As promised two articles ago, I am going to give you some lovely recipes from the 1920’s Young “Mother Hubbard’s” Baking Day. Marie Cole Fisher seems to be “handing off the baton” to the “new”, young “Mother Hubbard” as they busily examine some muffins. I searched high and low for the name of the young lady posing as the “young” Mother Hubbard, but alas, I couldn’t find one mention of who she was.
Marie starts out the booklet by regaling the importance of buying quality flour. Mother Hubbard Flour was the best flour you should buy. Most of her recipes, logically, of course, center on bread, bread’s, muffins, biscuits, and foundational doughs.
She encourages you to memorize her measurement chart and that ran me right into the word “avoirdupois”. I thought it was a funny word, so I looked it up, and the Cambridge Dictionary gave the pronunciation and definition. Avoirdupois was a measurement system used by both the UK and the USA for measuring 1 lb. The UK expired its use of this system in 2000- 1 lb equals approximately 454 grams. Avoirdupois is a derivative from the Old French/Anglo-Norman word avoir du pois.
You can try to throw the word “avoirdupois” around at your next coffee, along with the word “bugbear”. At the very least they will have suspected you of working a crossword puzzle or starting French class- either of which puts you in good standing. See?! The Edgerton Enterprise is vested in keeping your mind nimble and in good working order.
Raised or Light Bread/Foundational Recipe/Straight Dough Short Process
That was a mouthful! Marie recommends this “process” because the housewife, or in today’s culture, “baker person”, can control temperatures better during the day, thus your recipe stands the best chance of being “right”. Marie also notes daytime baking allows for other “work” to be done as well. In other words, multitasking with children and other household chores. A tip of the hat to Young “Mother Hubbard’s” Baking Day booklet for the following recipes:
Ingredients- Warning this makes a lot of dough, be ready to spend the day at home and ready to make lots of bread, rolls or sweet dough
- Mother Hubbard flour- 3 quarts flour/ translated 1 quart flour is equivalent to 1 pound (454 grams) avoirdupois, if you have a digital food scale at home I’d go ahead and measure out your flour with that.
- Water, boiled and cooled until lukewarm, 1 quart*
- Sugar- 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls
- Salt- 2 teaspoonfuls
- Melted lard- 3 tablespoonfuls
- Yeast, compressed, 2 cakes
Thoroughly dissolve yeast, salt, and sugar in a quart of water, add the three quarts of flour and partially mix the dough. Then add the melted lard and mix the dough thoroughly.
Set in a warm place and as nearly as possible keep dough temperature at 80° Fahrenheit. Let dough rise for an hour and a half or two hours or until it is quite light. Kneed it down well and let rise again for 45 minutes or one hour. Knead again and let stand for 30 minutes when it may be molded into loaves. Place in an oven in about an hour or when loaves are at least double their original size. ( Michele here, I think that was the baking instructions, there was nothing additional with time or temperature- you’re on your own kid!) *A pint of lukewarm milk may be used instead of one pint of water and will make a more nutritious and tastier loaf.
The length of time the dough should stand before the first and second kneading depends on the temperature of the dough and stiffness. If the dough is quite cool and fairly stiff, two hours will be required for the first rise and one hour for the second. If the dough is 80° or a trifle more, not more than one and one-half hours should be allowed for the first kneading and 45 minutes for the second.
Sweet Roll Dough
This recipe has you starting with your base dough from above. I’m sure by now you can see Marie figured you knew what you’re doing. No hand-holding or coddling here. It’s all business! Tighten that girdle, here we go!
To the foundation, bread dough may be added sugar, spices, fat, eggs, and fruit or nuts to make into the desired rolls, rings, coffee cake, doughnuts, and all forms of sweetbreads with yeast mixture as the base. To the foundational dough, butter or lard may be added in the proportion of 4 level tablespoonfuls to half of the mixture, with half a cupful of sugar. Eggs may be added beating them first. Either part of the egg may be used for instance the white may be beaten stiff and worked into the rolled dough when very white light tolls are wanted.
Friends, I’m going to have to stop right here. Next week I will bring to you Marie’s “Formula for Jiffy Flour” and some quick recipes to use with it along with “Dainty Muffin” recipes and “Foundational Cooky Recipes”. Till next time, here is to good food, good friends and a good life.
Michele Bruxvoort is sure to draw you in with her delightful sense of humor and love for living life. She enjoys reading, repurposing, as well as remodeling the family home with her husband. Drawing from her life experience as wife, mom, and follower of Jesus, Michele brings you a very honest and real perspective on life. When you don’t find her writing, you can find her mowing lawns, stocking shelves, taking care of her grandbaby and tackling her latest life adventure.
Wisconsin native and empty-nester, she now makes her home with her husband of 27 years in the South West Prairie plains of Minnesota.