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article number 396
article date 11-18-2014
copyright 2014 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Bread, Biscuits, Hot Cakes, Recipes 1905
by Harland, Lincoln, Parloa & Murrey

From the 1905 book, New England Cookbook distributed “Compliments of Metropolitan Coal Company,” Boston.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many of the recipes given have been omitted to reduce the article size.


AN immense department is opened up by the title of this chapter; and it is a department of immense importance. Bread is confessedly the “staff of life,” and, therefore, it should be good. And whatever takes the place of bread, be it biscuits, hot cakes, muffins, or what not, should also be good, or nothing is gained by the exchange.

Many a housekeeper can make excellent pies, cakes, etc., but when bread is needed, she flies to the bakery, confessing her total inability to prepare this indispensable commodity.

But even bread may become distasteful as a steady diet. To vary it with the long line of splendid substitutes which are possible, and which are discussed in this chapter, is a most desirable ability.

This department, therefore, is worthy of every housewife’s devout study.



IN this chapter, yeast has been so often referred to that its special consideration seems important just here. Analytically considered, it consists of an innumerable quantity of infinitesimal fungi, called the yeast-plant.

The remarkable characteristic of these minute plants is, that under favoring conditions they multiply to an incredible extent in a very short time. Thus the production of yeast, in proper mixtures, is an easy matter.

When yeast is placed in dough, it immediately produces fermentation, in the process of which gases are generated, which permeate the dough, filling it with gas-vessels and so producing the spongy appearance so familiar in raised bread.

If this process goes too far, it sours the dough and unfits it for food. If arrested by placing the dough in a hot oven, the gases will be driven off by the heat, and the thin dough walls will be set and baked.

If the oven be slow, the gases will be driven off, the dough walls will collapse, and heavy bread will be the result.

The proper use of yeast is most important, therefore. It must be watched as carefully as any other tender plant. Excessive heat or cold, or rough mechanical usage will quickly destroy it.


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Patent Yeast.—Boil two ounces of hops in four quarts of water for a half hour. Strain and cool till lukewarm, then add a handful of salt, a half pound of sugar, and a pound of flour, all mixed well and beaten up together.

After it has stood forty-eight hours, add three pounds of potatoes, boiled and well-mashed. Let it stand twenty-four hours, stirring it often; then strain and bottle.

It is ready for immediate use, or will keep several months. Keep in a cool place.

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Yeast Cakes.—Thicken good yeast with Indian-meal till it becomes a stiff batter. A little rye will make it adhere better. Make into cakes an inch thick and two by three inches in area.

Dry them in the air, but not in the sun. Keep them in a bag in a cool, dry place.

One of these cakes is enough for four quarts of flour. To use them, soak in milk or water several hours and use as other yeast.




THREE things are essential to the making of good bread, namely:
- good flour,
- good yeast,
- and judicious baking.

A fourth might be added, experience, without which none of the domestic arts can be successfully carried on.


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Wheat Bread.—Put seven pounds of flour into a breadpan; hollow out the centre, and add a quart of lukewarm water, a teaspoonful of salt, and a wineglassful of yeast. Have ready more warm water, and add gradually as much as will make a smooth, soft dough.

Knead it well, dust a little flour over it, cover it with a cloth, and set it in a warm place four hours; then knead it again for fifteen minutes and let it rise again.

Divide it into loaves, and prick them with a fork, and bake in a quick oven from forty minutes to an hour.

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Potato Breath—Three and one-half quarts of sifted flour, three boiled potatoes, one quart warm water, one teacupful of yeast, one even tablespoonful salt.

Mix at night; put the flour in a large bowl; hollow a place in the centre for the mashed potatoes, water, and salt. Stir in flour enough to make a smooth batter; add yeast; stir in the rest of the flour.

Put the dough on the floured board; knead fifteen minutes, using barely enough flour to prevent sticking. Flour the bowl, lay the dough in it, cover and leave it to rise.

In the morning, divide in four parts; mold into loaves; when light, prick, and bake in a moderate oven.

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Salt Rising Bread—Pour a pint of hot water in a two-quart pail or pitcher on one-half tablespoonful of salt; when it has cooled a little, add one and one-third pints of flour; mix well, and leave the pitcher in a kettle of water, as warm as that used for mixing.

Keep it at the same temperature until the batter is nearly twice its original bulk, which will be in from five to eight hours. It may be stirred once or twice during the rising.

Add to this a sponge made of one quart of hot water, two and one-half quarts of flour—adding as much more as may be necessary to make a soft dough; mix well, and leave in a warm place to rise.

When light, mold into loaves, keeping them as soft as possible; lay in buttered tins. When light again, prick and bake.

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Milk Bread.—Let two quarts of milk come to a boil; stand it aside to cool, and when it becomes tepid, add flour to it gradually until it makes a batter just soft enough to beat up with a spoon. To this add one cake of compressed yeast thoroughly dissolved in lukewarm water. The batter should then be well beaten. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise.

When light, add two tablespoonfuls of salt, one of lard, one of light brown sugar, and flour enough to make a soft dough. Knead steadily for about half an hour. This quantity should make four or five medium-sized loaves.

Put them in greased pans and let them rise again. When light, prick with a fork and bake in a quick oven.


(text from above ad)

BREAD prepared from Old Grist Mill Flour is the staff of life. One loaf of this bread contains as much nourishment as two loaves made from white patent flour, which is the ordinary white flour that you buy of the grocers.

Bread made from the Old Grist Mill Entire Wheat Flour is so rich in flavor that a few days’ use of it makes all other breads seem flat and tasteless. It not only contains 50 per cent more nutriment than white bread, but is nature’s own remedy for dyspepsia and constipation, brought on by the excess of starch in white-flour bread.

Apoplexy, Bright’s disease, and similar disorders have been traced in many cases to an excess of starchy foods, and ordinary white bread is the most common.

RECIPES (in ad):
Old Grist Mill Entire Wheat Flour can be used for all purposes by the same recipes as ordinary flour, except in bread — molasses should be used for sweetening instead of white sugar. Use one-half cup molasses to one cup wetting.

ENTIRE WHEAT BREAD (Boston Cooking School.)
- Two cups scalded milk,
- one-third cup molasses,
- one teaspoonful salt,
- one-quarter yeast cake,
- dissolved in one-quarter cup lukewarm water,
- four and one-third cups Old Grist Mill Entire Wheat Flour.

Add sweetening and salt to the milk; cool, and when lukewarm add dissolved yeast cake and flour. Beat well, cover and let rise to double its bulk.

Again beat and turn into greased bread pans, having pans one-half full; let rise, and bake.

Old Grist Mill Entire Wheat Bread should not quite double its bulk during its last rising. This mixture may be baked in gem pans.

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Vienna Bread—The Vienna bread that became so famous on the Centennial Exhibition grounds in 1876 was made on the following recipe:
- Sift in a tin pan four pounds of flour;
- bank up against the sides;
- pour in one quart of milk and water, and mix into it enough flour to form a thin batter,
- and then quickly and lightly add one pint of milk, in which is dissolved one ounce of salt and one and three-quarter ounces of yeast;
- leave the remainder of the flour against the sides of the pan;
- cover the pan with a cloth, and set in a place free from draught for three quarters of an hour;
- then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough will leave the bottom and sides of the pan, and let it stand two and a half hours;
- finally, divide the mass into one-pound pieces, to be cut in turn into twelve parts each.

This gives square pieces about three and a half inches thick, each corner of which is taken up and folded over to the centre, and then the cases are turned over on a dough-board to rise for half an hour, when they are put in a hot oven that will bake them in ten minutes.

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Rye Bread—Scald two handfuls of corn-meal with a quart of boiling water, and add a quart of milk and a tablespoonful of salt. When cool, add a teacupful of yeast, and enough rye flour to make it as stiff as wheat-bread dough.

After it has risen put it in pans and bake an hour and a half.

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Brown Bread.—Take one cup of bread-crumbs, one pint of sweet milk, one cup of molasses, butter the size of an egg, one teaspoonful of soda, corn-meal enough to make a stiff batter, with salt to taste. Turn the whole into a buttered basin and steam for two hours; then bake in a quick oven half an hour.

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Boston Brown Bread.—Take three and three-fourth cupfuls of Indian corn-meal, two and one-half cupfuls rye-meal, two-thirds cupful molasses, one quart milk, either sweet or sour; two even teaspoonfuls soda dissolved in the milk; steam in a tin pudding boiler five hours; take off the cover and set in the oven to brown.

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Corn Bread.—Two heaping cupfuls Indian meal, one cupful wheat flour, two heaping teaspoonfuls Plume Baking Powder.

Mix well together while dry;
- one teaspoonful salt,
- two tablespoonfuls white sugar,
- two eggs,
- one tablespoonful lard,
- two and a half cupfuls cold milk;

Beat the eggs, melt the lard, and dissolve the salt and sugar in the milk before adding them to the flour.

Bake in buttered pans in a quick oven.


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Graham Bread.—Three quarts of Graham flour; one quart of warm water; one gill of yeast; one gill of sirup; one tablespoonful of salt; one even teaspoonful of soda.

Mix thoroughly and put in well-buttered pans to rise. Bake about an hour and a half.

This same mixture may be thinned and baked in gem pans for Graham gems.

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Rice Bread.—After a pint of rice has been boiled soft, mix it with two quarts of rice flour or wheat flour. When cold, add half a teaspoonful of yeast, a teaspoonful of salt, and enough milk to make a soft dough. When it has risen, bake in small buttered pans.

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Unleavened Bread.—Mix wheat flour into a stiff dough with warm water or milk; add a little lard, or suet, and bake in thin cakes. Bake as soon as mixed, and eat hot.



SOME special preparations come naturally between bread and cake. For convenient classification, they are grouped here under the title of Fancy Breads, though they might as well be classed as Plain Cakes. They serve a good purpose for variety, for luncheon, etc. See plainer forms of cakes.


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Sally Lunn.—One quart of flour, a piece of butter the size of an egg, three tablespoonfuls of sugar, two eggs, two tea-cupfuls of milk, two teaspoonfuls of cream tartar, one of soda, and a little salt.

Scatter the cream of tartar, the sugar, and the salt into the flour; add the, eggs, the butter (melted), and one cup of milk; dissolve the soda in the remaining cup, and stir all together steadily a few moments.

Bake in two round pans.

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Sally Lunn, No. 2.—Rub into a quart of flour two teaspoonfuls of baking-powder; beat together nearly half a cup of butter and two tablespoonfuls of sugar; put into the flour and mix with a pint of milk; then add two eggs, beaten light. Mix and bake as above.

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Johnny Cake.—One quart of buttermilk or sour milk, one quart Indian meal, one quart of flour, one cup of molasses, a teaspoonful of soda, two scant teaspoonfuls if the milk is sour, a teaspoonful of salt. Bake in shallow pans in a quick oven.

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Hoe Cake.—Scald one quart of Indian-meal in enough water to make a thick batter; add a teaspoonful of salt, one of molasses, and two of butter. Bake on a board before a hot fire or in a pan.


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Scotch Short-cake.—Two pounds of fine flour, one pound of fresh, sweet butter, half a pound of finest sifted sugar.

Throughly knead together without water; roll out to half an inch in thickness, and place it on paper in a shallow pan; bake very slowly until of proper crispness.

The cake, to be good, must be very brittle.

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Pumpkin Bread.—Stew and strain a sufficient quantity of pumpkin; add enough Indian-meal to stiffen it, with yeast and a little salt; when sufficiently raised, bake as in ordinary bread.

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Pone.—This is a dish prepared by the Indians, called also paune. Take two cupfuls of corn-meal, two of wheat flour, one of sugar, and half a cup of melted butter.

Add one egg, one teaspoonful of salt, one of soda, and two of cream of tartar. Mix with enough milk to make a moderately stiff batter, and bake in a hot oven.

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Barley Bread.—In Scotland, Norway, and other climates where wheat is not grown, barley bread is used extensively. It is both wholesome and palatable.

Mix the barley meal with warm water and a little salt, but no yeast. Mix to a stiff dough, roll into flat cakes, and bake before the fire or in an oven. Eat hot, with butter.



A FAVORITE departure from the ordinary forms of bread is furnished in rolls. They are exceedingly popular for breakfast, served warm. There are sufficient variations in rolls to make them suitable for use day after day, if this be desired.


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Plain RoIls.—Boil six potatoes in two quarts of water, and when done pour and press the whole through the colander.

When cool, but not cold, add flour to make a thick batter; add half a cup of yeast, or one-half cake of compressed yeast, and set to rise.

When light, add half a cup of lard and butter mixed, a tablespoonful of sugar, teaspoonful of salt, and flour to make a soft dough; knead well and set again to rise.

When light, knead down again; repeat three or four times.

An hour before they are to be used cut in small pieces, roll out, spread with melted butter, and fold over, laying them in a pan so that they will not touch each other; set them in a warm place.

When light bake quickly. Or, make into an oblong roll without spreading and rolling, and just before putting them into the oven, gash deeply across the top with a sharp knife.


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French Rolls.—One pint of milk, scalded; put into it while hot half a cupful of sugar, and one tablespoonful of butter.

When the milk is cool, add a little salt and half a cupful of yeast, or one cake of compressed yeast. Stir in flour enough to make a stiff sponge, and when light mix as for bread.

Let it rise until light, punch it down with the hand, and let it rise again, and repeat this process two or three times; then turn the dough on to the molding board, and pound with rolling-pin until thin enough to cut.

Cut out with a tumbler, brush the surface of each one with melted butter, and fold over. Let the rolls rise on the tins; bake, and while warm brush over the surface with melted butter to make the crust tender.

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Geneva Rolls.—Into two pounds of flour break three ounces of butter, add a little salt, and make into a sponge with yeast, previously mixed with milk and water.

Allow the batter to rise; then mix in two eggs, made lukewarm by the adding of hot milk, and work the sponge to a light dough.

Let it stand for three-quarters of an hour longer; mold into small rolls; place them in buttered pans.

When light, brush them with beaten yelks of eggs, and bake for twenty minutes or half an hour. Serve hot.



GREAT care is requisite in making biscuits that quantities be accurately observed and that the ingredients used are of proper quality.

Flour should be a few months old. New flour will not make good biscuits. It should always be sifted.

The oven, too, needs careful attention. On its condition the success of biscuit baking will depend. Rolls and biscuit should bake quickly.

To make them a nice color, rub them over with warm water just before putting them into the oven; to glaze them, brush lightly with milk and sugar.

Baking-powder biscuit and soda biscuit should be made as rapidly as possible, laid into hot pans, and put in a quick oven. Gem pans should always be heated and well greased.


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Potato Biscuit—Pare ten potatoes, boil them thoroughly, and mash fine;
- add two cups of lukewarm milk,
- two tablespoonfuls of white sugar,
- half a cup of yeast,
- and flour enough to make a thin batter.

Mix well and allow it to rise. Then add four tablespoonfuls of melted butter, a little salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough.

Let this rise again; roll into a sheet about an inch thick, and cut into cakes.

Set to rise again, and bake in a quick oven.

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Light Biscuit—When kneading bread, Set aside a small loaf for biscuits. Into this, work a heaping tablespoonful of lard and butter mixed and a teaspoonful of sugar. The more it is worked the whiter it will be.

As it rises, mold it down twice before making into biscuit. Roll out and cut with a biscuit-cutter. The dough should be quite soft.

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Soda Biscuits.—One quart of flour, a tablespoonful of butter and two of lard, a teaspoonful of salt, and one teaspoon even full of cream of tartar, one teaspoonful of soda;
- sift the cream tartar with the flour dry;
- rub the butter and lard very thoroughly through it;
- dissolve the soda in a pint of milk and mix all together.

Roll out, adding as little flour as possible; cut with a Biscuit-cutter, and bake twenty minutes in a quick oven.

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Graham Biscuits.—Take one quart of water or milk, butter the size of an egg, three tablespoonfuls sugar, two of baker’s yeast, and a pinch of salt.

Take enough white flour to use up the water, making it the consistency of batter cakes; add the rest of the ingredients and as much Graham flour as can be stirred in with a spoon; set it away till morning.

In the morning grease the pan, flour your hands; take a lump of dough the size of a large egg, roll it lightly between the palms, and let the biscuits rise twenty minutes, then bake in a tolerably hot oven.


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Maryland Biscuits.—Take three pints of sifted flour, one tablespoonful of good lard, one pint of cold water, salt to the taste.

Make into a stiff dough; work it till it cracks or blisters, then break, but do not cut it, into suitable portions, and make into biscuits; stick the top of each with a fork and bake.

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Flavored Bisciiits.—Biscuit dough made as for Light Biscuit may be flavored with any essence, or with lemon or orange peel, as desired.

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Tea Rusk.—Three cups of flour,
- one cup of milk,
- three-fourths of a cup of sugar,
- two heaping tablespoonfuls of butter, melted;
- two eggs,
- three teaspoonfuls baking-powder.

Let them rise, and bake in a moderate oven.

Glaze while hot with white of egg, in which has been stirred, not beaten, a little powdered sugar, or sift the powdered sugar in while the egg is still moist on the top.

Rusks should never be eaten hot.

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Pop Overs.—Mix four cupfuls of flour, four cupfuls of milk, four eggs, and a little salt. This quantity will make about twenty puffs in gem-pans, which must be baked quick and done to a nice brown.



MUFFINS are baked in rings on a griddle, or in gem-pans, over a quick fire. Waffles are baked in waffle-irons, which inclose the batter and imprint both sides of the cake as it rises in the process of baking. Both muffins and waffles form a medium between bread and biscuits on the one side and griddle-cakes on the other.

Muffin-rings were formerly about four inches in diameter, but now, with better taste, they are used much smaller.

The approved waffle-irons of to-day are circular, baking four waffles at once, and suspended on a pivot that permits them to be turned with a touch of the fork.

Both muffins and waffles are suitable for tea, and with stewed chicken and such delicacies they are really delicious. They should always be served hot and with the best of butter.

Waffles and catfish are a famous dish at some eating-houses.


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Muffins.—Two eggs lightly beaten,
- one quart of flour,
- one teaspoonful of salt,
- three teaspoonfuls of Plume baking-powder,
- one tablespoonful of melted butter,
- one pint of milk,
- and two teaspoonfuls of vanilla extract, if liked.

Beat up quickly to the consistency of a cake batter; bake in buttered gem-pans in a hot oven.

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Muffins, No. 2.—One cup of home-made yeast or half of a compressed yeast cake, one pint of sweet milk, two eggs, two tablespoonfuls of melted butter, two tablespoonfuls of sugar.

Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs well together; then stir in the milk, slightly warmed, and thicken with flour to the consistency of griddle-cakes. When light, bake in muffin-rings or on a griddle.

If wanted for tea, the batter should be mixed immediately after breakfast.

Muffins should never be cut with a knife, but be pulled open with the fingers.

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Rice Muffins.—Take one quart of sour milk, three well-beaten eggs, a little salt, a teaspoonful of soda, and enough of rice flour to thicken to a stiff batter. Bake in rings.

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Hominy Muffins.—Substitute hominy, well cooked and mashed, for the rice, and proceed as above.

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Corn Muffins.—Mix two cupfuls of corn-meal,
- two cupfuls of flour,
- one cupful of sugar,
- half a cupful of melted butter,
- two eggs,
- and one teaspoonful of salt.

Dissolve one teaspoonful of soda and two of cream tartar in a little milk, and beat it through. Add milk enough to make a moderately stiff batter, and bake in rings or gem-pans.

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Crumpets.—Three cupfuls of warm milk,
- half a cupful of yeast,
- two tablespoonfuls of melted butter,
- one salt-spoonful each of salt and soda dissolved in hot water,
- flour enough to make a good batter.

Set these ingredients—leaving out the butter and soda—as a sponge. When very light, beat in the melted butter, with a very little flour; stir in the soda hard, fill patty-pans or muffin-rings with the mixture, and let them stand fifteen minutes before baking.




CAKES made of a batter so thin that it flows easily upon a griddle, and that can, therefore, be quickly baked and be served hot, are griddle-cakes, and great favorites they are.

All new griddles are hard to manage, but as the only way to get old ones is to make them out of new ones, we are shut up to the necessity of using the new, though they do not work so well.

Opinions divide between iron griddles and those of soapstone. The latter require no greasing. Hence trouble is saved, and the smoke of the fat used in the constant greasing of a hot iron griddle s entirely avoided. But still, many housekeepers prefer the old style.

A hot griddle is essential to good griddle-cakes. But it must not be hot enough to burn before it bakes.

A cold griddle will make cakes tough, unpalatable, and decidedly unwholesome.

Hot cakes may well be served with powdered sugar, Golden Tree Brand Maple Syrup or any molasses in the market.

Cold days are the gala days for hot cakes.

Time immemorial, buckwheat cakes and sausage have gone to the table side by side. There is delightful harmony in this union; but to serve hot cakes and fish together would introduce discord into the best regulated family.

There is an eminent fitness between hot cakes and certain other dishes, and it must never be disregarded.


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Buckwheat Cakes.—One quart of buckwheat-meal,
- one pint of wheat-flour or Indian-meal,
- half a teacupful of yeast,
- salt to taste.

Mix the flour, buckwheat, and salt with as much water moderately warm as will make it into a thin batter
- beat it well,
- then add the yeast.

When well mixed, set it in a warm place to rise.

As soon as it is very light, grease the griddle and bake the cakes to a delicate brown. Butter them with good butter and serve hot.

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Graham GriddIecakes.—Scald a cupful of Indian-meal in a pint of boiling water, and strain it over night. Thin it with a quart of milk, and make into a sponge with a cupful of Graham flour, a large tablespoonful of molasses, and half a cupful of yeast.

In the morning, add salt to taste, a cupful of white flour, half a teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in hot water, and a tablespoonful of butter or lard. Stir in enough water to make batter of the right consistency, and bake on a hot griddle.


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Flannel Cakes.—Three eggs, one quart of sweet milk, about one quart of flour, a small teaspoonful of salt, two tablespoonfuls of prepared baking-powder.

Beat the yelks, and half of the milk, salt, and flour together; then the remainder of the milk; and last, the whites of the eggs well beaten. Bake in small cakes on a hot griddle.

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Rice Cakes.—Soak a cupful of rice five or six hours in enough warm water to cover it. Then boil slowly till soft. While still warm, but not hot, stir in a tablespoonful of butter, a tablespoonful of sugar, a teaspoonful of salt, and a quart of milk.

When cold, add three eggs, beaten very light.

Sift a half teaspoonful of cream of tartar into a quarter cupful of rice flour, and add them to the batter, first beating into it a quarter teaspoonful of soda dissolved in hot water.

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Hominy Cakes.—Mix with cold boiled hominy an equal quantity of white flour until perfectly smooth; add a teaspoonful of salt and thin off with buttermilk, in part of which a teaspoonful of soda has been dissolved; when of the proper consistency for griddle cakes, add a dessertspoonful of melted butter, and bake as usual.

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Indian Griddle Cakes.—One large cupful Indian-meal, four tablespoonfuls of wheat flour, two tablespoonfuls of Plume baking—powder, one teaspoonful salt, mix together dry, then add sufficient cold water for a batter; bake at once on a hot griddle.

Slapjacks.—One pint of milk,
- three eggs,
- one teaspoonful of soda,
- and one of salt,
- flour enough to make a thin batter.

Butter your griddle, and fry them the size of a tea-plate.

When one is done, turn it on the dish, sprinkle with a little white sugar, and continue in this way till they are all fried. Always fry them with butter. A little nutmeg may be grated with the sugar on each cake.

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