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Title: A treatise on the art of making good wholesome bread of wheat, oats, rye, barley and other farinaceous grains
Author: Accum, Friedrich Christian
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A treatise on the art of making good wholesome bread of wheat, oats, rye, barley and other farinaceous grains" ***

                               A TREATISE

                             ON THE ART OF

                       MAKING GOOD AND WHOLESOME



                       WHEAT, OATS, RYE, BARLEY,


                        OTHER FARINACEOUS GRAIN


                     DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD.


                            BY FREDRICK ACCUM,

                            OPERATIVE CHEMIST,

 Lecturer on Practical Chemistry, on Mineralogy, and on Chemistry applied
                             to the Arts and
  Manufactures; Member of the Royal Irish Academy; Fellow of the Linnæan
    Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and of the Royal Society
                        of Arts of Berlin, &c. &c.



            By C. Green, Leicester Street, Leicester Square.




                                                   COMPTON STREET, SOHO.

The object of this Treatise is to exhibit the chemical principles of the
art of making good and wholesome Bread, of Wheat, Oats, Rye, Barley,
Rice, Potatoes, and other farinaceous substances used for this purpose
in different parts of the world.

I have first taken a view of the chemical constitution of the Alimentary
Substances derived from the vegetable kingdom, and have added an
Historical Sketch of the Art of Making Bread. I have elucidated the
chemical constitution of the substances of which Bread is made among
civilized nations, as well as of various nutritive materials, besides
Bread Corn, which are used in different countries as substitutes for

I have described the chemical analysis of Bread Flour, its immediate
constituent parts, their proportions in different kinds of grain, and
the method of separating them. I have pointed out the materials more
particularly fitted for the fabrication of Bread; I have explained the
reason why a variety of Alimentary Farinaceous Seeds, in common use,
cannot be made into light and porous loaf-bread, although they are well
calculated, under other forms, of being converted into highly nutritious

I have explained the chemical distinction which exists between bread
made with yeast, as well as with leaven, and bread made without either
of these species of ferment; and, lastly, I have given specific
directions for making the different kinds of Bread prepared from Wheat,
Oats, Rye, Barley, Rice, Maize, Buck-wheat, Potatoes, and other
farinaceous substances, as practised in various countries.

                                                         FREDRICK ACCUM.





        PREFACE                                                i

        CONTENTS                                               1



        BREAD CORN                                            30

        THE BREAD-FRUIT                                       39

        SAGO BREAD, and SAGO                                  41

        CASAVA BREAD, and TAPIOCA                             43

        PLANTAIN BREAD                                        45

        BANANA BREAD                                          46

        BREAD OF DRIED FISH                                   47

        BREAD MADE OF MOSS                                    49

        BREAD MADE OF EARTH                                   50


        ANALYSIS OF BREAD FLOUR                               52


        REASON WHY OATS, PEASE, BEANS, RICE, MAIZE,           58



        UNLEAVENED BREAD                                      66

        OATMEAL CAKES                                         68

        MIXED OATMEAL AND PEASE BREAD                         69

        UNLEAVENED MAIZE BREAD                                70

        UNLEAVENED BEAN-FLOUR BREAD                           71

        UNLEAVENED BUCKWHEAT BREAD                            71

        UNLEAVENED ACORN BREAD                                72

        SEA BISCUIT                                           73


        LEAVENED BREAD                                        79

        LEAVENED RYE BREAD                                    83

        HUNGARIAN RYE BREAD                                   85


        BREAD MADE WITH YEAST                                 88



        HOME-MADE WHEATEN BREAD                              100

        TO MAKE PAN-BREAD                                    102

        BROWN WHEATEN BREAD                                  103

        MIXED WHEATEN BREAD                                  104

        ROLLS                                                105

        FRENCH BREAD                                         105

        MUFFINS AND CRUMPETS                                 105

        BARLEY BREAD                                         109

        MIXED BARLEY BREAD                                   111

        RYE BREAD                                            112

        TURNIP BREAD                                         114

        RICE BREAD                                           116

        POTATOE BREAD                                        121

        POTATOE ROLLS                                        124

        APPLE BREAD                                          125

        DOMESTIC OVEN FOR BAKING BREAD                       126


          BREAD FLOUR

        ECONOMICAL APPLICATION OF YEAST                      162

        ECONOMICAL PREPARATION OF YEAST                      165

          DR. LETTSOM

        POTATOE YEAST                                        166

        METHOD OF PRESERVING YEAST                           167




                          ON THE ART OF MAKING

                       Good and Wholesome Bread.


                       PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.

To most animals nature has designed a limited range of aliment, when
compared to the extensive choice allotted to man. If we look into the
history of the human race, inhabiting the different parts of the globe,
as far as we are acquainted with it, we find, that man appears to be
designed by nature to eat of all substances that are capable of
nourishing him: fruits, grains, roots, herbs, flesh, fish, reptiles, and
fowls, all contribute to his sustenance. He can even subsist on every
variety of these substances, under every mode of preparation, dried,
preserved in salt, hardened in smoke, pickled in vegetable acids, &c.

The Author of Nature has so constructed our organs of digestion, that we
can accommodate ourselves to every species of aliment; no kind of food
injures us; we are capable of being habituated to every species, and of
converting into nutriment almost every production of nature.

When we enquire more minutely into the chemical constitution of the
different alimentary materials, which promote the growth, support the
strength, and renew the waste of our body, we find that animal
substances are not suited to form the whole of our daily food; and that,
in fact, if long and extensively used, their stimulating effects at
length exhausts and debilitates the system, which it at first
invigorated and supported. Those, accordingly, who have lived for any
great length of time on a diet composed entirely of animal matter,
become oppressed, heavy, and indolent, the tone and excitability of
their frame are impaired, they are affected with indigestion, the
breathing is hurried on the smallest exercise, the gums become spongy,
the breath is fœtid, and the limbs swell. We recognize in this
description the approach of scurvy, a disease familiar to sailors, to
the inhabitants of besieged towns, and, in general, to all who are
wholly deprived of a just proportion of vegetable aliment.

On the other hand, vegetable food being less stimulating is also less
nourishing; besides, this kind of aliment is, upon the whole, of more
difficult assimilation than the food derived from the animal kingdom.
Hence it is, perhaps, that nature has provided a greater extent of
digestive organs for animals wholly herbivorous. It is insufficient to
raise the human system to all the strength and vigour of which it is
susceptible. Flatulency of the stomach, muscular and nervous debility,
and a long series of disorders, are not unfrequently the consequences of
this too sparing diet. Some Eastern nations, indeed, live almost
entirely on vegetable substances; but these, it is remarked, are seldom
so robust, so active, or so brave, as men who live on a mixed diet of
animal and vegetable food. Few, at least, in the countries of Europe can
be sufficiently nourished by vegetable food alone; and even those
nations, and individuals, who are said to live exclusively on
vegetables, because they do not eat the flesh of animals, generally make
use of milk at least, of eggs, and butter and cheese.

Food composed of animal and vegetable materials is, in truth, that which
is best suited to the nature and condition of man. The proportions in
which these should be used it is not easy to determine, but generally
the quantity of vegetables should exceed that of animal food. “On this
head,” says Dr. Fothergill, “I have only one short caution to give.
Those who think it necessary to pay any attention to their health, at
table, should take care that the quantity of bread, of meat, and of
pudding, and of greens, should not compose, each of them, a meal, as if
some only were thrown in to make weight, but carefully to observe that
the sum of, altogether, do not exceed due bounds or incroach upon the
first feeling of satiety.”

All the products of the vegetable kingdom, used as aliment, are not
equally nutritious. When we contemplate with a chemical eye the
nutritive principles contained in vegetable substances, we soon perceive
that they are but few in number, namely, starch, gluten, mucilage,
jelly, fixed oil, sugar, and acids; and the different vegetable parts of
them are nutritious, wholesome, and digestible, according to the nature
and proportion of their principles contained in them. The starch and
gluten appear the most nutritious, and together with mucilage at the
same time, the most abundant ingredients contained in those vegetables
from which man derives his subsistence. Hence, from time immemorial, and
in all parts of the earth, man has used farinaceous seeds as part of his
food, for they contain the above-mentioned materials in the greatest
abundance. Of these the most nutritive are the seeds of the _Cerealia_,
under which title are commonly comprehended the _Gramineæ_, or
_Culminiferous_ plants. Whilst the seeds of the _Gramineæ_ supply the
most important part of food furnished by the vegetable kingdom, in
almost every part of the world, their leaves and young shoots support
that class of animals hence called graminivorous, whose flesh is most
generally eaten.

These vegetables are distributed so universally over the face of the
earth, and have become to such a degree the object of culture, that they
are very generally made into bread, or are employed instead of it; and,
upon the whole, it appears that they are nutritive merely in the
proportion to the quantity of farinaceous matter contained in them; but
this substance exists in different combinations in different cereal and
leguminous seeds. It is combined with gluten in wheat, with a saccharine
matter in oats, and in many leguminous seeds, such as Harricot beans and
pease, and with viscous mucilage in rye and Windsor beans.

Next to the _Cerealia_ and _Leguminosæ_ may be ranged the oily
farinaceous seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, filberts, &c. These abound
in starch and mucilage. The use of chocolate, which is prepared from the
chocolate nut, growing in the West Indies, ground into a paste, with or
without sugar, is in itself a nutritious substance, and to those with
whom it agrees, it may be considered as a wholesome nutritious aliment.
Yet the vegetable farina, in this state of existence, though highly
nutritious, and to many palates very agreeable, is more difficult of
digestion, and does not, upon the whole, afford a very wholesome
alimentary substance. When too freely used, those kinds of seeds are
sure to disagree, more especially if from age the oil has become rancid.
They must be considered rather as a delicacy than as fitted to form a
portion of our daily food, and with some particular stomachs they never

Of the alimentary farinaceous roots, the potatoe, boiled or roasted, is
one of the most useful, and perhaps after the _Cerealia_, one of the
most wholesome and most nutritious vegetables in common use; its
nourishing powers, there can be no doubt, depend upon the amylaceous
fecula of which it is chiefly composed. The Jerusalem artichoke deserves
likewise to be noticed here, as being a highly alimentary root, chiefly
composed of farinaceous matter. Of the fruits rich in farinaceous and
mucilaginous matter, few are indigenous. The chesnut, when roasted,
affords an alimentary food, but in the East and West Indies the bread
fruit, bananas, and the fruit of the plantain tree, are the substitutes
for bread.

Scarcely any of the various alimentary substances employed by man are
consumed in the raw and crude state in which they are presented to us by
nature. Almost all of them are previously subjected to some kind of
preparation, or change, by which for the most part they are rendered
more wholesome and more digestible, and sometimes more nutritive.
Accordingly, the observations we have made on the properties of
different vegetable aliments, are to be considered as applied to them in
the state in which they are commonly used among us.

When in the preparation of bread a baking heat is applied to the flour
dough, a complete change is produced in the constitution of the mass.
The new substance of bread differs materially from flour, it no longer
forms a tenacious mass with water, nor can starch and gluten be any more
separated from it.

By the application of heat to vegetables the more volatile and watery
parts are in some cases dissipated. The different principles, according
to their peculiar properties, are extracted, softened, dissolved, or
coagulated; but most commonly they are changed into new combinations, so
as to be no longer distinguishable by the forms and chemical properties
which they originally possessed.

In like manner the leguminous seeds, and farinaceous roots are greatly
altered by the chemical action of heat. The raw potatoe is
ill-flavoured, extremely indigestible, and even unwholesome. By
roasting, or boiling, it becomes farinaceous, sweet, and agreeable to
the taste, wholesome, digestible, and highly nutritious. Little is lost,
and nothing is added to the potatoe by this process, yet its properties
are greatly changed; its principles, in short, have suffered very
remarkable chemical changes.

Even in the simple boiling of the various leguminous seeds, pot-herbs,
and esculent roots, the effect does not seem confined to the mere
softening of the fibres, the solution of some, and coagulation of other
of their juices and principles; not only their texture, but their
flavour, and other sensible qualities have undergone a change, by which
their alimentary properties have been improved; the farinaceous matter
by boiling is rendered soluble, the vegetable fibre softened. Saccharine
matter is often formed, mucilage and jelly extracted and combined, and
the product is rendered more palatable, wholesome, and nourishing. And,
although every country has its own favourite articles of food, and modes
of preparing them, and there is perhaps no subject in regard to which
local prejudices are so strong, yet there can be no reason why the
farinaceous matter of cereal seeds should always be consumed in the
state of bread; many of them are not less agreeable, and not less
wholesome in other forms of food.

In Scotland nine-tenths of those in the more humble walks of life live
upon barleybroth, and there are not more healthy people to be found any
where.—_Cullen’s Materia Medica_, v. I. p. 287.

It is chiefly to save the trouble of dressing any other kind of food,
and that bread, from its portability and convenience of always being
ready, has become the principal sustenance, but it is far from being the
most economical method of using farinaceous grain. There can be no doubt
that the same quantity of farinaceous matter made into bread might, in
other forms, be used to a much greater advantage; for the great art of
preparing good and wholesome food is to convert the alimentary matter
into such a substance as to fill up the stomach and alimentary canal
without overcharging it with more nutritive matter than is requisite for
the support of the animal, and this may be done either by bread, or by
converting the mealy substance of which it is composed into other forms,
of which there is a great variety.

Persons who have travelled much on the continent are well aware that our
neighbours have the art of throwing much more variety and gratification
of the palate into the article of subsistence which has been
emphatically called the staff of life, than we possess. The French and
Germans convert the farinaceous flour of vegetables into a variety of
excellent articles of food, and not serving, like our own, as a mere
companion to pair off with so many mouthfuls of meat.

In speaking thus of the use of bread, I do not mean to deny that bread
is highly alimentary, its nourishing powers are undoubtedly very great.

The finest bread, says an eminent physician (Dr. Buchan), is not always
the best adapted for answering the purposes of nutrition. Household
bread, which is made by grinding the whole grain, and only separating
the coarse bran, is, without doubt, the most wholesome.

The people of South Britain generally prefer bread made of the finest
wheat flour, while those of the Northern countries eat a mixture of
flour and oatmeal, or rye bread. The common people of Scotland also eat
a mixed bread, but more frequently bread made of oatmeal only.

In Germany the common bread is made of rye. The flour of millet is made
in France, Spain, and Italy, into wholesome and nourishing pastry and
puddings. The American and West Indian labourer thinks no bread so
strengthening as that which is made of Indian corn.

The inhabitants of Westphalia, who are a hardy and robust people,
capable of enduring the greatest fatigues, live on a coarse brown rye
bread, which still retains the opprobrious name once given to it by a
French traveller, “_Bon pour Nicole_—good for his horse Nichol.”

The great advantage of eating pure and genuine bread must be obvious;
but bread is often spoiled to please the eye. I have elsewhere[1] shewn,
that in the making of bread, more especially in London, various
ingredients are occasionally mingled with the dough. The baker is
obliged to suit the caprice of his customers, to have his bread light
and porous, and of a pure white colour. It is impossible to produce this
sort of bread from flour alone, unless it be of the finest quality. The
best flour, however, being mostly used by the biscuit bakers and pastry
cooks, it is only from the inferior sorts that bread is made; and it
becomes necessary, in order to have it of that light and porous quality,
and of a fine white, to mix alum with the dough. Without this ingredient
the flour used by the London bakers would not yield so white a bread as
that sold in this metropolis, and herein consists the fraud, that the
baker is enabled by the use of this ingredient to produce, from bad
materials, bread that is light, white, and porous, but of which the
quality does not correspond to the appearance, and thus to impose upon
the public.

Footnote 1:

  Adulterations of Food and Culinary Poisons, 2nd Edit. 1820, p. 130.

In the following pages I have enumerated the methods by which all the
different kinds of farinaceous substances are made into good and
wholesome bread, and are used in different countries as articles of
daily sustenance.


                          Art of making Bread.


                           HISTORICAL SKETCH


                        THE ART OF MAKING BREAD.

Nothing appears so easy at first sight, as to grind corn, or other
farinaceous substances, to knead the flour with water into dough, and to
convert it, by baking, into porous bread. But, simple as these
operations may now appear to us, the art of making loaf-bread was by no
means one of the earliest among human inventions.

For, however essential this species of food may be considered among us
as an article of primary subsistence, it is perfectly certain, that men
had long existed in a state of civilization, before bread was known
among them.

It is evident that every species of corn must have been originally the
spontaneous production of the earth; but as the grain, previous to
cultivation, would grow but scantily, its importance as food might long
escape observation, and mankind would naturally derive a more obvious,
though less nutritive subsistence, from acorns, berries, and other
fruits which were within their reach. Ages elapsed ere Ceres, according
to the Grecian mythology, descended from heaven to teach mankind the use
of agriculture.

In the early ages of society, according to some historians, men were
satisfied with parching their corn for immediate use as food. The next
advance appears to have been, to pulverize the grain in a mortar or
handmill, and to form it, by the addition of water or milk, into a kind
of porridge; or to make the bruised grain into dough, which was rendered
eatable by baking on embers.

Even after the method of grinding corn into meal, and separating the
bran by sifting, had become known, it was long before the art of
fermenting the dough, in order to produce bread full of eyes and of a
soft consistence, was discovered.

Like most other operations of primary importance, the origin of the art
of making bread is lost in the darkness of ages past.

We are, however, certain that the Jews practised this art in the time of
Moses; for we find in the Book of Exodus, chap. xii. v. 18, a
prohibition to make use of _leavened_, that is, fermented bread, during
the celebration of the Passover. But it does not appear that
_loaf-bread_ was known to Abraham, for in his history we read frequently
of cakes, but not of fermented bread. It is, therefore, very probable,
that the art of making fermented bread took its rise in the East, and
that the Jews learned it from the Egyptians.

The Greeks attribute the art of making bread to the god Pan.

Bakers were unknown in Rome till the year of the city 850, or about 200
years before the Christian era. The Roman bakers, according to Pliny,
came from Greece with the Macedonian army. Before this period, the
Romans were often distinguished by the appellation of _eaters of pap_.

At the time of Augustus, there were upwards of 300 baking houses in
Rome, almost the whole of which were occupied by Greeks. The bakers
enjoyed in ancient Rome great privileges. The public granaries were
entrusted to their care; they formed a corporation, or kind of college,
from which neither they nor their children were permitted to withdraw.
They were exempted from guardianships and public services, which might
interfere with their occupation. They were eligible to become Senators;
and those who married the daughters of bakers, became members of the

From the establishment of bakers in Rome, the art of making loaf, or
fermented bread, spread amongst the ancient Gauls; but its progress in
the northern countries of Europe was slow, and in some northern
districts, the luxury of eating fermented, or loaf-bread, is at this day
not in general use. Some of the modern Italians consume the greatest
part of their bread-flour in the state of _macaroni_ and _vermicelli_,
and in other forms of _polenta_, or soft pudding; and even at present
millions of people neither sow nor reap, but content themselves with
enjoying the spontaneous productions of the earth.

                              Bread Corn,

Properly so called, of which loaf-bread is chiefly made among cultivated
nations, comprehends the seeds of the whole tribe of (_cerealia_), or
gramineous plants; for they all contain a farinaceous substance, of a
similar nature, and chiefly composed of starch. Those of the _cerealia_
in common use are the following:

                     Wheat    _Triticum hybernum._
                     Barley   _Hordeum vulgare._
                     Rye      _Secale cereale._

With us, wheat is chiefly employed for the fabrication of bread. It is,
in fact, the only grain of which light porous bread can be made; but rye
and barley are also used as bread-corn. The farina of the other
_cerealia_ afford also a nutritive and wholesome bread; though their
flour is not so susceptible of the panary fermentation, it cannot be
made into the white texture of the wheaten loaf. The bread formed from
them is consequently much inferior to that prepared from wheat. The
following seeds are chiefly employed to make a species of bread:

                   Oats     _Avena Sativa._
                   Maize    _Zea Mays._
                   Rice     _Oriza Sativa._
                   Millet   _Panicum milliaceum._

Oats are used in the north of Europe for making a kind of bread, called
oatmeal-cake, and particularly by the inhabitants of Scotland. Maize is
frequently employed as bread-corn in North America.

Rice nourishes more human beings than all the other seeds together, used
as food; and it is by many considered the most nutritive of all sorts of
grain. A very ridiculous prejudice has existed with respect to rice,
namely, that it is prejudicial to the sight, by causing diseases of the
eye; but no authority can warrant this assertion: on the contrary, the
opinion of the ablest men (Cullen’s Mat. Med. v. i. p. 229) may be
quoted in favour of rice being a very healthy food: and the experience
of all Asia and America may be adduced with sufficient weight to have
answered this objection, if it had been supported by any thing more than
vulgar prejudice, unsupported by facts. This grain is peculiarly
calculated to diminish the evils of a scanty harvest, an inconvenience
which must occasionally affect all countries, particularly those which
are very populous. It is the most fitted of all food to be of use in
relieving general distress in a bad season[2], because it comes from a
part of the world where provisions are cheap and abundant; it is light,
easy of carriage, keeps well for a long time, and contains a great deal
of wholesome food within a small compass. Indeed, it has been
ascertained that one part of rice contains as much food and useful
nourishment as six of wheat.

Footnote 2:

  Reports of the Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor, Vol.
  I. p. 137.

Next to the _cerealia_, the seeds of _leguminous plants_ may be regarded
as substitutes for bread corn. Their ripe seeds afford the greatest
quantity of alimentary matter. Their meal has a sweetish taste, but they
cannot be made into light and porous bread, without the addition of a
portion of wheaten flour. Their meal, however, though it forms but a
coarse and indifferent bread, neither very palatable nor very
digestible, except by the most robust stomachs, is yet highly nutritive.

It is remarked by Dr. Cullen, that “on certain farms of this country,
upon which the leguminous seeds are produced in great abundance, the
labouring servants are much fed upon that kind of grain; but if such
servants are removed to a farm upon which the _leguminous seeds_ are not
in such plenty, and therefore they are fed with the _cerealia_, they
soon find a decay of strength; and it is common for servants, in making
such removals, to insist on their being provided daily, or weekly, with
a certain quantity of the leguminous meal.” We are not, however, to
conclude from this observation, that pease-meal bread, is really more
nutritive than wheaten bread, or than the meal of the other _cerealia_.
We are rather disposed to regard it as an example of the effect of

The _leguminous seeds_ employed in the fabrication of bread, are

             Pease                _Pisum Sativum._
             Beans                _Vicia faba._
             Kidney Beans         _Phaseolus vulgaris._

The whole of this tribe afford a much more agreeable, though not a more
nutritive aliment, when their seeds are used green, young, and tender,
and simply boiled, than when fully ripened, and their flour baked.

It is remarked, that all the substances of which bread is made, as well
as the substitutes for it, when chemically considered, are chiefly
composed of one and the same identical material; namely, the farinaceous
matter of the seeds, roots, fruits, or other products of vegetables, of
different climates and soils; and that _starch_, or the amylaceous
fecula, forms the most valuable part of all the materials used for
making bread, and its substitutes.

This substance forms by far the most abundant, the most nourishing, and
the most easy to be procured aliment, obtainable from the vegetable

“Whilst immense tribes of creatures devour the amylaceous fecula in the
grain, as nature produces it, man knows how to give it different forms,
from the most simple boiling to the most complicated delicacies of the
arts of the confectioner and pastry-cook.

“It is singular that man should waste so valuable a substance for the
purpose of hair-powder, a kind of custom perhaps ridiculous, in which
modern nations imitate, without being aware of it, those people whom
they term barbarous, and by which custom they lavish away a portion of
the subsistence of a great number of families.”

This nutritive aliment, we find, exists in various combinations, in the
roots, seeds, in the stems, and fruits of plants. Many roots abounding
in the amylaceous fecula, yields a palatable and highly nutritious

Hence the potatoe is a substance largely employed as a substitute for
bread. Its nutritious qualities are fully ascertained by the experience
of all Europe; it makes a considerable portion of the food of the poor;
and in Ireland in particular, millions of people exist, who, from
sufficient evidence, we are pretty certain live for years together
almost wholly on this root and water, without any other seasoning than a
little salt. It contains much amylaceous fecula, and when mixed with
wheaten flour, may be formed into good and palatable bread. Other
substances, besides the grains before mentioned, are in different parts
of the world substituted for bread. These are the following:

                            The Bread-Fruit.

The Bread-fruit Tree (_Artocarpus incisa_) affords the inhabitants of
the South Pacific Ocean a substance resembling bread. They only climb
the tree to gather the fruit, which is of a round shape, from five to
six inches in diameter; it grows on boughs like apples, and, when quite
ripe, is of a yellowish colour. The bread-fruit has a tough reticulated
rind; there is neither seed nor stone in the inside of it. The eatable
part, which lies between the skin and the core, is as white as snow, and
of the consistence of new bread. The fruit is roasted on embers, or
baked in an oven, which scorches the rind and turns it black; this is
rasped off, and there remains a thin white crust, while the inside is
soft and white, like crumbs of fine loaf-bread. It is eaten new, for if
it is kept longer than twenty-four hours, it becomes harsh and
unpalatable. It is also boiled, by which means the interior is rendered
white, like a boiled potatoe. They make three dishes of it, by putting
either water or the milk of the cocoa-nut to it, then beating it into a
paste with a stone pestle, and afterwards mixing it with banana paste,
which has been suffered to become sour.

The bread-fruit remains in season eight months in the year, during which
time the natives eat no other sort of food of the bread kind; and the
deficiency of the other four months of the year, is made up chiefly with
cocoa-nuts, bananas, plantains, bread nuts (_brosimum alicastrum_), and
other farinaceous fruits.

                              Sago Bread.

The Sago-Tree (_Cycas Circinalis_), which grows spontaneously in the
East Indies, and particularly on the Coast of Malabar, furnishes to
numerous Indian tribes their bread. In the Islands of Banda and Amboyna,
they saw the body of the tree into small pieces, and, after bruising and
beating them in a mortar, pour water upon the fragments; this is left
for some hours undisturbed, to suffer the pithy farinaceous matter to
subside. The water is then poured off, and the meal, being properly
dried, is formed into cakes, or fermented and made into bread, which, it
is said, eats nearly as well as wheaten bread.

The Hottentots make a kind of bread of another species of sago-tree
(_Cycas Resoluta_). The pith, or medulla, which abounds in the trunk of
this little palm, is collected and tied up in dressed calf’s or sheep’s
skin, and then buried in the ground for several weeks, which renders it
mellow and tender. It is then kneaded with water into dough, and made
into small loaves or cakes, which are baked under embers. Other
Hottentots, not quite so nice, merely dry and roast the farinaceous
pith, and afterwards make it into a kind of frumety or porridge.


The same meal, or medulla, of the sago-tree, reduced into grain, by
passing it whilst still moist through a kind of sieve, produces the
_sago_ of commerce, which receives its brown colour by being heated on
hot stones.

                             Casava Bread.

In the Caribbee Islands they make bread of a very poisonous root
(_Jatropa Maniat_), rendered wholesome by the extraction of its acrid
juice, which the Indians use for poisoning their arrows. A tea-spoonful
of the juice is sufficient to poison a man.

The root of the maniat, after being crashed, scraped clean, and grated
in a tub, is enclosed in a sack of rushes, of very loose texture, which
is suspended upon a stick placed upon two wooden forks. To the bottom of
this sack a heavy vessel is suspended, which, by drawing the sack,
presses the grated root and receives the juice that flows out of it.
When the starch is well exhausted of its juice, it is exposed to smoke
in order to dry it; and when well dried it is passed through a sieve. In
this state it is termed Casava. It is baked into cakes, by spreading it
on hot plates of iron or earth, turning it on both sides, in order to
give it a good reddish colour.


The article of commerce, called _tapioca_, is the finest part of the
farinaceous pith of the casava. It is separately collected and formed
into small tears, by straining the mass while still moist, to form it
into small irregular lumps.

                            Plantain Bread.

The Plantain Tree (_Musa Paradisiaca_), which is a native of the East
Indies and other parts of the Asiatic Continent, furnishes the
inhabitants with a species of bread. The fruit of the plantain-tree is
about a foot long, and from an inch and a half to two inches in
diameter. It is at first green, but when ripe of a pale yellow. It has a
tough skin, and within is a soft pulp of a sweet flavour. The fruit is
generally cut before it is ripe; the green skin is peeled off, and the
heart is roasted in a clear coal fire for a few minutes, and frequently
turned; it is then scraped and served up as bread. This tree is
cultivated on an extensive scale in Jamaica. Without this fruit, Dr.
Wright says, the Islands would be scarcely inhabitable, as no species of
provisions could supply its place. Even flour and bread itself would be
less agreeable to the labouring Negro.

                             Banana Bread.

The fruit of the Banana Tree (_Musa Sapientum_), differs from the
preceding, being shorter, straighter, and rounder. It is about four or
five inches long, of the shape of a cucumber, and of a highly grateful
flavour. Bananas grow in bunches that weigh twelve pounds and upwards.
This fruit yields a softer pulp than the plantain-tree, and of a more
luscious taste. It is never eaten green, but when ripe is a very
pleasant food, either raw or fried in slices like fritters. It is
relished by all ranks of people in the West Indies. When the natives of
the West Indies undertake a voyage, they take the ripe fruit of the
banana and make provisions of the paste; and, having squeezed it through
a sieve, form the mass into loaves, which are dried in the sun or baked
on hot ashes, after being previously wrapped up in leaves.

                          Bread of Dried Fish.

The Laplanders, who have no corn of their own, make a kind of bread of
the inner soft bark of a pine tree, either mixed with the coarsest
barley meal, or with dried fish beaten into powder. The bark is
collected when the sap is rising, it is afterwards dried in the sun, or
over a slow fire, and then mixed with the coarsest barley meal, or dried
fish beaten into powder. The poorer people grind the chaff, and even
some of the straw along with the barley.

Another kind of bread is made of dried fish and the root of the water
dragon (_Calla palustris_), the root is taken up in the spring, before
the leaves shoot out. It is dried, pounded, and boiled, till it becomes
thick, like flummery, and after standing three or four days to lose its
bitterness it is mixed with the powder of dried fish and the inner bark
of the pine tree, and then made into a stiff paste, and baked over

                          Bread made of Moss.

Some species of the tribe of Lichen, contain a considerable portion of
starch, as the _Lichen Rangiferinus_, or rein-deer moss, which affords
food to the stags and other fallow cattle of the North of Europe. The
Icelanders form the lichen islandicus into bread, which is found to be
extremely nutritious. The moss is collected in the summer, and, when
dry, ground into powder, of which bread and gruel, or pottage, are made.
It is sometimes also put whole into broth, or is boiled in whey, till it
be converted into a jelly. In general, it is either previously steeped
for some hours in warm water, or the water of the first boiling is
rejected, in order to remove a part of the bitter extractive matter,
which, if left, produces a disagreeable taste, and is apt to prove

                          Bread made of Earth.

The strangest substitute for bread that has ever been employed, is a
sort of white earth. The poor in the Lordship of Moscoa in Upper
Lusania, have been frequently compelled to make use of this earth as a
substitute for bread.

The earth is dug out of a pit where saltpetre had formerly been worked;
when exposed to the rays of the sun it splits and cracks, and small
globules issue from it like meal, which ferments when mixed with flour.
On this earth, baked into bread, many persons have subsisted a
considerable time. A similar earth is met with near Genomu, in

In the western parts of Luisania too, the inhabitants have a most
extraordinary custom of eating a white earth, mixed with clay and salt.

The rowers also, who ply on the river Mississippi, frequently drink
large quantities of muddy water, which cannot fail to leave in the
stomach a considerable quantity of earth. But it cannot be doubted, that
a large quantity of earthy substances taken into the stomach would prove
deleterious to health.


                        Analysis of Bread Flour.

On examining bread corn, for instance wheat, we perceive an outside
coating, which after the grain has been soaked in water, may readily be
peeled off. This forms the bran of the flour. Immediately under it, is
that part of the grain which affords the coarsest flour, it is soft to
the touch, and not easily reduced to an impalpable powder, and of a
sweetish taste. This constitutes about one half of the grain. Underneath
this substance lies what is called by millers, the kernel or heart of
the wheat, namely, a hard mealy substance, almost transparent. This part
of the grain is capable of being speedily reduced to an impalpable
powder, it ferments more readily than the outer layers, and it is this
which produces the finest and best kind of wheaten flour. Such is the
mechanical constitution of the grain. When chemically examined we find
that the flour of wheat, rye, and barley, is composed of three
ingredients, or immediate constituent parts, which may be separated by
simple processes, viz. starch, gluten, and saccharine mucilage. The
proportion of these differ materially in different kinds of corn. The
method of separating them is as follows:

Make any quantity of wheaten flour into a stiff paste with cold water,
and let it be kneaded and wrought in the hands under water; or put the
flour into a coarse linen bag, and knead it between the hands whilst a
small rill of cold water is suffered to pass over it. The water will
carry away the starch in the form of a white powder, and the dough
become more and more elastic, in proportion as the water carries off the
starch; continue kneading the mass till the water runs off from the
kneaded dough colourless. It will also be observed, that in proportion
as the water carries off the starch, the paste in the bag assumes a more
grey colour, less brilliant, as it were semi-transparent, and of a
softer consistence, but, at the same time, more tenaceous, more viscid,
more gluey, and more elastic.

Thus the flour is separated into three substances, by a method incapable
of decomposing or altering any of its immediate constituent parts. The
starch is precipitated in a white powder at the bottom of the water,
from which it may readily be separated by suffering it to subside, and
the supernatant liquid, contains in solution the saccharine mucilage;
this may be obtained in the form of a syrup, by evaporating slowly in a
warm place the clear decanted fluid; and the third substance, the
gluten, remains in the bag, in the state of a soft, cohesive, and
elastic substance.

In a similar manner the analysis of any species of bread corn may be


The Board of Agriculture, in order to ascertain what each of the various
sorts of grain employed as substitutes for bread-corn would produce,
when ground into flour, with only the broad bran taken out, caused a
bushel of each of the undermentioned sorts of seeds to be ground for
their inspection: the weight of the grain, as well as the bran and the
flour, was as follows:

                                       Weight     Weight

                              Weighed. of Flour.   of Bran.

              _One Bushel of_ _lb._    _lb._      _lb._
                                       _oz._      _oz._

              Barley            46   38     10½ 5     10½

              Buckwheat        46¼   38      9   5      5

              Rye               54   43      0  9      5½

              Maize             53   44      0  8     10½

              Rice             61¼   60      5   0      0

              Oats             38¼   23      5  13     10½

              Beans            57¾   43      5½ 12      5

              Pease            61¾   47      0  12      5

A bushel of wheat, upon an average, weighs sixty-one pounds; when
ground, the meal weighs 60¾ lbs.; this on being dressed, produces 46¾
lbs. of flour of the sort called _seconds_, which alone is used for the
making of bread in London, and throughout the greater part of this
country; and of pollard and bran 12¾ lbs., which quantity, when bolted,
produces 3 lbs. of fine flour; this when sifted produces in good second
flour 1¼ lb.


              The whole quantity of                     48
                bread-flour obtained   from
                the bushel of wheat, weighs


              Fine pollard                     4¼

              Coarse pollard                   4        11

              Bran                             2¾


              The whole together                        59

              To which add the loss of                   2
                weight in manufacturing the
                bushel of wheat


              Produces the original weight              61


Every person is acquainted with the difference there is between light
well fermented bread, and that which is sodden, heavy, and badly risen,
and the decided preference given to the former over the latter, as the
most palatable, and easy of digestion.

The only substances for making _loaf bread_, by which term is meant,
bread which is light, white, and porous, is the flour of wheat; and it
is to the larger quantity of gluten, that wheat flour owes the property
of being converted into loaf-bread. The average quantity of gluten
contained in wheat flour, amounts to about one-fifth of the whole weight
of the meal; but it varies in quantity in different kinds of wheat,
according to the soil and season in which the corn has been reared,
culture, and various other circumstances. Wheat kept in damp storehouses
affords scarcely any gluten, and hence, in proportion as the flour of
wheat is altered and deteriorated, which happens, as it is known, when
it is kept too much compressed, without being occasionally stirred up
and aired in hot and close granaries; in a word, as it undergoes a
chemical change, its property of making good bread is diminished; and
chemical analysis shows the quantity of gluten has become lessened under
such circumstances; and when it is greatly diminished the meal forms no
longer a tenaceous ductile dough. The spoiled flour produces a kind of
bread which is heavy, harsh, and difficult of digestion.

The greater the proportion of gluten, the easier the panification of
bread-flour is effected, and the better is the bread. The wheat of the
South of Europe generally contains a larger quantity of gluten, and is
therefore more excellent for the manufacture of Maccaroni, Vermicelli,
and other alimentary substances, requiring a glutenous paste.

Sir H. Davy found the flour of the wheat of this country to consist of
from twenty to twenty-four per cent. of gluten. Barley contains six, and
rye five per cent. of gluten.

We may now understand why potatoes, rice, beans, pease, buckwheat,
millet, oats, and other nutritive cereal grains, abounding in starch,
cannot be made into light and porous bread, although they are well
calculated for being made into wholesome puddings, and why they only
form crude, heavy, insipid cakes, when made into dough and baked, and
not light porous loaf-bread.

In further confirmation of this statement it may be remarked, that if
gluten of wheat, or only a portion of wheaten flour be incorporated by
kneading with the before-named kinds of flour, a fermentable cohesive
paste is produced, from which perfect bread may be made.


Bread, when chemically examined, is very different from flour; it no
longer forms with water a tenaceous ductile mass, nor can starch,
gluten, and saccharine mucilage be separated from it.

The chemical changes that take place in the panification of bread-flour,
are by no means well understood. The saccharine mucilage, it appears,
commences the fermentative chemical action that takes place in the
dough, for without this substance, a mixture of flour, yeast, and water,
cannot be made into true bread. The fermenting process when once
commenced, is kept up by the gluten, forming the body of the paste
through which the fecula and saccharine matter are diffused; and when
the slight fermentation which it suffers, from changes in the saccharine
matter, and supported by the presence of the gluten, has commenced, the
paste becomes spongy and porous, from the disengagement of carbonic acid
gas, while it still retains in some measure its elasticity; hence the
lightness and porosity of well-baked wheaten bread; and hence bread,
possessing these qualities, cannot be prepared from the flour of oats,
barley, rye, or rice, or from any of the nutritive roots, as in all of
these the quantity of gluten is considerably less, or entirely wanting,
and no gluey elastic dough can be formed. The starch, which was merely
diffused through the gluey dough, combines, during the baking, with a
portion of water, into a stiff jelly, which renders the bread more
digestible, and the gluten wholly disappears. A portion of carbonic acid
gas, which becomes disengaged during the fermenting process, enlarges
the bulk of the dough, which is thus rendered light, porous, and full of
eyes, or cavities, in consequence of the extraction of the air bubbles,
in the viscid glutenous matter; and the porosity of the bread is in
proportion to the extent to which the rising of the dough is suffered to

Some chemists persuade themselves that the fermentation of the flour
dough differs materially from the fermentation of saccharine substances;
namely, that the vinous, acetous, and putrefactive stages of the
fermenting process take place simultaneously in the dough. They imagine
the vinous fermentation to take place in the saccharine mucilage, the
acetous in the starch, and the putrefactive in the gluten at the same
time, and from the modification of each by the others, they consider
that peculiar action to originate which converts paste into bread.
Against this opinion, however, the following objections may be urged. In
the first place, the quantity of saccharine mucilage is so extremely
small as to produce no sensible effect alone on the whole mass, and what
little there is probably passes speedily into the acetous fermentation.
Secondly, the temperature that is required for bread-making is
considerably lower than that at which starch dissolves in water, and
where this is the case no alteration will take place, even in a long
course of time: this is clearly shown by the usual process of
starch-making, in which the bruised wheat is fermented for several days
in large vats, in order to destroy the gluten, after which the starch is
procured by simple deposition from the washings of the residue; and
thirdly, no vestige whatever of the products evolved during the
putrefactive fermentation of gluten, can be traced in any stage of the
panification of bread flour.


                           Unleavened Bread.

Bread prepared by baking from the meal of farinaceous seeds kneaded with
water into a dough and baked, is divided into three sorts, namely;—1.
Unleavened bread; 2. Leavened bread; and, 3. Bread made with yeast.

Unleavened bread contains all the component parts of the flour but
little altered. The meal is simply mixed with water, and baked into
cakes. It is heavy, dry, friable, and not porous. The oatmeal bread of
Scotland, is unleavened bread; as also sea biscuit, and all other kinds
of biscuit.

The bread that is eaten by the Jews during the passover is unleavened.
The usage of which was introduced in commemoration of their hasty
departure from Egypt, [Exodus, chap. 12, v. 14 to 17.] when they had not
leisure to bake leavened bread, but took the dough before it was
fermented and baked unleavened cakes.

In Roman catholic countries it is still used, and prepared with the
finest wheaten flour, moistened with water, and pressed between two
plates, graven like wafer moulds, being first rubbed with wax to prevent
the paste from sticking, and when dry it is used. Unleavened bread is
hardly less nutritious than loaf or fermented bread, but it is generally
speaking neither so wholesome nor so digestible.


                         To make Oatmeal Cakes.

To a peck of oatmeal add a few table-spoonsful of salt; knead the
mixture into a stiff paste, with warm water, roll it out into thin
cakes, and bake it in an oven or on embers.

In some cottages oatmeal bread undergoes a partial fermentation, whereby
it is rendered lighter; but the generality of the people in the more
humble walks of life, where oatmeal bread is eaten, merely soften their
oatmeal with water, and having added to it a little salt, bake it into
cakes. To strangers oatmeal bread has a dry, harsh, unpleasant taste,
but the cottagers of Scotland, in particular, most commonly prefer it to
wheaten bread.

                     Mixed Oatmeal and Pease Bread.

To a peck of pease flour, and a like quantity of oatmeal, previously
mixed by passing the flour through a sieve, add three or four ounces of
salt, knead it into a stiff mass with warm water, roll it out into thin
cakes, and bake them in an oven. In some parts of Lancashire and
Scotland, this kind of bread is made into flattened rolls, and the
cottagers usually bake them in an iron pot.

In Norway they make unleavened bread of oatmeal and barley, which keeps
thirty or forty years, and is considered the better for being old, so
that at the baptism of a child, bread is sometimes used which has been
baked perhaps at the baptism of its great grandfather.

                        Unleavened Maize Bread.

The bread made of maize flour, which is in common use in North America,
is unleavened bread. The maize flour is kneaded with a little salt and
water into a stiff mass; which, after being rolled out into thin cakes,
is usually baked on a hot broad iron hoe.

Another kind of unleavened _maize cakes_, which is a North American
bread, called _Hoe cake_, is made in the following manner.[3]

Take maize, boil it with a small proportion of kidney beans, until it
becomes almost a pulp, and bake it over embers into a cake.

Footnote 3:

  This and several other of the directions here given, for making
  various species of bread, are taken from Edlin’s excellent Treatise on
  bread making, a small work, long ago out of print.

                      Unleavened Bean-Flour Bread.

Take a quarter of a peck of bean-flour and one ounce of salt, mix it
into a thick batter with water, pour a sufficient quantity to make a
cake into an iron kettle, and bake it over the fire, taking care to turn
it frequently.

                     Unleavened Buckwheat Bread.[4]

Footnote 4:

  From the Reports of the Board of Agriculture.

Take a gallon of water, set it over a fire, and when it boils, let a
peck of the flour of buckwheat be mixed with it, little by little, and
keep the mixture constantly stirred, to prevent any lumps being formed
till a thick batter is made. Then add two or three ounces of salt, set
it over the fire again, and allow it to boil an hour and a half, pour
the proper proportion for a cake into an iron kettle and bake it.

                        Unleavened Acorn Bread.

Take acorns, fully ripe, deprive them of their covers and beat them into
a paste, let them lay in water for a night, and then press the water
from them, which deprives the acorns entirely of their astringency. Then
dry and powder the mass for use. When wanted, knead it up into a dough
with water, and roll it out into thin cakes, which may be baked over

Bread made after this method is by no means disagreeable, and even to
this day, it is said to be made use of in some countries.

                              Sea Biscuit.

The process of biscuit-baking for the British navy is as follows, and it
is equally simple and ingenious. The meal, and every other article,
being supplied with much certainty and simplicity, large lumps of dough,
consisting merely of flour and water, are mixed up together; and as the
quantity is so immense as to preclude, by any common process, a
possibility of kneading it, a man manages, or, as it is termed, rides a
machine, which is called a horse. This machine is a long roller,
apparently about four or five inches in diameter, and about seven or
eight feet in length. It has a play to a certain extension, by means of
a staple in the wall, to which is inserted a kind of eye, making its
action like the machine by which they cut chaff for horses. The lump of
dough being placed exactly in the centre of a raised platform, the man
sits upon the end of the machine, and literally rides up and down
throughout its whole circular direction, till the dough is equally
indented; and this is repeated till it is sufficiently kneaded; at which
times, by the different positions of the lines, large or small circles
are described, according as they are near to or distant from the wall.

The dough in this state is handed over to a second workman, who slices
it with a prodigious knife; and it is then in a proper state for the use
of those bakers who attend the oven. These are five in number; and their
different departments are as well calculated for expedition and
correctness, as the making of pins, or other mechanical employments. On
each side of a large table, where the dough is laid, stands a workman;
at a small table near the oven stands another; a fourth stands by the
side of the oven, to receive the bread; and a fifth to supply the peel.
By this arrangement the oven is as regularly filled and the whole
exercise performed in as exact time, as a military evolution. The man on
the further side of the large table, moulds the dough, having previously
formed it into small pieces till it has the appearance of muffins,
although rather thinner, and which he does two together, with each hand;
and, as fast as he accomplishes this task, he delivers his work over to
the man on the other side of the table, who stamps them with a docker on
both sides with a mark. As he rids himself of this work, he throws the
biscuits on the smaller table next the oven, where stands the third
workman, whose business is merely to separate the different pieces into
two, and place them immediately under the hand of him who supplies the
oven, whose work of throwing, or rather chucking, the bread upon the
peel, must be so exact, that if he looked round for a single moment, it
is impossible he should perform it correctly. The fifth receives the
biscuit on the peel, and arranges it in the oven; in which duty he is so
very expert, that though the different pieces are thrown at the rate of
seventy in a minute, the peel is always disengaged in time to receive
them separately.

As the oven stands open during the whole time of filling it, the
biscuits first thrown in would be first baked, were there not some
counteraction to such an inconvenience. The remedy lies in the ingenuity
of the man who forms the pieces of dough, and who, by imperceptible
degrees, proportionably diminishes their size, till the loss of that
time, which is taken up during the filling of the oven, has no more
effect to the disadvantage of one of the biscuits than to another.

So much critical exactness and neat activity occur in the exercise of
this labour, that it is difficult to decide whether the palm of
excellence is due to the moulder, the marker, the splitter, the chucker,
or the depositor; all of them, like the wheels of a machine, seeming to
be actuated by the same principle. The business is to deposit in the
oven seventy biscuits in a minute; and this is accomplished with the
regularity of a clock; the clack of the peel, during its motion in the
oven, operating like the pendulum.

The biscuits thus baked, are dried in lofts over the oven till they are
perfectly dry, to prevent them getting mouldy when stored for use.

One-hundred and twelve pounds of flour produce one hundred and two
pounds of perfectly dry biscuits.


                            Leavened Bread,

Or bread made with a portion of fermented sour dough, obtained by
keeping some bread dough till the acetous fermentation takes place, when
it swells, rarifies, and acquires a taste somewhat sour, and rather
disagreeable. This fermented dough is well worked up with some fresh
dough, which is, by that mixture and moderate heat, disposed to ferment;
and by this fermentation the dough is attenuated and divided, carbonic
acid is extricated, which being incapable of disengaging itself from the
tenaceous and solid dough, forms it into small cavities, and raises and
swells it; hence, the small quantity of fermented dough which disposes
the rest of the mass to ferment is called _leaven_.

Most of the bread used by the people in the lower walks of life in
France, Germany, Holland, and other European countries, is made in this

Leavened bread, therefore, differs from unleavened bread, in being
fermented by means of _leaven_, which is nothing more than a piece of
dough kept in a warm place, till it undergoes a process of fermentation,
swelling, becoming spongy, and full of air bubbles, and at length
disengaging an acidulous vapour, and contracting a sour taste. Leaven
must, therefore, be considered as dough which has fermented and become
sour, but which is still in its progress towards greater acidity.

The addition of leaven, or this species of ferment to fresh dough,
produces an important change in the bread, for when a small portion of
leaven is intimately mixed with a large proportion of fresh dough, it
gradually causes the whole mass to ferment throughout, a quantity of
carbonic acid gas is extracted from the flour, but remaining entangled
by the tenacity of the mass in which it is expanded by heat, this raises
the dough, and as soon as the mass has acquired a due increase of bulk
from the carbonic acid gas which endeavours to escape, it is judged to
be sufficiently fermented and fit for the oven, the heat of which, by
driving off the water, checks the fermentation, and forms a bread full
of small cavities, entirely different from the heavy, compact, viscous
masses, made by baking unfermented dough.

A great deal of nicety is required in conducting this operation, for if
it is continued too long, the bread will be sour, and if too short a
time has been allowed for the dough to ferment and rise, it will be

Bread raised by leaven is usually made of a mixture of wheat and rye,
not very accurately cleared of the bran. It is distinguished by the name
of _rye bread_; and the mixture of these two kinds of grain is called
bread-corn, in many parts of the kingdom, where it is raised on one and
the same piece of ground, and passes through all the processes of
reaping, thrashing, grinding, &c. A mixture of one-hundred pounds of
equal parts of wheat and rye flour, produce from one-hundred and
fifty-four to one-hundred and fifty-six pounds of leavened bread.

                          Leavened Rye Bread.

Take a piece of dough, of about a pound weight, and keep it for use—it
will keep several days very well. Mix this dough with some warm water,
and knead it up with a portion of flour to ferment; then take half a
bushel of flour, and divide it into four parts; mix a quarter of the
flour with the leaven, and a sufficient quantity of water to make it
into dough, and knead it well. Let this remain in a corner of your
trough, covered with flannel, until it ferments and rises properly; then
dilute it with more water, and add another quarter of the flour, and let
it remain and rise. Do the same with the other two quarters of the
flour, one quarter after another, taking particular care never to mix
more flour till the last has risen properly. When finished, add six
ounces of salt; then knead it again, and divide it into eight loaves,
making them broad, and not so thick and high as is usually done, by
which means they will be better baked. Let them remain to rise, in order
to overcome the pressure of the hand in forming them; then put them in
the oven, and reserve a piece of dough for the next baking. The dough
thus kept, may with proper care, be prevented from spoiling, by mixing
from time to time small quantities of fresh flour with it.

It requires some attention to be able to determine the exact quantity of
leaven necessary for the proper fermentation of the dough. When it is
deficient in quantity, the process of fermentation is interrupted, and
the bread thus prepared is solid and heavy, and if too much leaven be
used, it communicates to the bread a disagreeable sour taste.

                          Hungarian Rye Bread.

Two large handfuls of hops are boiled in four quarts of water: this is
poured upon as much wheaten bread as it will moisten, and to this are
added four or five pounds of leaven. When the mass is warm, the several
ingredients are worked together till well mixed. It is then deposited in
a warm place for twenty-four hours, and afterwards divided into small
pieces, about the size of a hen’s egg, which are dried by being placed
on a board, and exposed to a dry air, but not to the sun; when dry, they
are laid up for use, and may be kept half a year. The ferment, thus
prepared, is applied in the following manner: for baking six large
loaves, six good handfuls of these balls are dissolved in seven or eight
quarts of warm water; this water is poured through a sieve into one end
of the bread trough, and after it three quarts of warm water; the
remaining mass being well pressed out. The liquor is mixed up with
flour, sufficient to form a mass of the size of a large loaf; this is
strewed over with flour: the sieve, with its contents, is put upon it,
and the whole is covered up warm, and left till it has risen enough, and
its surface has begun to crack; this forms the leaven. Fifteen quarts of
warm water, in which six handfuls of salt has been dissolved, are then
poured upon it through the sieve; the necessary quantity of flour is
added, and mixed and kneaded with the leaven: this is covered up warm,
and left for about half an hour. It is then formed into loaves, which
are kept for another half-hour in a warm room; and after that they are
put into the oven, where they remain two or three hours, according to
their size.


                         Bread made with Yeast.

The principal improvement that has been made in the art of fabricating
bread, consists in the substitution of yeast, (or the froth that rises
to the surface during the fermentation of malt liquors,) instead of
common flour dough, in a state of acescency, called _leaven_, to rise
the bread dough, made of flour and water, before it is baked. This
substance very materially improves the bread. Yeast makes the dough rise
more effectually than ordinary _leaven_, and the bread thus produced is
much lighter, and free from that sour taste which may often be perceived
in bread raised with leaven; because too much has been added to the
paste, or because the dough has been allowed to advance too far in the
process of fermentation before it was baked.

The discovery of the application of yeast, to improve the panification
of bread flour, was made and first secretly adopted by the bakers of
Paris; but when the practice was discovered, the College of Physicians
there, in 1688, declared it prejudicial to health, and it was not till
after a long time that the bakers succeeded in convincing the people,
that bread made with yeast was superior to bread made with sour dough or

The bread used in this metropolis and in most other large towns in
England, is made of wheaten flour, water, yeast, and salt. The average
proportion are two pints by weight, of water, to three of flour, but the
proportions vary considerably with the diversity of climate, years,
season, age, and grinding of the wheat. There are some kinds of wheat
flour that require precisely three-fourths of their weight of water.
That flour is always the best which combines with the greatest possible
quantity of water. Bakers and pastry-cooks judge of the quality of flour
from the characters of the dough. The best flour forms instantly by the
addition of water a very gluey elastic paste, whereas bad flour produces
a dough that cannot be elongated without breaking.

The flour, in this case, being seldom mixed up oftener than twice, that
is, the yeast previously diluted with water, is added to a part of the
flour, and well kneaded; in a short time, swells and rises in the baking
trough, and is called by the bakers, _setting the sponge_. The remainder
of the flour is afterwards added, with a sufficient quantity of warm
water to make it into a stiff dough, and then allowed to ferment. It is
of essential consequence that the whole of the yeast should be
intimately mixed with the two-thirds of the quantity of the flour put
into the kneading trough, in order that the fermentation of the dough
may commence in every part of the mass at the same time. The dough is
then covered up, and the water which is mixed with the yeast being warm,
speedily extricates air in an elastic state, and as it is now by
kneading, diffused through every part of the dough, every particle must
become raised, and the viscidity of the mass retains it, when it is
again well kneaded and made up into loaves, and put into the oven. The
heat converts the water also into an elastic vapour, and the loaf swells
more and more, till at last it is perfectly porous.

During the baking, a still greater quantity of gazeous matter is
extricated by the increased heat; and as the crust of the bread becomes
formed, the air is prevented from escaping, the water is dissipated, the
loaf rendered somewhat dry and solid, and between every particle of
bread there is a particle of air, as appears from the spongy appearance
of the bread.

It is curious that new flour does not afford bread of so good a quality
as that which has been kept some months. The flour of grain too, which
has suffered incipient germination, is much inferior in the quality of
bread prepared from it: and from this principally appears to arise the
injury which wheat sustains from a wet harvest. Various methods have
been employed to remedy the imperfections of bread from inferior flour,
such as washing the grain with hot water if it is musty, proposed by Mr.
Hatchet;[5] drying and heating it even to a certain extent; adding
various substances, such as magnesia, &c. Some experiments on this
subject have been given by Mr. E. Davy. See a Treatise on Adulterations
of Food, Second Edition, p.137.

Footnote 5:

  See a Treatise on Adulterations of Food and Culinary Poisons, Second
  Edition, p. 143.


To make a sack of flour into bread, the baker pours the flour into the
kneading trough, and sifts it through a fine wire sieve, which makes it
lie very light, and serves to separate any impurities with which the
flour may be mixed. Two ounces of alum are then dissolved in about a
quart of boiling water, and the solution (technically called liquor,) is
poured into _the seasoning-tub_. Four or five pounds of salt are
likewise put into the tub, and a pailful of hot water. When this mixture
has cooled to the temperature of about 84°, from three to four pints of
yeast are added; the whole is mixed, strained through the seasoning
sieve, emptied into a hole made in the mass of the flour, and mixed up
with the requisite portion of it to the consistence of a thick batter.
Some dry flour is then sprinkled over the top, and it is covered up with
sacks or cloths. This operation is called setting _quarter sponge_.

In this situation it is left three or four hours. It gradually swells
and breaks through the dry flour scattered on its surface. An additional
quantity, (about one pailful,) of warm (liquor) water, in which one
ounce of alum is dissolved, is now added, and the dough is made up into
a paste as before; the whole is then covered up. In this situation it is
left for four or five hours. This is called _setting half sponge_.

The whole is then intimately kneaded with more water, (about two pails
full,) for upwards of an hour. The dough is cut into pieces with a
knife, and penned to one side of the trough; some dry flour is sprinkled
over it, and it is left to _prove_ in this state for about four hours.
It is then kneaded again for half an hour. The dough is now taken out of
the trough, put on the lid, cut into pieces, and weighed, in order to
furnish the requisite quantity for each loaf.

The operation of moulding is peculiar, and can only be learnt by
practice; it consists in cutting the mass of dough destined for a loaf,
into two equal portions: they are kneaded either round or long, and one
placed in a hollow made in the other, and the union is completed by a
turn of the knuckles on the centre of the upper piece.

The loaves are left in the oven about two hours and a half, or three
hours, when taken out of the oven, they are turned with their bottom
side upwards to prevent them from splitting. They are then covered up
with a blanket to cool slowly.


A sack of flour, weighing two hundred and eighty pounds, is made with
five pounds of salt, and from three to four pints of yeast, into dough,
with the requisite quantity of water, which varies according to the
quality of the flour.

The older the flour, provided the wheat has been sound, and the flour
well preserved, the greater will be the quantity of water required to
convert it into a stiff dough, and the greater the produce of bread.

The quantity of flour for a quartern loaf is reckoned at an average,
three pounds and a half, which produces, if the flour be of the best
quality, five pounds avoirdupoise of dough. The quartern loaf produced
from this quantity of flour weighs four pounds, five ounces and a half,
and hence the dough loses, during baking, eleven ounces and a half.

The quantity of bread obtainable from the same quantity of flour is,
however, much influenced by the manner in which the dough is fermented,
and the skilful regulation of the heat employed for baking the bread.

A variation of temperature also makes a considerable difference to the
baker’s profit or loss. In summer, a sack of flour will yield a quartern
loaf more than in winter; and the sifting it, before it is wetted, if it
does not make it produce more bread, certainly causes the loaves to be

The loss of weight occasioned by the heat is proportional to the extent
of the surface of the loaf, and to the length of time it remains in the
oven. Hence the smaller the surface, or the nearer the figure of the
loaf approaches to a globe, the smaller is the loss of weight sustained
in baking; and the longer the loaf continues in the oven the greater is
the loss.

A loaf that weighed just four pounds when taken out of the oven, after
the usual baking, was put in again, and after ten minutes was found to
have lost two ounces, and in ten minutes more it lost another ounce. The
longer bread is kept the lighter it is, unless it be kept in a damp
place, or wrapt round with a wet cloth, which is an excellent method of
preserving bread fresh and free from mould, for a long time.

                        Home-made Wheaten Bread.

Take a bushel of wheaten flour, and put two third parts of it in one
heap into a trough or tub; then dilute two pints of yeast with three or
four pints of warm water, and add to this mixture from eight to ten
ounces of salt. Make a hole in the middle of the heap of flour, pour the
mixture of yeast, salt, and water into it, and knead the whole into an
uniform stiff dough, with such an additional quantity of water as is
requisite for that purpose, and suffer the dough to rise in a warm

When the dough has risen, and just begins again to subside, add to it
gradually the remaining one third part of the flour; knead it again
thoroughly, taking care to add gradually so much warm water as is
sufficient to form the whole into a stiff tenaceous dough, and continue
the kneading. At first the mass is very adhesive and clings to the
fingers, but it becomes less so the longer the kneading is continued;
and when the fist, on being withdrawn, leaves its perfect impression in
the dough, none of it adhering to the fingers, the kneading may be
discontinued. The dough may be then divided into loaf pieces, (of about
5lb. in weight). Knead each piece once more separately, and having made
it up in the proper form, put it in a warm place, cover it up with a
blanket to promote the last rising; and when this has taken place, put
it into the oven. When the loaves are withdrawn they should be covered
up with a blanket to cool as slowly as possible.

                           To make Pan Bread.

Mix up the flour, salt, and yeast, (See page 97), with the requisite
portion of warm water, into a moderately stiff paste; but instead of
causing part of the flour to ferment, (or setting the sponge), as stated
in the preceding process, suffer the whole mass to rise at once. Then
divide it into earthenware pans, or sheet iron moulds, and bake the
loaves till nearly done, in a quick oven; at that time remove them out
of the pans, or moulds, and set them on tins for a few minutes, in order
that the crust may become brown, and when done wrap them up in flannel,
and rasp them when cold.

Bread made in this manner is much more spongy or honeycombed, than bread
made in the common way. It is essential that the dough be not so stiff,
as when intended for common bread, moulded by the hand.

                          Brown Wheaten Bread.

Suppose a Winchester bushel of good wheat weighs fifty-nine pounds, let
it be sent to the mill and ground; including the bran, the meal will
weigh fifty-eight pounds, for not more than a pound will be lost in

Mix it up with water, yeast, and salt, like the dough of common bread,
(See page 97); the mass, before it is put into the oven, will weigh
about eighty-eight pounds.

Divide it into eighteen loaves, and put them into the oven; when
thoroughly baked, and after they are drawn out and left two hours to
cool, they will weigh seventy-four pounds and a half.

                          Mixed Wheaten Bread.

Take a peck of wheaten flour, the same quantity of oatmeal, and half a
peck of boiled potatoes, skinned and mashed; let the mass be kneaded
into a dough, with a proper quantity of yeast, salt, and warm milk; make
the dough into loaves, and put them into the oven to bake.

The bread, thus prepared, rises well in the oven, is of a light brown
colour, and by no means of an unpleasant flavour; it tastes so little of
the oatmeal, as to be taken, by those who are unacquainted with its
composition, for barley or rye bread. It is sufficiently moist, and, if
put in a proper place, keeps well for a week.

               Rolls, French Bread, Muffins and Crumpets.

The dough of which rolls are made by the generality of the London
bakers, is suffered to _prove_, that is to rise more, than dough
intended to be made into loaf-bread. It is, therefore, left in the
kneading trough, whilst the loaves made of the same dough are in the
oven. During this period it rises more, and the fermentation is further
promoted, by placing the rolls, when moulded, in a warm place, to cause
the dough to expand as much as possible. When this has taken place, they
are put in the oven to be baked, which is effected in about twenty or
thirty minutes. When taken out of the oven they are slightly brushed
over with a buttered brush, which gives the top crust a shining
appearance, they are then covered up with flannel to cool gradually.

I have witnessed at a baker’s, who has the reputation for making
excellent rolls, forty-eight pounds of dough moulded into one hundred
(penny) rolls; they weighed, when drawn out of the oven, twenty-six

The bread called in this metropolis French rolls, and French bread, is
made precisely in the same manner, namely, from common bread dough, but
of a less stiff consistence; they are suffered to rise to a greater
extent than dough intended for loaf-bread.

Some bakers make rolls and French bread of a superior kind, for private
families, in the following manner:

Put a peck of flour into the kneading trough, and sift it through a wire
sieve, then rub in three quarters of a pound of butter, and, when it is
intimately blended with the flour, mix up with it two quarts of warm
milk, a quarter of a pound of salt, and a pint of yeast; let these be
mixed with the flour, and a sufficient quantity of warm water to knead
it into a dough; suffer it to stand two hours to prove, and then mould
it into rolls, which are to be placed on tins, and set for an hour near
the fire or in the proving closet. They are then put into a brisk oven
for about twenty minutes, and when drawn, the crust is rasped.

The cakes, called in this metropolis, _muffins_ and _crumpets_, are
baked, not in an oven, but on a hot iron plate.

For muffins, wheaten flour is made with water, or milk, into a batter or
dough. To a quarter of a peck of flour is usually added three quarters
of a pint of yeast, four ounces of salt, and so much water (or milk)
slightly warmed, as is sufficient to form a dough of rather a soft
consistence. Small portions of the dough are then put into holes,
previously made in a layer of flour, about two inches thick, placed on a
board, and the whole is covered up with a blanket and suffered to stand
near a fire, to cause the muffin dough to rise. When this has been
effected, the small cakes will exhibit a semi-globular shape. They are
then carefully transferred on the heated iron plate to be baked, and
when the bottom of the muffin begins to acquire a brown colour, they are
turned and baked on the opposite side.

_Crumpets_ are made of a batter composed of flour, water (or milk), and
a small quantity of yeast. To one pound of the best wheaten flour is
usually added three table-spoonsful of yeast. A portion of the liquid
paste, after having been suffered to rise, is poured on a heated iron
plate, and quickly baked, like pancakes in a frying pan.

                             Barley Bread.

Barley, next to wheat, is the most profitable of the farinaceous grains,
and when mixed with a small proportion of wheat flour, may be made into
bread. Barley bread is not spongy, and feels heavier in the hand than
wheaten bread.

To remedy this defect in part, it is always best to set the _sponge_
with wheat flour only, for barley flour does not readily ferment with
yeast, and adding the barley flour, when the dough is intended to be
made. Bread made in this way requires to be kept a longer time in the
oven than wheaten bread, and the heat of the oven should also be
somewhat greater; but barley bread is sometimes made without the
addition of wheaten flour.

Suppose a bushel of barley to weigh fifty-two pounds and a half to be
made into bread; let it be sent to the mill, and have the bran taken
out, which, with what is lost in grinding and dressing, will probably
reduce it to forty-four pounds. If the meal be kneaded into dough, with
water, yeast, and salt, suffered to rise, and then divided into eight
loaves, and thoroughly baked, they will weigh about sixty pounds, after
drawn out of the oven, and left two hours to cool.

Barley bread is eaten by many of the farmers and labourers in husbandry,
also by the miners in Devonshire and Cornwall.

                          Mixed Barley Bread.

Take four bushels of wheat ground to form one sort of flour, extracting
only a very small quantity of the coarser bran.[6] Add to it three
bushels and a half of barley flour, mix up the flour into a dough in the
usual manner, with salt, yeast, and warm water, (See page 97), let it be
divided into loaves, and put them into the oven made hotter than it
would be for baking wheaten bread. Let them remain in the oven three
hours and a half. In Yorkshire, bread made from a mixture of these
grains is esteemed more wholesome to those who are used to it, than
bread made from wheat alone.

Footnote 6:

  From the Reports of the Board of Agriculture.

                               Rye Bread.

Rye is a grain whose cultivation is not much encouraged in this kingdom,
but in the northern parts of Europe it is in very extensive use as a
nourishing food for mankind. When made into bread alone, it is of a dark
brown colour, and sweetish taste, and if eat by people unaccustomed to
its use, it is found to have a laxative effect. In some parts of this
kingdom, a mixture of rye and wheat is reckoned an excellent bread. In
Yorkshire, bread made from a mixture of these two grains is esteemed.

The following method of making household rye bread, has been recommended
by the board of agriculture.[7]

Footnote 7:

  Account of Experiments tried by the Board of Agriculture, p. 12.

Suppose a bushel of rye to weigh sixty pounds, add to it a fourth part,
or fifteen pounds of rice; this when ground has only the broad bran
taken out, which seldom exceeds four and a half or five pounds for that
quantity; it is thus directed to be prepared for household rye bread.

Take fourteen pounds of the mixed flour, a sufficient quantity of yeast,
salt, and warm water, and let it be made in a dough, and baked in the
usual way. It will produce twenty-two pounds weight of bread, which is a
surplus of three pounds and a half in fourteen pounds, over and above
what is usually produced in the common process of converting household
wheat flour into bread.

                             Turnip Bread.

A very good turnip bread may be made by the following process: Let the
turnips be pared and boiled. When they are soft enough, for being
mashed, the greater part of the water should be pressed out of them, and
they should be mixed with an equal quantity in weight of wheat flour.
The dough may then be made in the usual manner, with yeast, salt, and
warm water. It will rise well in the trough, and after being kneaded, it
may be formed into loaves, and put into the oven. It requires to be
baked rather longer than ordinary bread, and when taken from the oven is
equally light and white, rather sweeter, with a slight but not
disagreeable taste of the turnip. After it has been allowed to stand
twelve hours, this taste is scarcely perceptible, and the smell is
totally lost, and after an interval of twenty-four hours, it cannot be
known that it has turnips in its composition, although it has still a
peculiar sweetish taste, but by no means unpalatable. It keeps for
upwards of a week.

                              Rice Bread.

Rice, though one of the roughest and driest of farinaceous vegetables,
is converted by the Americans into a very pleasant fermented bread. The
process is as follows: The grain is first washed by pouring water upon
it, then stirring it, and changing the water until it be sufficiently
cleansed. The water is afterwards drawn off, and the rice, being
sufficiently drained, is put, while yet damp, into a mortar, and beaten
to powder; it is now completely dried, and passed through a common hair
sieve. The flour, thus obtained, is generally kneaded with a small
proportion of Indian corn meal, and boiled into a thickish consistence;
or sometimes it is mixed with boiled potatoes, and a small quantity of
leaven, or yeast, is added to the mass. When it has fermented,
sufficiently, the dough is put into pans, and placed in an oven. The
bread made by this process is light and wholesome, pleasing to the eye,
and agreeable to the taste. But rice flour will make excellent bread,
without the addition of either potatoes, or any kind of meal. Let a
sufficient quantity of the flour be put into a kneading trough; and at
the same time let a due proportion of water be boiled in a cauldron,
into which throw a few handfuls of rice in grain, and boil it till it
break. This forms a thick and viscous substance, which is poured upon
the flour, and the whole kneaded with a mixture of salt and yeast; the
dough is then covered with warm clothes, and left to rise. In the
process of fermentation, this dough, firm at first, becomes liquid as
soup, and seems quite incapable of being wrought by the hand. To obviate
this inconvenience, the oven is heated while the dough is rising; and
when it has attained a proper temperature, a tinned box is taken,
furnished with a handle long enough to reach to the end of the oven; a
little water is poured into this box, which is then filled with dough,
and covered with cabbage leaves and a leaf of paper. The box is thus
committed to the oven, and suddenly reversed. The heat of the oven
prevents the dough from spreading, and keeps it in the form which the
box has given it. This bread is both beautiful and good; but when it
becomes a little stale, loses much of its excellence. It comes out of
the oven of a fine yellow colour, like pastry which has yolks of eggs in
it. Other methods of making rice bread are the following:

1. Boil a quarter of a pound of rice till it is quite soft; then put it
on the back part of a sieve to drain, and when it is cool, mix it up
with three quarters of a pound of wheaten flour, a spoonful of yeast,
and two ounces of salt. Let it stand for three hours, then knead it
well, and roll it in about a handful of wheaten flour, so as to make the
outside dry enough to put it in the oven. About an hour and a quarter
will bake it, and it will produce one pound fourteen ounces of very good
white bread, but it should not be cut till it is two days old. Another
way is the following:

2. Take half a peck of rice flour, and one peck of wheaten flour, mix
them together and knead the dough up with a sufficient quantity of salt,
yeast, and warm water, as stated in page 97. Suffer it to ferment,
divide it into eight loaves, and bake them.

3. Take a peck of rice, boil it over night till it becomes soft, then
put it in a pan, and the next morning it will be found to have swelled
prodigiously. A peck of potatoes should now be boiled, skinned, and
mashed into a fine pulp, and while hot, be well kneaded up with the
rice, and a peck of wheaten flour; a sufficient quantity of yeast and
salt must now be added, and the dough left in the kneading trough to
prove or ferment; and when well risen it may be divided into loaves and
baked in the usual way.

                             Potatoe Bread.

Potatoes, mixed in various quantities, with flour, make a wholesome,
nutritive, and pleasant bread. Various methods are employed for
preparing the potatoes.

1. Pare a peck of potatoes, put them into a proper quantity of water,
and boil them till they are reduced to a pulp, then beat them up into a
smooth mass with the water they boiled in, and knead the mass, with two
pecks of wheaten flour, with a sufficient quantity of yeast and salt,
into a dough; cover it up, and allow it to ferment like common wheaten
bread, then make it up into loaves and bake them. Another method is the

2. Take twelve pounds of the most mealy sort of peeled potatoes, boil
and press them through a fine wire sieve, in such a manner as to reduce
the roots, as nearly as possible, to a state of dry flour. Mix it up
with twenty pounds of wheaten flour; and of this mixture make, and set
the dough in the same manner as if the whole were wheaten flour. See
page 97.

3. Take three pounds of potatoes, boil, skin, and mash them, and whilst
warm, bruise them with a spoon, and put them into a dish before the
fire, to let the moisture evaporate, stirring them frequently, that no
part grows hard; when dry, rub them as fine as possible and add nine
pounds of wheaten flour, and with a sufficient quantity of yeast and
salt, knead it up as other dough; lay it a little while before the fire
to ferment, and then divide it into loaves and bake them in a very hot
oven. Another method is the following:

4. Boil and peel the potatoes as for eating, reduce them without any
water to a fine meal or stiff paste. Add to two parts by weight of the
paste, one part of potatoe starch, and half a part of wheaten flour, and
having added to it salt and yeast, suffer it to ferment; mould the dough
into loaves, and bake them in the usual manner.

M. Parmentier found, from a variety of experiments, that good bread
might be made from a mixture of raw potatoe-pulp and wheaten meal, with
the addition of yeast and salt; and Dr. Darwin asserts, that if eight
pounds of good raw potatoes be grated into cold water, and after
stirring the mixture the starch be left to subside, and when collected,
mixed with eight pounds of boiled potatoes, the mass will make as good
bread as that from the best wheaten flour.

                             Potatoe Rolls.

Bruise four pounds of boiled and skinned potatoes, with as much milk as
will just produce a mass, which readily may be squeezed through a
cullender, add this mass to wheaten flour paste of a middling stiffness,
obtained from six pounds of wheaten flour; put it before a fire to rise,
make it into rolls, and bake them in a quick oven. The rolls thus made
will be more porous and light than common rolls.

                              Apple Bread.

M. Duduit de Maizieres, a French officer of the king’s household, has
invented and practised with great success, a method of making bread of
common apples, very far superior to potatoe bread. After having boiled
one third of peeled apples, he bruised them, while quite warm, into
two-thirds of flour, including the proper quantity of yeast, and kneaded
the whole without water, the juice of the fruit being quite sufficient.
When this mixture had acquired the consistency of paste, he put it into
a vessel, in which he allowed it to rise for about twelve hours. By this
process he obtained a very excellent bread, full of eyes, and extremely
palatable and light.

                    Domestic Oven for Baking Bread.

The figure on the title page exhibits a convenient culinary oven for
families who bake their own bread. It is usually erected on one side of
the kitchen fire-place, and heated by a flue that passes from the
fire-grate under the bottom of the oven. Although this is in many
respects a convenient and neat way of heating the oven, yet the manner
of managing the fire renders it only economical in families where a
large fire is always kept up in the kitchen-grate. In small families it
is far more economical to heat the oven by means of a separate
fire-place built underneath it. A fire-place six inches wide, nine
inches long, and six inches deep, is sufficient to heat an oven eighteen
inches wide, twenty-four inches long, and from twelve to fifteen inches
high, which is a convenient size for the baking of bread. The grate
should be placed at least twelve inches below the bottom of the oven
when the fuel employed is pit-coal; and, in order to prevent the fire
from operating with too much violence upon any part of the oven, the
brick-work should be sloped outwards and upwards on every side, from the
top of the burning fuel, to the ends and sides of the bottom of the
oven, that the whole may be exposed to the direct rays of the fire. If
the fire-place be built in this manner, and properly managed, it is
almost incredible how small a quantity of fuel will answer for heating
the oven, and keeping it hot. In this small fire-place there is always a
very strong draft of air passing into it, and this circumstance, which
is unavoidable, renders it necessary to keep the fire-place door
constantly closed, and to leave but a small opening, for the passage of
the air, through the ash-pit. If these precautions are neglected, the
fuel will be consumed very rapidly, the bottom of the oven will be
burnt, and the oven get chilled as soon as the fire-place ceases to be
filled with burning fuel. In an oven of this description, I have baked
two loaves, each weighing five pounds, and fifteen rolls weighing two
pounds, by means of half a peck (ten pounds) of coal.

The figures on the plate facing the titlepage[See Note] exhibit an oven
to be heated with pit-coal for baking bread, now generally employed in
this metropolis.

The oven from which this design has been made, is eight feet wide, and
seven deep. The fire-place, called by the bakers, the furnace, for
heating the oven, is placed at the side, and enters the oven diagonally;
it is furnished with a grate, ash holes, and iron door, similar to a
common fire-place for heating a boiler, but having a partition to
separate it from the oven, and to allow the fire to enter into the oven;
it, therefore, forms a canal, by which the flame is directed into the
oven. Over the fire-place or furnace is erected, and lets into the
brick-work, a boiler furnished with a pipe, to supply warm water as
occasion may require.

When the oven is required to be heated, the boiler is filled with water,
and the fire being kindled in the furnace, the flame passes into the
oven, and the smoke escapes into the chimney.

The sides of the oven are nearly straight, and turned as sharp as
possible at the shoulder, for this form has been found better calculated
to retain the heat than any other.

The flues to carry off the smoke is over the entrance door, as shown by
the dotted line _a_ of the figure here exhibited, exhibiting the plan of
the oven.


A piece of cast iron covers the space before the door of the oven,
exactly level with its floor; the opening underneath is applied to no
particular use, but is generally made a receptacle for coal.

_Fig. 1_, is an _elevation_ of the oven. The mouth is closed with a cast
iron door, in which is a small sight-hole with a slide valve. To heat
the oven, the door is thrown back, and a _blower_ is applied to the
mouth, so contrived, as not only to cover the mouth of the oven
completely, but to enclose also the throat of the chimney; by this
contrivance the draft is quickly so much increased, that the oven
becomes speedily heated, and if at anytime it is too hot, it is only
necessary to throw open the door of the fire place, and to put up the
_blower_ for a few minutes; the current of cool air which is thus made
to pass through it, soon lowers the heat to the temperature required. In
the _blower_ is also an opening of the same kind as that in the oven
door, which may be opened and shut at pleasure; the course of the flue
is described by the dotted lines at (_b_).

_Fig. 2_, is the _blower_ before mentioned for regulating the heat of
the oven.

_Fig. 3_, is a transverse section from _A_ to _B_ on the plan, looking
towards the opening, the fire-place entering the oven at _c_, the crown
of the oven is turned with the bricks on end, and in building the oven
instead of centering the arch, the whole space is filled with sand,
which is well trod down and shaped to the shape which it is intended the
crown of the oven shall be of. When the upper work is finished, the sand
is dug out at the mouth of the oven.

_Fig. 4_, is a longitudinal section of the oven from _C_ to _D_. In this
sketch the situation of the flue is evident, and the sectional line of
the _blower_, fig. 2, when in its place, is shown by the dotted line
_d_, the open space _a_, under the oven, has been before spoken of.

            Popular Errors concerning the Quality of Bread.

The great advantage of eating pure and genuine bread must be obvious.
Every part of the wheat, which may be called flour, was not only
intended to be eaten by man, but it really makes the best bread. The
delusion, however, by which so many persons are misled to think that
even the whole flour is not good enough, obliges them to pay much dearer
for their bread than they need, to gratify a perverted and fanciful
appetite. Had it not been for the custom of eating whiter bread than the
whole of the _flour_ can make, the miller and baker would not have
employed their art to render the bread as white as possible, and to make
the consumer pay for the artificial whiteness. The average quantity of
flour, from an unvaried series of experiments, made from age to age,
through the course of many hundred years, appears to be three-fourth
parts in weight of the whole grain of wheat, taking all wheats together,
being more in the finer sorts, and less in the coarser; and the bread
made from this flour has always been deemed the standard of the food of
bread corn. But, by insensible degrees, the manufacture of bread became
separated into two distinct employments.

In consequence of this alteration, the baker, having no further
connexion with the market for corn, became dependant solely on the
mealman for supplying him with flour, who, not considering himself
amenable to the then existing assize laws, made different kinds of
flour, some extremely fine and white, while others were very coarse and
unpalatable. These artificial whites, when made into bread, were so
pleasing to the eye and taste, that, in the course of a few years, they
got into such general use that the people refused any longer to purchase
the bread made of the whole of the grain.

“Our forefathers[8] never _refined_ so much: they never preyed so much
on each other; nor, I presume, made so many laws necessary for their
restraint, as we do.”

Footnote 8:

  The great advantage of eating pure and genuine bread, comprehending
  the heart of the wheat with all its flour. Shewing how this may be a
  means of promoting health and plenty, preserving infants from the
  grave, by destroying the temptation to the use of alum and other
  ingredients in our present wheaten bread. By an advocate for the
  trade. London, 1773. See also Important considerations upon the act of
  the thirty-first of George II. relative to the assize of bread.
  London: T. Becket, Strand, 1768.

“In looking back, for some hundred years, it appears that they adopted a
certain plan, supposing that nature had given nothing in vain, and that
every part of the wheat which may be called flour, was not only intended
to be eaten by _men_, but that it really made the best bread, as that
might be called the _best_, which is best adapted to general use, and in
itself so fine, as to contain no parts of the coat, or husks of grain.”

“The inference which I mean to draw from what is premised, is to remind
my fellow citizens of the unfortunate delusion of thinking that even the
_whole flour_ of the wheat is not good enough for _them_; that part of
it must be taken away, and given to _birds_ or _beasts_.”

“By this delusion, supposing a certain quantity of wheat appropriated to
their use, (and this is the view they should see it in,) they lose one
third part of the flour, and consequently have so much the less bread to
supply their wants.”

“Is it not then monstrous to hear them complain? Is it not absurd to
talk of poverty, and yet pay a _seventh_ or _eighth part_ more than they
need, to gratify a fantastic appetite? Had it not been from the custom
of eating whiter bread than the whole flour of the wheat will make,
should we have thus imposed on ourselves? Would the miller or baker
employ all his art to make the bread as _white_ as possible, and oblige
us to pay for this _artificial_ whiteness? They tell the consumer, the
_whiter it is_, the _finer_; and the finer, the more nutritive. Thus we
become _dupes_ so far as to overlook the essential good properties of
genuine bread, made of all the flour of the wheat, and likewise the
difference in the price.”

“We are taught to favour a gross delusion at the suggestion of
interested persons, against our own substantial welfare. It is the
interest of every one to be _honest_, and say nothing contrary to his
real sentiments, as it is the duty of those who have knowledge, to
inform such as are ignorant. Those who have never eaten bread of all the
flour in a pure state, with the native taste of wheat, and the moisture
which it preserves, can know nothing of the comparative excellence of it
with respect to the whitened city bread which they have been accustomed
to eat all their lives.”

“The dictates of the understanding will ever yield to the pleasures of
the imagination: and the provident will be attentive to take the
advantage of the extravagant. Thus it happens that the poor have been
bewildered, and deprived of the object they sought.”

“The event depends on the good sense of masters and mistresses of
families, and their right understanding of what they mean to eat, _that
is_, of what parts of the wheat the bread they consume is made. If they
are satisfied that the bread is more pure than what they used to eat,
and _sufficiently fine_, we may presume, if they are in their right
minds, they will prefer it for domestic use. Every family of fourteen or
fifteen persons, consuming at the rate of one pound each, in a day, pays
near 16_s._ a week: if they can save 2_s._ 6_d._ or 1_s._ 6_d._ it is an
object: to a poor man who spends 5_s._ in bread, if he can save eight or
ten pence, it may purchase two or three pounds of animal substance
towards making one feast in a week.”

“In regard to the patriotic miller, he does not pretend to consult our
good in preference to his own; on the contrary, he reasons very deeply,
as if it were best for us to live on the essence of a leg of mutton,
brought within the compass of a pint, than feed on such porterly food as
the mutton prepared in the ordinary way of roasting or boiling. He
maintains, that the finer the bread, though the quantity be smaller, the
more nutritive.”

The wheaten bread, of the London baker, is acknowledged to be whitened
by a mixture of alum, which serves to keep the loaf in better shape,
renders it the whiter, and causes it to imbibe the more water to
increase the quantity of the bread. Thus he consults his interest,
without regard to the consumer: the whiter it is, the more adulterated;
and, as constant experience proves, such bread, after it is two days
old, becomes dry and husky.”

“If bread, made in a private family, of the same flour as the baker
uses, will not be so white, we must suppose that there is an art of
whitening; and that this would be no secret, if it were not pernicious.”

“The bread recommended, made of all the flour of the wheat, retains all
the good properties of bread; it is eatable at the distance of eight or
ten days: is it not on this account the most eligible?”

“Take a loaf of the wheaten London bread, made by the baker in his usual
way; let the same baker make another with all the flour of the wheat,
without any attempt to whiten or otherwise adulterate it. Let him keep
both in the same temperature of air, and produce a specimen of each at
any reasonable distance of time, and it will be easily seen what the
difference is. This arises not only from _mixtures_, but the _peculiar
manner of raising the sponge_.”

“In regard to the difference of consuming new bread of the first day,
and that which has been made for three, four, or five days, it is
computed to be at least a fourth part. If our present wheaten bread
cannot be eaten with pleasure beyond the second day, it is not wonderful
to discover at last that we are lighting our candle at both ends.”

“That the vitiated bread agrees with some people, whether by the force
of habit, or the mixtures it contains, is not disputed; but in general
it is very hurtful.”

“Great numbers of our fellow-subjects eat their bread much coarser than
the Londoners: are they weaker? they are generally stronger. Some part
of the advantage must be carried to this account.”

“Let us have time to subdue our prejudices, and we shall find that bread
of all the flour of the wheat, for the general use, is better both in
quality and price than the present wheaten bread.”

“In regard to the _London baker_, ask him of what parts of the wheat his
bread is made, and he frankly acknowledges he cannot tell; and how
should he? He can buy only what is to be sold; and the quality is not
ascertained with any such precision as to enable him to answer the
question. He, _poor man_ does the best he can, not to give a sweet
wholesome aliment, but something which is _white_. He knows that bread
made of a proper proportion of the wheat, not only differs in colour,
but is moister at the end of eight days than _his_ the third day; he
likewise knows that it is sweeter, and has the native grateful flavour
of the wheat, as the God of Nature hath given it, and not as it hath
been adulterated.”

“If the parliament had required us to eat plum-cake, seed-cake, or
sugar-cake, we should have known that plums, seed, and sugar,
constituted the difference; but from the moment the law made
distinctions in the division of the flour for three different kinds of
bread for common use, we were exposed to the mercy of the miller to give
the baker what he pleased, and call it by what name he pleased; we could
only judge whether the bread pleased us or not. The miller and the baker
divide and subdivide; and instead of flour for bread, and the bran that
remained, according to ancient practice, whereby the beggar as well as
the prince was pleased, _bread_ became a mystery, and we no longer knew
what we were eating.”

“Our misfortune, in regard to bread, is, that we eat it too fine; we
decline the use of barley in bread, having hardly enough for beer. Oats
and pease are rejected: at length we reject even _wheaten flour_,—unless
we are supplied with the finest parts only!—What will befall us in the

“_Custom_ often makes a law more forcible than _Law-givers_, and we have
now to contend with _custom_.—The first consideration should be, that
the _flour_ which represents _three-fourths of the wheat_, shall be
really such, and brought to market in sacks, marked _Standard_: the
value of it may be more easily ascertained, than that of which is made
the wheaten bread we now eat.”

“The baker may be a little the more reluctant to come into this salutary
proposal, as knowing that if he is to decline the use of alum, flour
that is in any degree musty, or made of wheat that has grown or
vegetated before gathered in, as sometimes happens, he cannot work it up
so advantageously in the bread now proposed to be made, as in the
wheaten bread.—Be this as it may, as soon as the baker finds this
_standard_ flour is vendable in bread, he will buy it; and knowing what
part of the wheat it ought to be, he will work it into bread with so
much the more satisfaction; and being sensible that we mean to eat
_genuine_ bread, he will cease to _whiten_ it by any hurtful art. We
shall all understand what we eat, and the trade will be familiar to us;
we shall be so much happier as we become so much the more honest, and
more healthy than we were before. Such is the serious light in which I
see the subject before me.”

“Every occupation hath its mystery; and the professors are gratified in
thinking themselves wiser than the rest of the world in their own way.
Every professed _cook_ of the first rate can melt down a large ham into
the contents of half a pint. The confectioner uses bitter almonds, which
are poisonous; the oilman colours his pickles with _copper_, to render
them green; and the baker uses alum to _whiten_ his bread, and make his
flour imbibe the more water, by which he makes the more bread out of the
same quantity of flour. This, and other _occasional_ mixtures of the
flour of different grains, renders his bread husky, dry, and
disagreeable the third day.—Are we the _better_ for any such mysteries?”

“Whether the wheat be all of one kind, or _married_, which is the phrase
for mixing of wheats of different kinds, it will be easy for people of
condition, by experiment, or by the comparison with genuine bread made
in their families, to know whether justice be done; though we may easily
discover that the baker for the _public_, is generally a better master
of his trade than most housewives are. The _mystery_ may be thus
developed; our health and pleasure promoted; and our bread be as much
cheaper than it is now, as the gain on the _flour_ will make it, by
using _all_ that the wheat produces.”

“Every one may try by grinding and bolting his own grain, and baking his
own bread, and the manufacturers of bread may find nearly as good
account in bread of all _the flour_, which can be so easily ascertained;
as they do in the wheaten, which is involved in difficulties.”

“The public have administered to their own delusion, their eyes are shut
to their own advantage. If the wealthy will adopt the use of the bread
in question, the labouring part of our fellow-subjects will certainly
follow the example; and as to _paupers_, they will gladly comply.”

“Common sense, in all ages, has achieved wonders.”

      Laws prohibiting the Adulteration of Bread and Bread Flour.

The adulteration of bread and bread flour is forbidden by law, as is
obvious from the following acts of parliament:

“No person shall put into any corn,[9] meal, or flour, which shall be
ground, dressed, bolted, or manufactured for sale, any ingredient or
mixture whatsoever, whereby the same may be adulterated, or shall sell
any flour of one sort of grain as for the flour of another, but shall
only sell the real genuine meal or flour of the grain the same shall
import to be, under the penalty of five pounds for every such offence.”

Footnote 9:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 883.

“If any person have cause to suspect that any miller[10] who grinds,
dresses, or bolts any grain for toll or reward, or manufactures any
flour for sale, or that any baker mixes up with his flour any mixture or
ingredient, not the genuine produce of the grain, so that the purity of
the meal in any wise be adulterated, and reports the same on oath to a
magistrate, then, in that case, such magistrate, or a peace-officer duly
authorized by him, shall enter the premises of such suspected person,
and search or examine whether such mixture or ingredient, not the
genuine produce of the grain, is in the possession of such miller,
mealman, or baker; and such meal and flour as shall be deemed to have
been adulterated may be seized, together with the base mixtures; and if
seized by a peace-officer, it is to be carried before a magistrate, but
if seized by the magistrate, he may immediately dispose of it as he
shall think fit. And the person on whose premises such mixture or
ingredient shall be found, and adjudged to be intended to be used in
adulterating the flour, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding ten pounds,
and have his name, offence, and place of abode published in some
newspaper that is printed or circulated near his place of abode, unless
he shall make it appear, to the satisfaction of the magistrate, that the
same was not lodged there with the intention of adulterating the flour,
but for some other lawful purpose.”

Footnote 10:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 888.

“That if any person shall wilfully obstruct[11] or hinder any search
being made for such mixtures as are designed to adulterate the meal or
flour, or shall oppose their being carried away, such person shall
forfeit a sum not exceeding five pounds, nor less than forty shillings.”

Footnote 11:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 889.

“And that the good design of these regulations may be more effectually
accomplished, it shall be lawful for the several wardmote[12] inquests
of the city of London, or any magistrate[13] or peace-officer authorized
by a warrant from such magistrate, without the jurisdiction of the city
of London, to enter into any bake-house or shop, at all seasonable
times, to search for and weigh all the bread therein; and if any of the
loaves are found wanting in the goodness of the stuff of which they
should be made, or deficient in the due baking or working thereof, or
shall be wanting in the weight, or shall not be truly marked, such
persons may seize such bread; and, if a magistrate is not present, it
shall be taken before one, who may dispose of it as he shall think fit.”

Footnote 12:

  37 Geo. 3. c. 98. sec. 22.

Footnote 13:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 890.

“That if any person shall wilfully[14] obstruct or hinder any such
search, or prevent the carrying the same away, he shall, on conviction
before a magistrate, be fined a sum not exceeding five pounds, nor less
than twenty shillings.”

Footnote 14:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 890.

“That it shall be lawful for any magistrate[15], or peace-officer,
authorised by a warrant, and accompanied by one or more master bakers,
to enter, at seasonable times, any shop or bake-house within the city of
London, or within ten miles of the Royal Exchange, to search and examine
whether any alum, or other ingredients, shall have been mixed up with,
or put into, any meal, flour, dough, or bread, in the possession of any
such baker, and also to search for alum, or any other ingredients, which
may be intended to be used for the purpose of adulterating the bread;
and if, on enquiry, they find any alum, or other unlawful ingredients,
or that any flour, meal, dough, or bread, contains any preparation of
alum, such shall be immediately seized, and carried before some
magistrate within whose jurisdiction the baker lives, and who shall
dispose of it as he shall think fit. And if the magistrate is satisfied
that such pernicious ingredients were put into the bread with the
consent or privity of the baker, or if he acknowledges it himself, or
one or two credible witnesses certify, on oath, that they know he uses
alum, such baker shall forfeit any sum of money not exceeding twenty
pounds, or be committed to, and kept at hard labour in, the house of
correction, or some other prison, for six calendar months, unless he can
prove, to the satisfaction of the magistrate, that the alum, or other
ingredients, were designed for some lawful purpose. And further, the
magistrate is expressly required to cause the offender’s name, place of
abode, and offence, to be published in some newspaper which shall be
printed or published in or near the city of London, or the liberties

Footnote 15:

  38 Geo. 3. c. 55. sec. 14 and 15.

“That if any person or persons shall wilfully obstruct[16] or hinder
such search or seizure, as above described, he or they shall, for every
offence, forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding ten pounds, nor less than
five, at the discretion of the magistrate before whom the offender or
the offenders shall be convicted.”

Footnote 16:

  38 Geo. 3. c. 55. sec. 16.

“That where any baker[17] shall make a complaint before a magistrate,
and make it appear that any offence he was charged with, and paid the
penalty of, was occasioned by the wilful neglect or default of his
journeyman, or other servant, the magistrate shall issue his warrant for
apprehending the party, and if, on examining into the matter, it appears
that such was the case, such journeyman, or other servant, shall be
directed immediately to pay to his master a reasonable recompence in
money, and, on non-payment thereof, he shall be committed to the house
of correction, or some other prison, and kept to hard labour, for any
time not exceeding one calendar month, unless payment be sooner made.”

Footnote 17:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 891. and 38 Geo. 3. c. 55. sec. 17.

“And, for the better and more easy recovery of the several penalties[18]
incurred by disobedience to the several acts, all offences may be heard
and determined in a summary way, by the Lord Mayor, or any other
magistrate or magistrates, within their several jurisdictions, who shall
summon the offenders before them, and if they do not appear, or offer a
reasonable excuse, they may cause them to be apprehended; and when the
matter is enquired into, and the party convicted, if he does not pay the
penalty within twenty-four hours, such magistrate shall issue a warrant
of distress and sale on the goods of the offender; and, should the goods
of the party be removed into another jurisdiction, the magistrate
thereof is to back the warrant, and the distress, if not redeemed within
five days, is to be appraised and sold, and all expences thereby
incurred are to be deducted thereout. And if the offender is possessed
of no goods or chattels that can be seized, then he shall be committed
to the house of correction, or some other prison, for one calendar
month, unless payment be sooner made.”

Footnote 18:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 892. and 38 Geo. 3. c. 55. sec. 19.

“That if information[19], on oath, is offered to any magistrate, that
any one within his jurisdiction is likely to offer or give material
evidence in behalf of the prosecutor of any offender, and refuses
voluntarily to come forward, such magistrate shall issue a summons to
cause him to appear, and if he still refuses, to grant a warrant to
compel his attendance, and then if he refuses to be examined, he may be
committed to some public prison for fourteen days.”

Footnote 19:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 894.

That no certiorari[20], letters of advocation, or of suspension, shall
be granted, to remove any conviction or other proceedings had therein;
but if any person is punished, and he thinks himself aggrieved by the
judgment of a magistrate, he may appeal to the next quarter sessions,
and, in such case, the execution of the judgment shall be suspended,
upon his entering into a recognisance, with two sufficient sureties, in
double the sum such person shall be adjudged to forfeit, to prosecute
the appeal, and abide the determination of the justices at the said
quarter sessions; and if he makes good his appeal, he shall be
discharged the conviction, and reasonable costs awarded him, which shall
be paid by the person who lodged the information.”

Footnote 20:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 895.

“That no person shall be convicted[21] of any offence under these acts,
unless the prosecution shall be commenced against him within fourteen
days after the offence is committed, except in cases of perjury[22]; and
no person who shall be prosecuted to conviction for any offence done or
committed against these acts, shall be liable to be prosecuted for the
same offence under any other law.”

Footnote 21:

  37 Geo. 3. c. 98. sec. 28.

Footnote 22:

  38 Geo 3. c. 55. sec. 20.

“That all penalties, when recovered in pursuance of these regulations,
shall be disposed of in the manner following: that is to say, one[23]
moiety thereof to be paid to the informer, and the other moiety to the
poor of the parish where such offence shall be committed; and, in case
there is no informer, then the whole sum shall be given to the poor of
the parish, or applied in such a way as the magistrate, in his
discretion, shall think fit.”

Footnote 23:

  31 Geo. 2. c. 29. p. 897.

                    Economical Application of Yeast.

It frequently happens, in the summer season, that the brewers, in order
to render their beer less liable to spoil, use more hops than usual; the
consequence of which is, that the yeast becomes very bitter, and gives a
disagreeable flavour to the bread. To obviate this inconvenience, Mr.
Stone has recommended the following method of raising a bushel of flour
with only a tea-spoonful of yeast.

Suppose a bushel of flour be put it into the kneading trough, then take
about three quarters of a pint of warm water, and one tea-spoonful of
yeast. Stir it in till it is thoroughly mixed with the water; and make a
hole in the middle of the flour, large enough to contain two gallons of
water. Pour in the yeast and add some of the flour until it is a thick
liquid paste; strew some of the dry flour over it, and let it stand an
hour. Then take a quart more of warm water, and pour it in: in about an
hour it will be seen that the small quantity of yeast has raised the
mixture so, that it will break through the dry flour placed over it; and
when the warm water has been added, take a stick and stir in more flour
until it is as thick as before; then shake again some dry flour over it,
and leave it for two hours more, the mass will rise and break through
the dry flour again; you may then add three quarts or a gallon of water,
and stir in the flour, and make it into a soft paste, taking care to
cover it with dry flour again, and in about three or four hours more the
dough may be mixed up, and covered up warm; and in four or five hours
more it may be made up into loaves, and put in the oven; and in this
manner may be produced as light a bread as though a pint of yeast had
been used. It does not take above a quarter of an hour more than the
usual way of baking, for there is no time lost but that of adding the
water at three or four times. The author of this method assures us that
he constantly bakes in this way. In the morning, about six or seven
o’clock, he puts the flour in the trough, and mixes up the spoonful of
yeast with the warm water; in an hour’s time he adds more flour, in two
hours, again more, and about noon makes up the dough, and about six in
the evening it is put into the oven: he has always good bread.

                    Economical Preparation of Yeast.

The following economical method of making yeast is recommended by Dr.

Thicken two quarts of water with four ounces of fine flour, boil it for
half an hour, then sweeten it with three ounces of brown sugar; when
almost cold, pour it with four spoonfuls of baker’s yeast into an
earthen jug, deep enough for the fermentation to go on without running
over; place it for a day near the fire, then pour off the thin liquor
from the top, shake the remainder, and close it up for use, first
straining it through a sieve. To preserve it sweet, set it in a cool
cellar, or hang it some depth in a well. Keep always some of this to
make the next quantity of yeast that is wanted. Mr. I. Kerby recommends
the following method of obtaining yeast from potatoes.

                             Potatoe Yeast.

Boil potatoes of the mealy sort, till they are thoroughly soft, skin and
mash them very smooth, and put as much hot water on them as will make a
mash of the consistency of common beer yeast, but not thicker. Add to
every pound of potatoes, two ounces of treacle, and when just warm, stir
in for every pound of potatoes, two large spoonfuls of yeast. Keep it
warm till it has done fermenting, and in twenty-four hours it will be
fit for use. A pound of potatoes will make near a quart of yeast, which
has been found to answer the purpose so well, as not to be able to
distinguish the bread made with it, from bread made with brewer’s yeast.

                      Method of Preserving Yeast.

When yeast is plentiful, take a quantity and work it well with a whisk
until it becomes thin; then procure a large wooden dish or platter,
clean and dry, and with a soft brush lay a thin layer of yeast on the
dish, and turn the top downwards to keep out the dust, but not the air,
which is to dry it. When the first coat is dry, lay on another, and let
that dry, and so continue till the quantity is sufficient; by this means
it may soon be made two or three inches thick, when it may be preserved
in dry tin canisters or stopped bottles, for a long time, good. When
used for baking, cut a piece off and dissolve it in warm water, when it
will be fit for use.


                      C. GREEN, LEICESTER STREET,
                           LEICESTER SQUARE.



       _The Public are respectfully informed, that a new Edition,
     considerably enlarged (price 9s.), has lately been published_,



                   Treatise on Adulterations of Food,

                         AND CULINARY POISONS;

    Exhibiting the fraudulent Sophistications of Bread, Beer, Wine,
         Spirituous Liquors, Tea, Coffee, Cream, Confectionary,
              Vinegar, Mustard, Pepper, Cheese, Olive Oil,
                Pickles, and other Articles employed in
                      Domestic Economy; and Method
                           of detecting them.

         (_Copied from the British Review, No. XXIX. p. 171._)

Mr. Accum seems determined that even the outside of his book shall
awaken our fears. The cover of our copy bears a death’s head emblazoned
upon a pall, and, underneath, the motto “there is death in the pot.” The
pall is supported by the point of a dart. Four other darts support the
four corners of the device. Twelve serpents, with forked tongues and
tails entwined, form a terrific wreath around; while the middle is
occupied with a large cobweb, delineated with much attention to detail,
in the centre of which a spider, full as large as a moderate sized hazel
nut, and so frightful that more than one young lady of our acquaintance
would think it necessary to scream at the sight of it, holds in its
envenomed fangs an ill-fated fly, which is sinking under the loss of
blood, and buzzing in the agonies of death.

We are by no means desirous to raise or maintain a popular clamour; but
Mr. Accum certainly advances some weighty charges, and his work comes
with an advantage in bearing a name not unknown to the scientific world.
Of the adulterations specified, some are deleterious, and others merely
fraudulent. Accordingly, we shall offer a few extracts, both from the
original matter of Mr. Accum, and from his citations drawn from previous

    “Among the number of substances used in domestic economy
    which are now very generally found sophisticated, may be
    distinguished,—tea, coffee, bread, beer, wine, spirituous
    liquors, salad oil, pepper, vinegar, mustard, cream, and
    other articles of subsistence. Indeed it would be difficult
    to mention a single article of food which is not to be met
    with in an adulterated state. And there are some substances
    which are scarcely ever to be procured genuine.” (P. 3.)

But we pass on from the general statements at the beginning of the work
to particulars.

Water, by standing in leaden reservoirs, acquires a highly deleterious

In some particular cases, the consequences have been most fatal.

    “‘A gentleman was the father of a numerous offspring, having had
    one and twenty children, of whom eight died young, and thirteen
    survived their parents. During their infancy, and indeed _until
    they had quitted the place of their usual residence, they were
    all remarkably unhealthy_, being particularly subject to
    disorders of the stomach and bowels. The father, during many
    years, was paralytic; the mother, for a long time was subject to
    cholics and bilious obstructions.’” (P. 78, 79.)

These effects were traced to a leaden pump, in the cylinder of which
there were found several perforations, while the cistern “was reduced to
the thinness of common brown paper, and was full of holes like a sieve.”
(P. 79.)

We now come to the adulteration of wine; to many of our readers,
probably, a far more interesting concern than that of water.

    “All persons moderately conversant with the subject are aware,
    that a portion of alum is added to young and meagre red wines,
    for the purpose of brightening the colour; that Brazil-wood, or
    the husks of elderberries and bilberries, are employed to impart
    a deep rich purple tint to red port of a pale, feint colour;
    that gypsom is used to render cloudy white wines transparent;
    that an additional astringency is imparted to immature red wines
    by means of oak-wood sawdust, and the husks of filberts, and
    that a mixture of spoiled foreign and home-made wines is
    converted into the wretched compound frequently sold in this
    town by the name of _genuine old Port_.... A _nutty_ flavour is
    produced by bitter almonds; fictitious Port wine is flavoured
    with a tincture drawn from the seeds of raisins, and the
    ingredients employed to form the _bouquet_ of high-flavoured
    wines, are sweet brier, orris-root, clary, cherry-laurel-water,
    and elder flowers. The flavouring ingredients used by
    manufacturers, may all be purchased by those dealers in wine who
    are initiated in the mysteries of the trade. And even a
    manuscript receipt-book for preparing them, and the whole
    mystery of managing all sorts of wines, may be obtained on
    payment of a considerable fee.” (P. 95, 97.)

    “The particular and separate department in this factitious
    wine-trade, called _crusting_, consists in lining the interior
    surface of empty wine bottles, in part, with a red crust of
    super-tartrate of potash, by suffering a saturated, hot solution
    of this salt, coloured with a decoction of Brazil-wood, to
    chrystallize within them.” (P. 101, 102.)

But the crusting is not confined to the bottle.

    “A correspondent operation is performed on the wooden cask; the
    whole interior of which is stained artificially with a
    chrystalline crust of super-tartrate of potash, artfully affixed
    in a manner precisely similar to that before stated. Thus the
    wine-merchant, after bottling off a pipe of wine, is enabled to
    impose on the understanding of his customers, by taking to
    pieces the cask, and exhibiting the beautiful dark-coloured and
    fine chrystalline crust, as an indubitable proof of the age of
    the wine; a practice by no means uncommon to flatter the vanity
    of those who pride themselves in their acute discrimination of
    wines.” (P. 103, 104)

This our readers will excuse, for it is pleasing to read of impositions
which are practised on the sagacious. But, says Mr. Accum,

    “Several well-authenticated facts have convinced me, that the
    adulteration of wine with substances deleterious to health is
    certainly practised oftener than is, perhaps, suspected.” (P.
    104, 105.)

Presently follows the story of the passengers by the coach, who dined at
Newark. Half a bottle of port made them all ill, one dangerously. Part
of the other half caused the death of an inhabitant of the place, on
whom an inquest was held, and a verdict returned, of—_Died by poison_.

A gentleman having been taken severely ill on two successive days, after
drinking each day a pint of Madeira from the same bottle, his apothecary
ordered that it should be examined.

    “‘The bottle happened to slip out of the hand of the servant,
    disclosed a row of shot wedged forcibly into the angular bent-up
    circumference of it. On examining the beads of shot, they
    crumbled into dust, the outer crust (defended by a coat of black
    lead with which the shot is glazed) being alone unacted on,
    whilst the remainder of the metal was dissolved. The wine,
    therefore, had become contaminated with _lead and arsenic_, the
    shot being a compound of these metals, which no doubt had
    produced the mischief.’” (P. 113, 114.)

For detecting the presence of lead or any other deleterious metal in
wine, Mr. Accum recommends the _wine test_.

We now come to that part of the subject, which, as _some persons_ have
thought, _is merely the business of ale-drinkers_, and their brethren,
the porter-drinkers.

    “The fraud of imparting to porter and ale an intoxicating
    quality by narcotic substances, appears to have flourished
    during the period of the late French war. For, if we examine the
    importation lists of drugs, it will be noticed that the
    quantities of cocculus indicus imported in a given time prior to
    that period, will bear no comparison with the quantity imported
    in the same space of time during the war, although an additional
    duty was laid upon this commodity. Such has been the amount
    brought into this country in five years, that it far exceeds the
    quantity imported during twelve years anterior to the above
    epoch. The price of this drug has risen within these ten years
    from two shillings to seven shillings the pound.... It was at
    the period to which we have alluded that the preparation of an
    extract of cocculus indicus first appeared, as a new saleable
    commodity, in the price-currents of _brewers’ druggists_. It was
    at the same time also that a Mr. Jackson, of notorious memory,
    fell upon the idea of brewing beer from various drugs, without
    any malt and hops. This chemist did not turn brewer himself, but
    he struck out the more profitable trade of teaching his mystery
    to the brewers for a handsome fee. From that time forward,
    written directions and receipt books, for using the chemical
    preparations to be substituted for malt and hops, were
    respectively sold. And many adepts soon afterwards appeared
    every where to instruct brewers in the nefarious practice first
    pointed out by Mr. Jackson. From that time, also, the fraternity
    of brewers’ chemists took its rise. They made it their chief
    business to send

    travellers all over the country with lists and samples
    exhibiting the price and quality of the articles manufactured by
    them for the use of brewers only. Their trade spread far and
    wide, but it was amongst the country brewers chiefly that they
    found the most customers. And it is among them up to the present
    day, as I am assured by some of these operators, on whose
    veracity I can rely, that the greatest quantities of unlawful
    ingredients are sold.” (P. 157-160.)

Part of these evils the porter-drinkers bring upon themselves.

    “One of the qualities of good porter, is, that it should bear a
    _fine frothy head_, as it is technically termed: because
    professed judges of this beverage, would not pronounce the
    liquor excellent, although it possessed all other good qualities
    of porter, without this requisite.—To impart to porter this
    property of frothing when poured from one vessel into another,
    or to produce what is also termed a _cauliflower head_, the
    mixture called _beer-heading_, composed of common green vitriol
    (sulphate of iron) alum and salt, is added. This addition to the
    beer is generally made by the publicans.” (P. 182, 183.) It is
    added in a note:—”’Alum gives likewise a smack of age to beer,
    and is penetrating to the palate.’—_S. Child on Brewing_, p.
    18.” “The great London brewers, it appears, believe that the
    publicans alone adulterate the beer.” (P. 211.)

    “Capsicum and grains of paradise, two highly acrid substances,
    are employed to give a pungent taste to weak insipid beer. Of
    late, a concentrated tincture of these articles, to be used for
    a similar purpose, and possessing a powerful effect, has
    appeared in the price-currents of brewers’ druggists. Ginger
    root, coriander seed, and orange peels, are employed as
    flavouring substances chiefly by the ale brewers.” (P. 184,

We find the following articles, in a list of illegal ingredients, seized
at various breweries and brewers’ druggists.

    “Multum, 84 lbs.; cocculus indicus, 12 lbs.; colouring, 4 galls;
    honey, about 180 lbs.; hartshorn shavings, 14 lbs.; Spanish
    juice, 46 lbs.; orange powder, 17 lbs.; ginger, 56 lbs.; grains
    of paradise, 44 lbs.; quassia, 10 lbs.; liquorice, 64 lbs.;
    carraway seeds, 40 lbs.; multum, 26 lbs.” “Capsicum, 88 lbs.;
    copperas, 310 lbs.; colouring and drugs, 84 lbs.; mixed drugs,
    240 lbs.; coriander seed, 2 lbs.; beer colouring, 24 gallons.”
    (P. 186-189.) [The list which includes these articles is copied
    from the minutes of the committee of the House of Commons.]

Some of the substances above enumerated may be thought comparatively
harmless. But others are absolutely poisonous.

    “To increase the intoxicating quality of beer, the deleterious
    _vegetable_ substance, called _cocculus indicus_, and the
    extract of this poisonous berry, technically called _black
    extract_, or by some, _hard multum_, are employed. Opium,
    tobacco, nux vomica, and extracts of poppies, have also been
    used.—This fraud constitutes by far the most censurable offence
    committed by unprincipled brewers. And it is a lamentable
    reflection to behold so great a number of brewers prosecuted,
    and convicted of this crime. Nor is it less deplorable to find
    the names of druggists, eminent in trade, implicated in the
    fraud, by selling the unlawful ingredients to brewers for
    fraudulent purposes.” (P. 205, 206.)

Then follows a list of thirty-four convictions of brewers, for receiving
or using illegal ingredients.—We perfectly agree with the following

    “That a minute portion of an unwholesome ingredient, daily taken
    in beer, cannot fail to be productive of mischief, admits of no
    doubt: and there is reason to believe that a small quantity of a
    narcotic substance (and cocculus indicus is

    a powerful narcotic), daily taken into the stomach, together
    with an intoxicating liquor, is highly more efficacious than it
    would be without the liquor. The effect may be gradual; and a
    strong constitution, especially if it be assisted with constant
    and hard labour, may counteract the destructive consequences
    perhaps for many years. But it never fails to show its baneful
    effects at last.” (P. 209, 210.)

We now come to the business of another small portion of the community,
namely, the _tea-drinkers_. Perhaps the following descriptions will
assist them in forming a diagnosis.

    “All the samples of spurious green tea (nineteen in number)
    which I have examined, were coloured with carbonate of copper,
    (a poisonous substance), and not by means of verdigrise, or
    copperas.” (P. 240.) “Mr. Twining asserts, that ‘the leaves of
    spurious tea are boiled in a copper, with copperas and sheep’s
    dung.’” (P. 240. Note.) “Tea rendered poisonous by carbonate of
    copper, speedily imparts to liquid ammonia, a fine sapphire blue
    tinge. It is only necessary to shake up in a stopped vial, for a
    few minutes, a tea-spoonful of the suspected leaves, with about
    two table-spoonsful of liquid ammonia, diluted with half its
    bulk of water. The supernatant liquid will exhibit a fine blue
    colour, if the minutest quantity of copper be present. Green
    tea, coloured with carbonate of copper, when thrown into water
    impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen gas, immediately acquires
    a black colour. Genuine green tea, suffers no change from the
    action of these tests.” (P. 241.)

The following extracts may perhaps prove interesting to

    “‘It is a custom among retailing distillers, which I have not
    taken notice of in this directory, to put one third or one
    fourth part of proof molasses brandy, proportionably, to what
    rum they dispose of; which cannot be distinguished, but by an
    extraordinary palate, and does not at all lessen the body or
    proof of the goods; but makes them about two shillings a gallon
    cheaper; and must be well mixed and incorporated together in
    your retailing cask. But you should keep some of the best rum,
    not adulterated, to please your customers, whose judgment and
    palate must be humoured.—When you are to draw a sample of goods
    to show a person that has judgment in the proof, do not draw
    your goods into a phial to be tasted, or make experiment of the
    strength thereof that way, because the proof will not hold
    except the goods be exceedingly strong. But draw the pattern of
    goods either into a glass from the cock, to run very small, or
    rather draw off a small quantity into a little pewter pot, and
    pour it into your glass, extending your pot as high above the
    glass as you can without wasting it, which makes the goods carry
    a better head abundantly, than if the same goods were to be put
    and tried in a phial.—You must be so prudent as to make a
    distinction of the persons you have to deal with. What goods you
    sell to gentlemen for their own use, who require a great deal of
    attendance, and as much for time of payment, you must take a
    considerably greater price than of others; what goods you sell
    to persons where you believe there is a manifest, or at least
    some hazard of your money, you may safely sell for more than
    common profit; what goods you sell to the poor, especially
    medicinally, (as many of your goods are sanative), be as
    compassionate as the cases require.—All brandies, whether
    French, Spanish, or English, being proof goods, will admit of
    one pint of _liquor_‘ (_water_) ‘to each gallon, to be made up
    and incorporated therewith in your cask, for retail, or selling
    smaller quantities. And all persons that insist upon having
    proof goods, which not one in twenty understand, you must supply
    out of what goods are not so reduced, though at a higher
    price.’” (P. 267-270.)

Some of the adulterations of spirituous liquors are exceedingly

    “Another method of fining spirituous liquors, consists in adding
    to it, first, a solution of sub-acetate of lead, and then a
    solution of alum. This practice is highly dangerous, because
    part of the sulphate of lead produced, remains dissolved in the
    liquor, which it thus renders poisonous.” (P. 284.) “The cordial
    called shrub frequently exhibits vestiges of copper.” (P. 285.)

Gloucester Cheese has been found contaminated with red lead. The article
used in colouring cheese is anotto. In one instance, the anotto, being
inferior, had been coloured with vermilion; and the vermilion
adulterated by a druggist, (who little thought that it would ever enter
into the composition of cheese,) with red lead. The account of the whole
transaction as given by Mr. Accum, is worth reading, but too long to be

Cayenne pepper, “is sometimes adulterated with red lead, to prevent its
becoming bleached on exposure to light.” (P. 305.) Pickles “are
sometimes intentionally coloured by means of copper.” (P. 306.) “Mrs. E.
Raffald directs, ‘to render pickles green, boil them with halfpence, or
allow them to stand twenty-four hours in copper or brass pans.’” (P.
309.) “Vinegar is sometimes largely adulterated with sulphuric acid, to
give it more acidity.” (P. 311.) “Red sugar drops are usually coloured
with the inferior kind of vermilion. This pigment is generally
adulterated with red lead. Other kinds of sweetmeats are sometimes
rendered poisonous by being coloured with preparations of copper.” (P.
315, 316.) “The foreign conserves ... are frequently impregnated with
copper.” (P. 317.) “Quantities” of catsup “are daily to be met with,
which on a chemical examination, are found to abound with copper.” (P.
319.) “The quantity of copper which we have more than once detected in
this sauce, used for seasoning, and which, on account of its cheapness,
is much resorted to by people in the lower walks of life, has exceeded
the proportion of lead to be met with in other articles employed in
domestic economy.” (P. 320.) “The leaves of the cherry-laurel, _prunus
laurocerasus_, a poisonous plant,” are used to flavour custards,
_blanc-mange_, and other delicacies of the table. (P. 324.) An instance
is given of the dangerous consequences of this practice. (P. 325, 326.)
“The water distilled from cherry-laurel leaves is frequently mixed with
brandy and other spirituous liquors.” (P. 327.) Several samples of
anchovy sauce “have been found contaminated with lead.” (P. 328.) It is
not unusual to employ, in preparing this sauce, “a certain quantity of
Venetian red, added for the purpose of colouring it, which, if genuine,
is an innocent colouring substance. But instances have occurred of this
pigment having been adulterated with orange lead, which is nothing else
than a better kind of minimum or red oxid of lead.” (P, 328, 329.) In
lozenges, “the adulterating ingredient is usually pipe-clay, of which a
liberal portion is substituted for sugar.” (P. 330.) Dr. T. Lloyd says,
“‘I was informed,’” (at a _respectable_ chemist’s shop in the city)
“‘that there were two kinds of ginger lozenges kept for sale, the one at
three-pence the once, and the other at six-pence; and that the article
furnished to me by mistake was the cheaper commodity. The latter were
distinguished by the epithet _verum_, they being composed of sugar and
ginger only. But the former were manufactured partly of white Cornish
clay, with a portion of sugar only, with ginger and Guinea pepper. I was
likewise informed, that of Tolu lozenges, peppermint lozenges, and
ginger pearls, and several other sorts or lozenges, two kinds were kept;
that the _reduced_ prices, as they were called, were manufactured for
those very clever persons in their own conceit, who are fond of
haggling, and insist on buying better bargains than other people,
shutting their eyes to the defects of an article, so that they can enjoy
the delight of getting it cheap: and, secondly, for those persons, who
being but bad paymasters, yet as the manufacturer, for his own credit’s
sake, cannot charge more than the usual price of the article, he thinks
himself therefore authorized to adulterate it in value, to make up for
the risk he runs, and the long credit he must give.’” (P. 332, 333.)

Well—there is then some honesty left in the world. What a pleasure it is
to have to deal with a _respectable_ man. But we return to the practices
of the _knaves_.

Olive oil “is sometimes contaminated with lead.” (P. 334.) The dealers
in this commodity assert that lead or pewter “prevents the oil from
becoming rancid. And hence some retailers often suffer a pewter measure
to remain immersed in the oil.” (P. 336.) “The beverage called soda
water is frequently contaminated both with copper and lead.” (P. 351.)
Mr. Johnston, of Greek Street, Soho, was the first who pointed out the
danger to the public. “Many kinds of viands are frequently impregnated
with copper, in consequence of the employment of cooking utensels made
of that metal. By the use of such vessels in dressing food, we are daily
liable to be poisoned.” (P. 352.) “Mr. Thiery, who wrote a thesis on the
noxious quality of copper, observes that ‘our food receives its quantity
of poison, in the kitchen by the use of copper pans and dishes. The
brewer mingles poison in our beer, by boiling it in copper vessels. The
sugar-baker employs copper pans. The pastry-cook bakes our tarts in
copper moulds. The confectioner uses copper vessels. The oilman boils
his pickles in copper or brass vessels, and verdigrise is plentifully
formed by the action of the vinegar upon the metal.’” (P. 353, 354.)
Moreover, “various kinds of food, used in domestic economy, are liable
to become impregnated with lead.” (P. 359.)

Mr. Accum, speaking on the subject of Beer, says,

    “It will be noticed that some of the sophistications are
    comparatively harmless, whilst others are affected by substances
    deleterious to health.” (P. 185.)

    We think, however, that the candour of Mr. Accum leads him to
    make too much allowance for this consideration throughout.
    Surely, though many articles of food be not absolutely
    poisonous, a diet consisting of drugs and chemical compounds and
    articles never intended by nature to be eaten or drunk, articles
    for which, presented simple, the hungriest stomach would feel no
    appetite or inclination, cannot be wholesome. Brick and mortar
    are not poison; yet we cannot, like the dragon of Wantley,
    swallow a church, and pick our teeth with the steeple. Many can
    eat oysters, but few could manage the oyster-knife. Even the
    Welshman of King Arthur’s court, fond as he was of toasted
    cheese, would inevitably have been choked by the mouse that ran
    down his throat to eat it, had he not “pulled him out by the

We could give farther extracts; but must refer the reader to the work
itself, which contains much interesting matter, besides what we have



                  Treatise on Adulterated Provisions.

                           BY FREDRICK ACCUM.


                       THERE IS DEATH IN THE POT.

                     II. KINGS—CHAP. VI. VERSE XI.

      (_From Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. XXXV. Page 542._)

Mr. Accum, it appears, is one of those very good-natured friends, who is
quite resolved not to allow us to be cheated and poisoned as our fathers
were before us, and our children will be after us, without cackling to
us of our danger, and opening our eyes to abysses of fraud and
imposition, of the very existence of which we had until now the good
fortune to be entirely ignorant. His book is a perfect death’s head, a
memento mori, the perusal of any single chapter of which is enough to
throw any man into the blue devils for a fortnight. Mr. Accum puts us
something in mind of an officious blockhead, who, instead of comforting
his dying friend, is continually jogging him on the elbow with such
cheering assurances as the following. “I am sorry there is no hope; my
dear fellow, you must kick the bucket soon. Your liver is diseased, your
lungs gone, your bowels as impenetrable as marble, your legs swelled
like door-posts, your face as yellow as a guinea, and the doctor just
now assured me you could not live a week.”

Mr. Accum’s work is evidently written in the same spirit of dark and
melancholy anticipation, which pervades Dr. Robison’s celebrated “Proofs
of a Conspiracy, &c. against all the crowned heads of Europe.” The
conspiracy disclosed by Mr. Accum is certainly of a still more dreadful
nature, and is even more widely ramified than that which excited so much
horror in the worthy professor. It is a conspiracy of brewers, bakers,
grocers, wine-merchants, confectioners, apothecaries, and cooks, against
the lives of all and every one of his majesty’s liege subjects. It is
easy to see that Mr. Accum’s nerves are considerably agitated, that—

    “Sad forebodings shake him as he writes.”

Not only at the festive board is he haunted by chimeras dire of
danger—not only does he tremble over the tureen—and faint over the
flesh-pot: but even in his chintz night-gown, and red morocco slippers,
he is not secure. An imaginary sexton is continually jogging his elbow
as he writes, a death’s head and cross bones rise on his library table;
and at the end of his sofa he beholds a visionary tomb-stone of the best



  _Hic Jacet_,
  Operative Chemist,

Since we read his book, our appetite has visibly decreased. At the
Celtic club, yesterday, we dined almost entirely on roast beef; Mr.
Oman’s London-particular Madeira lost all its relish, and we turned pale
in the act of eating a custard, when we recollected the dreadful
punishment inflicted on custard-eaters, in page 326 of the present work.
We beg to assure our friends, therefore, that at the present moment they
may invite us to dinner with the greatest impunity.—Our diet is at
present quite similar to that of Parnel’s hermit,

“Our food the fruits, our drink the crystal well;”

though we trust a few days will recover us from our panic, and enable us
to resume our former habits of life. Those of our friends, therefore,
who have any intention of pasturing us, had better not lose the present
opportunity of doing so. So favourable a combination of circumstances
must have been quite unhoped for on their part, and most probably will
never occur again.[24] V. S.

Footnote 24:

  To save some trouble, we may announce that we are already engaged to
  dinner, on the 23d, 27th, and 28th of this month, and to evening
  parties, on the 22d, 23d, 26th, 28th, and 29th, and 3d of March.

Since, by the publication of Mr. Accum’s book, an end has been for ever
put to our former blessed state of ignorance, let us arm ourselves with
philosophy, and boldly venture to look our danger in the face; or, as
the poet beautifully expresses it, in language singularly applicable,

            “Come, Christopher, and leave all meaner things,
            To low ambition and the pride of kings;
            Let us, since life can little else supply;
            Than just to swallow poison and to die;
            Expatiate free o’er all this dreadful field,
            Try what the brewer, what the baker yield;
            Explore the druggists’ shop, the butchers’ stall;
            Expose their roguery, and—damn them all!”

Melancholy as the details are, there is something almost ludicrous, we
think, in the very extent to which the deceptions are carried. So
inextricably are we all immersed in this mighty labyrinth of fraud, that
even the venders of poison themselves are forced, by a sort of
retributive justice, to swallow it in their turn.—Thus the apothecary,
who sells the poisonous ingredients to the brewer, chuckles over his
roguery, and swallows his own drugs in his daily copious exhibitions of
Brown stout. The brewer in his turn, is poisoned by the baker, the
wine-merchant, and the grocer. And, whenever the baker’s stomach fails
him, he meets his _coup de grace_ in the adulterated drugs of his friend
the apothecary, whose health he has been gradually contributing to
undermine, by feeding him every morning on chalk and alum, in the shape
of hot rolls.

Our readers will now, we think, be able to form a general idea of the
perils to which they are exposed by every meal.

Mr. Accum’s details on the adulteration of wine are extremely ample, and
so interesting, that we regret our limits prevent our making more
copious extracts, and oblige us to refer our readers for farther
information to the work itself.

Having thus laid open to our view the arcana of the cellar, Mr. Accum
next treats us with an expose of the secrets of the brew-house. Verily,
the wine-merchant and brewer are _par nobile fratrum_; and after the
following disclosures, it will henceforth be a matter of the greatest
indifference to us, whether we drink Perry or Champaigne, Hermitage or
Brown stout. _Latet anguis in poculo_, there is disease and death in
them all, and one is only preferable to the other, because it will
poison us at about one-tenth of the expense.

    “Malt liquors, and particularly porter, the favourite beverage
    of the inhabitants of London and of other large towns, is
    amongst those articles, in the manufacture of which the greatest
    frauds are frequently committed.

    “The practice of adulterating beer appears to be of early date.
    To shew that they have augmented in our own days, we shall
    exhibit an abstract from documents laid lately before

    “Mr. Accum not only amply proves, that unwholesome ingredients
    are used by fraudulent brewers, and that very deleterious
    substances are also vended both to brewers and publicans for
    adulterating beer, but that the ingredients mixed up in the
    brewer’s enchanting cauldron are placed above all competition,
    even with the potent charms of Macbeth’s witches:

                  ‘Root of hemlock, digg’d i’ the dark,
                    *      *      *      *
                    *      *      *      *
                  For a charm of pow’rful trouble.
                  Like a hell-broth boil and bubble;
                  Double, double, toil and trouble,
                  Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.’

Mr. Accum very properly gives us a list of those miscreants who have
been convicted of adulterating their porter with poisonous ingredients,
and want of room alone prevents us from damning them to everlasting
fame, by inserting their names along with that of the Rev. Sennacherib
Terrot, in the imperishable pages of this miscellany.

Mr. Accum gives us a long dissertation on counterfeit tea, and another
on spurious coffee; but as these are impositions by which we are little
affected, we shall not allow them to detain us. The leaves of the
sloe-thorn are substituted for the former, and roasted horse beans for
the latter. These frauds, it appears, are carried to a very great

We must now draw our extracts to a close; but we can assure our readers,
that we have not yet introduced them to one tythe of the poisonous
articles in common use, detected by Mr. Accum. We shall give the titles
of a few to satisfy the curious:—Poisonous confectionary, poisonous
pickles, poisonous cayenne pepper, poisonous custards, poisonous anchovy
sauce, poisonous lozenges, poisonous lemon acid, poisonous mushrooms,
poisonous ketchup, and poisonous soda water! Read this, and wonder how
you live!

While we thus suffer under accumulated miseries brought upon us by the
unprincipled avarice and cupidity of others, it is surely incumbent on
us not wantonly to increase the catalogue by any negligence or follies
of our own. Will it be believed, that in the cookery book, which forms
the prevailing oracle of the kitchens in this part of the island, there
is an express injunction to “_boil greens with halfpence_ in order to
improve their _colour_?”—That our puddings are frequently seasoned with
laurel leaves, and our sweetmeats almost uniformly prepared in copper
vessels? Why are we thus compelled to swallow a supererogatorary
quantity of poison which may so easily be avoided? And why are we
constantly made to run the risk of our lives by participating in
custards, trifles, and blancmanges, seasoned by a most deadly poison
extracted from the _prunus lauro-cerasus_? Verily, while our present
detestable system of cookery remains, we may exclaim with the sacred
historian, that there is indeed “Death in the Pot.”


                  A Treatise on Adulterations of Food,

                         AND CULINARY POISONS,

    Exhibiting the Fraudulent Sophistications of Bread, Beer, Wine,
         Spirituous Liquors, &c. and Methods of detecting them.

                           BY FREDRICK ACCUM.

           (_From the Edinburgh Review, No. LXV. Page 131._)

It is curious to see how vice varies its forms, and maintains its
substance, in all conditions of society;—and how certainly those
changes, or improvements as we call them, which diminish one class of
offences, aggravate or give birth to another.—In rude and simple
communities, most crimes take the shape of violence and outrage—in
polished and refined ones, of Fraud. Men sin from their animal
propensities in the first case, and from their intellectual depravation
in the second. The one state of things is prolific of murders,
batteries, rapines, and burnings—the other of forgeries, swindlings,
defamations, and seductions. The sum of evil is probably pretty much the
same in both—though probably greatest in the civilized and enlightened
stages; the sharpening of the intellect, and the spread of knowledge,
giving prodigious force and activity to all criminal propensities.

Among the offences which are peculiar to a refined and enlightened
society, and owe their birth, indeed, to its science and refinement, are
those skilful and dexterous adulterations of the manifold objects of its
luxurious consumption, to which their value and variety, and the
delicacy of their preparation, hold out so many temptations; while the
very skill and knowledge which are requisite in their formation, furnish
such facilities for their sophistication. The very industry and busy
activity of such a society, exposes it more and more to such
impostures;—and by the division of labour which takes place, and
confines every man to his own separate task, brings him into a complete
dependence on the industry of others for a supply of the most necessary

The honesty of the dealer, and of the original manufacturer, is the only
security to the public for the genuineness of the article in which he
deals. The consumer can in general know nothing of their component
parts; he must take them as he finds them; and, even if he is
dissatisfied, he has in general no effectual means of redress.

It will be found, that as crimes of violence decrease with the progress
of society, frauds are multiplied; and there springs up in every
prosperous country a race of degenerate traders and manufacturers, whose
business is to cheat and to deceive; who pervert their talents to the
most dishonest purposes, prefering the illicit gains thus acquired to
the fair profits of honorable dealing; and counter-working, by their
sinister arts, the general improvement of society.

In almost every branch of manufacture, there are fraudulent dealers, who
are instigated by the thirst of gain, to debase the articles which they
vend to the public, and to exact a high price for what is comparatively
cheap and worthless. After pointing out various deceptions of this
nature, Mr. Accum, the ingenious author of the work before us, proceeds
in his account of those frauds, in the following terms.

    ‘Soap used in house-keeping is frequently adulterated with a
    considerable portion of fine white clay, brought from St.
    Stephen’s in Cornwall. In the manufacture of printing paper, a
    large quantity of plaster of Paris is added to the paper stuff,
    to increase the weight of the manufactured article. The selvage
    of cloth is often dyed with a permanent colour, and artfully
    stitched to the edge of cloth dyed with a fugitive dye. The
    frauds committed in the tanning of skins, and in the manufacture
    of cutlery, and jewellery, exceed belief.’ pp. 27-29.

What is infinitely worse, however, than any of those frauds,
sophistications, we are informed, are carried on to an equal extent in
all the essential articles of subsistence or comfort. So long as our
dishonest dealers do not intermeddle with these things, their deceptions
are comparatively harmless; the evil in all such cases amounting only to
so much pecuniary damage. But when they begin to tamper with food, or
with articles connected with the table, their frauds are most
pernicious: in all cases the nutritive quality of the food is injured,
by the artificial ingredients intermixed with it; and when these
ingredients, as frequently happens, are of a poisonous quality, they
endanger the health and even the life of all to whom they are vended. We
cannot conceive any thing more diabolical than those contrivances; and
we consider their authors in a far worse light than ordinary felons,
who, being known, can be duly guarded against. But those fraudulent
dealers conceal themselves under the fair show of a reputable
traffic—they contrive in this manner to escape the infamy which justly
belongs to them—and, under the disguise of wealth, credit, and
character, to lurk in the bosom of society, wounding the hand that
cherishes them, and scattering around them poison and death.

It is chiefly for the purpose of laying open the dishonest artifices of
this class of dealers, that Mr. Accum has published the present very
interesting and popular work; and he gives a most fearful view of the
various and extensive frauds which are daily practised on the
unsuspecting public.

    ‘Among the number of substances used in domestic economy,
    which are now very generally found sophisticated, may be
    distinguished—tea, coffee, bread, beer, wine, spirituous
    liquors, salad oil, pepper, vinegar, mustard, cream, and other
    articles of subsistence.—Indeed, it would be difficult to
    mention a single article of food which is not to be met with
    in an adulterated state; and there are some substances which
    are scarcely ever to be procured genuine.—Some of these
    spurious compounds are comparatively harmless when used as
    food; and as, in these cases, merely substances of inferior
    value are substituted for more costly and genuine ingredients,
    the sophistication, though it may affect our purse, does not
    injure our health. Of this kind are the manufacture of
    factitious pepper, the adulterations of mustard, vinegar,
    cream, &c. Others, however, are highly deleterious; and to
    this class belong the adulterations of beer, wines, spirituous
    liquors, pickles, salad oil, and many others.’ pp. 2-4.

There are, it appears, particular chemists who make it their sole
employment to supply the unprincipled brewer of porter and ale with
drugs, and other deleterious preparations; while others perform the same
office to the wine and spirit merchant, as well as to the grocer and
oilman—and these illicit pursuits have assumed all the order and method
of a regular trade.

    ‘The eager and insatiable thirst for gain’ (Mr. Accum justly
    observes), which seems to be a leading characteristic of the
    times, calls into action every human faculty, and gives an
    irresistible impulse to the power of invention; and where lucre
    becomes the reigning principle, the possible sacrifice of a
    fellow-creature’s life is a secondary consideration.’

Mr. Accum having exhibited this general view of his subject, proceeds to
enter into an examination of the articles most commonly counterfeited,
and to explain the nature of the ingredients used in sophisticating
them. He commences with a dissertation on the qualities of good water,
in which he briefly points out the dangerous sophistications to which it
is liable, from the administration of foreign ingredients.

But in the case of water, the adulteration is purely accidental, which
cannot be said of the other articles specified by Mr. Accum. In the
making of Bread, more especially in London, various ingredients are
occasionally mingled with the dough. To suit the caprice of his
customers, the baker is obliged to have his bread light and porous, and
of a pure white. It is impossible to produce this sort of bread from
flour alone, unless it be of the finest quality. The best flour,
however, being mostly used by the biscuit-bakers and pastry-cooks, it is
only from the inferior sorts that bread is made; and it becomes
necessary, in order to have it of that light and porous quality, and of
a fine white, to mix alum with the dough. Without this ingredient, the
flour used by the London bakers would not yield so white a bread as that
sold in the metropolis.

Wine appears to be a subject for the most extensive and pernicious

    ‘All persons (Mr. Accum observes) moderately conversant with the
    subject, are aware, that a portion of alum is added to young and
    meagre red wines, for the purpose of brightening their colour;
    that Brazil wood, or the husks of elderberries and bilberries,
    which are imported from Germany, under the fallacious name of
    _berry-dye_, are employed to impart a deep rich purple tint to
    red port of a pale colour; that gypsum is used to render cloudy
    white wines transparent; that an additional astringency is
    imparted to immature red wines by means of oak-wood and sawdust,
    and the husks of filberts; and that a mixture of spoiled foreign
    and home-made wines is converted into the wretched compound
    frequently sold in the metropolis by the name _genuine old

Other expedients are resorted to, in order to give flavour to insipid
wines. For this purpose bitter almonds are occasionally employed;
factitious port wine is also flavoured with a tincture drawn from the
seeds of raisins; and other ingredients are frequently used, such as
sweet brier, orris root, clary, cherry-laurel water, and elder flowers.

In London, the sophistication of wine is carried to an enormous extent,
as well as the art of manufacturing spurious wine, which has become a
regular trade, in which a large capital is invested; and it is well
known that many thousand pipes of spoiled cider are annually sent to the
metropolis for the purpose of being converted into an imitation of port

Innumerable are the tricks practised to deceive the unwary, by giving to
weak, thin, and spoiled wines, all the characteristic marks of age, and
also of flavour and strength. In carrying on these illicit occupations,
the division of labour has been completely established; each has his own
task assigned him in the confederate work of iniquity; and thus they
acquire dexterity for the execution of their mischievous purposes. To
one class is allotted the task of _crusting_, which consists in lining
the interior surface of empty wine bottles with a red crust. This is
accomplished by suffering a saturated hot solution of super-tartrate of
potash, coloured red with a decoction of Brazil wood to chrystallize
within them. A similar operation is frequently performed on the wooden
cask which is to hold the wine, and which, in the same manner as the
bottle, is artificially stained with a red crust; and on some occasions,
the lower extremities of the corks in wine bottles are also stained red,
in order to give them the appearance of having been long in contact with
the wine. It is the business of a particular class of wine-coopers, by
means of an astringent extract mixed with home-made and foreign wines,
to produce ‘genuine old port,’ or to give an artificial flavour and
colour to weak wine; while the mellowing and restoring of spoiled white
wines is the occupation of another class called refiners of wine. Other
deceptions are practised by fraudulent dealers, which are still more
culpable. The most dangerous of these is where wine is adulterated by an
admixture of lead.

Mr. Accum justly observes, that the ‘merchant or dealer who practises
this dangerous sophistication, adds the crime of murder to that of
fraud, and deliberately scatters the seeds of disease and death among
those customers who contribute to his emolument.’

Spirituous liquors, which in this country form one of the chief articles
of consumption, are subjects of equally extensive fraud with wine. The
deceptions which are practised by the dealers in this article, are
chiefly confined to fraudulent imitations of the peculiar flavour of
different sorts of spirits; and as this flavour constitutes, along with
the strength, the value of the spirit, the profit of the dealer consists
in imitating this quality at a cheaper rate than it is produced in the
genuine spirit. The flavour of French brandy is imitated, by distilling
British molasses spirit over wine lees; previous to which, however, the
spirit is deprived of its peculiar disagreeable flavour, by
rectification over fresh-burnt charcoal and quicklime. This operation is
performed by those who are called brewers’ druggists, and forms the
article in the _prices-current_ called _Spirit Flavour_. Wine lees are
imported into this country for the purpose, and they pay the same duty
as foreign wines. Another method of imitating the flavour of brandy,
which is adopted by brandy merchants, is by means of a spirit obtained
from raisin wine, after it has begun to become somewhat sour. ‘Oak
sawdust,’ (Mr. Accum observes), ‘and a spirituous tincture of raisin
stones, are likewise used to impart to new brandy and rum a _ripe
taste_, resembling brandy or rum long kept in oaken casks, and a
somewhat oily consistence, so as to form a durable froth at its surface,
when strongly agitated in a vial. The colouring substances are burnt
sugar, or molasses; the latter gives to imitative brandy a luscious
taste, and fulness in the mouth.’ Gin, which is sold in small quantities
to those who judge of the strength by the taste, is made up for sale by
fraudulent dealers with water and sugar; and this admixture rendering
the liquor turbid, several expedients are resorted to, in order to
clarify it; some of which are harmless, while others are criminal. A
mixture of alum with subcarbonate of potash, is sometimes employed for
this purpose; but more frequently, in place of this, a solution of
subacetate of lead, and then a solution of alum,—a practice reprobated
by Mr. Accum as highly dangerous, owing to the admixture of the lead
with the spirit, which thereby becomes poisonous. After this operation,
it is usual to give a false appearance of strength to the spirit by
mixing with it grains of paradise, guinea pepper, capsicum, and other
acrid and aromatic substances.

In the manufacture of malt liquors, a wide field is opened for the
operations of fraud. The immense quantity of the article consumed,
presents an irresistible temptation to the unprincipled dealer; while
the vegetable substances with which beer is adulterated, are in all
cases difficult to be detected, and are frequently beyond the reach of
chemical analysis. There is, accordingly, no article which is the
subject of such varied and extensive frauds. These are committed in the
first instance by the brewer, during the process of manufacture, and
afterwards by the dealer, who deteriorates, by fraudulent intermixtures,
the liquor which he sells to the consumer. ‘The intoxicating qualities
of porter (he continues) are to be ascribed to the various drugs
intermixed with it;’ and, as some sorts of porter are more heady than
others, the difference arises, according to this author, ‘from the
greater or less quantity of stupifying ingredients’ contained in it.
These consist of various substances, some of which are highly
deleterious. Thus, the extract disguised under the name of _black
extract_, and ostensibly destined for the use of tanners and dyers, is
obtained by boiling the berries of the _cocculus indicus_ in water, and
converting, by a subsequent evaporation, this decoction into a stiff
black tenacious mass, possessing in a high degree the narcotic and
intoxicating quality of the poisonous berry from which it is prepared.
Quassia is another substance employed in place of hops, to give the beer
a bitter taste; and the shavings of this wood are sold in a half
torrified and ground state, in order to prevent its being recognised.

Not only is the use of all these deleterious substances strictly
prohibited to the brewer under severe penalties, but all druggists or
grocers convicted of supplying him with any of them, or who have them
in their possession, are liable to severe penalties; and Mr. Accum
gives a list of twenty-nine convictions for this offence, from the
year 1812 to 1819. From the year 1813 to 1819, the number of brewers
prosecuted and convicted of using illegal ingredients in their
breweries, amounts to thirty-four. Numerous seizures have also been
made during the same period at various breweries, and in the
warehouses of brewers’-druggists, of illegal ingredients, to be used
in the brewing of beer, some of them highly deleterious.

Malt liquors, after they are delivered by the brewer to the
retail-dealer, are still destined to undergo various mutations before
they reach the consumer. It is a common practice with the retailers of
beer, though it be contrary to law, to mix table-beer with strong beer;
and, to disguise this fraud, recourse is had to various expedients. It
is a well known property of genuine beer, that when poured from one
vessel into another, it bears a strong white froth, without which
professed judges would not pronounce the liquor good. This property is
lost, however, when table-beer is mixed with strong beer; and to restore
it, a mixture of what is called _beer-heading_ is added, composed of
common green vitriol, alum, and salt. To give a pungent taste to weak
insipid beer, capsicum and grains of paradise, two highly acrid
substances, are employed; and, of date, a concentrated tincture of these
articles has appeared for sale in the prices-current of
brewers’-druggists. To bring beer forward, as it is technically called,
or to make it hard, a portion of sulphuric acid is mixed with it, which,
in an instant, produces an imitation of the age of eighteen months; and
stale, half-spoiled, or sour beer, is converted into mild beer, by the
simple admixture of an alkali or an alkaline earth; oyster-shell powder,
and subcarbonate of potash, or soda, being usually employed for that
purpose. In order to show that these deceptions are not imaginary, Mr.
Accum refers to the frequent convictions of brewers for those fraudulent
practices, and to the seizures which have been made at different
breweries of illegal ingredients—a list of which, and of the proprietors
of the breweries where they were seized, he has extracted from the
Minutes of the Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to Inquire
into the Price and Quality of Beer. It may be observed, that while some
of the sophistications of beer appear to be perfectly harmless, other
substances are frequently employed for this purpose which are highly
deleterious, and which must gradually undermine the health of those by
whom they are used.

Many other of the most ordinary articles of consumption are mentioned by
our author as being the object of the most disgusting and pernicious
frauds. Tea, it is well known, from the numerous convictions which have
lately taken place, has been counterfeited to an enormous extent; and
copper, in one form or another, is the chief ingredient made use of for
effecting the imitation.

The practice of adulterating coffee, has also been carried on for a long
time, and to a considerable extent, while black and white pepper,
Cayenne pepper, mustard, pickles of all sorts, have been all of them
debased by an admixture of baser, and, in many cases, poisonous
ingredients. Ground pepper is frequently sophisticated by an admixture
from the sweepings of the pepper warehouses. These sweepings are
purchased in the market under the initials P. D., signifying pepper
dust. ‘An inferior sort of this vile refuse (Mr. Accum observes), or the
sweepings of P. D., is distinguished among venders by the abbreviation
of D. P. D., denoting dust, or dirt of pepper dust.’

Of those various frauds so ably exposed in Mr. Accum’s work, and which
are so much the more dangerous, as they are committed under the disguise
of an honourable trade, it is impossible to speak in terms of too strong
reprobation; and in the first impulse of our indignation, we were
inclined to avenge such iniquitous practices by some signal punishment.
We naturally reflect, that such offences, in whatever light they are
viewed, are of a far deeper dye than many of those for which our
sanguinary code awards the penalty of death—and we wonder that the
punishment hitherto inflicted, has been limited to a fine. If we turn
our view, however, from the moral turpitude of the act, to a calm
consideration of that important question, namely,—What is the most
effectual method of protecting the community from those frauds?—we will
then see strong reasons for preferring the lighter punishment. We do not
find from experience, that offences are prevented by severe punishments.
On the contrary, the crime of forgery, under the most unrelenting
execution of the severe law against it, has grown more frequent. As
those, therefore, by whom the offence of adulterating articles of
provision is committed, are generally creditable and wealthy
individuals, the infliction of a heavy fine, accompanied by public
disgrace, seems a very suitable punishment: and if it be duly and
reasonably applied, there is little doubt that it will be found
effectual to check, and finally to root out, those disgraceful frauds.


                           POISONING OF FOOD.

                  A Treatise on Adulterations of Food,

                         AND CULINARY POISONS;

    _Exhibiting the Fraudulent Sophistications of Bread, Beer, Wine,
   Spirituous Liquors, Tea, Coffee, Cheese, Pepper, Mustard, &c. &c.
                    And methods of detecting them._

                           BY FREDRICK ACCUM.

             (_From the Literary Gazette, No. CLVI. 1820._)

One has laughed at the whimsical description of the cheats in Humphrey
Clinker, but it is really impossible to laugh at Mr. Accum’s exposition.
It is too serious for a joke to see that in almost every thing which we
eat or drink, we are condemned to swallow swindling, if not poison—that
all the items of metropolitan, and many of country consumption, are
deteriorated, deprived of nutritious properties, or rendered obnoxious
to humanity by the vile arts and merciless sophistications of their
sellers. So general seems the corruption, and so fatal the tendency of
most of the corrupting materials, that we can no longer wonder at the
prevalence of painful disorders, and the briefness of existence (on an
average) in spite of the great increase of medical knowledge, and the
amazing improvement in the healing science, which distinguish our era.
No skill can prevent the effects of daily poisoning; and no man can
prolong his life beyond a short standard, where every meal ought to have
its counteracting medicine.

Mr. Accum acts the part of Dionysius with us; only the horse-hair by
which he suspends the sword over our heads allows the point gradually to
enter the flesh, and we do not escape, like Damocles, with the simple
fright: yet it is but justice to acknowledge, that in almost every case
he furnishes us with tests whereby we can ascertain the nature of our
danger; and no man could do more towards enabling us to mitigate or
escape from it.

Advising our readers to abstain from perusing the annexed synopsis till
after they have dined, that they may have one more meal in comfort ere
they die, we proceed to the various heads under which the author ranges
his dread array.

Devoted to disease by baker, brewer, grocer, &c. the physician is called
to our assistance; but here again the pernicious system of fraud, as it
has given the blow, steps in to defeat the remedy.

It is so horribly pleasant to reflect how we are in this way
be-swindled, be-trayed, be-drugged, and be-devilled, that we are almost
angry with Mr. Accum for the great service he has done the community by
opening our eyes, at the risk of shutting our mouths for ever.

His account of water is so fearful, that we see there is no wisdom in
the well; and if we then fly to wine, we find, from his analysis, that
there is no truth in that liquid: bread turns out to be a crutch to help
us onward to the grave, instead of the staff of life; in porter there is
no support, in cordials no consolation; in almost every thing poison,
and in scarcely any medicine, cure.

The work contains a great many excellent observations on the various
sorts of water, and the modes of conveying and preserving them for use:
it appears generally that leaden pipes and cisterns, and copper vessels
are highly dangerous.

Good heavens! we think we hear it exclaimed, is there no end to these
infamous doings? does nothing pure or unpoisoned come to our tables,
except butcher’s meat, which has been rendered far less nutritive than
formerly, by new methods of feeding? Why, we must answer, hardly any
thing: for our author proceeds to shew that _cheese_ (Gloucester he
mentions) has been contaminated with red lead, a deadly poison mixed
with the colouring anotto, when that article was scarce: that _pepper_
is adulterated with factitious pepper-corns “made up of oil-cakes (the
residue of lint-seed, from which the oil has been pressed), common clay,
and a portion of Cayenne pepper, formed in a mass, and granulated by
being first pressed through a sieve, and then rolled in a cask;” and
further, that “ground pepper is very often sophisticated by adding to a
portion of genuine pepper, a quantity of pepper dust, or the sweepings
from the pepper warehouses, mixed with a little Cayenne pepper. The
sweepings are known, and purchased in the market, under the name of P.D.
signifying pepper dust. An inferior sort of this vile refuse, or the
sweepings of P.D. is distinguished among vendors by the abbreviation
D.P.D, denoting, dust (dirt) of pepper dust.”

As we read on, we learn the method of manufacturing adulterated vinegar,
adulterated cream, adulterated lozenges, adulterated mustard,
adulterated lemon acid, poisonous Cayenne, poisonous pickles, poisonous
confectionary, poisonous catsup, poisonous custards, poisonous anchovy
sauce, poisonous olive oil, poisonous soda water; and, if not done to
our hands, of rendering poisonous all sorts of food by the use of copper
and leaden vessels. Suffice it to record, that our pickles are made
green by copper; our vinegar rendered sharp by sulphuric acid; our cream
composed of rice powder or arrow root in bad milk; our comfits mixed of
sugar, starch, and clay, and coloured with preparations of copper and
lead; our catsup often formed of the dregs of distilled vinegar with a
decoction of the outer green husk of the walnut, and seasoned with
all-spice, cayenne, pimento, onions, and common salt—or if founded on
mushrooms, done with those in a putrefactive state remaining unsold at
market; our mustard a compound of mustard, wheaten flour, cayenne, bay
salt, raddish seed, turmeric, and pease flour; and our citric acid, our
lemonade, and our punch, to refresh or to exhilarate, usually cheap
tartareous acid modified for the occasion.

Against all these, and many other impositions, Mr. Accum furnishes us
with easy and certain tests: his work, besides, contains many curious
documents and useful recipes; and it is replete with intelligence, and
often guides to the right while it exposes the wrong.


           _Other Works lately published by FREDRICK ACCUM._
                      THE PROCESS OF MANUFACTURING
                               COAL GAS,
       For the Lighting of Streets, Houses, and Public Buildings,
      Of the most improved Sorts of Apparatus now employed at the
                          Gas Works in London,
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                              _Price 15s._


                           CHEMICAL AMUSEMENT,

 Comprising a Series of curious and instructive Experiments in Chemistry,
             are easily performed, and unattended by Danger.

                     _The Fourth Edition. Price 9s._


                        _This Day is published_,

                               A TREATISE

                                 ON THE

                            Art of Brewing,

  Exhibiting the London practice of Brewing Porter, Brown Stout, Ale,
             Beer, and various other kinds of Malt Liquors.

                           BY FREDRICK ACCUM.


                         _By the same Author_,

                               A TREATISE

                       ON THE ART OF MAKING WINE

                          From Native Fruits;

Elucidating the Chemical Principles upon which the Art of Wine-making
depends. The Fruits best adapted for Home-made Wines, and the Methods of
preparing them.



Intended to facilitate the practical Analysis of Minerals, by pointing
out to the Student concise Directions for performing the Analysis of
Metallic Ores, Earths, and other Minerals. _Second Edition. 2 Vols.
Price 15s._



         _In Two Vols. with Plates. Second Edition. Price 15s._



      _After the Method of Haüy with Plates and Graphic Designs_,

Exhibiting the Forms of Crystals, their Geometrical Structure, and
general Laws, according to which the immense variety of actually
existing Crystals are produced. _Price 15s._






Exhibiting the general Nature of Chemical Re-Agents or Tests—the Effects
which they produce upon different Bodies—the Uses to which they may be
supplied, and the Art of applying them successfully.

  _Second Edition. Illustrated by a Series of Experiments. Price 9s._


 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ The references to figures 1 through 4 on pages 130 and 132 do not
      exist in any edition of the book. This has been confirmed by the
      Project Manager.
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

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