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Of the several Sorts of Wheat usually sown in England formaking Bread.
Why some Gentlemen, Yeomen, and Farmers grind theirown Wheat for their Family Uses.--There are many gentlemen, yeomen, and farmers,who occupy arable land, that think they have a great opportunity to save the penny,in the management of their offald wheat: For that these, if their farms are of thelarger sort, must make what we in Hertfordshire call peggings, in large quantities,being what comes from the underline or blighted, or other wheat ears, most of whichcontain in them very thin little kernels, that will easily part from their chaff;and it is chiefly such ears that break off from their straw in threshing: And thenit also is, that in making use of the knee fan, and wheat ridder sieve, these earsare fanned and sifted to the top of the wheat kernels; from whence they are takenoff by the hand, and reserved till a good parcel are got together for being threshedover again; and the produce is that which we (when clean'd) call peggings, and arewhat we grind alone, or in a mixture with a better sort. Thus many yeomen and farmerseat the worser bread, as butchers and poulterers do their staler and worser meats,and by so doing sell the largest and best wheat at market; for he who mixes suchsmall kernels with bigger stands the chance of losing a groat or six-pence in a bushel.It is true, that such underline small kernels make more bran and less flower thanbetter wheat does; yet this is thought by some to be the lesser evil: Others areof a contrary opinion, and therefore I shall shew
Why Others refuse to grind their own Wheat, andbuy Meal for their Family Uses.--There are several reasons to be assigned forthis. First, it is the practice of some farmers to refuse grinding their ownwheat, for buying what we call middling, which is a wheat meal, between the finestand the coarsest sorts; because, say they, we will not grind the worst wheat forour family, but the worst and best shall be sold together; and for so doing somewill put a peck of peggings or thin offald wheat in the middle of a five bushel sackof good market wheat: Others, contrary to this, when they fling their threshed wheatout of its chaff, many light kernels fall short, which is a lean offald corn; these,when discharged of the seeds of weeds, they mix with larger body'd wheat, and sellall together. By this means they avoid grinding their lean worst corn, that seldomproduces more than three bushels of meal from five bushels of such wheat, and insteadthereof buy a coarse meal called randan, which is a third and the worst sort thatmillers separate. The first and finest meal that is grinded in Hertfordshire,called houshold, is all or most of it sold in London; so that little elseis sold at our country shops but middling and randan meals. In the next place I amto inform my reader, that sometimes a bushel of our best wheat has weighed sixtyor more pounds; and I and many others have sold five bushels of such wheat for asmuch money as five bushels of randan meal has cost: Whereas, if we grind our owngood wheat, five bushels of the best sort generally make four bushels and an half,or more, of meal, and the bran we reckon pays for grinding. But notwithstanding this,some gentlemen, yeomen, and farmers, think it most to their interest to have fivebushels of this randan wheat meal, which they buy at the same market they sell theirwheat at, and bring it home by the return of their waggon or cart; for that, in sodoing, they know they are out of the danger of being imposed on by any dishonestmiller, in whose power it may be to return a due weight of flower, and yet bite thefarmer, it being possible for such a miller to take out some of the finest and heartiestflower, and put coarse in its place; or to grind bad wheat, and keep the better sort.The same in other shapes; he may, if he is not an honest man, greatly damage thatgentleman, yeoman, or farmer, who constantly grinds all the wheat he uses at hismill. It is a common computation, that in the cleaning of five and twenty bushelsof wheat, there will be a bushel or more of offald thin kernels separated from thelarger body'd sort, which, as I said, is by some yeomen and farmers mix'd amongstfour and twenty bushels of the better wheat, because they think that in this quantitythe bushel of offald will not be easily perceived by the buyer. However, it is myopinion, that where one yeoman or farmer sells all his wheat and buys meal, thereare six that grind what they use for their families. For my own part, I must ownI have sold my wheat and bought meal; but as I now grind my wheat grist with a reputableeminent miller, at Oak-Mill, near Hempstead, I am satisfed of his fair-dealing,and think myself so well used to have five bushels of wheat ground for only one shillingcharge, that I grind all, and buy none. Yet I know a great farmer living near Redbourne,in Hertfordshire, that thinks it better úconomy to sell all his best wheatby itself, and his worst wheat by itself, and buys a sack of meal every week forhis twenty in family. By all which a person may perceive, whether it best answershis interest, to sell all his wheat and buy all his flower, or grind his own wheatfor his family uses.
How a private Family may preserve their whole Wheatsweet in Sacks for some Time.--I knew a little farmer, that kept only two horsesat plow and cart, who preserved his threshed wheat in sacks, sweet and sound, a yeartogether, in a chamber, for taking the advantage of a rising market; and to do this,he would once in a summer screen all this his sack wheat, to get the dust out ofit; for it is the dust that heats the grain, while it stands thus undisturbed, causingit to ferment, and breed either the wevil, maggot, or mite, or else a mustiness andstink in it. Wherefore if whole wheat or wheat meal is dry, it is better kept insacks, in a chamber, than near a fire-side, because the fire draws out its moisture,and sours it: Nor ought they to be kept in damp places, for here they will be aptto matt and cake, and spoil. The best way therefore, as I said, is to keep both wheatand flower in a chamber, at all times of the year: If in sacks, a thick stick shouldremain thrust down in the middle of it, with the mouth of the sack left open. Andin case you mistrust the wheat or flower to suffer, tie up the sack's mouth, turnit topsy-turvy, and the removal will much contribute to the keeping of it sweet;for by such turning the wheat or flower lies in a looser body than it did before,as the position of their particles becomes thus altered; so it prevents in a greatdegree their heating, fermenting, and spoiling, and the surer, if such a sack ofwheat or flower is thus turned once every two or three weeks: for it has been proved,that when a sack of wheat or flower has received a little damage, by standing toonear a fire, or in a chamber too long undisturbed, that by now and then turning thesack topsy-turvy, it has recovered it. One set a sack of flower too near a fire,and was forced to give it to the hogs.--Or take this serviceable account in the followingmanner, viz. This subject affects mostly three sorts of country housewives;the yeomens, the farmers, and the labouring-men's wives: The two first, because itsometimes happens, that the yeoman and farmer are obliged to house their wheat ina damp condition; and as housekeeping requires a constant supply of bread, thereis no waiting twelve months, or half twelve months, till such wheat gets dry in astack, cock, or mow: So the labouring-man's family, who get part of their bread inleased wheat, requires likewise a present supply.--In which case, it concerns thesethree sorts of housewives to dry a sack of wheat more or less with the greatest expedition;and that it may be so done, such wheat should be placed by the fire-side, by settinga sack of it at a convenient distance from it. If it is a brick or other damp floor,the sack should stand four, six, or more inches above ground, on a stool or otherwise,if the place will admit of it, that it may get the sooner dry. This done, thrusta stick down the middle of the sack, of the length and thickness of a common broomstick,which let remain, turning it about twice or more in a week, for giving air to thewheat, and preventing its heating and musting, always keeping the mouth of the sackopen. And that this piece of good housewifery may be performed the more effectual,my advice is, that every time our housewife bakes, and as soon as the bread is drawn,she take the stick out of the sack, and heat it in the oven, and when it is hot,that she thrust it down again into the middle of the sack, as before. This is doneto draw the moisture of the wheat to the stick, for contributing to its quicker drying.And I add, that so much stress is laid on this way of drying a sack of wheat, thatin damp seasons, it is, by some farmers, practised in order to obtain the greaterprice for it at market. But then they take care to shoot all the wheat out of thesack on the floor before-hand, to mix it all alike, lest that part, which stood nextthe fire, be dryer than the rest.
How to preserve Wheat-Meal sweet in Sacks.--ThisI shall shew by the case of a widow, who constantly bought her wheat-meal of a miller,and being few in family, asked him, How she should keep it dry and sweet, in thesack he brought it in, till she used it? To this the miller answered--Let it standin a dry place, and turn the sack bottom upwards now and then, and he would engageit would keep sound many months.--Accordingly, I know that this widow and other Hertfordshirehousewives observe to do the same; for that it keeps the meal from lying so closeas to cake, heat, or breed mites, because by such transposition it has a little removal,and lies higher and hollower than it did before. And for a further security of thisadvantage, make use of the broomstick, as I have before directed, for by such alterationboth whole wheat and wheat-meal may be much longer preserved sweet and sound, thanif it stood in sacks without being managed in this manner.
How Wheat-Meal by various Means becomes damagedby Insects.--There are great quantities of bad meals sold at shops, occasionedby several means. First, By the nasty stinking wevil, which is a dark browncoloured insect, about the bigness of a large flea, and is mostly bred in damp wheats,or gets into heaps of dry sound wheat from contiguous infected lofts or grainaries;for these sort of vermin are travellers, and as they stale or dung, or both, amongstthe kernels of wheat, they heat it, and thereby increase their breed in infinitenumbers, especially in summer time; so that such wevilly wheat is really of a veryunwholsome nature, and gives the bread, made of its meal, an ill taste, where theyhave been in vast numbers, notwithstanding what the miller does in sifting the wheatbefore it is grinded, to get them out. And what is more, such damp wheat, or infectedwheat, is very apt to breed the mite in the meal. Secondly, In some old loftsand grainaries, that are boarded on all their sides, small worms are bred in wheat,hoarded at a cheap time in the same, and kept two, three, or more years against arising market.--I know a yeoman, whose wheat was so infected with these insects in1744, that he pulled down all his beechen side-boards, and put up new oaken onesin their room, as believing the first occasioned the breed of these vermin, whichgreatly increased, and would in time have eaten up all the kernels. But by doingthis, and screening the wheat, he got most of them out. And what was somewhat strange,the wheat when first laid in here was thoroughly dry; so that this increase mustbe owing either to some worms, lodged in the crevices, bred perhaps from some formerdamp wheat, or else from the corrupt rottenness of the boards. Thirdly, Mealis frequently damaged by long keeping, for by this the mite is very apt to breed,and when once they have bred in it, they mightily increase in a little time; insomuchthat they have been often seen to swarm in the meal, and even on the outside of thesacks. Fourthly, Meal is damaged when it comes from wheat that grew amongstthe weeds of crow-garlick, mellilot, and much mayweed, &c. for these areof a most stinking nature, and grow in many inclosed Chiltern-felds, in such abundance,as makes some farmers despair of ever clearing their ground of them. All which iswrote, to give our country housewife warning to examine well the meal or flower beforeshe buys it; and in this case it is necessary for her to employ her seeing, feeling,and tasting, the better to prevent those impositions, which the unwary and ignorantbuyer is frequently brought under.
How to know good from bad Meals.--As there aregreat quantities of wheat-meals infected by mites, &c. and yet are soldout of mills, storehouses, and shops, both by wholesale and retail; it concerns ourcountry housewife to make a nice inspection before she buys her meal. Therefore inthe first place, by her sight, she may, perhaps, discover two sorts of damage init; the mites, and a mixture of pollard. If by mites, they are to be perceived bytheir stirring the meal; for these creatures, although so small, as hardly to beseen by the naked eye, yet when they are in great numbers, they will move the toppart of the meal, and when they swarm, if the flower is dented by the fingers, theywill presently level it.--Secondly, For a confrmation of this, she may, byfeeling, be the more sensible of the coarseness or fineness of the flower or meal,and thereby be able to make the truer estimation of its value; for if it is verymity, it will feel coarse, because the bodies of these insects are larger than theparticles of fine meal. The same if pollard or the smallest of bran is amongst it.--Amiller that brought a sack of sale-meal to a country shop, as soon as the woman openedit, and had seen and felt it, said, What have you brought me pollard instead of flower?No, says the miller, but if it is too coarse now, I will bring you finer next timeto make amends.--Which leads me to observe, that as the whiter wheat is now generallysown, the smallest pollard is not so soon perceived in its meal, as that of the redor yellow Lamas, or brown pirky wheat, because, the whiter the skin, the less itsbran is discovered in its flower. Thirdly, The damage of wheat-meal may besometimes best found out by smelling it. Whools, or wevils, or maggots, may be screenedand sifted from the flower, and good may be mixt with bad to lessen the taste andsmell of them; but when such meal is tried by a nice observing nose, it may be discoveredbefore it is bought. The same when mites are got into meal, and cannot be perceivedby the eye nor felt by the finger, yet the nose may decide the matter; for if miteshave done the flower some damage, it will smell disagreeably frousy, and be worththe less. So when flower is tainted by nasty stinking weeds that grew amongst itswheat, it is better known by smelling than by either seeing or feeling.
How a common Baker, living within four Miles ofLondon, improved his best Wheat-Meal.--As I said, red Lamas is accountedthe most ancient best sort of wheat in England, by producing a meal and priceexceeding all others, for its whiteness, fineness, and palatableness; but it is aptto grind tougher than either white, or pirky, or Dugdale, or other wheats. Now asDugdale wheat grinds shortest, and produces a sweet but coarse flower, and as italways sells for sixpence more or less in a bushel than Lamas wheat, a great commonbaker, living about four miles out of London, generally took this method toincrease his profit, and yet made his Lamas wheat-flower rather better than worse.He usually bought five sacks of meal at a time, four of Lamas and one of Dugdale,which he mixed, and they agreed so well together, that the customer could not perceiveany difference between a loaf of bread made with all Lamas wheat flower, and thatmade with a mixture of Dugdale wheat flower. But the chief benefit of such a mixturelies in this; that a loaf of bread made with these meals will keep moist two daysor more, longer than if it was made with intire Lamas wheat meal. And therefore notonly this baker, but many others in London and elsewhere follow this practice;not altogether because they get something by the lower price of the Dugdale meal,but because it adds a sweet pleasant moisture to the loaf of bread, and thereby muchlessens the stale harshness that in hot weather especially is apt to bring the finerLamas flower loaf under. And now I am writing on Dugdale or bold Rivet wheat, I havefarther to add, that it is thought by some farmers true husbandry to sow an acreor more of this sort of wheat wholly for their family uses, that they may be thebetter enabled to sell the more Lamas or other dearer wheats, as thinking this coarsesort good enough for themselves; and also because this is a greater yielder thanany other wheat, will withstand blights when others suffer by them, and be fit togrind with Lamas wheat, in case a wet harvest happens, and it is housed damp.
The Nature of grown Wheat, and how it comes to besuch.--What we call grown wheat, in Hertfordshire, is that which is damagedin the field by extraordinary wet weather: That is to say, when wheat is almost ripeand ready to reap, the straw and ears being then in their greatest magnitude, areby long rains apt to bend, and sometimes fall flat to the ground; then it commonlyis, that for want of a free air and sun the kernels grow and sprout before the wheatis fit to be reaped. Secondly, It also sometimes happens, after the wheatis reaped, and lies to dry on the ground, for being bound up in sheaves, that rainsfall for several days together, and cause the kernels to grow in the ear. Lastly,It has likewise been many times the case, almost throughout England, to havesuch a wet harvest, that though the wheat was bound up full dry in sheaves, and stooderect in shocks, yet rains have fell so heavy, and continued so long, that the kernelshave grown in the ear. Now if wheat is grown by any of these three ways, the floweris damaged, and will never be so good as that produced from wheat which was neversprouted in the ear, because all bread, cake, and pye-crust, made of it, will beof a pudding consistence, if a peculiar art is not employed in the curing of it.This has been frequently experienced, in such a degree, that the bread has spreadabout in the oven pancake like, and the knife that cut the loaf, has brought awaywith it a sort of batter-crumb, that stuck to it, and was of a sweetish but fulsometaste. Hence it is that mealmen refuse to buy such grown wheat if they can get better,or if they do buy it, it must be at sixpence or a shilling a bushel less than dryersounder wheat sells for. In short, if wheat is once grown and sprouted in the ear,whether it be got into the barn or mow dry or not dry, the flower of it will nevermake a right palatable stiff loaf, if it is kneaded in the common way with only yeast,warm water, and salt. And what seems very surprising to me is, that no author thatI ever yet read or heard of, has so much as touched on this important article, althoughin some wet harvests it affects almost all the people of the nation; for that thebread, the cake, the pudding, the pye, and several other things, made of such grownwheat-meal, gives them little or more a disagreeable taste. But this I do not somuch wonder at, if books of this nature are wrote in a London chamber; forthen, in course, their authors must be deprived of that necessary country knowledge,as is requisite for enabling them to write those full and genuine instructions, whichare perfectly wanted to assist a country housewife, in carrying on a true úconomyin managing her domestic affairs in the cheapest and most housewifely manner, forher family's greater advantage. But to return to my subject of grown wheat, I shall,for preventing the ill effects of it, propose the following remedies, viz.
How to cure damaged grown Wheat-Meal.--Thismay be done in a great degree, if any of these three ways are rightly put in practice.The first is, that instead of making use of warm water to knead this grown meal with,as the common way is, it should be mixed with it scalding hot; for by using it insuch a degree of heat, the liquor astringes the flower, binds the dough, and tendsvery much towards making it into a stiff loaf, cake, pudding, pye, &c.Hence it is that the true housewife, to make her raised paste at any time, alwaysmixes a scalding or very hot water with her flower, to make it stiff enough to becomea standing crust. But if skim or new milk was scalded, or rather boiled, and madeuse of instead of water, it would bind the grown wheat-meal, and make its loaf ofbread lighter and whiter. You should also observe, that in this case of making useof scalding water or milk to knead the dough, you do not mix your yeast with it;if you do, it will scald the yeast, and prevent its fermenting and raising the dough.Therefore after you have sprinkled over your salt on the flower, then mix your scaldingwater or milk with it, and your yeast with water only warm. This done, knead alltogether into a pretty stiff dough, and after it has lain some time to ferment andrise, mould it into loaves, and bake them three hours. Secondly, Such grownwheat-meal is helped by mixing a peck of barley-meal with three of that, and madeinto a dough with scalding or warm water, or with milk, yeast, and salt, as aforesaid;for that such barley-meal, being of a dry short nature, will be serviceable in bindingthe grown wheat-meal, and preventing in some degree its baking into a clammy spreadingcondition. Lastly, such grown wheat-meal is cured in the surest manner ofall other ways, by dissolving some allum in very hot water, and mixing the liquorwith it by itself, without the yeast, and when they are a little mixed, then stiryour yeast into some warm water, and incorporate this also with the flower; thenknead all well together, and mould it into loaves, &c. for baking; butobserve that in this last case, no salt must be made use of, because the allum willfully supply it. One or more of these directions may be of great service to thosewho are ignorant of them, and who consume much bread in their large families; whenwheat has sprouted in the ear by great and long rains, as it did in 1716. A wet season(as I am informed) that caused laid wheat, in many places, to throw out sprouts aslong as a child's finger; nor was standing wheat then free of this calamity, formost of it sprouted little or much, and so it has done in several years since, thoughin a lesser degree. Also observe, that although I mention scalding water to be madeuse of in stiffening the meal of grown wheat; the water, or milk, or whey, shouldbe first boiled, and then put over and mixed with the meal while it is scalding hot,because boiling improves it, always remembering to work and knead this sort of doughstiff; for by so doing, the loaves will stand the firmer and tighter in the oven.
The Practice of a Hertfordshire Housewifefor improving the Meal of grown Wheat.--This is practised both by rich and poor,as a good piece of housewifery, when wheat kernels have much sprouted in the fieldby too much moisture; for then, if the meal is used alone, it makes a clammy, lumpy,pudding sort of bread, that is very apt to spread in the oven, insomuch that whena loaf of such bread has been made and baked by an ignorant lazy housewife, it hasbeen so soft as to become almost fit to be eaten with a spoon. Now to prevent this,our Hertfordshire good housewife, whether rich or poor, commonly endeavoursto mix some meal of the last year's dry sound wheat, with such meal of grown wheat;and they always find that such management very much helps to cure the grown wheat-meal.
Meals made use of in some of the Northern Counties.--Herethey make vast consumptions of oatmeal, having but little wheat growing in theseparts, and with this they make cakes that supply bread, by mixing oatmeal with waterand a little salt, which they let stand together twenty or more hours, and then kneadit into a dough or batter, and bake it like pancakes on a stone that has a fire underit; and when they have prepared a good parcel, they lay them on racks to dry, forin this manner they become hard, and will keep hard, sweet, and sound a long time.At the great and popular town of Manchester, their sacks of oatmeal standfor sale in their market, as our sacks of wheat do at Hempstead, and someother of the Southern markets. And so attached are many of their people to the eatingof oatcake or brown bread, that when they come up with their waggons of wheat andcheese to Hempstead market, they bring their own coarse heavy bread, to preventtheir being forced to eat our Hertfordshire wheaten bread, saying--They donot like such a corky, bitter sort;--for you must know that in these Northern Counties,their yeast is mostly saved from strong mild ale, and not from strong hopped beer.The same gust have the more Northern people for their oatmeal-cake-bread, which mostof them like to that degree, as to slight wheaten bread.--In some parts of Yorkshirethey eat a blackish rye bread, and when the rye is got in wettish, to improve itsflower, they heat a brick and put it amongst the dough before it is made into loaves,in order to draw out the ill quality of it, and so prevent the rowing of it; herethey employ leaven in common to make their bread, and as their kneading-tub has alwayspart of this leavened dough sticking to it, it contributes towards leavening andfermenting the next dough.--Others in the county of York make an oatmeal doughwith fine oatmeal-water, yeast and salt, as we do wheaten bread, and broil or bakeit.--Others mix wheat flower with a little salt and butter-milk, and thus make agood cake broiled on a gridiron; and tho' perhaps a little sourish, yet it eats well.
Of the Nature and Uses of good and bad Yeast or Barm,
as it relates to baking of Bread.
YEAST or barm is an ingredient so necessary, that without it neitherbrewing nor baking can be rightly performed. In the first, 'tis true, yeast may bemade use of to poison human bodies, when too much of it (as is too commonly practised)is beat, ding'd or whip'd into ale or beer, for a week together, in cold weather,to work it, and to make it so strong as to save one or two bushels of malt in eight;as I have amply made appear in my treatise on brewing, intitled, The London andCountry Brewer, sold by Mr. Astley, bookseller, at the Rose inPater-noster-Row, London. But in baking there is so little a quantity of yeastemployed (being mixed with much water to make bread with) that it is cured by theheat of the oven, which divests it of any ill quality it may naturally have in it.Yet there are many curious persons so nice in this point, that they endeavour tohave their bread made with as little yeast in it as possible.
How to make a little Yeast go a great Way in makingBread, and how to make Grounds of Barrels supply Yeast.-- Wheat flower, coarsesugar and salt are great promoters of fermentation, insomuch that if these threeingredients, in a proper quantity, are mixed with a little yeast, it will raise abrisk fermentation fit to mix with water and flower, and make a dough for bread,instead of all good solid yeast. And so will the same composition do, if mixed withonly grounds of barrels, provided the grounds are thick and sweet. Thus if staleyeast is mixed with only sugar and hot water, and set near a fire, in about halfan hour it will ferment and be like new yeast.
A second Account of making Grounds of Barrels servefor baking Bread, instead of good Yeast, in cold Weather.--If grounds of barrels,or bottoms of strong or small beer vessels, are upon necessity to be made use of,for want of good yeast, to make bread; our country housewife may mix some sugar,salt, and flower with them, and then set the mixture within the heat of the fire(especially if ale grounds are made use of) and it will rise and ferment, and thesooner if you mix some warm wort or beer with them, provided the grounds are notsour, or otherways decayed. And thus poor thin yeast may be also made to fermentand bake with, instead of good yeast. Others put brandy and sugar to grounds of barrelsor decayed yeast, and it will cause it to ferment quickly.
A Method practised by a frugal Housewife to keepher Yeast sweet and sound against baking time, in hot Weather.--This foresightedfrugal housewife, if she brewed in hot weather, would, when her drink had done working,and the yeast settled, pour off the thin or liquid part, and reserve only the thickpart, which she would dry in the sun and air, and then, after mixing some salt withit, would make it into rolers a foot long, and thus keep it sweet and sound a monthor more together.
A second Way to preserve Yeast sweet and sound inhot Weather.--In summer time I knew a frugal housewife plaister a board overwith thick yeast, and let it dry on, which being kept in a dry place, was preserveda long while sweet; and when wanted, she scraped some off. This, mixed with warmwater, would ferment into a serviceable yeast; but if it was backward in fermenting,she added some salt and sugar to the warm water.
How to preserve Yeast with cold Water.--Thereis a way to preserve yeast sweet some time, if you put cold water on it; but thenthe yeast should be thick and solid, and after the water has stood on it three orfour days, it should be poured off, and fresh added. This is one way to preserveyeast sweet; but then it is apt to waste the spirit of it, and make it the less lively.Others put sugar, salt, flower and brandy to it, for causing a fermentation.
How to preserve Yeast sweet in a Pitcher.--Thisis practised by many of our country housewives, who after their strong or small drinkhas fully done working, and the yeast settled in the tub or pan that receives itfrom the vessel, will pour off the thin beer part, and put the solid part into apitcher, which if tied over with the skin of a hog's flair or bladder, and kept ina cool place, may be preserved sweet, for making bread with the same, a month ormore.
How to preserve Yeast in Bottles.--This is doneby pu[t]ting solid yeast into a stone or glass bottle, that has a wider mouth thancommon bottles have; then cork the bottle, and put it into a cool cellar, or moresecurely, into a ditch, pond, or river; and the coldness of the cellar or water willprevent its fermenting, and preserve it sweet a long time. So that a housewife neednot be at a loss for yeast to bake with, if she will but get one or more of thesebottles, and thus save her yeast from one baking to another. And observe, that whenevershe puts such a bottle of yeast into a ditch, pond, river, or well, she should besure to place it as near as she can to the shady side of it. For this reason a wellis a better conservatory than a cellar, ditch, pond, or river, because the bottleof yeast is here entirely kept in the shade, and in the greatest coolness. Otherswill put yeast into a stone bottle, and keep it in a hole in the ground, as the bestway of all others.
How an old Woman, that kept a public House in Hertfordshire,made it her common Practice to increase the Quantity of her Yeast.--This womangenerally brewed once a week throughout the year, and not only sold her own yeast,but would buy that made by her private neighbours, in order to adulterate both forprofit sake. And to do it in a manner that could not be easily perceived nor discovered,she mixed flower and the grounds of barrels with her good yeast, and sold it forfour-pence a quart, to bake and brew with.
Of the Cheapness and Dearness of Yeast or Barm.--Thewant of yeast, in many parts of England, obliges many persons to desist frombaking their own bread, to their loss; and this even in some towns, where in warmweather it is cheaply and easily had for three-pence or four-pence a quart, and yetin hard and long frosts it is sometimes sold for six-pence, a shilling, two shillings,and I have known it sold for two shillings and six-pence a quart, in the great frostof 1740. Which is enough, I should think, to put our housewives upon a preventionof such an extravagant expence, which they may do, if they will but observe whatI have written of saving yeast before-hand.
How a Tradesman in Hertfordshire brewed tenBushels of Pale Malt in the Hard Frost of 1740, chiefly for making an extraordinaryProfit of the Yeast produced from the same.--This fact was performed in the hardfrost, 1740; which occasioned yeast to sell at the before-mentioned prices in manycountry towns within forty miles of London. And it was the extraordinary priceof two shillings per quart, that yeast sold for in the months of January andFebruary, that tempted an acquaintance of mine, then living at BarkhamsteadSt. Peter, in Hertfordshire, to brew ten bushels of pale leisure-driedmalt, which by his care and skill produced him ten gallons of yeast, which he soldat two shillings per quart, and thus made four pounds of the bare yeast; for he wasan excellent private brewer (not one of them that regard a serviceable secret likea Tale of Tom Thumb) who made a trial first to prove its effect, and as hefound it, judged it. This person was noted for having a most silky, fine, palatableale generally by him, of which, though a tradesman, he was no niggard; and that hismalt-drink might excell the common sort in goodness, he did not grudge the chargeof buying three pounds of hops, when others bought but two, because he boiled themonly thirty minutes or less; but his wort he usually boiled longer, till it brokeinto particles as big as large lice: Or, to speak plainer, till the hops sunk, andthe wort boiled curdled clear. Then it is, that such strong beer or ale (if the fermentationis rightly carried on) will yield a very large quantity of yeast.
To make a bitter Yeast fresh.--There are twoor more ways of doing this; one is, as I said, by pouring cold water on it, and afterits lying twenty-four, or more hours, it must be pour'd off, which may be easilydone if the yeast is solid, for cold water will not mix with yeast like beer.--Butthe common bakers way is, to put long bran on a linen cloth, and your bitter yeaston that, which you are to wash out from the bran with hot water.--Or you may soaka birch broom in yeast, and though the yeast be bitter, the air will dry and freshenit against the next baking, when it may be washed in warm water.----N.B. Bythe wash of the bran, the bitter part of the yeast lodges in it, and thus makes thewheat-meal go the further in making bread.
Good neighbours Yeast.--I call this good neighboursyeast, that is to say, where there is a good neighbourhood, when one brews, she lendsher yeast to a neighbour for baking or brewing. And when the other brews, she doesthe same. Thus a good housewife need not be at much expence in buying yeast; as itis practised at a little innship called Maintmore, in Bucks, wherethere are about half a score houses, and where their neighbourhood so well agreestogether, that this is their constant practice to lend one another yeast alternately.And thus they prevent their being at any extraordinary expence and trouble of buyingit at a greater distance.
Of Leaven, and Leavened Bread.
AS many are ignorant what leaven is, I shall in the first placegive an account of it. And that it may be the more known, I shall here observe themethod a days-man's (as we call them in Hertfordshire) or labourer's wifetook to make and keep her leaven from one baking to another. Her family was a husbandand five children, seven in all, which obliged her about every ten days end to bakeone bushel of flower; and as her money was short, and yeast sometimes scarce anddear, she always took care to save a piece of her leavened dough, at each baking,about the bigness of her fist, and making a little hole in the middle of it withher finger, ram'd it full of salt, and in a ball shape she let it lie covered overwith salt in her salt-box till the next baking; by which time it got dry and hardenough to break into crumbles, for mixing them with half a pint of yeast and warmwater. This, when put into the middle of the flower, as it lay in a tub or kneading-trough,was stirred with some of the meal, and left to ferment and rise, which in warm weatherit would do in an hour or two's time. Not that time is a true indication when ithas fermented or risen enough; for to know this, she would look now and then, andwhen she saw the place cracked over where the leaven lay, she knew it was enough,and accordingly mixed the rest of the flower, and kneaded all into a moderate stiffiness;for if it was kneaded too soft, the bread would be apt to spread in the oven, belight, and crumble; and if too stiff kneaded, it may be baked till it is too close,heavy, and hard.
How to make Leaven and leavened Bread for a privateFamily.--Leaven, as I said, is a piece of dough saved from the last leaveneddough, and preserved with salt, as before mentioned, and is thus chiefly preparedfor saveing yeast; for by this means half the usual quantity of yeast suffices, andyet causes the bread to eat pleasanter, to be hollower, and is wholsomer than ifthe dough was made with all yeast. On which accounts the French and otherforeigners commonly make their bread with some leaven in it: For which purpose, theleavened piece should be kept dry enough to be broke small into salt warm water,well stirred about, till all is dissolved and thoroughly mixed. Then drain it througha sieve, to keep back any grouty part. This being done, make a large hole in themiddle part of the flower, and pour into it this liquid leaven, which you are toincorporate so well, as to make this part of a hasty-pudding consistence; then coverwith dry meal, and let all lie together all night to ferment and rise. Next morningadd some yeast with some more warm water, and sprinkle salt over the whole parcelof flower according to discretion, which mix and knead together till the whole ismade into a stiffish dough, and moulded into loaves; always remembering, with a pocketmeat fork, or something else, to prick holes in the top part of each loaf, for thislets out the air when the bread begins to be hot in the oven, that otherwise wouldcause the upper crust to be puffed up and crack.
An Account given this Author by a ----Woman, who,when she was single, lived with a Country common Baker, that made use of the Spunge,otherwise Leaven, and employed Allum in making his Bread.--This woman says, thather master, who was a common baker just set up, used to bake four bushels of flowerat a time, twice every week and always (both in summer and winter) saved a pieceof his leavened dough about the bigness of a man's two fists, in which he put asmuch salt as would fill an egg-shell when the salt was wrapt up in this dough, hekept it cover'd all over in salt against he wanted it, and generally made use ofthat leaven which was about a week old; for she says, that he thought it better atthat age than used sooner. Then, when he wanted it, he dissolved it with two ouncesof allum in warm water, and with this liquid he mixed a pint of yeast, which he putinto a cavity or hollow made in the meal, and covered all with dry meal; here itlay fermenting an hour or two, and when enough, he kneaded the whole quantity ofmeal, with what more warm water was necessary, into loaves, and baked them.--Allum,she says, saves salt, for by using it in this quantity, the baker employed no moresalt in two bushels of meal than what was contained in the leaven. She says also,that allum saves yeast, because it helps to hollow the bread, yet binds and keepsthe dough from spreading too much, and adds a whiter colour to the bread, than ifsalt was made use of in its stead. She further says, that she has heard that somegreat bakers have laid their spunge overnight; when this is done, the leaven mustbe put the deeper into the meal. [However, it is objected by some, that where allumis made use of, it brings on a staleness of the loaf of bread sooner than if yeastwas made use of in its stead; makes it eat harsh, and causes it to crumble more thanordinary.] And that 'tis true her master thus made use of allum; she says, she hasweighed it several times for this purpose. And why I am the more particular in myaccount of it is, because I never met with any common baker, but what denied he evermade use of allum in making his bread. This common baker began at first with bakingonly eight bushels of wheat-meal a week; but since is become a baker of great trade.
A Cheshire Servant Maid's Account of hermaking leavened Bread.--She told me in November 1746, that in the partof Cheshire where she had lived they eat barley-bread, or bread made withhalf rye and half wheat-meal, which they there call mobbum bread; but in other partsof Cheshire, towards Manchester, she says, they eat sour cake, thatis to say, oatcake-bread. Her way to make barley or mobbum bread was to save a saltedpiece of leavened dough against next baking, and then crumble it into warm water,with which she mixed her flower, and made it just into a dough over night, and letit lie till next morning, when she kneaded it for good. She said, they make use ofno yeast, unless they think the leaven not strong enough to ferment the dough ofitself,--but to make leaven the first time, knead a piece of dough with salt, aslong as it will take up any, then hang it up, or leave it covered in salt; and tomake it better, you may add a little yeast to the dough, or instead thereof somegrounds of ale, or an egg. The staler the leaven the closer will be the bread, andthe sooner sour, and if the dough is not well kneaded, it will be streaky.
Of making common Wheaten-Breadfor a private Family in Hertfordshire.
THE common way of making wheaten bread for a private family inHertfordshire, is done by heating water a little more than lukewarm in summer,but hotter in winter, and as a bushel of flower or meal lies in the kneading-kiver,or trough, or tub, our country housewife sprinkles a handful of salt over it, andstirs it in; then she mixes a pint of yeast with some of the flower, and lets itlie a little while to rise; next she lades her warm water over the whole mass, andkneads away. Others mix the yeast with the hot water, and pour it over the flower,and then knead all into a dough moderately stiff; and as they begin this when thefuel is put into the oven, they get the bread ready against it is hot, which willbe in about an hour's time; and to know when it is enough, there are many ovens thathave a little stone fixed in the brick work, at the farthest end, opposite the oven'smouth, which when cold is of a blackish colour, but when it appears whitish, it isa mark or indication for knowing the oven is hot enough. Others regard the sparklesof the fire that fly up, on rubbing the bottom of the oven. If these then spreadbriskly about, they reckon the oven is hot enough to be swept, and the loaves putin and stopt up. The good housewife also observes not to heat her water too hot,knowing that if she does, it will cause the bread to be too heavy and close. Others,for this purpose, boil their water, or skim milk, or whey, and let it cool till itis a little more than blood-warm, as believing this adds to the goodness of the bread.But the common baker says, That country women do not understand making and bakingbread in the best manner, because they generally, on putting their yeast, salt, andwater to the meal, mix all together as fast as possible, and after letting the doughlie but little (as some of the worse housewives do) they mould it into loaves, anddirectly put it into the oven, without giving the dough its due time to ferment,swell, and rise: But the good housewife makes her dough ready before she begins tolight the fire in the oven, that it may have the longer time to lie before it ismoulded into loaves.
To make Bread with a Mixture of Wheat and Barley Meal, so asto make it answer the greatest Advantage of a Family.
GRIND of each a like quantity together (though some mix half abushel of wheat with a bushel of barley) because these for this purpose are bettergrinded together than alone, by reason the barley being thus mixed with the wheat,is grinded the finer; for if the barley, which is the bigger-bodied corn, was tobe grinded by itself, they seldom grind it very fine; but when incorporated withwheat, the miller knows it is for family use, and will grind it accordingly. Nowto make the best use of this mixed flower, take skim milk, warm it, then add yeastto it, and mix this and the meal together, in the usual manner of making of doughwith all wheat-meal, water, and yeast; but milk with yeast makes these meals intowhat we call a lively dough, that causes the bread to be hollower, sweeter, and whiter,than if water is only mixed with the yeast. Again, yeast is often times bitterish;when so, the bitterness is much lessened by the help of skim milk, for if only waterwith yeast was employed to make this barley and wheat mixture, the bread would beapt to be heavy and rough tasted, and bitter yeast has a predominant disagreeabletaste. Thus, with these two Meals, a good sort of houshold-bread may be made.
How a Yeoman's Wife made a Barley Bread, with whichshe brought up her Family in Hertfordshire.--This yeoman lived about three milesfrom me, was owner of a farm that employed five horses, and brought up his numerousfamily with bread made of all barley-meal, which being of a shorter nature than wheat-meal,his wife usually mixed new milk with some warm water, in order the better to holdthis short meal together, make the bread appear whiter, eat the sweeter, and keepthe longer; for if skim milk was made use of; the dough would require the more squeezingand kneading, and keep the less time from souring; and because barley-meal is ofsuch a short nature, there must be the more yeast or leaven (or both) mixed withit, to make it into a right dough. This woman also, in making her pye-crust, madeit of barley-meal and wheat-meal mixed together, because she thought this mixturemade shorter and better crust, than if all wheat-meal was made use of.
What chiefly occasions Bread to crumble, and whathelps very much to prevent it.--It is well known to our right country housewives,that if the meal is over-watered, or over yeasted, the bread will crumble too much;but when the dough is made of a right mixture of these three ingredients, and iskneaded till it is hollow and stiffish, it is then work'd right; if otherwise, thereis often what we call sluts-pennies among the bread, that will appear and eat likekernels: Or there will be little lumps of dry flower, both which are occasioned merelyby wrong management, and causes the bread to be offensive both to the palate andstomach.
How in making Bread its Loaves are prevented fromcrumbling.--A woman that came out of Staffordshire, to live near me inBuckinghamshire, said, She knew a common baker in her country that alwaysmade use of cold water as well as warm water in the kneading of his dough to makehis loaves of bread, for preventing their crumbling too much. To do which, afterhe had mixed his yeast with warm water, and had a little kneaded his dough, he nowand then poured a dish of cold water over it, and proceeded to knead his dough tillhe had worked it enough. This, he said, would keep the bread from crumbling too much.And it is this same method that this woman always followed, when she kneaded herdough, and made bread for her numerous family.
The Damage of letting Bread lie too long in an Oven.--Itis a rule among our country housewives, that if loaves of bread stand longer thanthree hours in a well heated oven, they will fall and be lumpy, like as a toast toastedbeyond its due time will be too hard.
Of making Bean and Pea Bread.--The bean flowermakes a rank hearty bread, even the rankest in taste of all others made in England,and which cannot be made into loaves so well as other bread, because it will crackand be brittle, therefore it is commonly made into cakes in some parts of the North;its meal is of a yellowish colour, and so is its bread. Pea bread is much sweeter;yet in some parts of the North they grind beans and make bread of them, and sometimesthey mix bean flower with barley meal for bread.
Of making Bread with Oats and Tills.--Tillsis a grain that will grow well on poor chalky and gravelly soils, and is about onethird part lesser than common pease. Tills being ground into flour, and mixed withfine oatmeal, make a coarse hearty bread; but tills of themselves make a bad bread,and thetches worse.
What occasions bread to be ropy and musty, &c.--Wellsand ponds, that lie in the reach and influence of the sea and salt-water rivers,have their waters generally of a brackish nature and taste, insomuch, that withoutgreat care is taken in managing the dough, the bread will soon become ropy. So ifbread is made from dough that is over water'd, it will be apt to rope and soon growmouldy; the same if bread is kept in a damp cellar too long. I had once a lazy maidservant that would not knead her dough enough, and then the bread crumbled, and wouldnot keep sweet long; but another, that kneaded her dough well, and work'd it stiffinto loaves, made as good bread as the other did bad. In short, if bread is keptin too moist a place too long, it will rope, or hoar, or mould. And if it is keptin a very dry place too long, it will eat hard, and be apt to crumble. A place betweenboth extremes is best.
What the Laplanders and Norwegianseat for bread, &c.--In the month of April 1748, a Sweedish gentleman,Professor of Natural History in the University of Obo in Finland, andone of the Royal Society of Stockholm, was at Gaddesden, above a fortnighttogether, to see my ways of husbandry, and among other things he told me, that theLaplanders, who are under the Sweedish government, are never troubledwith the scurvy; because their bread is dried fish, and other diet accordingly; whichcauses their bodies to be so lightsome, that a Laplander will walk over theirwhite mossy land a long way in a day without tiring, will lay his leg on his shoulders,and that a Laplander of eighty years of age, would tire the youngest, stoutestEnglishman in walking. He also informed me, that in some parts of Norway,the inhabitants dry and grind the inner bark of the fir-tree, for making bread ofits powder or meal. In Sweden many also dry and grind the buck-bean and marsh-trefoil-rootafter they have got out its bitterness by scalding water, and then make it into bread.
The Management of a Bushel of Barley-Meal by a Labourer'sWife.--This woman having four children, her husband, that is a day-labourer atthreshing, hedging, &c. bought a bushel of barley of me on the 27th ofOctober, 1746, to grind into meal, and by sifting it she got a peck and halfof the finest part of it, which she baked into bread; and for the next baking, shesifted the remaining Meal, as she did the first, through her hair brewing sieve,and got out a peck and half more, which being somewhat coarser than the first, shemixed a pottle of wheat meal with it, and made it into bread; and after this shehad a peck of coarse branny stuff left, that helped to make good wash for her hog.This she did to make the penny go the farther, although wheat was then but four shillingsper bushel, and barley eighteen-pence. And to make her barley bread in the best manner,she mixed milk and water, or made use of all skim milk in the kneading of her barleydough, because the milk, she says, holds it better together than all water, makesthe bread whiter and eat sweeter. Barley meal, she says, requires the same quantityof salt, but rather more yeast than wheat-meal does. And as to the degree of heatthe water or milk should be in, the same will serve for barley meal as for wheat-meal;lukewarm in summer, and hotter in winter. But there is this nicety, she says, tobe observed in making bread of all barley meal; the dough of it must not be kneadedstiff, for if is, and put into the oven stiff, the loaf will crack, and be so hard,as hardly to be cut. The knowing housewives therefore work this barley-dough tillit is tender and soft, and then make it into loaves, which when baked about threehours, will come out in good order.--The use of barley-meal in making bread was verymuch in practice amongst the poor people in Hertfordshire and elsewhere, inthe great frost of 1740, which began about Christmas-Day, and held near aquarter of a year, which so cut off the wheat in the field, that the last year'swheat sold for seven or eight shillings a bushel, which necessitated many to makeuse of barley-meal, not only for bread, but in several other shapes, as I shall givean account of in the following manner, viz.
Bread said to be made in Fingal in Ireland.--Itis reported that they here grind wheat, rye, and pease, to make their bread of, orbeans instead of pease, saying, barley-bread slips through them too soon.
N.B. In my next and second book, I shall give myreaders an account, how to make a loaf of bread with barley-meal and another ingredient,that has deceived persons who thought themselves good judges of bread, and made themthink it really wheaten bread, tho' there was no wheaten flower amongst it, and yetit eats better than a loaf made with all wheaten coarse flower. It is a very valuablereceipt, that has escaped the notice of all authors.
Of the several Uses of Barley-Meal,and Fat, in making Pye-Crust, Pancakes, Puddings, &c.
A VERYcheap Way to save Butter or Fat in making Pye-Crust, with a Mixture of Barley andWheat Meal.--The flower or meal of barley and wheat made use of in equal quantities,makes good pye-crust, thus;--Warm skim milk, and mix a little yeast with it, justenough to enliven it, then work this into the two meals, for making it into a standingpaste for any sort of pye, and it will keep the crust a little hollow and from burning,make it appear whitish, and eat short and sweet, somewhat like a common wig, to thesaving of butter or fat; but if sugar was added to the paste, it would then eat likea wig. And although crust is made in this cheap manner, some think it better thanif made with all wheat meal, because this would eat dryer and harder. This cheapway has escaped the knowledge of all authors before me.
Mary Weeden, a poor Woman, her Way to make Fat gothe farthest in making Paste of Barley-Meal for Pyes or Pasties.--The floweror meal of barley always requires a little fat to be mixed with it, because it istoo harsh and short of itself with only water, to make crust for apple or other pyesor pasties. A poor woman that uses to make apple or other pyes with barley-meal,for her family, refuses to melt her fat over the fire in water as the usual way is,but mixes her hogslard or butter with the meal, by putting bits of it in severalparts of the whole; then she pours her hot water over the same, which melts and dispersesthe lard or butter throughout the barley flower, by the time it is thoroughly kneadedtogether; but observe, that this woman's way is not to be practised when the fatis in a hard body, as dripping-fat and suet commonly is; for in this case such hardfat must be melted in water over a fire, till both are boiling hot. And though Ihave mentioned this poor woman's method of mixing soft fat cold, in bits with thebarley-meal, it is out of the common practice; and she only does it because she thinksthis way prevents the waste of her fat better than if she melted it in water overa fire. And in thus preparing her barley-meal paste, for apple or other pyes or pasties,her allowance is, a quarter of a pound of lard, or other soft fat, to half a peckof barley-meal.
The cheapest Way of all others to save the Expenceof Fat in making of Pye or Pasty Crust for a Poor Man's Family.--This is a mostsave-all way, and what some poor people are glad to make use of to hitch out thepenny, when they cannot afford to buy fat; then it is that they boil skim milk, andwhile it is boiling hot, they mix wheat flower with it, by stirring in a spoonfulat a time, till it is brought into a stiffish consistence, and cool enough to workinto dough or paste, chiefly for making a crust for turnover, or flap-apple, or meatpatties; and if the flower is good, and the management accordingly, it will makea short, white, and sweet sort, even as good as if only a very little fat was meltedin water and mixed with flower.
A Barley-Meal boiled Pudding, as made by the CountryHousewife of a poor Family.--She stirs the meal with water, a little salt, anda little yeast, and when well mixed, she puts it into a pudding-bag and boils it;when enough, she cuts it into thin slices in a platter, and directly puts betweenthe slices, hogslard sprinkled with a little salt, or melted dripping without salt,and it will eat puffy and palatable, and give a dinner to a poor family, withoutany thing else. But where milk can be afforded instead of water, it will make thebarley-meal pudding so much the better.
A Barley-Meal baked Pudding as made by the CountryHousewife, a Farmer's Wife.--This pudding is made with such cheap, wholesome,and palatable ingredients, that it may justly be called a right country housewife'spudding, as being composed with those things that stand the yeoman or farmer in butlittle, because they are commonly ready provided in the house, and of his own produce.Our housewife, in doing this, stirs her barley-meal with water, a little pepper,salt, and apples, cut small; these being well mixed, she puts it into a pudding-pan,with a piece of pickled pork in the middle of it, and when baked, it will prove anagreeable nourishing dinner to her family.
Barley-Meal palatable Pancakes; how to make themfor a Yeoman's, a Farmer's, or poor Man's family.--Cut apples very small, andstir them into the barley-meal with some milk and salt, and a little powder'd ginger,for the ginger hollows the pancakes, gives them a good relish, and warms the stomach.Then fry this mixture into pancakes with pot-fat, lard, or dripping-fat, and withoutany sauce they will eat hollow and palatable. By all these ways of using barley-meal,a poor man is not obliged to lay out his money in wheaten flower, or wheaten bread,and yet by these good managements his family may enjoy a hot bellyful of wholesomefood, prevent his having a score to pay off on a Saturday night, and givehim a shilling in his pocket, which for want of such frugal housewifery he wouldbe obliged to lay out; for according to the old proverb, A penny saved is a pennygot.
The several Ways of preparing Barley-Meal, for subsistinga poor Man's Family in the hard Frost of 1740.--In this frost a peck of finebarley-meal was sold at our country shops for one shilling, because wheat-meal wasas dear again. This necessitated some poor men's wives to make it go as far as possible,and to this end one of them made no bread of it, but only mixed water with some ofthe barley-meal, and kneaded it into paste or dough for making cakes with the same;this being done, she broiled these cakes on a gridiron, and they served her familyinstead of bread.--At other times she made her barley-meal into hasty-pudding, andnow and then made it into a boiled pudding, saying, that her family had rather eatbarley-meal under these preparations, than the coarse wheaten bread of the shops.And this woman told me, that her husband grew fat chiefly by this barley-meal food(for her husband is one of my day-labourers) and further, that most of the poor men'sfamilies in her neighbourhood made use of barley-meal for the greatest part of theirsubsistence.
Barley-Meal Bread with Turneps, Rye, &c.--In the great frost of 1740, some of our poor boiled turnips to a mash, and put themand their liquor into a bushel of barley-meal, and then made it into dough, and madeone loaf more than if there had been no turnips used; but the bread eat sweetishand disagreeable.--Barley-meal and rye-flower make good bread, because the rye ismoist, and the barley dry and short.--Half a peck of rye-flower and a peck of wheat-mealmakes good bread; or half one and half the other.--In the great frost of 1709, barley-mealwas sold for 8s. per bushel.
Pancakes and Fritters made with Wheat-Flower, their several Waysof Preparation, and their Uses in Farmers, Yeomens, or Gentlemens Families, in Harvest,and at other Times of the Year.
How commodiously Pancakes answer the Farmers, the Yeomens, andGentlemens Interest.
PAncakes are one of the cheapest and more serviceable dishes ofa farmer's family in particular; because all the ingredients of the common ones areof his own produce, are ready at hand upon all occasions, saves firing, are sooncook'd, are conveniently portable, and supply both meat and bread; insomuch thatin harvest, and at other times, they become a pleasant part of a family subsistence,to the saving of much expence and trouble in a year, by causing the less consumptionof fleshmeat, &c. This piece of frugal úconomy likewise affects the yeoman'sand gentleman's family; for altho' the master and mistress of these can afford toeat better than the plain sort of pancakes, yet their servants may be often suppliedwith them as a changeable, light, and pleasant diet, for either breakfast, dinner,or supper. And that a proper sort may be made for both masters and servants uses,I shall be the more particular in giving various receipts for the same as followeth,viz.
The Hertfordshire plain cheap Pancakes forFarmers Families, &c.--Are made with wheaten flower, milk, eggs, and powder'dginger. To a pottle of wheat-flower they put two quarts of new milk, four eggs, andsome powdered ginger; these they stir together into a batter consistence, and frythem in hogslard; when one side of the pancake is fried enough, our housewife, orher maid-servant, turns it in a clever manner, by giving it only a toss with thefrying-pan, and when this is dexterously done, it is the best way of turning them.Thus she goes on frying pancake after pancake, and as she lays them one upon another,in a platter or dish, she sprinkles some coarse sugar for their sauce; but takeswhat care she can that the family eats them hot, for the hotter they eat them, theless danger there is of rising in their stomachs, if the lard should be rankish.But whether they eat them cold or hot, if the ingredients are fresh and good, theyare agreeable victuals; and though I mention sprinkling of sugar over the pancakesafter they are fry'd, as sauce to them, yet some think it the better way to mix sugarin the batter, for mixing it the more regular to the taste.
How a Woman made three Pancakes that dined herselfand three Men.--This housewifely woman, that lives in our neighbourhood, madeher batter for her pancakes thus: In the first place, she pared, cored, and chop'dher apples very small, then prepared her batter with wheat-meal, four eggs, milk,and powder'd ginger; these being all mixed, she put some of the batter into a largefrying-pan, with a good quantity of hogslard, and though she laid her batter in thinnish,the pancake came out thick, because all the several ingredients contributed to it.And when she had fry'd three of these pancakes, herself and three men eat them withoutany sauce, saying, They had a dinner to their satisfaction.
How Small-Beer or Ale Pancakes are made.--Theseare sometimes made, not only by the poorer sort of people, but also by farmers andyeomens wives, when milk cannot easily be had; for although most farmers and yeomenkeep cows, they are not always in milk, as being in calf, or that they go, what wein Hertfordshire call, guess or dry: In this case milk may be supplied bythe use of small-beer, or better with ale; but whenever either of these are wanted,it should be of the mildest newest sort, and free from the bitter taste of hops.Then mix this liquor with wheat-flower, a few beaten eggs, sugar, and ginger, andfry it into pancakes with lard or other fat. I must own, that a pancake made withmalt liquor is not so palatable as one made with milk; but where the bellyful ismostly consulted, it will do well enough. And here I take the opportunity to observe,that all authors whatsoever, in their writings on country housewifery, have in nolittle degree been wanting to answer one main end of their title-page. For as I takeit, the chief art of good housewifery lies in bringing much into a little compass;or for explaining this better, to make a little cost answer the end of a great expence;which to do, I shall make it my endeavour in the greater part of this work to shewin the cheapest, plainest, and most practical manner. And that the more curious andabler persons may have their choice, I shall add how the richer and more palatablesorts of things may be made to their satisfaction.
How Water Pancakes are made by poor People.--Thispancake is made by many poor, day-labouring mens wives, who when they cannot affordto make better, make this; by stirring wheat flower with water instead of milk, forif they can get milk, they generally think it put to a better use when they makemilk porridge of it for their family. The flower and water being stirred into a batterconsistence, with a sprinkling of salt and powder'd ginger, they fry the pancakesin lard, or other fat, and without any sugar they and their family make a good mealof them.
How Pancakes are made for rich People.--Richpancakes are made by some to eat as the finishing part of a dinner; to make such,they melt three quarters of a pound of butter with a pint or more of cream; whenthis is done, stir into it as much flower as will make a common batter for thickness;fry with butter or lard, and turn each pancake on the back of a pewter plate; strewfine sugar over them, and they'll be rich pancakes indeed: But for a farther choiceof rich pancakes, I shall add the receipts of several authors.--One author by anold receipt directs, that to make good pancakes, three eggs should be beat till theyare very thin; this done, beat them up again with an addition of water, powder'dcloves, mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little salt, next thicken them with fine flower,and fry them with lard or sweet butter into a thin substance till they are brown,then strew some white sugar over them, and they are ready for eating. Upon whichthis ancient author remarks and says, there be some, who in pancakes mix new milkor cream; this, says he, makes them tough, cloying, and not crisp, nor so pleasantand savoury as clear water makes them.--Another author says, make use of eight eggsto a pottle of flower, powder'd ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and some salt: Make,says he, these into thin batter with milk, and beat the whole well together withhalf a pint of sack; then put the pan on the fire with a little butter or other fat,and when hot, rub it with a cloth; the pan being thus cleaned, put in a sufficientquantity of fat to melt, and your batter on that, very thinly spread, which in fryingmust be supplied with little bits of butter, lard, or suet; toss the pancake to turnit, and fry it crisp and brown.--Says another author, for making pancakes in thethinnest manner, mix eight eggs with a quart of cream, six spoonfuls of flower, sixof sack, one of rose-water, a pound of butter, and two grated nutmegs; the buttermust be melted with the cream, and the whole mixed together into a batter. Observealso to butter the fryingpan for the first pancake, but not afterwards, and spreadthe batter as thin as possible each time you fry. This pancake, says he, being sovery thin, needs no turning, for if one side of it is brown, it is enough, and thisquantity of batter will make above thirty pancakes; and as they are fry'd, strewfine sugar over each pancake and lay one upon another for eating; or (says he further)if you think fit, you may beat up the eggs with a pint or a quart of water insteadof cream, which when mixed with the other ingredients, will make good thin pancakes;but you must take care you do not burn them in frying. Also, that if you make thissort of batter early in a morning, to stand till dinner time, it will make the betterpancakes.
Apple Pancakes for Gentry.--For this, afteryou have pared your apples, cut them in round slices, first taking out the core part;these fry in fresh butter; next beat up twelve or sixteen eggs in milk, or betterin a quart of cream, which mix with ginger and nutmeg powder'd each two drams, powder'dsugar six ounces; then pour this batter on the fry'd apples, and fry altogether:Sprinkle with sugar, and they'll be good eating. Others mince the apples, and thenmix them with batter.
A quick and plain Way to make Apple Fritters.--InHertfordshire, to make these, we cut large apples in thin slices, and onlydip them in batter, and fry them in lard or dripping.
A quick and plain Way to make pickled Pork Pancakes.--Todo this, we make no more to do in Hertfordshire, than to cut thin slices ofpickled pork, and dipping them all over in batter, we put them among batter in thefryingpan, and fry them in large pancakes.
The Dugdale Flower Pancake.--This is a wheatenpancake, because it is made with wheat-flower, tho' with one of the coarsest of Englishwheat. Yet it is well known to many yeomen and farmers, who sow this Dugdale or Rivet-Wheat,that if the flower of it is sifted fine, it makes the best of pancakes, because itsflower or meal is of a sweet short nature.
To make fine Pancakes fry'd without Butter or Lard,according to an old but good Receipt.--Take a pint of cream and six eggs, beatthem very well together, put in a quarter of a pound of sugar, and one nutmeg, andas much flower as will thicken it like ordinary pancake batter. Your pan must beheated reasonably hot, and wiped with a clear cloth. This done, put in your batteras thick or thin as you please.
To make Rice Pancakes.--The same author says,boil a pound of rice in three quarts of water till it is very tender, then let itstand covered in a pot a while, and it will become a sort of jelly; next scald aquart of milk and put it scalding hot to the rice jelly, when this is done, mix 20eggs, well beaten, with three quarters of a pound of butter first melted over a fire,and stir all these together with salt, and as much flower as will hold them fryingin butter. This mixture is best done over night.
The Hertfordshire Bacon Pancake, or whatsome call Bacon-Fraise, for Plowmen and others.--Cut the best part of bacon intothin pieces, about two inches square, then with milk, flower, and eggs make a batter;when the eggs are well beaten, mix all of them together, and then put into your fryingpanhogslard or good dripping, which when thoroughly hot, lay in your bacon batter accordingto discretion, and as the pancake fries, cast some of the fat on it;--when it isenough on one side, turn it. This pancake needs no spice nor sugar, and serves wellto fill our plowmens and others bellies instead of intire flesh.
The Hertfordshire Apple Fritter.--Beatthe yolks of four eggs and the whites of two well together, which mix with a pintof milk, seven spoonfuls of flower, a quartern of brandy, some grated nutmeg, ginger,and salt; next slice some apples very thin, dip each of them in your batter, andfry them in lard over a quick fire. Or you may mince the apples.
The Hertfordshire plain Fritter.--Tomake these, our housewife makes use of six eggs well beaten, and mix'd with two quartsof milk, a quart of flower, and good store of powder'd ginger, because ginger makesthe fritters hollow and hot. She also mixes some coarse sugar with her batter, bywhich there needs little or no sugar afterwards to eat them with. Batter fries hollowerin fritters than in pancakes; but then it employs more time and fat in dressing them.
To make a better Sort of Fritter.--Mix creamand flower with six yolks of eggs and two whites, six spoonfuls of sack, cinnamon,nutmeg and ginger powder'd, and a little salt. Beat these an hour together into abatter, and put your quantity of it into lard at discretion for frying it in fritters.--Someto make richer fritters still, grate Naples biskets in cream, and mixing thiswith some white wine, eggs, sugar, and spices, form a batter for frying it in lard.--Othersbeat eight yolks with four whites of eggs and a pint of cream, then stir in somepowdered spices, two spoonfuls of ale-yeast, and a little salt with some wheat-flower;and set it all, so mixed, within the reach of the fire, to rise and swell; when itdoes, add four or five spoonfuls of sack, and beat all once or twice again. Thusthe batter is made; into which put thin slices of apples, and lade what quantityof it you think fit into boiling lard, for frying it into fritters.--Others firstmake a hasty-pudding, and when coolish, beat it in a mortar with eggs, salt,and sugar, till it becomes a batter, and so dropt into lard and fry'd.
Potatoe Fritters.--Mix potatoe pulp withmilk, shred suet, currants, salt, and Jamaica spice, and fry it in fritters.--Oryou may mix minced apples with the pulp of potatoes or parsnips, and milk, Jamaicapepper, and a little sack for fritters, and eat them with the sauce of lemon juiceand butter.
Of making Puddings with Wheat-Flower, in Harvest, and at otherTimes in the Year.
T HEHertfordshire Way of making Plumb-Pudding in Harvest Time.--Pudding isso necessary a part of an Englishman's food, that it and beef are accountedthe victuals they most love. Pudding is so natural to our harvest-men, that withoutit they think they cannot make an agreeable dinner. Therefore in Hertfordshireour rule is, to make plumb-pudding during wheat harvest, which generally lasts afortnight; and plain-pudding during the rest of the time. Now to make a plumb-puddingof the better sort for six harvest-mens dinners, our housewife makes use of a pottleof flower, a quart of skim or new milk, three eggs, half or three quarters of a poundof raisins, and half a pound of chopt suet. This being stirred and well mixed together,with a little salt, is to be tied up in a linen cloth or bag; but not too tight,that it may have room to swell. Boil it three or (better) four hours; and if theycannot dine on this with good boiled beef, or with pork, or with bacon and roots,or herbs, they deserve to want a dinner.
A second Receit to make a cheaper Plumb-Puddingis this.--With a pottle of flower mix some plumbs, suet, skim milk, coarse sugar,and a little salt, and boil all in a pudding. The sugar will supply the eggs, foreggs in harvest time are not so plenty as in the former part of summer, because thehens now generally begin their moulting. But to make richer puddings at other times,do as follows.
A Pudding to bake or boil.--Mix a quart of newmilk with half a pound of currants, and half a pound of raisins, a pound of chop'dsuet, five eggs, some nutmeg and salt: These stir with flower till it is of a thickpudding consistence, and either bake or boil it.
A second Pudding to bake or boil.--Is to shreda pound of raisins and a pound of suet together; to this put a few spoonfuls of flower,and five or six eggs beaten up with some sugar, salt, cloves, and mace in powder:Bake this, or boil it four or five hours.
A Pudding in haste.--This I was informed ofby a woman in our neighbourhood, who having formerly been in service at London,was ordered by her mistress to make a pudding in haste. Upon this she asked whereshe should get milk, as thinking to make a hasty-pudding; but she was answered, therewas no occasion for milk, and bid to fetch half a pound of rice and a quarter ofa pound of currants, which when picked and washed was bound up in a cloth mixed,and just boiled; for it is enough if boiled a few wallops.
Hasty-pudding, by Mr. Houghton--He says, tomake a substantial hasty-pudding, take a quart of milk, the grated crums of a pennyloaf, and boil them together; then sift over it half a pound of flower, first driedbefore the fire, with a little salt; stir also into it some butter, and a quarterof a pound of currants.
The common Farmers Hasty-pudding.--For this,they make use of new or skim milk, or milk and water. A pint of flower will requiretwo quarts of milk. Boil the milk first, then take a pint of cold milk, and mix alittle hot milk with it till it is blood warm; then mix the rest of the boiled milkand the flower'd milk together off the fire, and when so mixed, stir the whole overthe fire, while it boils a quarter of an hour; then take it off, and add butter,or sugar, or both.
A poor Woman's Pudding for her Family.--Twowomen, that lived in a house near me, made each of them a pudding. One put two eggsamong other things into hers; the other made her pudding without any eggs, usingonly hot water wherein some bacon and turnips had been boiled, with a little saltand flower; and yet the latter proved to be the best pudding, as it was full of littleholes, light, and better than the former; so great a difference there is in goodhousewifery and management!
A rich baked Pudding.--Take a penny loaf andslice it into a quart of cream with a little rose-water, then break it small; next,take three ounces of almonds blanched, and beaten small with a little sugar, putin seven eggs beaten, some marrow, and two pippins sliced thin; mingle these alltogether, and bake the pudding.
A boiled Plain-pudding.--Take a pint of newmilk, or better so much cream, and mix five beaten eggs with it, three spoonfulsof wheat flower, sugar, salt, and nutmeg, a little of each; tie this mixture up ina cloth first butter'd, and put it into a pot of water as it boils, and in abouthalf an hour's time it will be enough. The sauce, melted butter alone, or mixt withsugar.
Rabisha's baked Hasty-pudding.--Set on threepints of cream, the crumb of two penny French loaves sliced and minced, put to thisa grated nutmeg, a few cloves, mace, cinnamon, and ginger beaten; add thereto halfa handful of flower, mingle it together, and stir it into your milk; when it boils,throw in a piece of butter; then having four or five eggs beaten, with the whitesof half cast away, put them also into your pudding, with a handful of sugar, anda little rose-water; stir them together again, till they begin to boil and thicken,then pour it into the dish it is to be eaten out of, set it on a heap of coals, makea fire-shovel red hot, and hold it close over your pudding till it is brown on thetop, then scrape loaf-sugar over it, and send it up.
Rabisha's baked Rice-pudding.--Take three pintsof milk, and a handful of rice beaten to powder; boil it, and keep it stirring tillit is thick, which will be in a quarter of an hour, with a piece of butter and cinnamon,and mace in it, then put it into an earthen-pan and let it be cold; next add to ittwo handfuls of currants, some sugar, a little salt, and six eggs, leaving out threeof their whites; beat the whole together, and after you have butter'd the bottomof your dish, lay your pudding into it, and garnish the brims of it with a paste;when baked, scrape on some sugar, and 'tis done.--Or, boil rice till it is full tender,and mix eggs, a little salt and nutmeg with it; this lay on a thin paste in a dishwith bits of butter, and bake.
A plainer Way to make a baked Rice-pudding.--Boilhalf a pound of powder'd rice in three pints of milk well, then take it off, andwhen almost cold beat up six eggs, and add these with half a pound of chopt suetor butter and a grated nutmeg, and bake it half an hour.--Or if you think fit youmay put some fine puff-paste at the bottom of the dish.
A Buckinghamshire Farmer's Way to victualhis Family with Pudding, &c.--This farmer rented a farm of eight score poundsa year, consisting of arable and meadow ground, kept eight horses, twelve cows, twotaskers, two plowmen, a shepherd, and horse-keeper, besides several day-labourers;and as his family were but eight in number (for the farmer was a widower) his maidservant made every day one or two boiled puddings, which, with a piece of bacon,was the chiefest of their food all the year; for I do not remember I ever saw themdine on any thing else, except now and then a calf's pluck that the farmer boughtat Leighton market in Bedfordshire. Now you must know, that as eggsand butter helped to pay his rent, he would seldom allow an egg to be put into thepudding, but obliged the maid to make it of a quart of skim milk and about a pottleof wheat flower, a little salt, and powder of ginger; which she stirred into theconsistence of a hasty-pudding, and commonly boiled it in two bags, which she firstflower'd to prevent their sticking; when they were boiled enough, they cut the puddingin slices, and poured melted butter on it or sugar'd milk.
This Author's Servant-Maid's Way to make a Boiled-pudding.--Itis also my way to have a plain pudding made most days in the year; and for doingit, my servant-maid mixes a pint of new milk with a quart of flower, one egg, a littlesalt, and powder of ginger. This, when she has flower'd her pudding-bag, she putsinto it, and boils it an hour and a half, or two hours, against my plowman and boycome from plow; and when it is taken up, she for sauce mixes some sugar and milktogether. And I assure my reader, that with such a pudding and a piece of pickledpork boiled, my family makes a dinner to their satisfaction; for where they eat onepound of bacon, they eat more than fifty of pickled pork, for reasons I shall hereafterassign.--Or to make a boiled pudding better than this, you may mix grated bread andminced suet together in equal quantities; upon which pour scalded milk, and let alllie under a cover about twenty minutes, then add a spoonful of sugar, ginger, nutmeg,and a little flower, and boil it in a pudding-bag an hour and a half, or two hours.
Bread-pudding.--Take the crumb of the whitestbread, and cut it in thin slices, to the quantity of about half a pound, or grateit; then boil a pint of milk, and put it boiling hot on the bread, grate half a nutmeginto it, and when cold add three beaten eggs and a little sugar; stir all well together,with a handful of fine flower to hold it together, and boil it half or three quartersof an hour; for sauce melt butter, or mix butter and sugar together.
Apple-pudding, the Hertfordshire Way.--Thissort of pudding I have frequently made in my family, because in some years I havegreat quantities of apples, which more than ordinary pleases my people. To make it,my servant-maid boils a pint of milk with a quarter of a pound of lard or dripping,then mixes it with as much flower as will make it into a dough or paste, rolls it,and when the paste is cool and stiff enough, she puts on it sliced or minced apples,which she incloses in the paste; then puts it into a cloth, ties it up, and boilsit two hours and a half at least; our sauce is melted butter with sugar, or sugarand milk.--But to make a richer apple-pudding, you may scald your apples and pulpthem through a cullender; then mix them with cream, bisket, and eggs, a little nutmegand sugar, which bake in a dish, with a sheet of puff-paste.
Potatoe-pudding.--This is a most serviceableand most wholesome root, because it is of a nourishing satiating nature, and admitsof being eaten in several shapes; as with bacon, pickled pork, salt beef, mutton,salt fish; in pyes, in puddings, with butter, or with milk, &c. &c.And as they are easily propagated, no farmer, labourer, yeoman, nor gentleman, shouldbe without them, as they value their pockets; for potatoes with good management maybe kept all the year, so that where there is ground enough to plant them on, thereneed be no want of this profitable vegetable to save expence, and this by many waysof using them. Here indeed I shall only shew their service in a pudding; but moreby and bye. Boil, peel, and mash the potatoes; this done, mix two pounds of the pulpwith half a pound of butter, four eggs, pepper, salt, and ginger, and when they areall beaten together into the consistence of a pudding, it may be either boiled orbaked; when enough, eat it with melted butter.--Or, you may mix with potatoe-pulp,scraped carrot, sugar, butter, nutmeg, salt and eggs, which put in a dish with pasteround it, and bake it half an hour in a quick oven.--Or, if you have a mind to makea potatoe-pudding richer, mix minced apples with potatoe-pulp, cream, fine sugar,powder'd cinnamon and cloves, and being beaten all together into a pudding consistence,put it in paste and bake it in a dish.--Or, buttered eggs may be mixed with potatoe-pulpand other ingredients for a baked pudding.--Or, thin little slices of pickled porkor bacon may be baked with potatoe-pulp for a pudding, with some other ingredientsas abovesaid.--Or, a potatoe-pudding may be made with their pulp, whole oatmeal,currants, salt and pepper, and butter, baked in a dish or earthen-pan; for sauce,melted butter or cream, with slices of lemon, &c.
To make a Black-cherry-pudding.--Beat an egg,and put it into a pint of milk; then mix about a quart of flower, and a pound ofblack Kerroon cherries, with the milk and egg; stir them together till it is of apappy consistence, for being put into a pudding-bag, first wetted or flower'd, andboil it about an hour or an hour and a half; for sauce melt butter and sugar, ormilk and sugar: If you have not Kerroon cherries, any other sort, if ripe and sweet,may do.--This pudding we commonly have made at times during the cherry season, andproves a pleasant eating to my family.--Which puts me in mind of what one of ourcountry wenches said to her London mistress: Madam, says she, pray let ushave a black-cherry-pudding for dinner. A black-cherry-pudding! I never heard ofsuch a thing in my life! that must be physick. No, Madam, says the girl, we haveit often in the country, and it is a very good pudding indeed.
A Flower-pudding for a Farmer's Family to boil.--Apottle of flower will make two good bag-puddings, or they may be tied up in a cloth;and to make them they commonly take skim milk, which is near as good as new milkfor stirring of puddings; to this pottle of flower three eggs are sufficient to beatand mix with the rest; when they are boiled enough, instead of melted butter, somefarmers wives melt hogs-lard and lade it over the pudding for sauce, with a littlesalt strewed over it; or, instead of lard, they melt some sweet pot-fat-dripping.This sort of fat is preferred by some to butter, as being cheaper, heartier, andmore ready at hand, when butter cannot be had.
A Flower-pudding to bake.--Boil a pint or aquart of milk, and thicken it with flower; if you make use of a quart of milk, thereshould be half a pound of butter, four ounces of sugar, eight eggs, a little salt,and a grated nutmeg mixed; this put into a butter'd dish, may be baked in an hour'stime.
Of Apple-Pyes, and Apple-Pasties,for Harvest and other Times.
APPLE pyes and pasties are a main part of a prudent, frugal farmer'sfamily-food, because the meal and apples that make them are commonly the produceof his land, and are ready at all times to be made use of in pyes or pasties, forgiving his family an agreeable palatable repast; a covered or turn-over pasty forthe field, and the round pye for the house; the first being of a make and size thatbetter suits the hand and pocket than the round pye, and therefore are more commonlymade in farmers families; for one, or a piece of one, being carried in the plowman'sand plowboy's pocket, sustains their hunger till they come home to dinner, and oftentimespleases them beyond some sort of more costly eatables; nor is it less wholesome thanpleasant, for that the ingredients of the apple-pye are rather antidotes against,than promoters of the scurvy. In short, it is the apple pye and pasty, and applesmade use of in some other shapes (particularly the famous Parsnip apple) that I taketo be some of the cheapest and most agreeable food a farmer's family can make useof; but for displaying their value in a more elegant manner, I hope the followingpoem will not be unacceptable to my reader.
Of Apple-Pyes: A poem, by Mr. Welsted.
OF all the delicates which Britons try,
To please the palate, or delight the eye;
Of all the several kinds of sumptuous fare,
There's none that can with apple-pye compare,
For costly flavour, or substantial paste,
For outward beauty, or for inward taste.
When first this infant dish in fashion came,
Th' ingredients were but coarse, and rude the frame;
As yet, unpolish'd in the modern arts,
Our fathers eat brown bread instead of tarts:
Pyes were but indigested lumps of dough,
'Till time and just expence improv'd them so.
King Coll (as ancient annals tell)
Renown'd for fiddling and for eating well,
Pippins in homely cakes with honey stew'd,
Just as he bak'd (the proverb says) he brew'd.
Their greater art succeeding princes shew'd,
And model'd paste into a nearer mode;
Invention now grew lively, palate nice,
And sugar pointed out the way to spice.
But here for ages unimprov'd we stood,
And apple-pyes were still but homely food;
When god-like Edgar, of the Saxon line,
Polite of taste, and studious to refine,
In the dessert perfuming quinces cast,
And perfected with cream the rich repast:
Hence we proceed the outward parts to trim,
with crinkumcranks adorn the polish'd rim,
And each fresh pye the pleas'd spectator greets
With virgin fancies and with new conceits.
Dear Nelly, learn with care the pastry art,
And mind the easy precepts I impart;
Draw out your dough elaborately thin,
And cease not to fatigue your rolling-pin:
Of eggs and butter, see you mix enough;
For then the paste will swell into a puff,
Which will in crumbling sound your praise report,
And eat, as housewives speak, exceeding short:
Rang'd in thick order let your quincies lie;
They give a charming relish to the pye:
If you are wise, you'll not brown sugar slight,
The browner (if I form my judgment right)
A tincture of a bright vermil' will shed
And stain the pippin, like the quince, with red.
When this is done, there will be wanting still
The just reserve of cloves, and candy'd peel;
Nor can I blame you, if a drop you take
Of orange water, for perfuming sake;
But here the nicety of art is such,
There must not be too little, nor too much;
If with discretion you these costs employ,
They quicken appetite, if not they cloy.
Next in your mind this maxim firmly root,
Never o'er-charge your pye with costly fruit:
Oft let your bodkin thro' the lid be sent,
To give the kind imprison'd treasure vent;
Lest the fermenting liquors, mounting high
Within their brittle bounds, disdain to lie;
Insensibly by constant fretting waste,
And over-run the tenement of paste.
To chuse your baker, think and think again,
You'll scarce one honest baker find in ten:
Adust and bruis'd, I've often seen a pye
In rich disguise and costly ruin lie;
While the rent crust beheld its form o'erthrown,
Th' exhausted apples griev'd their moisture flown,
And syrup from their sides run trickling down.
O be not, be not tempted, lovely Nell,
While the hot piping odours strongly swell,
While the delicious fume creates a gust,
To lick th' o'erflowing juice, or bite the crust:
You'll rather stay (if my advice may rule)
Until the hot is temper'd by the cool;
Oh! first infuse the luscious store of cream,
And change the purple to a silver stream;
That smooth balsamick viand first produce,
To give a softness to the tarter juice.
A Character of the famous Parsnip Apple, and itsUses.--From whence this apple is so called, I cannot tell; but this I know, thatit is the very best of apples for pyes, pasties, and puddings in harvest time, andfor eating (baked or raw) single as they are; they are always the first apples thatare ripe with us, for they commonly begin to drop from the tree about the middleof August, some of them weighing four ounces apiece; and I think I can affirmit for truth, that I have had above twenty bushels in one season off one tree only;part of which I made use of for present spending, part for cyder, and the rest Ihoarded, for these will keep till near Christmas. These apples are also ofthe greater value, for their agreeable quality of eating well in an apple pye orpasty without sugar; for when they are ripe, pared, and cored, my servant-maid bakesconsiderable numbers of two-corner'd pasties without any sugar, because they needno other sweetening than what a little water with their own juice affords; and yetin this manner of making them, our men commonly prefer eating such pasties alone,before bread and cheese: Hence it is that we say the Parsnip apple saves cheese.And for supper (in harvest time especially) these apples make almost a constant partof it, by being coddled or baked, till they are so tender, as to be easily mixedin messes of bread and milk. In short, the Parsnip apple is endowed with such excellentqualities, that they may truly be accounted a pleasant repast, from the lord's tothe peasant's table, in the shape of pyes, pasties, apple-puddings, apple-dumplings,or baked, or coddled singly. This apple tree is not to be had in any of the nurseriesnear London, as I have been informed, when I was amongst them, by some oftheir own nursery men; for it is only in growth at Gaddesden, and at somemiles round it. But as I keep only three sorts of nurseries always by me, one forthe black large Kerroon cherry-trees, one for the Parsnip apple-trees, and one forthe Bell-orange pear-trees, I am ready to furnish any gentleman with any of thesesorts for one shilling each tree at my house: And I further add, that as these apples,either eaten raw, or better under some preparations, serve in some degree for meatand drink, no gentleman, farmer, yeoman, or labourer, ought to be without one ormore of these trees, where they have ground convenient for planting them.--Next Ishall likewise give an account of the excellent quality of the Bell-orange pear,as follows, viz.
The Character of the famous Bell-orange Pear.--Thetree of this pear I am owner of, and is so large a one, that it has borne above twentybushels at once of pretty sizeable pears, which are always ripe in harvest; it isof an orange colour, grows in the shape of a bell, therefore is called the Bell-orangepear: And as it is thus early ripe, it gives our harvest-men a pleasure to eatthem raw for they have a delicate taste, but are most of all agreeable in pyes orpasties, because these pears in these shapes taste somewhat like sweetmeats; andto say no more than they deserve, a pye may be made of them fit for the table ofa potentate. I have made perry of these pears directly from the tree, and found itgood liquor, if drank in a little time, for it will not keep a great while; and ithas such a delicate smell, that if a person hold his nose over the bunghole, thescent is just like that of an orange. My maid bakes them loose in an earthen glazedpot, for being eaten with milk or with milk and bread. I have been in several ofthe nurseries about London, and inquired for the like fruit, but they ownthey have it not; nor do I know of any other tree of this sort in all our country,nor in all my several years travels: And the way I came by this was, by purchasingthe farm I now live in, and hold in my own hands, which has enabled me to raise anursery of these very sort of pear-trees, so that I am ready to furnish any gentlemanat the price of one shilling each, and send them to any part of England, Wales,Scotland, Ireland, or to any of our plantations abroad. And I furthersay, and aver it from the truth of experience, that the juice of the black Kerrooncherry (which may be conserved till this pear or Parsnip-apple is ripe) mixed withthat of the Parsnip-apple, or with the juice of this Orange-pear; will, with a littleassistance, make a tawny colour'd wine, little inferior in my opinion to some foreignwine.
The Character of the famous black Kerroon Cherry.--Thisfamous serviceable cherry is accounted the best of the black sort in England,for its firmness, delicious juice, and smallness of kernel: I believe I have abovefifty of these sort of improved cherry-trees growing in my plow and meadow felds,that seldom miss of producing great quantities of cherries, that we make use of inpuddings and in two-corner pasties; but we reckon they eat better in the pasty thanin a pye, because in cutting one of these through its middle, the liquor may be keptin to the last of its eating: Likewise, when this excellent black Kerroon cherryis eaten in a little time after gathering, the eater enjoys a most wholesome pleasantsort, that will bear a long carriage, and therefore are good market cherries.
The Farmer's Wife's plain Way of making or raisingPaste for Apple or Meat Pyes, Custards, or Pasties.--Her allowance is half ora whole pound of lard, or dripping-fat, or pork-fat, or any meat-fat is it is triedup, to half a peck of flower; which she boils in water, and as soon as it boils,she mixes it with the flower, and works it into as stiff a paste as possible; andwhen it is well kneaded, she wraps it up in a linen cloth, to keep warm for usingit in a requisite heat; for such pye-crust should be raised while the paste is warm,because it cools in making, and stiffens the better: With this, apple-pyes, meat-pyes,custards, and several other pasties are made both cheap and palatable, for farmersuses.--Or, if you will make the crust somewhat better, melt three pounds of freshbutter in boiling water, as soon as it boils take it off the fire, and mix all witha peck of flower, and work it into a paste, for apple-pye, meat-pye, or any otherthat requires a standing crust.--Or take it this way, melt two pounds of butter ina saucepan with water, when it is melted skim off the butter, and with some of thewater work it in the flower to a stiff paste; the flower should be half a peck; ifnot used quickly, wrap it in a cloth, and let it lay before the fire.
A Puff-paste.--Take one pound of fresh butter,and one pound of flower; mix two ounces of the butter and two eggs with the flower,and make it into paste with cold water; then work the other part of the pound ofbutter into a stiff paste, and with a rolling-pin roll it thin; when so done, putbits of butter here and there in most parts of it, roll it again, then double itup, and make each end meet, and roll it again, till all the butter is thoroughlywell incorporated. But to make this receit the plainer to my reader, observe whatRabisha says.--Take a pottle of flower and the whites of six eggs, make itinto a paste with cold water, let it not be very stiff; when it is well wrought,roll it forth foursquare like a sheet of paper as thick as your finger; then takethree pounds of butter, and beat it well with a rolling-pin, then lay it on in slicesall over your paste about as thick as your finger, and strew a little flower overit; then roll up your sheet of paste like a collar with the butter within, squeezeand roll it at both ends broad and long-ways; then clap up the ends, and make themmeet in the middle one over another, and fasten it down again with your rolling-pin,rolling it forth every way as thin as at first; then flower your board well underneath,and spread it over with butter, roll it up, and work it as before; thus do threeor four times, till your three pounds of butter is made use of. In the Summermake this paste in the morning with the stiffest butter you can get, and lay it ina cold place till you make use of it. In Winter you must beat your butterwell, otherwise it will be harder than your paste, and break holes through it.--Or,mix two pounds of flower with half a pound of butter, and the whites of three orfour eggs well beaten with cold water, and work into a paste; then roll it thin,and by degrees roll in one pound of butter more; roll it again and again, addingflower each time for five or six times, till this quantity or more butter is wellworked into the paste, for making a puff-paste for nice small pyes or tarts.-- Or,to make a good crust, you may use cold milk instead of cold water, with an additionof as much brandy as an egg-shell will hold, and fine sugar, with two pounds of butter,and three pounds of flower for pyes, tarts, &c. Thus having given my readeran account of making poor pastes and rich pastes, I proceed now to the making ofapple-pyes, pasties, &c.
How a Farmer disgraced himself by having Apple-pastiesmade at a dear Rate, and how he might have had them made cheaper and better.--Thisfarmer lives about three miles from Gaddesden, in a farm of about two hundredpounds a year rent; and being in low circumstances, endeavoured to save the pennyin several managements of his kitchen; amongst the rest, he had his apple-pastiesmade with wheat-meal in the following manner: His apples he caused to be chop'd smallwith their cores and stalks (as they were gathered from the tree) in a tray or woodenbowl unpared; this being done, he had his paste made with water, and chopt suet,or fat, in the usual way, which he bought at a dear rate, having no hogslard or otherfat of his own; and in this paste he wrapt up his chopt apples in form of pasties,and baked them to his disgrace, for he could hardly get a good servant to live withhim, and those that did, grumbled much, and worked the worser for it. Now had thisfarmer caused his crust to be made with a mixture of half wheat and half barley meal,and not have pared his apples, but quartered them, and threw away the stalks andcores, and made use of skim milk and yeast, instead of water and fat, as I have beforeobserved, he had pleased his servants better, and come cheaper and more creditablyoff; for the skim milk and yeast would have made the crust puffy and white, and eatwell without sugar, if the apples were of the right sort, and in right order.
How another Farmer has his Apple Pyes and Pastiesmade something better than the last Farmer.--A farmer near me has his apple-pastiesmade, by first paring the apples and taking away the stalks and tops of them, butchops the apples with all their cores very small, for by being so small chopt, theyfill the apple-crust or coffin in every part of it, better than if they were quartered,and the cores thereby less perceived in eating.
How a third Farmer has his Apple Pyes or Pastiesmade.--This farmer has his apples quartered, as thinking the fewer of them goesto fill a pye or pasty, and because the apples will bake redder than when chopt small.
This Author's Way of having his Apple Pyes or Pastiesmade.--Once every week or ten days, from August to all the time that myhoarded apples last, my servant-maid bakes apple pyes or pastries with her bread,but does not pare her apples, only cores them, takes away their stalks, and cutsthem in small bits with a knife; if the apples are not full ripe at using, or ifthey are of the sharp-tasted kind, as the Holland pippin, or the green Frenchpippin, and such like, she then puts a little sugar amongst them; but when she makesuse of the Parsnip apple, or the Gold-Rennet, or when she mixes the sweet appleswith a few sharp apples, she puts no sugar amongst them.--By what has been said,may appear the great conveniency of having the Parsnip apple-tree, and the Gold-Rennet-tree(which are constant bearers) together with the sweet-apple-tree growing on a farm;for by having these apple-trees at command, much sugar may be saved, and yet goodapple pyes and pasties may be made of them: It is my good fortune to have many apple-treesof various kinds growing in rows in my plowed felds and meadows, besides those inmy orchard, and wood of my own planting, which in some plentiful years return melarge quantities of apples for making cyder, and for kitchen uses. And here I amalso to observe, that I have several trees of the sweet apple the best sort of whichare of a pretty large size, and will keep to Lady-day or longer; which I findof great service in making apple pyes and pasties alone for servants, without anyother sort of apples or sweets. But if you are for finer sorts, scald apples tilltender; when you have so done, skin them, and beat them to a pulp; then beat someeggs, and mix the whole with grated bread, sugar, ginger and nutmeg, and some meltedbutter; butter your dish, and bake it in a moderate heated oven.--Or, pare pippins,quarter them, and near cover them with water; put two pounds of sugar to about apottle measure of pippins, and boil these all together on a gentle fire close covered,with some beaten dill-seed, cinnamon, orange-peel, and rose-water; when cold, makeit into pasties or tarts with a rich paste.
Of Victualling Harvest-men in Hertfordshire.
IN this county we hire harvest-men long before harvest, by wayof security, that we may not be at a loss for them when we most want them; and giveeach man thirty or six and thirty shillings for his month's service, besides victuallingand lodging them in the house all that time, for then they are ready early and lateto do our work. Now in victualling these men there are variety of ways practisedby country housewives; and she that can do it cheapest, and most satisfactory, isthe best housewife. To this purpose, I, and many other farmers, single out some ofour older ewes, that are what we call broken-mouth'd sheep (that is to say, suchwho by age have lost most of their teeth before) and timely put them into good grass,for their coming out fat time enough to kill in harvest. Or instead of ewes, otherskill a fat barrow-hog of twenty or thirty stone weight (one or more) the offald ofwhich we eat fresh, and the rest we salt down, as is my way every harvest. Othersthat occupy very large farms, and employ eight, twelve, or more harvest-men, havean old cow, or a small Welch runt fatted against this time. And if a farmercannot dispense with the whole himself, he lets a neighbour or two have the rest;and when his neighbours kill the like, they furnish the same to him. In any of thesecases we have the less meat to buy of the butcher, however, some beef we commonlytake of him every week during the harvest, and suet with each lot or parcel, formaking harvest-puddings; which is so necessary a part of our victuals, that the menthink they cannot make a good dinner without either a plain or plumb one; and itis this last sort that most of our farmers have during wheat harvest, and the formersort afterwards. These with several other preparations of food, with strong beerand ale, are what we victual our month or harvest men with. And if we cannot getour harvest in by that time, by reason of rainy weather, we keep them longer, someeven six weeks or two months, till our ricks and cocks of corn are all compleatedand thatched. In short, it is our notion in Hertfordshire, that that gentleman,yeoman, or farmer, manages best, who victuals his harvest-men with beef, bacon, orpickled pork, beans, pease, puddings, pyes, pasties, cheese, milk, with other culinarypreparations, and with well brew'd strong and small beer and ale; for such a oneranks the best chance of hiring the best hands, that will go on briskly with theirwork, and do a good deal of it in a day. Not that I write this as a general rule,for I know a certain farmer, that lives within three miles of me, who although heemploys six month-men, besides his own servants, has bought but six stone of beefin a harvest; because he supplied this meat with the flesh of fatted old sheep andswine, &c. I also am sensible, that much further north, bacon, pork, andpudding are almost the whole feed of their harvest-men, as believing a bellyful issufficient, and that the less variety of meats causes the men to eat the less, whichmay perhaps in these parts answer the end of preventing their buying beef, &c.But as such úconomy will not be agreeable to southern men, our housewife's art liesin furnishing variety of eatables, and yet to do it in the most frugal manner. Andthat it may be so done not only in harvest-time, but also at all other times throughoutthe year, is the main design of my writing this treatise of the Country Housewife.
To preserve Beef or Mutton Suet sound and sweetall the Harvest Season and longer.--This I take to be a very material articleand piece of good housewifery, as beef or mutton suet is extraordinarily necessaryto be kept in readiness, throughout the harvest time, for mixing it, to make plumband plain puddings, &c. and it is on this account that we southern farmershave always a parcel of beef suet weighed with every lot or parcel of beef we buyof the butcher, who by custom should allow a pound to every stone of eight pound.But for the best and most suet, some buy the surloin, that is weighed with the leg;or if we will pay a penny a pound extraordinary, we may have all the suet of a surloinalone. Now as such a quantity of suet cannot be made use of presently, it highlyconcerns a right country housewife to preserve it sound in the sweetest manner; whichthat she may effectually do, let her chop the suet as small as she can, and thensprinkle it with pepper and salt at discretion: This done, it must be potted downas close and as hard as she can well do it, and it will keep good not only the wholeharvest, but near a year together. Whereas if such chopt suet was not well seasonedwith pepper and salt, and laid loose or hollowish, it would surely stink in a littletime. Observe also, that suet so potted should have a close covering over it, andbe kept in some dry part of a house, for if it stands in too moist a place it willbe apt to mould and hoar.
The good Housewifery of a Farmer's Wife to furnishherself with a due Quantity of Suet against Harvest-Time.--In view of wantingsuet in harvest-time, this woman took care before-hand to provide for it; thereforeas often as she bought beef or a loin of mutton, she chopt the fat and potted itdown, with pepper and salt as aforesaid; knowing that in harvest-time, enough ofgood suet is difficult to be had, and because beef, mutton, and suet, sell cheaperbefore than in harvest; which the more encouraged her in time to provide this mostnecessary ingredient, which she kept thus managed in an earthen glazed pot, withonly a wooden loose cover over it, placed in a dry part of the house.
The best Way of salting Beef, to preserve it sweetand sound in Harvest, and at all other Times of the Year.--Beef in harvest-timeis mostly eaten fresh, as best agreeing with the farmers and workmens interest; forby boiling a piece fresh with bacon or pickled pork, the one pleasantly relishesthe other. And if the beef or mutton is lean, the fat bacon or pork helps it thebetter out; this is much observed by our country housewives, because it frequentlyfalls to the farmer's lot, to have lean pieces amongst the meat he buys. And whenthere is so much bought in at once as requires salting, some will directly salt itdown in a pot or tub. Others, who manage much better, will first sprinkle some saltover it, to extract and draw out the bloody juice (that it may take salt the freer,keep sweeter, safer, and longer, in the hot season of the year) and when it has laina few hours under such a sprinkling of salt, will then salt it down for good. Or,take it this way, which is still a more sure way of proceeding: After the beef hasbeen sprinkled with salt, and lain to drain out its bloody juice six or seven hours,wipe every piece dry, and rub them all over well with dry hot salt. This done, packthem close in a pot or tub one upon another.
The Benefits of getting Roots, Herbs and other culinaryVegetables against Harvest-Time.--In our Chiltern country of Hertfordshire,several of our prudent housewives foresee the great conveniency of having broad beans,pease, carrots, turnips, potatoes, cabbages, onions, parsley, and other kitchen ware,ready for use against a want of them in harvest-time; for that some of these notonly prove a sauce, but also help meat to go the further. And here I think it necessaryto inform our country housewife, that she ought to have a bed of grass-onions readyall the summer time for her pot uses, even 'till Allholland-Tide. Now whatI mean by grass-onions, are Welch onions; whose green large flaggy stalkswill endure cutting many times in a year, and will last ten or twenty or more years,provided the bed is dressed once in three years with soot, ashes, or malt-dust, andnot suffer'd to run to seed. This I yearly prove to my great conveniency, as beingthus furnish'd with early and late onion-stalks, when roots and stalks of othersare not easily had; and for having these onions, its seed may be had at any of theLondon seed-shops, by asking for a pennyworth or two of Welch onionseed: But I have further to inform my reader, that this is the seed which producesthe forward sort of young onions, which are drawn by May-Day to be eat withsallads; therefore this Welch onion seed may be sown for an early drawingof them, as well as for a durable crop to cut in flags. And as for broad beans, theyserve, in some measure, as a second sort of meat as well as sauce, and are so necessaryto a family in harvest-time, that that gentleman, yeoman, or farmer, who does notprovide a sufficient crop of them against such an occasion, is very much wantingto his own interest; for it is this most cheap and serviceable vegetable which allaysthirst, and so relishes fat bacon, or salt pork, that the men often eat it with agood stomach, to the saving of much expence in the consumption of beef and othermeat; it is easy of carriage to the field, will keep hot some time, and prove a verywholesome nourishing eatable. Pease also are valuable, as a change of satiating diet,and are cooling and pleasant to the taste. In the harvest of 1748, as well as informer harvests, I fed my harvest men almost every other day with bacon and beans,or pickled pork and beans. Carrots, turnips, cabbage, and potatoes, are also goodkitchen provision to be eaten with salt or fresh meat. Onions, sallary, leeks, parsley,thyme, and savory, are also necessary in harvest-time, because with these our countryhousewife cooks up her lean orts of beef, her pieces of bacon or pork, her offaldcold turnips, carrots, cabbage, or potatoes. And if the meat is a little tainted,yet by her skillful management in the use of some of these roots and herbs, she mayrecover such meat, by causing it to be hashed or minced according to the art of goodhousewifery.