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Title: A Treatise on Bread, and Bread-making
Author: Graham, Sylvester
Language: English
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                           TREATISE ON BREAD,



                          BY SYLVESTER GRAHAM.

             “Bread strengtheneth man’s heart.”—HOLY WRIT.

                      LIGHT & STEARNS, 1 CORNHILL.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by LIGHT &
  STEARNS, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.



                           HISTORY OF BREAD.

Primitive food of man. Bruising and grinding grain. Baking. Invention of
  leavened bread. Bread among the Greeks and Romans—among the Hebrews.
  Simplicity of the bread now used in many countries.


                             LAWS OF DIET.

Reasons why food in its natural state would be the best. Concentrated
  nutriment. Interesting experiments on animals. Mixtures of food.
  Leavened and unleavened bread. Qualifications of the best bread.


                           MATERIAL OF BREAD.

Wheat. Extent of climate favorable to it. Injured by improper tillage.
  Removal of impurities. Washing of grain. Separation of the bran from
  the nutrient particles improper. Ancient Roman bread. Public bakers.
  Use of bad flour. Adulterations. Poisonous agents used to disguise


                          PROPERTIES OF BREAD.

Superfine flour injurious—a probable cause of some common disorders.
  Objections to coarse bread. Its medical properties. Extensive
  experiments of its use, by soldiers and others. Use among European
  peasantry. Selection, preservation and grinding of wheat.



Chemical composition of flour. Yeast—modes of preparing it. Substitutes
  for it. Fermentation, and its products. Vinous, acetous and
  putrefactive fermentation.


                         PREPARATION OF BREAD.

Mixing. Much kneading necessary. Rising, or fermentation. Use of
  alkalies—saleratus and soda. Baking. Ovens. Alcohol in bread.
  Preservation of bread.


                         WHO SHOULD MAKE BREAD.

Making bread by rule. Bakers. Domestics. Sour bread. An anecdote. Mrs.
  Van Winkle. Bad bread need not be made. How cake is made. Bread-making
  a drudgery. Excellent example of a mother. Eating bad bread.
  Importance of having good bread.


                          VARIETIES OF BREAD.

Rye bread. Indian meal bread. Use of sour milk or butter-milk. Acids.
  Family grinding.



There are probably few people in civilized life, who—were the question
put to them directly—would not say, that they consider bread _one_ of
the most, if not the most important article of diet which enters into
the food of man. And yet there is, in reality, almost a total and
universal carelessness about the character of bread. Thousands in civic
life will, for years, and perhaps as long as they live, eat the most
miserable trash that can be imagined, in the form of bread, and never
seem to think that they can possibly have anything better, nor even that
it is an evil to eat such vile stuff as they do. And if there is
occasionally an individual who is troubled with some convictions that
his bread is not quite what it should be, he knows not how to remedy the
difficulty; for it is a serious truth, that, although nearly every human
being in civilized life eats bread of some kind or other, yet scarcely
any one has sufficient knowledge of the true principles and processes
concerned in bread-making, and of the actual causes of the bad qualities
of bread, to know how, with any degree of certainty, to avoid bad and
secure good bread.

I have thought, therefore, that I could hardly do society a better
service, than to publish the following treatise on a subject which,
whether people are aware of it or not, is, in reality, of very great
importance to the health and comfort of every one.

It has been prepared for the press with more haste, under more
embarrassments from other engagements, and with less severity of
revision, than I could wish. Yet, whatever may be its defects of
arrangement, method or style, I have taken care to have the principles
correct, and the instructions such as, if attended to, will enable every
one who is heartily devoted to the object, to make good bread.

I must, however, acknowledge, that I have very little expectation that
proper attention will be paid to this subject, so long as the dietetic
habits of society continue to be what they are. While the various
preparations of animal food constitute so important a portion of human
aliment, the quality of bread will be greatly disregarded and neglected,
and people will continue almost universally to be cursed with poor

Nevertheless, I trust some good will be done by the little work I now
send out; and I am not without hope, that it will be the means of a
considerable improvement in the quality of bread, and, as a natural and
necessary consequence, an improvement in the health and happiness of
those who consume it.

That it may prove thus beneficial to my fellow creatures in a high
degree, is my hearty and fervent desire.

                                                              S. GRAHAM.


                           TREATISE ON BREAD.

                           HISTORY OF BREAD.

Primitive food of man. Bruising and grinding grain. Baking. Invention of
  leavened bread. Bread among the Greeks and Romans—among the Hebrews.
  Simplicity of the bread now used in many countries.

In the English version of the sacred scriptures, the term Bread is
frequently used to signify vegetable food in general. Thus in Gen. iii,
19, the Lord says to Adam—“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread
(or food) till thou return to the ground.” See also Gen. xviii, 5, and
xxviii, 20, and Ex. ii, 20.

The most extended sense of the word, however, according to general
usage, comprehends all farinaceous vegetable substances which enter into
the diet of man; such as the farinaceous seeds or grain, nuts, fruit,
roots, &c. And in this extended sense, Bread, in some form or other, has
been the principal article in the diet of mankind, from the earliest
generations of the human race, to the present time; except among the
few, small and scattered tribes, which have, perhaps, ever since the
days of Noah, in different parts of the earth, subsisted mainly on
animal food.

It is nearly certain that the primitive inhabitants of the earth, ate
their food with very little, if any artificial preparation.

The various fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, and other vegetable substances
on which they fed, were eaten by them in their natural state, with no
other grinding than that which was done by the teeth.

As the human family increased, and population became more dense and
extended, and providential measures more necessary, the condition and
circumstances of society gradually led to the invention and adoption of
the simple, and, at first, rude arts of domestic life. Among these, was
that of bruising the harder articles of their food, such as nuts and
seeds, or grain, on flat stones, selected and kept for the purpose. By
constant use, these stones in time became hollowed out; and being
thereby rendered more convenient, men at length began to form mortars
and pestles from stones; and probably the next step was the construction
of the rude kind of hand-mills, which continued in use for many
centuries; and indeed, which, with the stone mortars, have, throughout
all ages and in almost every portion of the earth, been used in the
ruder states of society.

When men became acquainted with the use of fire, they probably often
parched their corn or grain before they pounded it; and afterwards, they
learned to mix it with water into the consistency of dough, and to bake
this, in an unleavened or unfermented state, on flat stones before the
fire, or in the hot ashes or hot earth, or in the rude ovens which they
formed, by digging holes in the earth, into which they put heated
stones, and slightly covered them with leaves or grass, and then laid in
the article they wished to bake, and over this strewed some leaves, and
then covered the whole with earth.[A]

This kind of unleavened bread, undoubtedly constituted a very important,
if not the principal article of artificially prepared food in the diet
of the primitive inhabitants of the earth, for many centuries; and the
same, or very nearly the same kind of bread continued in general use
down to the days of Abraham; and it is probable that the unleavened
bread used by his descendants at the feast of the Passover, before and
after they left Egypt, was of the same kind.

It is hardly possible, however, that it could have been otherwise, than
that, at a much earlier period, larger quantities of this dough were
occasionally made, than were immediately baked, and consequently
portions of it were suffered to stand and ferment; and by this means,
men were in process of time learned to make leavened, or raised bread.

At how early a date, loaf or raised bread came into common use, it is
impossible now to ascertain with any considerable degree of precision.
The scriptures do not afford us any evidence that Abraham was accustomed
to such bread; but the fact that Moses, at the institution of the supper
of the Passover, the night before the Jews left Egypt, commanded them
strictly to abstain from leavened bread, and to eat only the unleavened,
proves conclusively, that the Israelites at least, were then accustomed
to fermented, or raised bread.

Neither history nor tradition enables us to speak with any degree of
confidence in regard to the period at which other nations became
acquainted with the art of bread-making; but from all that has come down
to us from ancient times, we learn that the primitive generations of
every nation, subsisted on fruits and other products of the vegetable
kingdom, in their uncooked or natural state.

“The Greeks assert that they were taught the art of making bread by
their god, Pan; and Pliny informs us that this art was not known at Rome
till near six hundred years after the foundation of that city. The Roman
armies, he says, on their return from Macedonia, brought Grecian bakers
into Italy. Before this time, the Romans prepared their meal in a kind
of pap or soft pudding; and on this account Pliny calls them pap

But though the Egyptians and Israelites were probably among the earliest
portions of the human family, who became acquainted with the art of
making loaf or raised bread, the quality of their bread continued to be
exceedingly simple and coarse for many generations.

Even after the establishment of the Hebrew nation in Palestine—in the
most splendid days of Jerusalem—at the period of the highest refinement
of the Jews, in the arts of civil and domestic life, their fine flour,
from which their choicest bread and cakes were made, was, in comparison
with modern superfine flour, extremely coarse,—ground mostly by females,
in hand-mills constructed and kept for that purpose.

From Rome the art of bread-making very slowly found its way over
considerable portions of Europe. A thousand years after Julius Cæsar
first entered Britain, the rude people of that country were little
acquainted with raised bread. “Even at present,” says Prof. Thomson,
“loaf bread is seldom used except by the higher classes of inhabitants,
in the northern countries of Europe and Asia.”

In Eastern and Southern Asia, rice constitutes the principal
bread-stuff; and this is generally prepared with great simplicity. In
Middle and Western Asia, and in Africa, bread, though made of different
kinds of grain, is prepared with almost equal simplicity. In Scotland,
Ireland, and indeed throughout Europe generally, barley, oats, rye,
potatoes, peas, beans, chesnuts, and other farinaceous vegetables,
constitute the bread-stuff of most of the laboring people, or peasantry.
In the islands of the Pacific and Southern oceans, the bread of the
inhabitants consists of the plantain, bananas, yams, bread-fruit, and
other like vegetables, simply roasted, baked, or boiled.

Bread, therefore, of some kind or other, made of some of the farinaceous
products of the vegetable kingdom, has probably, in almost every portion
of the world, and every period of time, been one of the first, and most
important, and universal articles of food, artificially prepared by
cooking, which has entered into the diet of mankind; and hence it has
with great propriety been called “the staff of life.”

                             LAWS OF DIET.

Reasons why food in its natural state would be the best. Concentrated
  nutriment. Interesting experiments on animals. Mixtures of food.
  Leavened and unleavened bread. Qualifications of the best bread.

If man were to subsist wholly on alimentary substances in their natural
state, or without any artificial preparation by cooking, then he would
be obliged to use his teeth freely in masticating his food; and by so
doing, not only preserve his teeth from decay, and keep them in sound
health, but at the same time, and by the same means, would he thoroughly
mix his food with the fluid of his mouth, and thus prepare it both for
swallowing and for the action of the stomach, and by the same means
also, he would be made to swallow his food slowly, as the welfare of the
stomach and of the whole system requires he should.

Again, if man were to subsist wholly on uncooked food, he would never
suffer from the improper temperature of his aliment. Hot substances
taken into the mouth, serve more directly and powerfully to destroy the
teeth, than any other cause which acts immediately upon them; and hot
food and drink received into the stomach, always in some degree
debilitate that organ, and through it, every other organ and portion of
the whole system; diminishing, as an ultimate result, the vital power of
every part—impairing every function, and increasing the susceptibility
of the whole body to the action of disturbing causes, and predisposing
it to disease. Again, if man were to subsist entirely on food in a
natural state, he would never suffer from concentrated aliment. Every
substance in nature which God has prepared for the food of man, consists
of both nutritious and innutritious matter. The proportions vary in
different kinds of food. Thus in a hundred pounds of potatoes, there are
about twenty-five pounds of nourishing matter; while in a hundred pounds
of good wheat there are about eighty pounds of nourishing matter. There
are a few products of the vegetable kingdom which are still higher in
the scale of nutriment, than wheat; and on the other hand there is a
boundless variety ranging below wheat, extending down to three or four
per cent. of nourishment. But nature, without the aid of human art,
produces nothing for the alimentary use of man which is purely a
concentrated nutrient substance. And God has constructed man in strict
accordance with this general economy of nature. He has organized and
endowed the human body with reference to the condition and qualities of
those substances in nature, which He designed for the food of man. And
consequently, while man obeys the laws of constitution and relation
which should govern him in regard to his food, he preserves the health
and integrity of his alimentary organs, and through them of his whole
nature; and so far as his dietetic habits are concerned, secures the
highest and best condition of his nature. But, if he disregards these
laws, and by artificial means greatly departs from the natural
adaptation of things, he inevitably brings evil on himself and on his

It has been fully proved that “bulk, or a due proportion of innutritious
matter in our food, is quite as important to health as nourishment.”
Human beings may subsist from childhood to extreme old age on good
potatoes and pure water alone, and enjoy the best and most uninterrupted
health, and possess the greatest muscular power and ability to endure
protracted fatigue and exposure. But if the purely nutrient matter of
the potato be separated out by artificial means, and human beings, fed
exclusively on this concentrated form of aliment and pure water, they
will soon perish, because the alimentary organs of man are not
constituted and endowed for such kinds of food. And this is true of all
animals, in the higher orders, at least.

We know that dogs fed on sugar and water, gum and water, fine flour
bread and water, or any other kind of concentrated aliment, will soon
languish, and droop, and emaciate, and die; but if a due proportion of
proper innutritious substance be mixed with these concentrated forms of
aliment, the dogs will subsist on them and remain healthy. So if horses,
cows, deer, sheep, and other grass-eating animals be fed on grain alone,
they will soon lose their appetite and begin to droop, and will shortly
perish; but if a due proportion of straw or shavings of wood be given
them with their grain, they will continue to do well. Man is affected in
the same manner. He cannot long subsist on purely nutritious substances.
And the reason is not because these substances have no azote or nitrogen
in them; nor is it because man _necessarily_ requires a variety of
alimentary substances, but simply and exclusively because the anatomical
construction and vital powers of the alimentary organs, are
constitutionally adapted to alimentary substances which consist of both
nutritious and innutritious matter; and therefore a due proportion of
innutritious matter in the food of man is as essential to the welfare of
his alimentary organs, as a due proportion of nourishment is to the
support of his body.

Again, if man subsisted wholly on uncooked food, he would not only be
preserved from improper concentrations, but also from pernicious
combinations of alimentary substances. The alimentary organs of man,
like those of the horse, ox, sheep, dog, cat, and most or all other
animals of the higher orders, if not in fact, of all other animals
without limitation, possess the vital capability of so accommodating
themselves to emergencies, that they can be made to digest almost every
vegetable and animal substance in nature; and they can, by long
training, be educated to digest a mixture of these substances at the
same time. Nevertheless it is incontestibly true, that the alimentary
organs of man and of all other animals, can manage one kind of food at a
time better than a mixed ingestion; for it is impossible that the
solvent fluids secreted by the stomach and other organs belonging to the
alimentary apparatus, should be at the same time equally well adapted to
entirely different kinds of food.

I do not say that the alimentary organs of man cannot, by long habit, be
brought into such a condition as that, while that condition remains,
they will not manage a mixed ingestion of animal and vegetable food,
with more immediate comfort and satisfaction to themselves and the
individual, than they will an ingestion of pure vegetable food. But this
does not militate against the general principle in the least; for it is
nevertheless true, that the same organs are capable of being brought
into a condition in which they will manage an ingestion of unmixed food
of either kind, with less embarrassment and injury to themselves and the
whole system, than they can the mixed food in any condition. Hence it is
a general law of nature, concerning the dietetic habits of man, that
simplicity of food at each meal is essential to the highest well-being
of the individual and of the race.

God has unquestionably provided a great and rich variety of substances
for man’s nourishment and enjoyment; but it is equally certain that he
did not design that man should partake of all this variety at a single
meal, nor in a single day, nor season—but from meal to meal, from day to
day, and from season to season, varying his enjoyment in strictest
consistency with the great laws of his nature. And hence all artificial
combinations of alimentary substances, and particularly those of a
heterogeneous kind, and yet more especially the concentrated forms, must
be more or less pernicious to the alimentary organs, and through them to
the whole system.

Finally, if man subsisted wholly on uncooked food, the undepraved
integrity of his appetite, his thorough mastication and slow swallowing,
and his simple meal, would greatly serve to prevent his overeating, and
thus save him from the ruinous effects of one of the most destructive
causes operating in civic life.

Whatever may be the material, therefore, from which bread is made, when
the artificial preparation is of that simple character which leaves the
proportions of nutritious and innutritious properties, as nature
combined them, and effects little change in the nutritious principles,
and retains the natural requisition for the function of the teeth, and
thus secures the proper chewing of the food and the mixing of it with
the fluids of the mouth, and swallowing of it slowly, the artificial
process militates very little, if at all, against any of the
physiological or vital interests of the body. But if our artificial
process of bread-making, concentrates the nutrient properties, and
destroys the due proportion between the bulk and nourishment, and forms
improper changes and combinations in the nutrient elements, and does
away the necessity for mastication or chewing, and presents the food in
too elevated a temperature, or too hot, and enables us to swallow it too
rapidly, with little or no exercise of the teeth, and without properly
mixing it with the fluids of the mouth, the artificial process or
cooking is decidedly and often exceedingly inimical, not only to the
vital interests of the alimentary organs, but of the whole human system.

In all civilized nations, and particularly in civic life, bread, as I
have already stated, is far the most important article of food which is
artificially prepared; and in our country and climate, it is the most
important article that enters into the diet of man; and therefore it is
of the first consideration, that its character should, in every respect,
be as nearly as possible, consistent with the laws of constitution and
relation established in our nature; or with the anatomical construction
and vital properties and powers and interest of our systems.

If we contemplate the human constitution in its highest and best
condition,—in the possession of its most vigorous and unimpaired
powers—and ask, what must be the character of our bread in order to
preserve that constitution in that condition? the answer most
indubitably is, that the coarse unleavened bread of early times, when of
proper age, was one of the least removes from the natural state of
food,—one of the simplest and most wholesome forms of artificial
preparations, and best adapted to fulfil the laws of constitution and
relation; and therefore best adapted to sustain the most vigorous and
healthy state of the alimentary organs, and the highest and best
condition of the whole nature of man, as a general and permanent fact;
and hence it is very questionable whether loaf or raised bread can be
made equally conducive to all the interests of our nature, with the
simple unleavened bread.

I am aware that many professional men entertain a very different opinion
on this subject, and speak of unleavened bread as being less nourishing
and less easily digested. This may be true to a limited extent, in
special cases of impaired and debilitated alimentary organs; but I am
confident that as a general fact the notion is entirely erroneous.

“The whole people of Asia,” says Dr. Cullen, “live upon unfermented
rice. The Americans, before they became acquainted with the Europeans,
employed, and for the most part, still employ their maize in the same
condition. Even in Europe, the employment of unfermented bread, and
unfermented farinaceæ in other forms, is still very considerable, and we
are ready to maintain that the morbid consequences of such a diet are
very seldom to be observed. In Scotland, nine tenths of the lower
classes of people—and that is the greater part of the whole—live upon
unfermented bread and unfermented farinaceæ in other forms, and at the
same time, I am of opinion that there are not a more healthy people
anywhere to be found. We give it to all classes and both sexes with

It is incontestibly true, that if two portions of the same kind of wheat
meal be taken and made, the one into unleavened and the other into
leavened bread, and both be eaten warm from the oven, the leavened bread
will prove much more oppressive and difficult to manage in the stomach
than the unleavened. But aside from the changes that are produced by the
process of fermentation, there are many other considerations why
unleavened bread of a proper quality and age, is better adapted to
sustain the alimentary organs and general constitution of man, in their
highest and best condition.

Nevertheless, it is very certain, that loaf or raised bread can be made
so nearly in accordance with the vital laws and interests of our bodies,
as scarcely to militate against them in any perceptible or appreciable
degree. And when I say this, I mean not merely its effects on the health
and longevity of a single individual, but its effects upon the human
constitution, through successive generations, for a thousand years or

As a general criterion or rule, then, in regard to the character of
bread, we perceive that the most perfect loaf or raised bread, is that
which, being made of the best material, is light, and sweet, and well
baked, and still most nearly retains all the natural proportions and
properties of the original material.

                           MATERIAL OF BREAD.

Wheat. Extent of climate favorable to it. Injured by improper tillage.
  Removal of impurities. Washing of grain. Separation of the bran from
  the nutrient particles improper. Ancient Roman bread. Public bakers.
  Use of bad flour. Adulterations. Poisonous agents used to disguise

Among the materials used for making bread in our country—and, in fact,
of all the known productions of the vegetable kingdom in any country,
wheat is decidedly the best; and it is a remarkable fact, that wheat
comes nearer to man than perhaps any other plant, in its power of
becoming adapted to different climates, over a wide extent of the
earth’s surface, so that it may almost be said that wherever the human
species can flourish, there wheat can be cultivated.

“It is not certainly known,” says Prof. Thomson, “in what country wheat
was first produced. Mr. Bruce informs us that he found it growing wild
in Abyssinia; and in his opinion, that kingdom is the native country of
the plant. It would seem,” continues the Professor, “to be originally an
African plant, since it thrives best in Barbary and Egypt; and perhaps
the mountains of Abyssinia, though within the torrid zone, may not
differ much in point of climate, from the more northern plains of Egypt.
Wheat is perhaps cultivated over a greater extent of the globe than any
other plant. Excellent crops are raised as far north as Sweden, in
latitude 60°; it is cultivated in the East Indies, considerably within
the limits of the torrid zone; and in the North of Hindostan, it
constitutes a chief article in the food of the inhabitants. In India,
however, the plant seems to have deteriorated. It is always dwarfish,
and the crop is said to be less abundant than in more northern
climates.” Yet a cold climate is not most genial to the nature of this
plant. “The wheat of France is superior to that of England; the wheat of
Italy is still better than that of France; and perhaps the best of all
is raised in Barbary and Egypt.”

Excellent wheat is raised in the southern, and western, and middle
portions of the United States; and even in the northern and eastern
parts of New England, very fine crops have been produced.

But the wheat and other cultivated products of the vegetable kingdom
appropriated to the nourishment of man, like those on which our domestic
animals subsist, are too generally, in civilized life, very considerably
deteriorated, as to their wholesomeness, by the improper tillage of the
soil. I have no doubt that it is true, as stated by those who have made
the experiment, that the flour of wheat, raised on a cultivated soil
recently dressed with crude, stable manure, may readily be distinguished
by its odor, from the flour of wheat raised on a new and undepraved
soil, or from that raised on a cultivated soil which has been dressed
with properly digested manure. And if such and similar results of
improper tillage can become the sources of serious evil to the human
family, through their effects on the flesh of animals which man devours,
and on the milk and butter which he consumes, surely the immediate
effects of such a deteriorated vegetable aliment on the human system,
must be very considerable.

They who have never eaten bread made of wheat, recently produced by a
pure virgin soil, have but a very imperfect notion of the deliciousness
of good bread; such as is often to be met with in the comfortable log
houses in our western country. It is probably true that the new soil, in
its virgin purity, before it becomes exhausted by tillage, and debauched
by the means which man uses to enrich and stimulate it, produces most,
if not all kinds of vegetables appropriate for human aliment, in a more
perfect and healthy state, than any soil which has been long under
cultivation, can be made to do. Nevertheless, by a proper application of
physiological principles to agriculture, many of the evils which now
result from improper tillage may easily be avoided, and the quality of
all those vegetable substances which enter into the diet of man may be
very greatly improved, both in regard to wholesomeness and

But while the people of our country are so entirely given up as they are
at present, to gross and promiscuous feeding on the dead carcasses of
animals, and to the untiring pursuits of wealth, it is perhaps wholly in
vain for a single individual to raise his voice on a subject of this
kind. The farmer will continue to be most eager to increase the number
of his acres, and to extort from those acres the greatest amount of
produce, with the least expense of tillage, and with little or no regard
to the quality of that produce in relation to the physiological
interests of man; while the people generally, are contented to gratify
their depraved appetites on whatever comes before them, without pausing
to inquire whether their indulgences are adapted to preserve or to
destroy their health and life. Yet if some one does not raise a voice
upon this subject which shall be heard and heeded, there will soon reach
us, as a nation, a voice of calamity which we shall not be able to shut
our ears against, albeit we may in the perverseness of our sensualism,
incorrigibly persist in disregarding its admonitions, till the deep
chastisements of outraged nature shall reach the very “bone and marrow”
of the human constitution, and fill our land with such a living
rottenness, as now in some other portions of the earth, renders human
society odious and abominable.

Whether, therefore, my voice shall be heard and heeded or not, I will
obey the dictates of my sense of duty, and solemnly declare that this
subject demands the prompt and earnest attention of every agriculturist
and of every friend to the common cause of humanity; for it is most
certain, that until the agriculture of our country is conducted in
strict accordance with physiological truth, it is not possible for us to
realize those physical, and intellectual, and moral, and social, and
civil blessings for which the human constitution and our soil and
climate are naturally capacitated.

When proper attention has been paid to the character of the wheat
itself, the next thing is to see that it is thoroughly cleansed.

Sometimes, in consequence of the peculiarities of the season, or
climate, or soil, or some other cause, there will be a species of
disease affecting the wheat and other grains; and this may be of such a
character as not easily to be removed nor counteracted by any means; but
more generally the rust, and smut, and dust, which attach themselves to
the skin of the grain, may, by proper care, be so far removed, as at
least to render the meal or flour far more pure and wholesome than it
otherwise would be. And here let me remark, that they are greatly
deceived, who suppose that the bolting cloth which separates the fine
flour from the outer skin or bran, also separates the impurities
attached to the outer skin from the flour. By the process of grinding,
these impurities are rubbed from the outer skin, and made quite as fine
as any portion of the flour, and for the most part pass with the fine
flour through the bolting cloth.

To remedy this, it is perhaps generally true, that in large flouring
establishments, a kind of smut or scouring mill is in operation, through
which the wheat passes, and is pretty thoroughly rubbed or scoured
without being broken; and after this, it passes through a screen or
winnowing mill, and thus is tolerably well cleansed and prepared for
grinding. Yet this process by no means renders the wheat so perfectly
clean and wholesome as washing.

Those who have given little attention to this subject, will probably
think that the trouble of washing all their bread-stuff before it is
ground, would be much greater than any benefit which would result from
it. But a short experience in the matter, would convince every one who
has a proper regard for the character of his bread, that the trouble of
washing his grain bears no comparison to the improvement effected by it.
Indeed, they who become accustomed to washing their grain, will soon
cease to regard it as a trouble; and the improvement in the whiteness
and sweetness of their bread will be so great, that they would be
extremely unwilling to relinquish the practice.

When people are so situated that they can have things as they wish, they
will also find that their bread is much richer, if the grain is ground
but a short time before it is cooked.

The best way, therefore, is, for every family to raise or purchase a
sufficient quantity of the best new wheat that can be produced by proper
tillage in a good soil, and put that away in clean casks or bins, where
it will be kept perfectly dry and sweet; and, according to the size of
the family, take, from time to time, as they need it, one or two
bushels, and wash it thoroughly but briskly in two or three waters, and
then spread it out on a drying sheet or table, made for the purpose, and
which is considerably inclined, so that the water remaining with the
wheat will easily run off.

The skin or bran of the wheat is so well protected by its own oily
property, that little or no water will penetrate it, unless it be
suffered to remain in the water much longer than is necessary. Being
thinly spread out upon the sheet or table in a good drying day, it will
be sufficiently dry in a few hours for grinding. And I say again, let
any one who loves good bread, wash his grain a few times in this manner,
and he will be very reluctant to return to the use of bread made of
unwashed grain.

It would be difficult to ascertain at how early a period in the progress
of society, mankind, in the preparation of wheat for bread-making, began
to put asunder what God has joined together, and to concentrate the more
purely nutrient properties, by separating the flour from the part
commonly called the bran. The Bible speaks of fine flour or meal, as a
portion of the meat offerings of the temple, but it is not probable this
approached very near to the superfine flour of the present time.

We are informed also that the Romans, more than two thousand years ago,
had four or five different kinds of bread—one of which was made of the
purest flour, from which all the bran was separated. This was eaten only
by the rich and luxurious. A second kind, in more common use, was that
from which a portion of the bran was taken; and a third kind, which was
more generally used than any other, was that which was made of the whole
substance of the wheat. A fourth kind was made mostly of the bran, for

But at whatever period in the history of the race, this artificial
process was commenced, certain it is that in direct violation of the
laws of constitution and relation which the Creator has established in
the nature of man, this process of mechanical analysis is, at the
present day, carried to the full extent of possibility; and the farina,
and gluten, and saccharine matter of the wheat, are almost perfectly
concentrated in the form of superfine flour. Nor is this all—these
concentrated nutrient properties of the wheat are mixed and complicated
in ways innumerable, with other concentrated substances, to pamper the
depraved appetites of man, with kinds of food which always and
inevitably tend to impair his health and to abbreviate his life.

Even the bread, which is the simplest form into which human ingenuity
tortures the flour of wheat, is, by other causes besides the
concentration I have named, too frequently rendered the instrument of
disease and death, rather than the means of life and health, to those
that eat it.

In cities and large towns, most people depend on public bakers for their
bread. And I have no doubt that public bakers, as a body, are as honest
and worthy a class of men as any in society. I have no wish to speak
evil of any one; and it is always painful to me to find myself
compelled, in fidelity to the common cause of humanity, to expose the
faults of any particular class of men, when probably every other class
in society is as deeply involved in errors which, in the sight of God,
evince, at least, an equal degree of moral turpitude.

But public bakers, like other men, who serve the public more for the
sake of securing their own emolument than for the public good, have
always had recourse to various expedients in order to increase the
lucrativeness of their business.

To secure custom and profit at the same time, they have considered it
necessary, that a given quantity of flour should be made into a loaf as
large and as white as possible, and free from any disagreeable taste,
while at the same time it retains the greatest possible weight.

From a variety of causes, the quality and price of flour have always
been very unstable. Sometimes the crops are small, or the foreign demand
for flour or the home consumption is unusually great, or the season is
unfavorable to the health of grain, and the wheat becomes diseased, or
the harvest time is unfavorable, and the wheat sprouts before it is
secured, or large quantities of flour become soured or musty, or in some
other manner damaged.

To counteract these things, and to make the most profitable use of such
flour as the market affords them, the public bakers have been led to try
various experiments with chemical agents, and there is reason to believe
that in numerous instances, they have been too successful in their
practices, for the well-being of those who have been the consumers of
their bread.

According to treatises on bread-making, which have within a few years
past appeared in European scientific journals, “alum, sulphate of zinc,
sub-carbonate of magnesia, sub-carbonate of ammonia, sulphate of copper,
and several other substances, have been used by public bakers in making
bread; and some of these substances have been employed by them to a very
great extent, and with very great success in the cause of their
cupidity. They have not only succeeded by such means, in making light
and white bread out of extremely poor flour, but they have also been
able so to disguise their adulterations, as to work in with their flour,
without being detected by the consumers, a portion of the flour of
beans, peas and potatoes—and even chalk, pipe clay and plaster of Paris,
have been employed to increase the weight and whiteness of their bread.”

“The use of alum in bread-making,” says a distinguished chemist,
“appears to be very ancient. It is one of those articles which have been
the most extensively and successfully used in disguising bad flour, and
the various adulterations of bread. Its injurious action upon the health
is not to be compared with that of sulphate of copper, and yet, daily
taken into the stomach, it may seriously affect the system.”

“Thirteen bakers were condemned on the 27th of January, 1829, by the
correctional tribunal of Brussels, for mixing sulphate of copper or blue
vitriol with their bread. It makes the bread very white, light, large
and porous, but rather tasteless; and it also enables the bread to
retain a greater quantity of water, and thereby very considerably
increases its weight. A much larger quantity of alum is necessary to
produce these effects; but when of sufficient quantity, it strengthens
the paste, and, as the bakers say, ‘makes the bread swell large.’”

If the statements of our large druggists can be relied on, the public
bakers of our own country probably employ ammonia more freely, at
present, than any other substance I have named. Pearlash or saleratus is
also used by them in considerable quantities.

But even where these adulterations are not practised, the bakers’ bread
is very rarely a wholesome article of diet.

If any dependence is to be placed on the testimony of several of the
principal bakers and flour merchants in New York, Boston and other
cities, the flour which most of our public bakers work into bread, is of
a very inferior quality to what is called good “family flour,” and for
which they pay from one to three dollars less per barrel; and they
sometimes purchase large quantities of old spoiled flour from New
Orleans and elsewhere, which has heated and soured in the barrel, and
perhaps become almost as solid as a mass of chalk; so that they are
obliged to break it up, and grind it over, and spread it out, and expose
it to the air, in order to purify it in a measure from its acid and
other bad properties; and then they mix it with a portion of much better
flour; and from this mixture they can make, as they say, the very
largest and finest looking loaf.[B]

But should the public bakers always use the best of flour, their bread,
as a general statement, would still be very inferior to well made
domestic bread, in point of sweetness and wholesomeness. Their mode of
manufacturing bread—to say the least of it—destroys much of the virtue
of the flour or meal; and hence their bread is only palatable—even to
those who are accustomed to it—within twelve, or at the longest,
twenty-four hours after it is baked.

But I must repeat, that in making these statements, I am not prompted by
any unkind feelings towards public bakers; I have no doubt that they are
as honest in their calling as any other class of men; but perhaps there
is no other class pursuing an interest founded on the necessities of
their fellow creatures, whose expedients to increase the lucrativeness
of their business, are so immediately and universally injurious to the
health of those on whom they depend for support.

If any of my statements are thought to be exaggerated or incorrect, I
can only say, that with honest and benevolent intentions, I have
diligently sought for the truth; and if I have been in any respect
betrayed into error, I have been misinformed by public bakers
themselves, who certainly ought to know the truth in this matter; and
who could have no conceivable reason for making the general character of
their calling appear worse than it really is. Nevertheless, I have no
question that there are individuals in every city employed as public
bakers, who are too honest—too conscientious—too upright in heart, to be
guilty of any practice which they consider fraudulent or improper.

Still, truth compels me to declare, that if we would have good and
wholesome bread, it must be made within the precincts of our own
domestic threshold; and by those whose skill and care are exercised more
with a view to secure our health and happiness, than their own pecuniary

                          PROPERTIES OF BREAD.

Superfine flour injurious—a probable cause of some common disorders.
  Objections to coarse bread. Its medical properties. Extensive
  experiments of its use, by soldiers and others. Use among European
  peasantry. Selection, preservation and grinding of wheat.

Whether our bread is of domestic manufacture or made by the public
baker, that which is made of superfine flour is always far less
wholesome, in any and every situation of life, than that which is made
of wheaten meal which contains all the natural properties of the grain.

It is true, that when much flesh is eaten with our bread, or when bread
constitutes but a very small and unimportant portion of our food, the
injurious effects of superfine flour bread are not always so immediately
and distinctly perceived as in other cases. Nevertheless, it is a
general and invariable law of our nature, that all concentrated forms of
food are unfriendly to the physiological or vital interests of our

A very large proportion of all the diseases and ailments in civic life,
are originated by causes which are introduced into the alimentary canal
as articles of diet; and disturbance and derangement of
function—obstructions, debility and irritations, are among the most
important elements of those diseases.

It is, probably, speaking within bounds, to say that nine tenths of the
adults, and nearly as large a proportion of youth in civic life, are
more or less afflicted with obstructions and disturbances in the stomach
and bowels, and other organs of the abdomen, the symptoms of which are
either habitual costiveness or diarrhœa, or an alternation of both; or
frequent and severe attacks of what are called bilious colics, &c., &c.;
and in children and youth, worms, fits, convulsions, &c. And I cannot
but feel confident, that the use of superfine flour bread is among the
important causes of these and numerous other difficulties.

I have indeed been surprised to observe, that in the hundreds of cases
of chronic diseases of every form and name, which have come to my
knowledge within the last five or six years, costiveness of the bowels
has in almost every instance been among the first and most important
symptoms. And I have never known this difficulty, even after an
obstinate continuance of five, ten, twenty or thirty years, fail to
disappear in a short time, after the coarse wheaten bread of a proper
character has been substituted for that made of superfine flour.

Some physicians and other individuals, without properly examining the
subject, have raised several objections against the coarse wheaten

It is said, in the first place, that bran is wholly indigestible, and
therefore should never be taken into the human stomach.

This objection betrays so much ignorance of the final causes and
constitutional laws, clearly indicated by the anatomical structure and
physiological economy of the alimentary organs, that it scarcely
deserves the slightest notice. If the digestive organs of man were
designed to receive nothing but digestible and nutrient substances, they
would have been constructed and arranged very differently from what they
are. As we have already seen, everything which nature provides for our
sustenance, consists of certain proportions of nutritious and
innutritious matter; and a due proportion of innutritious matter in our
food is as essential to the health and functional integrity of our
alimentary organs, as a due proportion of nutritious matter is to the
sustenance of the body.

Another objection is, that although bran may serve, like other
mechanical irritants and excitants, for a while, to relieve
constipation, yet it soon wears out the excitability of the organs, and
leaves them more inactive than before.

Here again, a false statement is urged by inexcusable ignorance; for it
is not true that the bran acts in the manner supposed in this objection;
nor are the effects here asserted ever produced by it.

It is true, however, that the very pernicious habits of some people, who
use the coarse wheaten bread, entirely counteract the aperient effects
of the bread; and it is true that others, depending wholly on the
virtues of this bread for peristaltic action, and neglecting all
exercise, by their extreme inertness, and indolence, and overeating,
bring on a sluggishness, and debility, and constipation of the bowels,
and perhaps become severely afflicted with piles, in spite of the
natural fitness of the bread to promote regular peristaltic action, and
to prevent all these results.

A third objection is, that though the coarse wheaten bread may do very
well for those who are troubled with constipation, by mechanically
irritating and exciting the stomach and bowels, yet for that very reason
it is wholly unfit and improper for those who are afflicted with chronic

Here is still another objection founded in ignorance of the true
physiological and pathological principles which it involves. The truth
is, that the coarse wheaten bread, under a proper general regimen, is as
excellent and sure a remedy for chronic diarrhœa as for chronic

I have seen cases of chronic diarrhœa of the most obstinate character,
and which had baffled the highest medical skill and every mode of
treatment for more than twenty years, yielding entirely under a proper
general regimen, in which this bread was the almost exclusive article of
food, and not a particle of medicine was used. And I have never known
such a mode of treatment to fail of wholly relieving diarrhœa, whether
recent or chronic; although a very great number of cases have come under
my notice.

It is fully evident, therefore, that the bran does not act on the
digestive organs as a mere mechanical irritant; for if it did, it would
always necessarily aggravate, rather than alleviate diarrhœa. Nor does
it relieve diarrhœa on the principle of a narcotic nor of a stimulant;
for the effect of these is always to give an immediate check to that
complaint; and in such a manner as to expose the system to a return of
it. But the coarse wheaten bread _seems_ to increase the disease for a
short time, at first, and then gradually restores the healthy condition
and action of the bowels.

The mucilage of wheat bran is probably one of the most soothing
substances in the vegetable kingdom, that can be applied to the mucous
membrane of the stomach and bowels.

Chronic constipation and chronic diarrhœa, both spring from the same
root. Where the constitutional vigor of the alimentary canal is very
considerable, continued irritations, resulting in debility, will produce
constipation; and these continued causes operating for some time, will
often induce such a state of debility and irritability as is attended
with diarrhœa:—and in other cases, when this constitutional vigor of the
alimentary canal is much less, diarrhœa is far more readily induced, and
rendered chronic.

Coarse wheaten bread, then, by its adaptation to the anatomical
structure and to the physiological properties and functional powers of
our organs, serves to prevent and to remove the disorders and diseases
of our bodies, only by preventing and removing irritation and morbid
action and condition, and thereby affording the system an opportunity of
recovering its healthy and vigorous action and condition. And the
thousands of individuals in our own country of every age—of both
sexes—of all situations, conditions and circumstances, who within the
last six years have been benefited by using the coarse wheaten bread,
instead of that made of superfine flour, are living witnesses of the
virtues of that bread.

But the testimony in favor of coarse wheaten bread as an important
article in the food of man, is by no means limited to our own country
nor to modern times.

In all probability, as we have already seen, the first generations of
our species, who became acquainted with the art of making bread,
continued for many centuries to employ all the substance of the grain,
which they coarsely mashed in their rude mortars or mills. And even
since mankind began, by artificial means, to separate the bran from the
flour, and to make bread from the latter, the more close and discerning
observers among physicians and philanthropists, have perceived and
asserted, that bread made of fine flour is decidedly less wholesome than
that made of the unbolted wheat meal.

Hippocrates, styled the father of medicine, who flourished more than two
thousand years ago, and who depended far more on a correct diet and
general regimen, both for the prevention and removal of disease, than he
did on medicine, particularly commended the unbolted wheat meal bread,
“for its salutary effects upon the bowels.” It was a fact well
understood by the ancients, that this bread was much more conducive to
the general health and vigor of their bodies, and every way better
adapted to nourish and sustain them than that made of the fine flour.
And accordingly, their wrestlers and others who were trained for great
bodily power, “ate only the coarse wheaten bread, to preserve them in
their strength of limbs.” The Spartans were famous for this kind of
bread; and we learn from Pliny that the Romans, as a nation, at that
period of their history when they were the most remarkable for bodily
vigor and personal prowess and achievement, knew no other bread for
three hundred years. The warlike and powerful nations which overran the
Roman Empire, and finally spread over the greater part of Europe, used
no other kind of bread than that which was made of the whole substance
of the grain; and from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present day,
a large proportion of the inhabitants of all Europe and the greater part
of Asia, have rarely used any other kind of bread.

“If you set any value on health, and have a mind to preserve
nature,”—said Thomas Tryon, student in physic, in his “Way to Health,
Long Life and Happiness,” published in London, in the latter part of the
fifteenth century,—“you must not separate the finest from the coarsest
flour; because that which is fine is naturally of an obstructive and
stopping quality; but, on the contrary, the other, which is coarse, is
of a cleansing and opening nature, therefore the bread is best which is
made of both together. It is more wholesome, easier of digestion, and
more strengthening than bread made of the finest flour. It must be
confessed, that the nutrimentive quality is contained in the fine flour;
yet, in the branny part is contained the opening and digestive quality;
and there is as great a necessity for the one as the other, for the
support of health: that which is accounted the worst is as good and
beneficial to nature as the best; for when the finest flour is separated
from the coarsest and branny parts, neither the one nor the other has
the true operations of the wheat meal. The eating of fine bread,
therefore, is inimical to health, and contrary both to nature and
reason; and was at first invented to gratify _wanton_ and _luxurious_
persons, who are ignorant both of themselves, and the true virtue and
efficacy of natural things.”

“Baron Steuben has often told me,” says Judge Peters, “that the peculiar
healthfulness of the Prussian soldiers, was in a great measure to be
attributed to their ammunition bread, made of grain, triturated or
ground, but not bolted; which was accounted the most wholesome and
nutritious part of their rations.”[C]

“The Dutch sailors, in the days of their naval glory, were supplied with
the same kind of bread.”

“During the war between England and France, near the close of the last
century,” says Mr. Samuel Prior, a respectable merchant of Salem, New
Jersey—“the crops of grain, and particularly wheat, were very small in
England, and the supplies from Dantzic, the Netherlands and Sweden being
cut off by the French army, and also the usual supplies from America
failing, there was a very great scarcity of wheat in England. The
British army was then very extensive, and it was exceedingly difficult
to procure provisions for it, both at home and abroad—on land and sea.
Such was the demand for the foreign army, and such the deficiency of
crops at home and supplies from abroad, that serious fears were
entertained that the army would suffer, and that the continental
enterprise of the British government would be defeated in consequence of
the scarcity of provisions; and every prudential measure by which such a
disastrous event could be prevented, was carefully considered and
proposed. William Pitt was then prime minister of state, and at his
instance, government recommended to the people generally throughout
Great Britain, to substitute potatoes and rice as far as possible, for
bread, in order to save the wheat for the foreign army. This
recommendation was promptly complied with by many of the people. But
still the scarcity was alarmingly great. In this emergency, parliament
passed a law (to take effect for two years) that the army at home should
be supplied with bread made of unbolted wheat meal, solely for the
purpose of making the wheat go as far as possible, and thus saving as
much as they could from the home consumption, for the better supply of
the army on the continent.

“Eighty thousand men were quartered in barracks in the counties of Essex
and Suffolk. A great many were also quartered throughout the towns, at
taverns, in squads of thirty or forty in a place. Throughout the whole
of Great Britain, the soldiers were supplied with this coarse bread. It
was deposited in the store-rooms with the other provisions of the army;
and on the day that it was baked, and at nine o’clock the next morning,
was distributed to the soldiers—who were at first exceedingly displeased
with the bread, and refused to eat it, often casting it from them with
great rage, and violent execrations. But after two or three weeks they
began to be much pleased with it, and preferred it to the fine flour

“My father,” continues Mr. P., “whom I have often heard talk these
things over, was a miller and a baker, and resided in the county of
Essex, on the border joining Suffolk, and near the barracks containing
the eighty thousand soldiers. He contracted with government, to supply
the eastern district of the county of Essex, with the kind of bread I
have mentioned: and he used always to send me with it to the
depositories on the day it was baked: and though I was then a youth, I
can still very distinctly remember the angry looks and remarks of the
soldiers, when they were first supplied with it. Indeed they often threw
their loaves at me as I passed along, and accompanied them with a volley
of curses. The result of this experiment was, that not only the wheat
was made to go much farther, but the health of the soldiers improved so
much and so manifestly, in the course of a few months, that it became a
matter of common remark among themselves, and of observation and
surprise among the officers and physicians of the army. These gentlemen
at length came out with confidence and zeal on the subject, and publicly
declared that the soldiers were never before so healthy and robust; and
that disease of every kind had almost entirely disappeared from the
army. The public papers, were for months filled with recommendations of
this bread, and the civic physicians almost universally throughout Great
Britain, pronounced it far the most healthy bread that could be eaten,
and as such, recommended it to all the people, who very extensively
followed the advice:—and the coarse wheaten bread was very generally
introduced into families—female boarding schools, and indeed all public
institutions. The nobility also generally used it; and in fact, in many
towns, it was a rare thing to meet with a piece of fine flour bread. The
physicians generally asserted that this wheaten bread was the very best
thing that could be taken into the human stomach, to promote digestion
and peristaltic action; and that it, more than anything else, would
assist the stomach in digesting other things which were less easily
digested, and therefore they recommend that a portion of it should be
eaten at every meal with other food.

“Still, after this extensive experiment had been made with such happy
results, and after so general and full a testimony had been given in
favor of the coarse wheaten bread, when large supplies of superfine
flour came in from America, and the crops at home were abundant, and the
act of parliament in relation to the army became extinct, most of the
people who had before been accustomed to the use of fine flour bread,
now by degrees returned again to their old habits of eating fine bread.
Many of the nobility, however, continued to use the coarse bread for a
number of years afterwards. General Hanoward, Squire Western, Squire
Hanbury and others living near my father’s, continued to use the bread
for a long time, and some of them still used it when I left home and
came to America, in 1816.”

The testimony of sea captains and old whalemen is equally in favor of
wheaten bread. “I have always found,” said a very intelligent sea
captain of more than thirty years’ experience, “that the coarser my ship
bread, the healthier my crew is.”

A writer in Rees’ Cyclopædia, (article Bread) says—“The inhabitants of
Westphalia, who are a hardy and robust people, and capable of enduring
the greatest fatigues, are a living testimony to the salutary effects of
this sort of bread; and it is remarkable that they are very seldom
attacked by acute fevers, and those other diseases which are from bad

In short, as I have already stated, the bread of a large portion of the
laboring class, or peasantry, throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, and
the islands of the ocean, whether leavened or unleavened—whether more or
less artificially prepared, is made of the whole substance of the grain
from which it is manufactured: and no one who is sufficiently
enlightened in physiological science to qualify him to judge correctly
in this matter, can doubt that bread made in the best manner from
unbolted wheat meal, is far better adapted to the anatomical structure
and physiological powers of the alimentary organs of man, than bread
made of superfine wheat flour; and consequently, the former is far more
conducive to the health and vigor and general well-being of man than the

If, therefore, mankind will have raised bread which in every respect
most perfectly conforms to the laws of constitution and relation
established in their nature, and is most highly conducive to the welfare
of their bodies and souls, then must it be well made, well baked, light
and sweet bread, which contains all the natural properties of the wheat.
And if they will have this bread of the very best, and most wholesome
kind, they must, as I have already stated, see that the soil from which
their wheat is raised, is of a proper character, and is properly
tilled,—that the wheat is plump—full-grown—ripe, and free from rust and
other diseases; and then, before it is ground, they must see that it is
thoroughly cleansed, not only from chaff, cockles, tares, and such like
substances, but also from all smut, and every kind of impurity that may
be attached to the skin of the kernel. And let every one be assured that
this is a matter which really deserves all the attention and care that I

If human existence is worth possessing, it is worth preserving; and they
who have enjoyed it as some have done, and as all the human family are
naturally endowed with the capabilities to enjoy it, certainly will not
doubt whether it is worth possessing; nor, if they will properly
consider the matter, can they doubt that its preservation is worthy of
their most serious and diligent care.

And when they perceive how intimately and closely the character of their
bread is connected with the dearest interests of man, they will not be
inclined to feel that any reasonable amount of care and labor is too
much to be given to secure precisely the right kind of bread.

I repeat, then, that they who would have the very best bread should
certainly wash their wheat, and cleanse it thoroughly from all
impurities, before they take it to the mill; and when it is properly
dried, it should be ground by sharp stones which will cut rather than
mash it: and particular care should be taken that it is not ground too
fine. Coarsely ground wheat meal, even when the bran is retained, makes
decidedly sweeter and more wholesome bread than very finely ground meal.
When the meal is ground, it should immediately be spread out to cool
before it is put into sacks or casks:—for if it is packed or enclosed in
a heated state, it will be far more likely to become sour and musty. And
I say again, where families are in circumstances to do wholly as they
choose in the matter, it is best to have but little ground at a time; as
the freshly ground meal is always the liveliest and sweetest, and makes
the most delicious bread.

When the meal is thus prepared and brought home, whether in a barrel or
sack, the next thing to be attended to, is, that it be placed and kept
in a perfectly clean, and sweet, and well ventilated meal room. It
should on no consideration be put into a closet, or pantry, or
store-room, which is seldom aired, and more rarely cleansed; and into
which all manner of rubbish is thrown; or even where other kinds of
provisions are kept. If the meal be put into a pantry or store-room
which is confined and dirty, and into which old boots and shoes, and old
clothes and pieces of carpet, and other things of this kind, are
thrown—or where portions of vegetable or animal substance, whether
cooked or uncooked, are habitually or even occasionally put and
permitted to remain, it must be expected, as a matter of course, of
necessity, that the quality of the meal will be considerably
deteriorated by the impurities with which the air of the place will be
loaded, and which will be continually generated there.

People generally have but a sorry idea of what constitutes true
cleanliness; but they may be assured that they cannot be too deeply
impressed with the importance of keeping their meal room as clean and
sweet and well aired as possible.


Chemical composition of flour. Yeast—modes of preparing it. Substitutes
  for it. Fermentation, and its products. Vinous, acetous and
  putrefactive fermentation.

Having procured good wheat, cleansed it thoroughly, and got it properly
ground, and placed in the meal room, the next step is to take a portion
of the meal and manufacture it into good bread. But in order that this
may be done in the most certain and perfect manner, it is important that
the properties of the meal and the principles concerned in bread-making
should be well understood.

According to the statement of Prof. Thomson, of Edinburgh, one pound of
good wheat meal contains ten ounces of farina or starch, three ounces of
bran, six drams of gluten and two drams of sugar;—and it is because
wheat contains such proportions of these substances that it makes the
very best loaf bread. The farina or starch is the principal nourishing
property;—the saccharine matter or sugar is also highly nutrient; but in
the process of making loaf bread, it serves mainly, by its vinous
fermentation, to produce the gas or air by which the dough is raised and
the bread made light. The gluten is likewise a very nutrient property,
but in loaf bread, it principally serves, by its cohesiveness, like gum
elastic, or India rubber, to prevent the gas or air formed by the
fermentation of the sugar, from escaping or passing off;—and the gas
being thus retained, inflates or puffs up the dough, and makes it porous
and light. The bran, with its mucilaginous and other properties, not
only adds to the nutritiousness of the bread, but eminently serves to
increase its digestibility, and to invigorate the digestive organs, and
preserve the general integrity of their functions.

The wheat which is raised in Virginia and the southern states generally,
contains a larger proportion of gluten than that which is raised in the
western part of the state of New York. Hence bakers are able to make a
larger loaf of bread out of a pound of southern flour than they can out
of a pound of western flour; and consequently some of them have
endeavored to make their customers believe that the southern flour is
the most profitable. It certainly _is_ the most profitable for the
baker; but it is not the most profitable for the consumer.

The next thing indispensably necessary to the making of good bread, is
good lively sweet yeast, or leaven, to produce what is called the
panary, or more properly, the vinous fermentation of the saccharine
matter, or sugar.

Some bread-makers will do best with one kind of yeast or leaven, and
some with another. I have generally found that people do best with those
materials to which they have been most accustomed; but I am sorry to
find so general a dependence on breweries for yeast. To say nothing of
the impure and poisonous substances which brewers employ in the
manufacture of beer, and which always affect the quality of their yeast,
I am confident that domestic yeast can be made of a far superior
quality. However light and good in other respects that bread may be
which is made with brewers yeast, I have rarely if ever seen any in
which I could not at once detect the disagreeable properties of the

There are various ways of making domestic yeast. One of the simplest,
and perhaps the best, is the following, which was communicated to me by
one of the best bread-makers I ever saw:

“Put into one gallon of water a double handful of hops;—boil them
fifteen or twenty minutes, then strain off the water while it is
scalding hot;—stir in wheat flour or meal till it becomes a thick
batter, so that it will hardly pour;—let it stand till it becomes about
blood warm, then add a pint of good lively yeast, and stir it well; and
then let it stand in a place where it will be kept at a temperature of
about 70° F. till it becomes perfectly light, whether more or less time
is required; and then it is fit for use;—or if it is desired to keep a
portion of it, let it stand several hours and become cool; and then put
it into a clean jug and cork it tight, and place it in the cellar where
it will keep cool; and it may be preserved good, ten or twelve days, and
even longer.”

Another way by which yeast when thus made may be preserved much longer,
and perhaps more conveniently, is, to take it when it has become
perfectly light, and stir in good Indian meal until it becomes a hard
dough: then take this dough and make it into small thin cakes, and dry
them perfectly, without baking or cooking them at all. These cakes, if
kept perfectly dry, will be good for several weeks and even months.

When yeast is needed, take some of these cakes (more or less according
to the quantity of bread desired) and break them fine and dissolve them
in warm water, and then stir in some wheat flour till a batter is
formed, which should be kept at a temperature of about 60° F. till the
yeast becomes light and lively, and fitted for making bread.

Others, in making this yeast, originally put into the water with the
hops, a double handful of good clean wheat bran, and boil them up
together and strain off the water as above described: others again, boil
up a quantity of wheat bran without the hops, and make their yeast in
all other respects as above described.

The milk yeast is greatly preferred by many; and when it is well
managed, it certainly makes very handsome bread. The way of making it is
simple. Take a quart of milk fresh from the cow, (more or less according
to the quantity of bread desired,)—a little salt is generally added, and
some add about half a pint of water blood warm, but this is not
essential;—then stir wheat flour or meal into the milk till it forms a
moderately thick batter; and then cover it over, and place it where it
will remain at a temperature of from 60° to 70° F. till it becomes
perfectly light. It should then be used immediately: and let it be
remembered that dough made with this yeast will sour sooner than that
made with other yeast; and also that the bread after it is baked will
become extremely dry and _crumbly_ much sooner than bread made with
other yeast. Yet this bread, when a day old, is exceedingly light and
beautiful: albeit some dislike the animal smell and taste which it
derives from the milk.

In all these preparations of yeast and dough, it should ever be
recollected that “the process of fermentation cannot go on when the
temperature is below 30° F., that it proceeds quite slowly at 50°,
moderately at 60°, rapidly at 70°, and very rapidly at 80°.”

If, therefore, it is desired to have the yeast or dough stand several
hours before it is used or baked, it should be kept at a temperature of
about 50°. But in the ordinary way of making bread, a temperature
varying from 60° to 70°, or about summer heat, is perhaps as near right
as it can well be made.

Prof. Thomson gives the following directions for making yeast in large
quantities:—“Add ten pounds of flour to two gallons of boiling
water;—stir it well into a paste, let this mixture stand for seven
hours, and then add about a quart of good yeast. In about six or eight
hours, this mixture, if kept in a warm place, will have fermented and
produced as much yeast as will make 120 quartern loaves” (of 4 lbs.

A much smaller quantity can be made by observing due proportions of the

To raise bread in a very short time without yeast, Prof. Thomson gives
the following recipe:

“Dissolve in water 2 ounces, 5 drams and 45 grains of common
crystallized carbonate of soda, and mix the solution well with your
dough, and then add 7 ounces, 2 drams and 22 grains of muriatic acid of
the specific gravity of 1,121, and knead it as rapidly as possible with
your dough;—it will rise immediately—fully as much, if not more than
dough mixed with yeast—and when baked, will be a very light and
excellent bread.” Smaller quantities would be required for small batches
of bread.

A tea-spoonful or more (according to the quantity of dough or batter) of
super-carbonate of soda dissolved in water, and flour stirred in till it
becomes a batter, and then an equal quantity of tartaric acid dissolved
and stirred in thoroughly, will in a few minutes make very light batter
for griddle or pancakes; or if it be mixed into a thick dough, it will
make light bread.

Good lively yeast, however, makes better bread than these alkalies and
acids: howbeit these are very convenient in emergencies, when bread or
cakes must be prepared in a very short time; or when the yeast has
proved inefficient.

We see then that wheat meal consists of certain proportions of starch,
gluten, sugar, bran, &c.; and that in making loaf bread, we add yeast or
leaven, in order to produce that kind of fermentation peculiar to
saccharine matter or sugar, which is called vinous, and by which the gas
or air is formed that raises the dough. But the sugar is an incorporate
part of every particle of the meal, and is therefore equally diffused
throughout the whole mass; and hence if we would make the very best loaf
bread, the fermentive principle or yeast must also be equally diffused
throughout the whole mass, so that a suitable portion of yeast will be
brought to act at the same time on every particle of saccharine matter
in the mass.

But let us endeavor to understand this process of fermentation. To speak
in the language of chemistry, sugar is composed of certain proportions
of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The yeast, acting on the sugar,
overcomes those affinities by which these substances are held in the
constitutional arrangement of sugar, and the process of decay or
decomposition of the sugar takes place, which is called vinous
fermentation. By this process of decay, two other forms of matter are
produced, of an essentially different nature from each other and from
the sugar. One of them is called carbonic acid gas or air, being formed
by a chemical combination of certain proportions of carbon and oxygen.
The other is known by the name of alcohol, and consists of a chemical
combination of certain proportions of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.
Carbonic acid gas is also produced by animal respiration or breathing,
by the combustion of wood, coal, &c. &c. and in other ways of nature and
of art: but neither in nature nor in art is there any known way by which
alcohol can be produced, except by that process of the decay or
destruction of sugar called vinous fermentation.

The carbonic acid gas, produced in the manner I have stated, is the air
which inflates or puffs up and swells out the bread, when there is
sufficient gluten or other cohesive matter in the dough to prevent its

If the dough be permitted to stand too long in a warm place, the
fermentation, having destroyed most or all of the sugar, will begin to
act on the starch and mucilage, and destroy their nature, and produce
vinegar; and therefore this stage of it is called the acetous
fermentation: and if it still be permitted to go on, it will next
commence its work of destruction on the gluten; and this is called the
putrefactive fermentation, because it in many respects resembles the
putrefaction of animal matter.

The vinous fermentation, therefore, by which the dough is raised and
made light, may be carried to all necessary extent, and still be limited
in its action to the saccharine matter or sugar—leaving the starch and
gluten, and other properties of the meal, uninjured; and this is the
point at which the fermentation should be arrested by the heat that
bakes the dough. If it be permitted to go beyond the sugar, and act on
the mucilage and starch, and produce acidity, the excellence of the
bread is in some degree irreparably destroyed. The acid may be
neutralized by pearlash or soda, so that the bread shall not be sour;
but still, something of the natural flavor of the bread is gone, and it
is not possible by any earthly means to restore it; and this injury will
always be in proportion to the extent to which the process of the
acetous fermentation is permitted to go in destroying the nature of the
starch, and the bread will be proportionably destitute of that natural
sweetness and delicious richness essential to good bread. Yet it is
almost universally true, both in public and domestic bread-making, that
the acetous fermentation is allowed to take place; and saleratus, or
soda, or some other chemical agent is employed to neutralize the acid.
By this means we may have bread free from acidity, it is true, but it is
also destitute of the best and most delicious properties of good bread;
and generally, by the time it is twenty-four hours old—and this is
particularly true of bakers’ bread—it is as dry and tasteless and
unsavory as if it were made of plaster of Paris.

Many bread-makers mix their saleratus or soda with their yeast, or
introduce it when they mix their dough, so that if the acetous
fermentation does take place, the acid is neutralized by the alkali, and
therefore, not being perceived, it is supposed never to have existed,
and the bread is called sweet and good; especially if a small quantity
of molasses be employed in making the dough. Others far more wisely
withhold their alkali till the dough is raised enough to mould into the
loaf, and then if it is found to be in any degree acid, a solution of
saleratus or soda is worked into it, so as just to neutralize the acid,
and no more. This is infinitely better that no have sour bread, which,
after all, is almost everywhere met with; yet the very best bread that
can be made in this way is only second best. Happy are they who can make
good light and sweet bread, without the use of molasses—without
suffering the least degree of acetous fermentation to take place, and
without employing saleratus, soda, or any other kind of alkali.

The third or putrefactive stage of fermentation rarely takes place in
domestic bread-making; but it is by no means uncommon in public
bakeries. Indeed it is thought necessary in the manufacture of certain
kinds of crackers, in order to make them split open, and render them
brittle, and cause them readily to become soft when dipped into water.
But dyspepsia crackers, and all other kinds of bread made in this way
are, to say the least of them, miserable stuff. For besides the fact
that all the best qualities of the flour or meal have been destroyed by
fermentation, the great quantity of alkali employed in neutralizing the
acid, is necessarily injurious to the digestive organs.

                         PREPARATION OF BREAD.

Mixing. Much kneading necessary. Rising, or fermentation. Use of
  alkalies, saleratus and soda. Baking. Ovens. Alcohol in bread.
  Preservation of bread.

Now, then, the business of the bread-maker is, to take the wheat meal,
prepared in the manner I have stated, and with all the properties I have
described, and convert it into good, light, sweet, well-baked bread,
with the least possible change in those properties; so that the bread,
when done, will present to the senses of smell and taste, all the
delicious flavor and delicate sweetness which pure organs perceive in
the meal of good new wheat, just taken from the ear and ground, or
chewed without grinding; and it should be so baked that it will, as a
general statement, require and secure a full exercise of the teeth in

In order to do this, as we have seen, it is necessary, in the first
place, that the wheat should be of the best kind, and well cleansed, and
the meal properly prepared. In the next place, it is necessary that the
yeast should be fresh, lively and sweet; and in the third place, it is
necessary that the dough should be properly mixed, raised and baked.

Take then such a quantity of meal, in a perfectly clean and sweet bread
trough, as is necessary for the quantity of bread desired, and having
made a hollow in the centre, turn in as much yeast as a judgment matured
by sound experience shall deem requisite; then add such a quantity of
water, milk and water, or clear milk, as is necessary to form the meal
into a dough of proper consistency. Some prefer bread mixed with water
alone; others prefer that which is mixed with milk and water; and others
think that bread mixed with good milk is much richer and better; while
others dislike the animal odor and taste of bread mixed with milk.
Perhaps the very best and most wholesome bread is that which is mixed
with pure soft water, when such bread is made perfect. But whether
water, milk and water, or milk alone is employed, it should be used at a
temperature of about blood heat.

Here let it be understood, that the starch of the meal is of such a
nature that, by a delicate process peculiar to itself, it becomes
changed into sugar or saccharine matter; and when the fluid used in
mixing the dough is of a proper temperature, and the dough is properly
mixed and kneaded, this process, to some small extent, takes place, and
a small portion of the starch is actually converted into sugar, and
thereby increases the sweetness of the bread. Let it also be recollected
here, that the saccharine matter on which the yeast is to act, is
equally diffused throughout the whole mass of the meal; and therefore if
the yeast be not properly diffused throughout the whole mass, but is
unequally distributed, so that an undue quantity of it remains in one
part, while other parts receive little or none, then the fermentation
will go on very rapidly in some parts of the mass, and soon run into the
acetous state, while in other parts it will proceed very slowly or not
at all; and consequently large cavities will be formed in some parts of
the dough, while other parts of it will remain as compact and heavy as
when first mixed, and sometimes even more so. I need not say that such
dough cannot be made into good bread; yet it is probably true, that more
than nine tenths of the bread consumed in this country is more or less
of this character. Nor, after what I have said, should it seem necessary
for me to remark, that good bread cannot be made by merely stirring the
meal, and yeast, and water or milk together into a thin dough or sponge,
and suffering it to ferment with little or no working or kneading. Bread
made in this manner, if it is not full of cavities large enough for a
mouse to burrow in, surrounded by parts as solid as lead, is almost
invariably full of cells of the size of large peas and grapes; and the
substance of the bread has a shining, glutinous appearance; and if the
bread is not sour, it is because pearlash or some other kind of alkali
has been used to destroy the acid.

The very appearance of such bread is forbidding, and shows, at a glance,
that it has not been properly mixed—that the yeast has acted unequally
on different portions of the meal, and that the fermentation has not
been of the right kind.

But if the yeast be so diffused throughout the whole mass, as that a
suitable portion of it will act on each and every particle of the
saccharine matter at the same time, and if the dough be of such a
consistency and temperature as not to admit of too rapid a fermentation,
then each minute portion of saccharine matter throughout the whole mass
will, in the process of fermentation, produce its little volume of air,
which will form its little cell, about the size of a pin’s head, and
smaller; and this will take place so nearly at the same time, in every
part of the dough, that the whole will be raised and made as light as a
sponge, before the acetous fermentation takes place in any part. And
then if it be properly moulded and baked, it will make the most
beautiful and delicious bread—perfectly light and sweet, without the use
of any alkali, and with all the gluten and nearly all the starch of the
meal remaining unchanged by fermentation.

Proper materials, proper care, a due amount of labor, a suitable length
of time, and proper temperature, are all, therefore, necessary to the
making of good bread.

With your meal, and yeast, and water or milk brought together before
you, then, proceed in the light of the instruction you have now
received, to mix your dough; and remember that the more thoroughly you
knead it, the more equally you diffuse the yeast throughout the whole
mass, and bring it to act on every particle of the saccharine matter at
the same time, and the whiter, lighter, and more delicious you make your

Who that can look back thirty or forty years to those blessed days of
New England’s prosperity and happiness, when our good mothers used to
make the family bread, but can well remember how long and how patiently
those excellent matrons stood over their bread troughs, kneading and
moulding their dough? and who with such recollections cannot also well
remember the delicious bread that these mothers used invariably to set
before them? There was a natural sweetness and richness in it which made
it always desirable; and which we cannot now vividly recollect, without
feeling a strong desire to partake again of such bread as our mothers
made for us in the days of our childhood.

Let it be borne in mind, then, that without a very thorough kneading of
the dough, there can be no just ground of confidence that the bread will
be good. “It should be kneaded,” says one of much experience in this
matter, “till it becomes flaky.” Indeed I am confident that our loaf
bread would be greatly improved in all its qualities, if the dough were
for a considerable time subjected to the operations of the machine which
the bakers call the break, used in making crackers and sea-bread.

The wheat meal, and especially if it is ground coarsely, swells
considerably in the dough, and therefore the dough should not, at first,
be made quite so stiff, as that made of superfine flour; and when it is
raised, if it is found too soft to mould well, let a little more meal be

When the dough has been properly mixed and thoroughly kneaded, cover it
over with a clean napkin or towel, and a light woollen blanket kept for
the purpose, and place the bread trough where the temperature will be
kept at about 60° F., or about summer heat, and there let it remain till
the dough becomes light. But as it is impossible to regulate the
quantity and quality of your yeast, the moisture and temperature of your
dough, and several other conditions and circumstances, so as to secure
at all times precisely the same results in the same time, it is
therefore necessary that careful attention should be given that the
proper moment should be seized to work over and mould the dough into the
loaf, and get it into the oven, just at the time when it is as light as
it can be made by the vinous fermentation, and before the acetous
fermentation commences.

If, however, by any means there should unfortunately be a little acidity
in the dough, take a small quantity of saleratus, or, what is better,
carbonate of soda, and dissolve it in some warm water, and carefully
work in just enough to neutralize the acid. The best bread-makers are so
exceedingly careful on this point, that they dip their fingers into the
solution of saleratus or soda, and thrust them into the dough in every
part, as they work it over, so as to be sure that they get in just
enough to neutralize the acid, and not a particle more.

I must here repeat, that they who would have the very best of bread,
must always consider it a cause of regret, that there should be any
necessity to use alkali; because the acetous fermentation cannot in any
degree take place, without commensurately and irremediably impairing the
quality of the bread. And here it should be remarked, that dough made of
wheat meal will take on the acetous fermentation, or become sour, sooner
than that made of fine flour. This is probably owing principally to the
mucilage contained in the bran, which runs into the acetous fermentation
sooner than starch.

While the dough is rising, preparations should be made for baking it.
Some bake their bread in a brick oven, some in a stove, some in a
reflector, and some in a baking kettle. In all these ways very good
bread may be baked; but the baking kettle is decidedly the most
objectionable. Probably there is no better and more certain way of
baking bread well than in the use of the brick oven. Good bread-makers,
accustomed to brick ovens, can always manage them with a very great
degree of certainty; and as a general fact, bread is sweeter, baked in
this way, than in any other. Yet, when it is well baked in tin
reflectors, it is certainly very fine; and so it is also when well baked
in iron stoves. But the baking of bread requires almost as much care and
judgment as any part of the process of bread-making. If the oven is too
hot, the bread will burn on the outside before it is done in the centre;
if it is too cold, the bread will be heavy, raw and sour. If the heat is
much greater from below than from above, the bottom of the loaf will
burn before the top is done: or if the heat is much greater from above
than from below, the top of the loaf will burn before the bottom is

All these points therefore must be carefully attended to; and no small
excuse ought to be considered a satisfactory apology for sour, heavy,
raw or burnt bread; for it is hardly possible to conceive of an absolute
necessity for such results; and the cases are extremely rare in which
they are not the offspring of downright and culpable carelessness.

The best bread-makers I have ever known, watch over their bread troughs
while their dough is rising, and over their ovens while it is baking,
with about as much care and attention as a mother watches over the
cradle of her sick child.

Dough made of wheat meal requires a hotter oven than that made of fine
flour; and it needs to remain in the oven longer. Indeed, it is a
general fault of bread of every description, made in this country, that
it is not sufficiently baked. Multitudes eat their bread hot and smoking
from the oven in a half-cooked state; and very few seem to think there
is any impropriety in doing so. But they who would have their bread
good, not only a few hours after it comes from the oven, but as long as
it can be kept, must see that it is thoroughly baked.

I have said that the process of vinous fermentation converts a portion
of the saccharine matter of the meal into carbonic acid gas or air, by
which means the dough is raised and made light; and that the same
process converts a portion of the saccharine matter into alcohol. The
alcohol thus generated is mostly if not entirely driven off by the heat
of the oven when the dough is baking;—and in modern times, ovens have
been so constructed in England, as to serve the double purpose of ovens
and stills; so that while the bread is baking, the alcohol is distilled
off and condensed, and saved for the various uses of arts and

The question has, however, been frequently started, whether a portion of
the alcohol thus generated, is not contained in the bread when it comes
from the oven.

This question cannot be answered with entire certainty; but there are
some facts in relation to it of considerable importance.

It is perfectly certain that if two portions of wheat meal or flour be
taken from the same barrel or sack, and one portion be made into
unleavened bread, and the other portion be made into the very best
fermented or raised bread, and both be eaten as soon as they are baked,
the fermented bread will digest with more difficulty, and oppress and
disturb the stomach more than the unleavened bread will. Indeed it is
well known and very generally understood, that few of the articles which
compose the food of man in civic life, are so trying to the human
stomach, and so powerful causes of dyspepsia, as fresh-baked raised

It is now well known also that alcohol wholly resists the action of the
solvent fluid of the stomach, and is entirely indigestible; and always
retards the digestion of those substances which contain it. How far all
this may be true of carbonic acid gas, is not yet ascertained; but it is
difficult to account for the difference between leavened and unleavened
bread, as above stated, without supposing that the alcohol or carbonic
acid gas, or both of them, are in some degree concerned in rendering the
leavened bread, when newly baked, peculiarly oppressive and injurious to
the stomach.

This, be it remembered, is purely a conjecture of my own; and I am not
entirely certain that it is correct; but I see no other way of meeting
the difficulty.

Be it as it may, however, it is very certain that when the bread has
been drawn from the oven, and permitted to stand in a proper place
twenty-four hours, either by evaporation or some other means, it becomes
perfectly matured, and so changed in character, that it is, if properly
made, one of the most wholesome articles entering into the diet of man;
and at that age, there is not the slightest reason to believe that a
particle of alcohol remains in the bread.

When therefore the bread is thoroughly baked, let it be taken from the
oven and placed on a perfectly clean and sweet shelf, in a perfectly
clean and well ventilated pantry. Do not, as you value the character of
your bread, put it into a pantry where you set away dishes of cold meat,
cold potatoes, and other vegetables, and keep your butter, cheese and
various other table provisions—in a pantry which perhaps is seldom
thoroughly cleansed with hot water and soap, and where the pure air of
heaven seldom if ever has a free circulation. The quality of your bread
should be of too much importance to allow of such reprehensible
carelessness, not to say sluttishness. And if you will have your bread
such as every one ought to desire to have it, you must pay the strictest
attention to the cleanliness and sweetness of the place where you keep

If in baking, the outer crust should become a little too dry and crispy,
you can easily remedy this by throwing a clean bread or table cloth over
it for a short time when it first comes from the oven; but if this is
not necessary, let the bread stand on an airy shelf, till it becomes
perfectly cool, and when it is twenty-four hours old, it is fit for use;
and if it is in all respects properly made, and properly kept, it will
continue to be sweet and delicious bread for two or even three weeks,
except perhaps in very hot and sultry weather.

When we have acquired the art of making such bread as I have described,
in the very best manner, then have we carried the art of cooking to the
very height of perfection; for it is not only true, that there is no
other artificially prepared article in human diet of so much importance
as bread, but it is also true that there is no other preparation in the
whole round of cooking, which requires so much care, and attention, and
experience, and skill, and wisdom.

                         WHO SHOULD MAKE BREAD.

Making bread by rule. Bakers. Domestics. Sour bread. An anecdote. Mrs.
  Van Winkle. Bad bread need not be made. How cake is made. Bread-making
  a drudgery. Excellent example of a mother. Eating bad bread.
  Importance of having good bread.

Who then shall make our bread? For after all that science in its utmost
accuracy can do, in ascertaining principles and in laying down rules,
there is little certainty that any one, who undertakes to make bread
merely by rule, will be anything like uniformly successful. We may make
a batch of bread according to certain rules, and it may prove excellent;
and then we may make another batch according to the same rules, which
may be very poor. For if we follow our rules ever so closely, there may
be some slight differences in the quality or condition of the meal or
the yeast, or something else, which will materially alter the character
of the bread, if we do not exercise a proper care and judgment, and vary
our operations according as the particular circumstances of the case may

Correct rules are certainly very valuable; but they can only serve as
general way-marks, in the art of bread-making. Uniform success can only
be secured by the exercise of that mature judgment which is always able
to dictate those extemporaneous measures which every exigency and
circumstance may require; and such a judgment can only result from a
care and attention and experience which are the offspring of that moral
sensibility which duly appreciates the importance of the quality of
bread, in relation to the happiness and welfare of those that consume

But are we to look for such a sensibility in public bakers? Can we
expect that they will feel so lively and so strong an interest for our
enjoyment and for our physical and intellectual and moral well-being,
that they will exercise all that care and attention and patience, and
watch with that untiring vigilance and solicitude in all the progress of
their operations, which are indispensably necessary in order to secure
us the best of bread?

Or can we reasonably expect to find these qualifications in domestics—in
those who serve us for hire? Many a female domestic, it is true, can
make much better bread than her mistress can. Many a female domestic has
an honest and sincere desire to do her duty faithfully; but can she be
actuated by those sensibilities and affections which alone can secure
that careful attention, that soundness of judgment, that accuracy of
operation, without which the best of bread cannot uniformly, if ever, be

No;—it is the wife, the mother only—she who loves her husband and her
children as woman ought to love, and who rightly perceives the relations
between the dietetic habits and physical and moral condition of her
loved ones, and justly appreciates the importance of good bread to their
physical and moral welfare—she alone it is, who will be ever inspired by
that cordial and unremitting affection and solicitude which will excite
the vigilance, secure the attention, and prompt the action requisite to
success, and essential to the attainment of that maturity of judgment
and skilfulness of operation, which are the indispensable attributes of
a perfect bread-maker. And could wives and mothers fully comprehend the
importance of good bread in relation to all the bodily and intellectual
and moral interests of their husbands and children, and in relation to
the domestic and social and civil welfare of mankind, and to their
religious prosperity, both for time and eternity, they would estimate
the art and duty of bread-making far, very far more highly than they now
do. They would then realize that, as no one can feel so deep and
delicate an interest for their husbands’ and children’s happiness as
they do, so no one can be so proper a person to prepare for them that
portion of their aliment, which requires a degree of care and attention
that can only spring from the lively affections and solicitude of a wife
and mother.

But it is a common thing to hear women say—“We cannot always have good
bread, if we take ever so much pains;—it will sometimes be heavy, and
sometimes be sour, and sometimes badly baked, in spite of all our care.”

It may be true that such things will sometimes happen, even with the
best of care;—but I believe that there is almost infinitely more poor
bread than there is any good excuse for. The truth is, the quality of
bread is a matter of too little consideration; and therefore too little
care is given to the making of it. Moreover, the sense of taste is so
easily vitiated, that we can very easily become reconciled to the most
offensive gustatory qualities, and even learn to love them; and it is a
very common thing to find families so accustomed to sour bread, that
they have no perception of its acid quality.

“It is very strange,” said a lady to me one day at her dinner table,
“that some folks always have sour bread, and never know it.” She then
went on to name a number of families in the circle of her acquaintance,
who, she said, invariably had sour bread upon their tables when she
visited them—“and they never,” continued she, “seem to have the least
consciousness that their bread is not perfectly sweet and good.”

Yet this very lady, at the very moment she was thus addressing me, had
sour bread upon her own table; and although I had for many months been
very frequently at her table, I had never found any but sour bread upon
it. Still she was wholly unconscious of the fact.

Difficult however as most women think it is, to have good bread always,
yet there are some women who invariably have excellent bread. I have
known such women. The wife of Thomans Van Winkle, Esq. of the beautiful
valley of Booneton, New Jersey—peace to her ashes!—was deservedly
celebrated throughout the whole circle of her acquaintance for her
excellent bread. Few ever ate at her hospitable board once that did not
desire to enjoy the privilege again. I know not how often it has been my
good fortune to sit at her table; but the times have not been few; and
though long past, and she who presided there has slept for years in her
grave, yet the remembrance of those times and of those hospitalities,
awakens in my bosom a deep and fervent sentiment of gratitude while I

Never at the table of Mrs. Van Winkle did I eat poor bread;—and of my
numerous acquaintances who had sat at her table, I never heard one say
he had eaten poor bread there. Her bread was invariably good. Nay, it
was of such a quality that it was impossible for any one to eat of it,
and not be conscious that he was partaking of bread of extraordinary

Mrs. Van Winkle, said I to her one day, while I was feasting on her
delicious bread, tell me truly, is there either a miracle or mystery in
this matter of bread-making, by which you are enabled to have such
excellent bread upon your table at all times, while I rarely ever find
bread equally good at any other table, and at ninety-nine tables in a
hundred, I almost invariably find poor bread? Is it necessarily so? Is
it not possible for people by any means to have good bread uniformly?

“There is no necessity for having poor bread at any time, if those who
make it will give proper care and attention to their business,” replied
Mrs. Van Winkle, confidently. “The truth is,” continued she, “most
people attach very little importance to the quality of their bread; and
therefore they give little care to the preparation of it. If every woman
would see that her flour is sweet and good, that her yeast is fresh and
lively, that her bread trough is kept perfectly clean and sweet, that
her dough is properly mixed and thoroughly kneaded, and kept at a proper
temperature, and at the proper time moulded into the loaf, and put into
the oven, which has been properly heated, and there properly baked, then
good bread would be as common as poor bread now is. But while there is
such perfect carelessness and negligence about the matter, it is not
surprising that bread should be generally poor.”

Mrs. Van Winkle was undoubtedly correct. If anything like the care were
given to bread-making that its real importance demands, a loaf of poor
bread would rarely be met with. Indeed, if the same degree of care were
given to bread-making, that is devoted to the making of cakes and
pastry, we should far more generally be blessed with good bread.

Who does not know, that as soon as girls are old enough to go into
company and to give parties, they begin to notice with great interest
the qualities of the different kinds of cake and pastry which they meet
with; and whenever they find anything very nice, they are exceedingly
curious to learn precisely how it was made. And lest memory should be
treacherous, they will carefully write down the exact rules for mixing
and cooking it;—“so many pounds of flour, so many pounds of butter, so
many pounds of sugar, so many eggs, and spice to your taste—the eggs to
be beaten so and so, the whole mixed so and so, and baked so many
minutes,” &c. &c. And thus with great care and industry they collect and
write down, in a book which they keep for the purpose, all the recipes
they can get hold of, for making every kind of cake and pastry used in
society. And when they are preparing for company, they rarely if ever
order Dinah or any other domestic to make their nice cake. They do not
regard it as a menial office, but as a highly genteel employment; and
their great desire to have their cake and pastry as good as it can be
made, prompts them to undertake the manufacture of it themselves. And
during this operation, the scales, the measures, the clock or watch, all
are brought into requisition; the Recipe Book is placed upon the table
before them, and carefully consulted; and everything is done with the
utmost precision, and exactitude, and vigilance. And if the young lady
feels any misgiving as to her own judgment, or taste, or experience, she
earnestly inquires of Ma, or some one else who she thinks is capable of
giving her advice in so important a matter.

If in the midst of this employment some one knocks or rings at the door,
and a young gentleman is announced, she is not at all embarrassed, but
perhaps hastens to the parlor with her delicate hands covered with
dough, and with an air of complacency and self-satisfaction, says—“Good
morning, Frank—how do you do? I am just engaged in making some cake—I
hope you will excuse me for a few moments.”

All this shows that she regards the quality of her cake as of very great
importance, and considers it not only perfectly respectable but highly
_genteel_, for a young lady to be employed in making cake. But in regard
to bread and bread-making, everything is very different; there is none
of this early curiosity to learn how to make good bread. Young ladies do
not on every occasion when they find excellent bread, carefully and
minutely inquire how it was made, baked, &c., and write down the
recipe;—but when a batch of bread is to be made for the family, they
either leave it for Mother or some domestic to make, or go about it
themselves as some irksome and disreputable piece of drudgery; and
consequently they turn the task off their hands with as much despatch
and as little trouble as possible. If all things happen to be as they
should be, it is well; if not, they must answer for the present. If the
yeast happens to be lively and sweet, very lucky. If otherwise, still it
must be used. If the dough rises well and is got into the oven before it
becomes sour, very fortunate; if not, why, “nobody can avoid
mistakes—and bread will sometimes be poor in spite of the greatest
care;”—and if a batch of miserable bread is the result of such an
operation, then all that remains to be done is to eat it up as soon as
possible, and hope for better the next time.

If Frank or Charles or Edward should call while the young lady is
engaged in making bread, she is perhaps quite disconcerted, and would
not for the world have him know what she is doing;—she sends word to
him, either that she is out, or that she is particularly engaged, and
begs he will excuse her;—or if by any means she happens unexpectedly to
be caught at her employment, she is greatly embarrassed, and makes the
best apology she can for being engaged in such menial services.

As a matter of course, while such are the views and feelings entertained
on this subject, and while such is the manner in which this duty is
performed, it will ever be a mere accident if good bread is made; and a
mere accident if such girls ever become good bread-makers when they are
wives and mothers.

But if parents, and especially mothers, could view this matter in its
true light, how differently would they educate their children. They
would then feel that, grateful as it is to a mother’s heart to see her
daughters highly refined and elegantly accomplished, and able to “make
the instrument discourse most eloquent music,” and to transfer living
nature, with all its truth and beauty and sublimity, to the canvass,
still the art of bread-making, when considered in all its relations and
intimate connections with human health, and prosperity, and virtue, and
happiness, and with reference to the natural responsibilities and duties
of woman, is actually one of the highest and noblest accomplishments
that can adorn the female character. And then, too, would they consider
it of exceedingly great importance, that their daughters should possess
this accomplishment, even though they may never be in circumstances
which will require the exercise of it.

Some eight or nine years since, I spent several months in the delightful
village of Belvidere, on the banks of the Delaware, in Pennsylvania.
While there, I enjoyed for a number of weeks the kind hospitality of S―
S―, Esq., a lawyer, and a gentleman of great moral excellence. Mrs. S.
was born and brought up, I believe, in Philadelphia. Her father was a
man of wealth, and she was the only daughter, and—almost as a matter of
course—was indulged in all that she desired. But there were so many of
the elements of a good wife and mother in her natural composition, that
as soon as she entered into those interesting and important relations,
she began to devote herself to the duties of them with a sincerity and
conscientiousness which could not fail of success. Surrounded as she
was, with wealth, and every comfort and convenience of life, and all of
its luxuries that she desired, still she was industrious in her habits,
and vigilantly attentive to all the concerns of her household. She
usually kept three female domestics, who, by her kind maternal
deportment towards them, were warmly attached to her. She had no
difficulty in procuring nor in keeping help, because she always treated
them in such a manner that they loved to stay with her; and she took
much pains to qualify them for the proper discharge of their duties.
They evidently loved her, and were sincerely desirous of performing all
their services in such a manner as would be pleasing to her. Yet with
all these advantages to justify her leaving such a duty to her
domestics, Mrs. S. invariably made the family bread with her own hands.
Regularly as the baking day came, she went into her kitchen and took her
stand beside the bread trough, and mixed and kneaded the dough, and put
it in its proper place for rising, and, in due time, moulded it into the
loaf and baked it.

Do you always make your bread, madam? I inquired one day, as she
returned from the performance of that task. “Invariably,” she replied:
“that is a duty I trust no other person to do for me.”

But cannot your domestics make good bread? I asked. “I have excellent
domestics,” answered Mrs. S., “and they can, perhaps, make as good bread
as I can; for they have been with me several years, and I have taken
pains to learn them how to do my work; and they are exceedingly faithful
and affectionate, and are always willing to do all they can to please
me; but they cannot feel for my husband and my children as I do, and
therefore they cannot feel that interest which I do, in always having
such bread as my husband and my children will love and enjoy. Besides,
if it were certain their care and vigilance and success in bread-making
would be always equal to mine, yet it is wholly uncertain how long they
will remain with me. Various circumstances may take place, which may
cause them to leave me, and bring me into dependence upon those who know
not how to make good bread; and therefore I choose to keep my own hand
in. But, apart from all other considerations, there is a pleasure
resulting from the performance of this duty, which richly rewards me for
all the labor of it. When my bread is made and brought upon the table,
and I see my husband and children eat it and enjoy it, and hear them
speak of its excellence, it affords me much satisfaction, and I am glad
to know that I have contributed so much to their health and happiness;
for, while my bread is so good that they prefer it to anything else upon
the table, there is little danger of their indulging, to any injurious
extent, in those articles of food which are less favorable to their

I need not say that this lady invariably had excellent bread upon her
table. But instances of this kind are, I regret to say, extremely rare,
even in christian communities; and therefore when such cases are known,
they ought to be held up as most noble examples of female virtue, and
receive such high commendations as their intrinsic merit deserves, and
such as will be calculated to beget in the minds of others an exalted
sense of the dignity and importance of such duties, and prompt every
wife and mother to the intelligent and affectionate performance of them.

For it should ever be remembered that, though our children, while they
depend on us for protection, are also properly the subjects of our
government, yet as soon as they are capable of appreciating our
authority and our influence, they are, like ourselves, moral agents, and
ought, in all respects, to be governed and nurtured as such; and
therefore it is not enough that we can give them such bread as we think
best for them, and _compel_ them to eat it; but the grand point at which
the mother should always aim, in this matter, is, to place before her
children such bread as is the very best for them, and at the same time,
to make it the most agreeable to them, and thereby make their duty and
their enjoyment perfectly coincide.

Let no one therefore say she cannot always have good bread, until she
can truly affirm that she has fairly made the experiment; that she has,
in view of all its relations and bearings, accurately estimated the
importance of the quality of her bread in regard to the welfare of her
household, and, with a proper sense of her responsibilities as a wife
and mother, has _at all times_ felt that interest and exercised that
care and attention which so important a duty demands, and without which
it must ever be a mere accident whether her bread is good or bad.

They that will have good bread, not only for a single time, but
uniformly, must make the quality of their bread of sufficient
importance, in their estimation and feelings, to secure the requisite
attention to the means by which alone such an end can be made certain.
They must not suffer themselves, through carelessness, to get entirely
out of bread unexpectedly, and thus be obliged, without due preparation,
to make up a batch of such materials as they may happen to have at hand,
and bake it in haste, and hurry it to the table. But they must exercise
providence and foresight: they must know, beforehand, when their supply
of bread will probably be out, and when they will need to make another
batch; and they must see beforehand that measures are taken to secure a
proper supply of all the requisite materials—see that they are furnished
with good meal or flour; and they must be sure to have the best of yeast
or leaven, when they need it—and when the time comes for them to make
their bread, if by any means the yeast should not be good, let them
throw it away and make good, before they proceed to make their bread;
for it is infinitely better that the family should even do without bread
one day, and eat roasted potatoes, than that they should eat poor bread
three or four days; and if, from any cause, the bread should be poor, it
is incomparably better to throw it away, than to set it upon the table,
to disgust the whole family with bread, and drive them to make most of
their meal on something else.

If a lady can ever find a good excuse for having poor bread, she
certainly can find none, except perhaps extreme poverty, for setting her
poor bread on the table the second time. Yet, too generally, women seem
to think that, as a matter of course, if they, by carelessness or any
other means, have been so unlucky as to make a batch of poor bread,
their family and friends must share their misfortune, and help them eat
it up; and, by this means, many a child has had its health seriously
impaired, and its constitution injured, and perhaps its moral character
ruined—by being driven, in early life, into pernicious dietetic habits.

It was observed many years ago, by one of the most eminent and extensive
practitioners in New England, that, during a practice of medicine for
thirty years, he had always remarked that, in those families where the
children were most afflicted with worms, he invariably found poor bread;
and that, as a general fact, the converse of this was true; that is, in
those families where they uniformly had heavy, sour, ill-baked bread, he
generally found that the children were afflicted with worms.

A careful and extensive observation for a few years, would convince
every intelligent mind that there is a far more intimate relation
between the quality of the bread and the moral character of a family,
than is generally supposed.

“Keep that man at least ten paces from you, who eats no bread with his
dinner,” said Lavater, in his “Aphorisms on Man.” This notion appears to
be purely whimsical at first glance; but Lavater was a shrewd observer,
and seldom erred in the moral inferences which he drew from the
voluntary habits of mankind; and depend upon it, a serious contemplation
of this apparent whim, discloses a deeper philosophy than is at first
perceived upon the surface.

Whatever may be the cause which turns our children and ourselves away
from the dish of bread, and establishes an habitual disregard for it,
the effect, though not perhaps in every individual instance, yet, as a
general fact, is certainly, in some degree, unfavorable to the physical,
and intellectual, and moral, and religious, and social, and civil and
political interests of man.

Of all the artificially prepared articles of food which come upon our
table, therefore, bread should be that one which, as a general fact, is
uniformly preferred by our children and our household,—that one, the
absence of which they would notice soonest, and feel the most,—that one
which—however they may enjoy for a time the little varieties set before
them—they would be most unwilling to dispense with—and which, if they
were driven to the necessity, they would prefer to any other dish, as a
single article of subsistence.

To effect this state of things, it is obvious that the quality of the
bread must be uniformly excellent; and to secure this, I say again,
there must be a judgment, an experience, a skill, a care, a vigilance,
which can only spring from the sincere affections of a devoted wife and
mother, who accurately perceives and duly appreciates the importance of
these things, and, in the lively exercise of a pure and delicate moral
sense, feels deeply her responsibilities, and is prompted to the
performance of her duties.

Would to God that this were all true of every wife and mother in our
country—in the world!—that the true relations, and interests, and
responsibilities of life were understood and felt by every human being,
and all the duties of life properly and faithfully performed!

                          VARIETIES OF BREAD.

Rye bread. Indian meal bread. Use of sour milk, or butter-milk. Acids.
  Family grinding.

I have thus far spoken almost entirely of wheaten bread, because I
consider that the most wholesome kind of bread for ordinary use—for
“daily bread.” When bread is made of superfine flour, the same general
rules should be observed.

Rice, barley, oats, rye, Indian corn, and many other farinaceous
products of the vegetable kingdom, may also be manufactured into bread,
but none of them will make so good bread as wheat. Good rye, raised on a
sandy soil, when cleansed and ground in the manner I have already
described, and prepared in all respects according to the rules I have
laid down, will make very excellent bread. Rye, coarsely ground, without
bolting, and mixed with Indian meal, makes very wholesome bread, when it
is well made. Good rye and Indian bread is far more wholesome for common
or every-day use, than that made of superfine flour.

There are various ways of preparing Indian meal bread; and when such
bread is well made, it is very wholesome—much more so, for every-day
use, than superfine flour bread. “In a memoir lately read before the
French Academy,” says the Journal of Health, “the author undertook to
show that maize (Indian corn) is more conducive to health than any other
grain; and, as a proof of this, the fact was adduced that, in one of the
departments in which this grain was most abundantly and universally
used, the inhabitants were remarkable for their health and vigor.”

One great drawback to the wholesomeness of Indian meal bread, however,
is, that it is almost universally eaten hot, and too generally, pretty
well oiled with butter, or some other kind of animal fat or oil. But
Indian meal bread can be prepared in such a manner as to obviate these
difficulties, and render it very wholesome.

Barley and oats may be manufactured into very wholesome bread; but they
are little used for such purposes in this country.

Rice, peas, beans, potatoes, &c., may also, by mixing them with a
portion of wheat or rye flour, be manufactured into bread; but, as I
have already stated, there is no other kind of grain or farinaceous
vegetable substance from which so good loaf bread can be made, as good

In making bread from Indian meal, and other kinds of farinaceous
substances containing little or no gluten, yeast or leaven is rarely if
ever used to make it light. More generally sour milk or butter-milk and
saleratus or soda are used for this purpose; and they who do not well
understand the principle upon which these substances make their bread
light, often greatly impair their own success by their mismanagement.

It is, perhaps, most common for them to mix their sour milk or
butter-milk and saleratus together, and wait till the effervescence is
over, before they stir in their meal. But by this means they lose the
greater part of the gas or air by which their dough should be made

The true way is, to take their sour milk or butter-milk, and stir meal
into it till a thin batter is formed, and then dissolve their saleratus
or soda, and stir that quickly and thoroughly into the batter, and then
hastily add meal till the batter or dough is brought into the
consistency desired.

If, instead of sour milk or butter-milk, a solution of muriatic or
tartaric acid is used, the bread will be equally light. In this case,
the batter should be first made with a solution of saleratus or soda,
and then the solution of acid should be stirred in as above described.
Batter cakes are made in this manner very light and very promptly. When
from any cause batter or dough mixed with yeast fails to rise according
to expectations, the thorough mixing in, first the solution of muriatic
or tartaric acid, and then the solution of saleratus or soda, will, in a
few minutes, make the whole mass very light; but such cakes and bread
are not so sweet and savory as those raised with good sweet yeast.

I have said that recently ground meal makes far sweeter and richer
bread, than that which has been ground a considerable time; but as it is
not convenient for many families to send to a mill as often as they
would like to have fresh meal, they are obliged generally to use staler
meal or flour than they would choose. Yet every family might easily be
furnished with a modern patent hand-mill, constructed after the plan of
a coffee mill, with which they could at all times, with great ease,
grind their wheat, and rice, and corn, as they want it, for bread and
other purposes. With these mills they can grind their stuff as finely or
coarsely as they wish, for bread or hominy, and always have it very
fresh and sweet.


                            LIGHT & STEARNS,

                      PUBLISHERS AND BOOKSELLERS,

                 1 Cornhill, Facing Washington Street,


Keep constantly on hand a general assortment of SCHOOL, THEOLOGICAL and
MISCELLANEOUS BOOKS, for sale on the most reasonable terms, at wholesale
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                          DR. ALCOTT’S WORKS.

We have made arrangements to publish a regular series of works by DR.
ALCOTT, of which these are a part:

                           THE YOUNG MOTHER,



              _Second Edition—Embellished by a Vignette._

                         BY DR. WM. A. ALCOTT.

The “Young Mother” is designed as an every-day manual for those who are
desirous of conducting the physical education of the young—from the very
first—on such principles as Physiology and Chemistry indicate. It
inculcates the great importance of preventing evil—especially physical
evil—by implanting good habits. We believe it to be the only work of a
popular character, written by a medical man, on this subject, and that
it is, on this account, doubly valuable. It is recommended by the Boston
Medical and Surgical Journal, and by the Press generally, as a work
which should be possessed by every family. The following remarks by the
editor of the Portland Christian Mirror, will give some idea of the
manner in which it has been noticed in various parts of the country,
though many of the best periodicals have spoken of it in still stronger
terms of approbation:

“The subject of this book is of vital interest to the whole human
family, and is treated by Dr. Alcott with the most intelligible
simplicity. We hope it will find its way into the hands of all who are
entrusted with the training and rearing of children; and that its sound
views will supplant many of those hurtful maxims and practices which are
lamentably prevalent, and that the existing generation of mankind will
be succeeded by a more healthy and a more moral race.”

Price 75 cts.—By the dozen, 62 1-2 cts.


                          THE HOUSE I LIVE IN,


                            THE HUMAN BODY.

      _Second Edition—entirely re-written, enlarged and improved._


                             BY DR. ALCOTT.

The great difficulty of making a subject which has hitherto been deemed
dry and unintelligible, at once agreeable and interesting to the young
mind, has led the author of this volume to describe the human body as a

The work treats, first, on the FRAME—consisting of the bones, muscles,
tendons, &c.; secondly, of the COVERING—consisting of the skin, hair,
nails, eyes, ears, &c.; and thirdly, of the APARTMENTS and FURNITURE—by
which are meant the interior cavities and organs. Nearly every
anatomical and physiological term which appears in the work is so used
or so explained, as to be at once clearly understood and apprehended.
The subject is illustrated by numerous engravings.

The best recommendation of this work is, that it has been universally
approved of by the families and schools where it has been introduced,
and by all medical men who have examined it. It has also received the
entire approbation of the Press, and is selling rapidly.

Prices:—50 cts. single—$5.40 a dozen.




                         LIVING ON SMALL MEANS.


                 _Fifth Edition—Enlarged and Improved._

                             BY DR. ALCOTT.

This work was prepared to meet the demand of the present exigency.
Thousands of families, in the poorer and middling classes of society,
are suffering from their unwise attempts to live in the style of those
persons whose means are far greater than their own. The author has
endeavored to convince them—in a brief manner—that a very few things
only, are really indispensable to physical and even intellectual comfort
and happiness—and that both these are within the reach of all, even in
times like the present, would they be content to live in a manner at
once rational, simple and healthful. It discusses the following

Estates and Business; Houses and Furniture; Equipage and Servants;
Dress; Food and Drink; Medicine and Physicians; Books and Schools;
Customs and Habits; Society; and gives several interesting Examples of
living on small means.

With the emendations and improvements made in this edition, it is
believed the work cannot fail to be regarded by every unprejudiced mind,
as one of the most useful manuals of the day. Four editions, of 1000
copies each, were sold in a few weeks.

Prices:—25 cts. single—$2.50 a dozen—$20 a hundred.


                          Will soon be ready,

                            THE YOUNG WIFE.

    _Stereotyped—and Embellished by a beautiful Plate and Vignette._

                             BY DR. ALCOTT.

This work is based on the principle, that the great business of the wife
is Education—the education of herself and her family. It therefore
exhibits the duties of a wife, especially to her husband, in a manner at
once original and striking. The author presupposes her to have set out
in matrimony with christian principles and purposes; and hence proceeds
to inculcate what he deems the best methods of applying them in the
routine of daily life and conversation. We believe that no one can rise
from the perusal of this volume without a higher respect for female
character, as well as a higher confidence in the divine wisdom of

The price will probably be the same as that of the Young Mother.


                           LIBRARY OF HEALTH,



                 _Monthly—Price $1 a Year, in advance._

                          DR. ALCOTT, EDITOR.

This is a Periodical work, originally called the “Moral Reformer and
Teacher on the Human Constitution.” It is published in numbers of 32
pages each, in neat book style for binding into a volume, illustrated by
engravings, and is now on the third year of its publication. The numbers
of the two past years are for sale, bound in two neat volumes.

This work discusses, in a familiar manner, all subjects connected with
physical education and self-management. It treats on the connection of
LONGEVITY. The editor takes the ground that a proper understanding of
the constitutional laws of the human body, and of all its organs and
functions, and a strict obedience thereto, are indispensable to the
highest perfection and happiness—present and future—of every living
human being. He deems this knowledge more and more indispensable in
proportion to the progress of civilization and refinement. The work is
pledged to support no system nor set of principles, any farther than
that system and those principles can be proved to be based on the laws
of Physiology, and revealed truth, and on human experience; and
consequently its pages are always open to fair and temperate discussion.

The work has recently been warmly approved of by GEORGE COMBE, (author
of the “Constitution of Man,”) as well as a large number of
distinguished men of this country, among whom are the following:

Dr. John C. Warren, Dr. S. B. Woodward, Rev. Dr. Humphrey, Rev. S. R.
Hall, Rev. Hubbard Winslow, Rev. R. Anderson, Rev. Baron Stow, Rev. B.
B. Wisner, R. H. Gillet, Esq., Rev. Wm. Hague, Roberts Vaux, Esq., Dr.
John M. Keagy, Dr. R. D. Mussey, Prof. E. A. Andrews, Rev. L. F. Clark,
Rev. M. M. Carll, Rev. Dr. Fay, Dr. Sylvester Graham.

These recommendations are similar to the following, received from Dr.

“The Library of Health, is, in my opinion, an excellent publication. It
seems to be well adapted to aid in the great reform in habits and
customs which is now going on in this country and Great Britain; and
which, it may be hoped, will extend to other parts of the world. I beg
leave to recommend this little work to all who are desirous of promoting
their health of body and tranquillity of mind.”

Many of the most respectable Journals in the country, have also given
their testimony in its favor. The following are a very few of them:

Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Annals of Education, Abbott’s
Religious Magazine, Boston Recorder, Christian Register, Christian
Watchman, Zion’s Herald, New York Farmer.

We feel entire confidence in offering this publication to all who are
interested in the improvement which Dr. Alcott is endeavoring to


                         THE YOUNG MAN’S GUIDE.

                             BY DR. ALCOTT.

We keep a good supply of this work on hand at all times, for sale at
wholesale and retail, at the publishers’ lowest prices. It is too
extensively known to need comment.


                          DR. GRAHAM’S WORKS.


                        A LECTURE TO YOUNG MEN,




                         PARENTS AND GUARDIANS.

          _Second Edition—Enlarged and Improved, with Notes._

                        BY DR. SYLVESTER GRAHAM.

The second edition of this important work is nearly double the size of
the first, although the price is increased but a trifle. It is selling
rapidly. Notwithstanding its value is extensively known, we cannot
forbear to insert two or three


The following remarks, from the Annals of Education for 1834, are from
the pen of WILLIAM C. WOODBRIDGE; whose long and zealous devotion to the
cause of education, and whose extensive travels and researches both in
Europe and America, and special attention to the subject of which he
here speaks, pre-eminently qualify him to judge accurately in the

“We are rejoiced to see a work published in our country, on a topic in
physiology which the ‘artificial modesty’ to which we have formerly
alluded, has covered up, until a solitary, but fatal vice is spreading
desolation through our _schools_ and _families_, unnoticed or unknown.
The experience of teachers, the case-books of physicians, and the
painful exposures which accident, or the dreadful diseases which follow
in its train, have occasionally produced, have at length forced it upon
public attention; and we hope it will not again be forgotten. The work
before us is the result of extensive observation and study; its
usefulness has been tested by its influence as a lecture; and its views
of this evil are in accordance with the experience of the few teachers
whom we have known possessed of the moral courage to encounter it. We
would offer it to those who have earnestly desired a work on this
subject, as one adapted to their purposes. We would recommend its
perusal to every _parent_ and _teacher_. We would warn them that those
who have been most confident of the safety of their charge, have often
been most deceived; and that the youthful bashfulness which seems to
shrink from the bare mention of the subject, is _sometimes_ the blush of
shame for concealed crime. We feel bound to add, what abundant and
decisive evidence has shown, that ignorance on this subject is no
protection from the vice—nay, that it is often the original cause or
encouragement of it; that it gives tenfold power to the evil example and
influence which are so rarely escaped; and that a cure can be effected
only by the most careful instruction and long continued discipline, both
physical and moral, directed by sad experience, as is presented in this

The following brief but highly valuable testimony is from the
distinguished superintendent of the Massachusetts Lunatic Hospital at

  “DEAR SIR:—The subject of your Lecture to Young Men, has been much
neglected, although of great importance.

This lecture, while it sounds the alarm to the young, will not fail to
awaken the attention of parents, if once perused. It is couched in
language as delicate as the nature of the subject will admit, and may be
read with propriety and benefit by all.

The evil of which it treats, if I mistake not, is more extensively
sapping the foundation of _physical vigor_ and _moral purity_, in the
rising generation, than is generally apprehended, even by those who are
awake to the danger, and who have witnessed the deplorable influence of
it upon its victims.

      Yours, with respect,

          S. B. WOODWARD.”

The following is from Dr. ALCOTT; author of the works advertised on the
preceding pages—addressed to Dr. GRAHAM.

  “DEAR SIR:—The subject of your Lecture to Young Men is one of immense
importance, and demands the profound attention of every friend of man.
It is vain longer to shuffle it off, when those whose opportunities best
qualify them to give an opinion, do not hesitate to say that solitary
vice is rapidly gaining ground among us. It is a subject which must be

In this view, I rejoice to find that an increasing demand for your
little work has justified the publication of a second edition. I
rejoice, especially, to see such sound principles in physiology
inculcated and warmly enforced. I have no hesitation in saying that it
ought to be circulated throughout our country. It would thus not only
save many a young person from the murderous fangs of quackery, but—what
is much better—it would prevent the necessity of his applying either to
quacks or physicians for relief from a situation in which he ought never
to be placed.”

The following is an extract from a letter written by the chaplain of one
of our New England State Prisons to a brother clergyman in a neighboring

“I have read the book _three_ times, and derived more benefit from the
last, than from either of the other readings. I like this book. Why is
it not in the hands of every young man, especially in cities, to
counteract the influence of indecent pictures and corrupting books?

One excellence in Graham’s Lecture, as it strikes me, is, that it is so
purely philosophical. Even an atheist might see force in his statements.
A man must deny many of the best established principles of science,
before he can deny most of the conclusions to which the lecturer comes.”

The Boston Recorder, and several other valuable periodicals, coincide
with these testimonials.

Prices:—62 1-2 cts. single—$6 a dozen—$45 a hundred.


                               A TREATISE


                        BREAD AND BREAD-MAKING.

                             BY DR. GRAHAM.

There has been for some time a considerable demand for this work, and it
will doubtless have a wide circulation among all classes of society.

Prices:—37 1-2 cts. single—$4 a dozen—$30 a hundred.


                          MISCELLANEOUS WORKS.

We would call attention to the following valuable and interesting works,
by popular writers:

THE BOSTON BOOK, for 1836 and 1837, being Specimens of Metropolitan
Literature. Edited by H. T. TUCKERMAN, and B. B. THATCHER. Elegantly
executed, and embellished by Vignettes of the Great Tree and

THE ITALIAN SKETCH BOOK. By H. T. TUCKERMAN. Second edition—revised and
enlarged, with a plate.

THE PARENT’S PRESENT. Edited by the author of Peter Parley’s Tales. A
handsome present for youth; with cuts.

MOGG MEGONE—a Poem, descriptive of New England and its early
inhabitants. By JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER. Pocket Edition.

BOSTON MECHANIC, and Journal of the Useful Arts and Sciences. The matter
furnished by Practical Men. Valuable for mechanics and manufacturers;
numerous Cuts.

SCIENTIFIC TRACTS, for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Complete in
one volume. By B. B. Thatcher, Dr. Alcott, Dr. C. T. Jackson, Dr.
Sylvester Graham, William Ladd, Lieut. R. Park, and others.

THE MORAL REFORMER, and Teacher on the Human Constitution. Edited by Dr.
ALCOTT. This work contains a large quantity of matter on Health and
Morals, as connected with the education of the Body. With cuts.

REMAINS OF MELVILLE B. COX, (Missionary to Africa,) with a MEMOIR.
Published under the superintendence of his brother, GERSHOM F. COX. With
a Portrait, and death-bed autograph.

addressed to the American Union for the Relief and Improvement of the
Colored Race. By Prof. E. A. ANDREWS.

“Black Velvet Bracelet,” &c. An excellent book for youth.

SKETCHES FROM SACRED HISTORY; containing the Story of the Moabitess—the
Story of the Queen—and the Story of the Priest. A good book for youth.

the London Edition. With an elegant Portrait, and an Appendix (not in
the first edition.)

MEMOIR OF REV. S. OSGOOD WRIGHT, late Missionary to Liberia. By B. B.
THATCHER. With a Portrait.

MEMOIR AND POEMS OF PHILLIS WHEATLEY. The Memoir written by a Relative
of the Mistress of Phillis. The Poems from the best English Edition.
With a Portrait.


                     SCIENTIFIC & LITERARY JOURNAL

                                FOR THE


                 _Semi-Monthly—$2 a Year, in advance._

This work is so well known (it being a continuation of the SCIENTIFIC
TRACTS,) that recommendation is unnecessary. The first volume commenced
January 1, this year. We believe all who want a scientific work which
can be depended upon for its accuracy as well as general value, would be
highly gratified with this periodical.


N. B.—The most favorable terms will be offered to those who may wish to
purchase any of the preceding works by the quantity, for gratuitous
circulation or for any other purpose—and a liberal discount will be made
for cash.



Footnote A:

  In this same manner the Sandwich Islanders cooked all their food, when
  they were first discovered.

Footnote B:

  An aged and very respectable member of the Society of Friends, in New
  York, who had long been extensively engaged in the flour business in
  that city, and who had always had his family bread made in his own
  house, was one day asked by his daughter, why he never used the
  baker’s bread:—“Because, my child,” replied he, “I know what it is
  made of.”

Footnote C:

  See Memoirs of Philadelphia Agricultural Society. Vol. I. p. 226.

                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE.

This eBook makes the following corrections to the printed text:

 ● Pg iv
     ○ sour milk or buttermilk
     ○ sour milk or butter-milk

 ● Pg 38
     ○ their bread stuff before it is ground
     ○ their bread-stuff before it is ground

 ● Pg 44
     ○ the well being of those who have been the consumers
     ○ the well-being of those who have been the consumers

 ● Pg 49
     ○ there are indviduals in every city
     ○ there are individuals in every city

 ● Pg 77
     ○ stir in good indian meal
     ○ stir in good Indian meal

 ● Pg 88
     ○ In order to this
     ○ In order to do this

 ● Pg 124
     ○ “Keep ... no bread with his dinner,
     ○ “Keep ... no bread with his dinner,”

 ● Pg 130
     ○ first the solution of muriatic or tartartic acid
     ○ first the solution of muriatic or tartaric acid

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