bread has a cost of 69 cents, probably one of the cheaper loaves I have found. It is simple to make and tastes delicious. Below are the instructions she gives and her tips for making bread.
Bread-Making Secrets May Be Acquired With Study and Application
Domestic Science Expert Give Instructions on Elaborating Yeast Mixtures
By Mrs. Belle De Graf – Director of Sperry Domestic Science Department
Did you know that good bread is the most wholesome, most digestible, as well as one of the cheapest foods that you can serve? The more bread and flour you serve your family the smaller your food bills. Bread furnishes the greatest amount of food value for the money expended, and is the most important article of food. Perhaps we never realized this until we were deprived of bread during the period of conservation. considering its great value, it is surprising how few housewives understand how to make a good loaf of bread or pan of rolls. The process of making these yeast mixtures is most interesting, and a little careful study and practice will surely reward you for your time and trouble.
Helpful Suggestions About Making Bread
To keep the dough from cooling, mix and knead it quickly. In cool weather the bowl containing the dough may be set in a pan of warm water. The longer the batter is beaten the less kneading the dough will require. when dough can be lifted in a mass on a spoon it is ready to knead.
Dough is kneaded to mix the ingredients thoroughly; to make the gluten elastic and to work in the air. It is sufficiently kneaded when it can be left on the board for a minute or more without sticking.
Dough containing large bubbles has risen too long or too fast. It should be cut down and rekneaded to distribute the gas evenly.
Always make small loaves to insure bread being baked through; in large loaves the heat may fail to penetrate to the center.
If bread rises much after being put in the oven; the heat is not great enough, but if it begins to brown in less than fifteen minutes, the heat is too great. The first ten minutes the loaves are in the oven they should merely rise and perhaps begin to show a little brown in spots; the second period of ten minutes they should become a delicate brown all over their surface and cease to rise; the third period they should finish browning and the fourth they should shrink slightly from the pans.
Heat Checks Growth Of Yeast Organism
After the first ten minutes the oven heat can be decreased slightly, and as baking continues it may be lessened still more. the reason for the hotter oven at first is that the growth of the yeast plant must be checked early in the baking or the loaf will become too porous, and this can be accomplished only by a heat great enough to penetrate to the very center of the loaf.
When baking is completed the loaves will give forth a hollow sound when tapped, and will shrink from the pan. After baking remove the bread at once from the pans and allow to cool in fresh air, uncovered. Do not put away until perfectly cold.
1 cup boiling water or scaled milk; 1 tablespoon melted shortening; 1 tablespoon sugar; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/2 yeast cake dissolved in 1/4 cup lukewarm water; between 3 and 4 cups white flour.
Method of Preparation – Put shortening, sugar and salt in scalded liquid; let stand until lukewarm; add dissolved yeast and flour gradually, beating well until too stiff to stir. Turn on moulding board and knead in remaining flour until the mixture is smooth, does not stick to hands or board and bubbles may be seen under the surface. Return to well greased bowl, brush dough over with melted shortening, cover and allow to rise in a warm place to twice its original size, then knead down in bowl and let rise again. This second kneading, after having risen once, gives a much finer grain to bread and should always be used. When dough has again risen to double its bulk it will be ready to shape into loaves or rolls. Place loaves in well greased pans, having them about half full. Brush both bread and rolls with melted shortening, let rise again to double their size and bake in a hot oven about 45 minutes for medium-sized loaves and from 20 to 30 minutes for rolls, according to size.
This quantity of dough is for one large loaf of bread or pan of rolls. With one-half yeast cake used to each half pint measuring cup of liquid, bread can be made and completed if kept in a warm room in about five hours. If longer period be given to the rising process less yeast will be required. One-fourth yeast cake to each cup of liquid is sufficient if dough is set overnight. In either case the same method of preparation is used. The liquid is scaled to sterilize it, so as to avoid the presence of other organisms than the yeast. Of course the scalded liquid must never be used until lukewarm otherwise it will kill the yeast plant.
Printed in the San Francisco Chronicle on April 6, 1919.
Mrs. De Graf's White Bread
- 1 cup water scalded
- 1 tbsp shortening
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 3 to 4 cups flour
Scald water and add shortening, sugar and salt. Let stand until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm liquid.
Add flour gradually , beating well until too stiff to stir. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour until the mixture is smooth and doesn't stick to hands or surface.
Place in a greased bowl, brush surface with melted shortening, cover and let rise until twice it's original size. Knead down and let it rise a second time.
When the dough has risen to double its size, shape into loaves, filling pans about half way. Let rise until double in size.
Bake in 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes.