Daily Archives: October 13, 2008

What’s Cooking This Week?

4-h-bread.jpgTwice-Baked Bread

Bread cut or torn into small pieces and heated in a very slow oven until thoroughly dried and very delicately browned is good food for children.

The warming oven of a coal stove is about hot enough for this purpose. In the case of gas ovens it is often difficult to get the gas low enough without having the door open a little way.

The advantage of tearing instead of cutting the bread is that it makes it lighter in texture and easier to eat. The crust can be torn off from all but the ends of the loaf in one piece. This crust should be torn into pieces about two inches wide. The inside of an ordinary loaf of bread will make about 16 pieces of convenient size. Tear first across the loaf and then tear each half into eight pieces. It is usually necessary to make a small cut first in order to start the tearing. It is well to keep the crust separate, as otherwise they are likely to get too brown. Such bread will need to be reheated before being served unless it is kept in a warm place, like a warming oven.

The above is a good way to use stale bread. Some people crush it and use it with milk as a breakfast food.

Farmers’ Bulletin 717, March 4, 1916 “Food for Young Children”

“Why did they use that?”

whiddyAs I wrote last weekend, in addition to being tasty treats, these recipes also act as a window into the homes of their time. They reflect the economic and political realities. These quotes come from bulletins in the late teens and discuss the need for food substitutions:

“As a nation we have depended largely on meat as a source of protein, i.e., tissue-building food. At the present time, however, meat is not only scarce but also needed by our soldiers and Allies. Eggs, which often take the place of meat, are high in price because of the expense of feed. It is therefore necessary for fish. Milk, cheese and tissue-building vegetables to figure prominently is our menus as a substitute for meat and eggs.”

Extension Bulletin 216, October 1, 1917 “Substitutes for Meat”

“These recipes call for less sugar, or shortening, or something other than white flour; hence the name “war cakes”, which makes one think of conservation and economy.

Extension Bulletin 242, November, 1917 “Baking Club Project-War Cakes”

“To conserve wheat is not a hardship to the American people. With abundant crops of corn, rice, potatoes, oats, barley, buckwheat, kafir, milo, feterita, peas, beans, peanuts, etc., any one of which may be used in larger or smaller amounts in place of wheat flour, there is no danger of hunger or lack of bread. Every housewife, therefore is urged to use some substitute for part of the wheat flour in whatever bread, biscuits, muffins, pastry, etc., she prepares thereby joining the ranks of those who are helping to win the war. Such bread will have even greater nutritive value than if made from flour alone. In fact, many believe that for food purposes a mixture of different grains is better than one kind alone. In using wheat substitutes, therefore, locally grown products should be used as much as possible. All unnecessary shipment of materials should be avoided, so that transportation facilities may be reserved to the greatest degree for the needs of our soldiers and essential war business. Furthermore, almost every section of our country produces in abundance some crop other than wheat, and to market this at home rather than at a distance would prove an economic benefit to such localities.”

Farmers Bulletin, March 1918, “Use of Wheat Flour Substitutes in Baking”