It’s late, and you’re still awake. Allow us to help with Sleep Aid, a series devoted to curing insomnia with the dullest, most soporific texts available in the public domain. Tonight’s prescription: a chapter from The Bread and Biscuit Baker’s and Sugar-Boiler’s Assistant, an 1890 book by Robert Wells.
When we reflect upon the present conditions under which the bread-making industry is carried on in most of the large cities and towns of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and remember the importance of that industry to mankind, we cannot but be impressed by the little progress that has been made in the art of bread-making. Whilst other industries have been marked by important improvements, we find bread being made in much the same manner as it was five hundred years ago. The mystery is how—by accident, it would seem—we get such well-made bread as we do. There are very few even now who have the slightest conception of what yeast really is, and fewer still who know how or why it makes bread light. But it will surprise me if the trade does not undergo, in the course of the next ten years, a complete and beneficial change. Read More