BLTC Press Titles


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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour


A treatise on the art of bread-making

by Abraham Edlin

Excerpt:

AT the Theatre- of Guy's Hospital, &r London, there is established a society of medical men, who meet once a week, during the winter season, to communicate such new facts and observations as occur in the course of their practice.— At the same time, a dissertation on some medicalorphilosophicalsubjectis brought forward, and read by the members in. their turn, which, after due deliberation, and an exordium from the president, is calmly investigated ; when some of the lecturers, and many of the most eminent men in the profession, are frequently induced to give their opinion, for the promotion of medical knowledge, and the improvement of the students in particular, who, while they only appear to be enjoying an agreeable evening's conversation, are, in reality, laying up a treasure of useful knowledge.

Such is the origin of the present pera 3. fbrmancer formance, wherein I have.endeavoured to investigate more fully the natare and .properties of wheat, and to develope the causes which produce fermentation in farinaceous substances. At first sight, such an enquiry, from its novelty, appears trivial; yet, unimportant as it may be deemed, I trust it will not be found totally void of interest, or unworthy of elucidation.

With a view of giving as much perspicuity as may be in my power to a subject so complicated, I commence wifch the natural history and cultivation of wheat. The manner of preserving and grinding the different sorts of corn into 'flour will next be treated of. The analysis and synthesis of wheat flour then comes to be considered, and, that ascertained, 'I proceed to detail several experiments, which appear to elucidate the nature of yeast, and, by combining its constituent principles with the saccharine extract of flour, endeavour to unfold the mode by which fermentation in bread is produced.

4 ' After

After giving such an idea of that interesting process, as, from a variety of experiments, appear to me the most reasonable, I pass on to the several preparations of bread, dividing them into three kinds, and offering such observations upon each, as the nature of the subject naturally gives rise to. Next follow a few remarks on the structure of a bakehouse, and several approved methods for generating and preparing of yeast,' which may be made with facility in the most remote corners of the globe. And, finally, will be detailed, a connected view of all the laws at present in force respecting the manner of regulating the assize of bread, both in town and country.

If it should be asked, for whose use is such a work designed ? I answer, for every one whose curiosity would lead them to study a beautiful and interesting branch of experimental philosophy. To the frugal housewife, who would enjoy the luxury of eating good unadulterated bread, such directions are given, the*, a 4 with with very little labour and trouble, she may soon learn to grind her own wheat, separate the flour from the bran, and make it up and bake it into bread. To captains of ships, to military men, and such who travel into unfrequented regions, where, if any bread is to be procured, it is in general execrable, such plain and easy instructions are laid down for making good bread, as cannot fail of being easily put in practice. Even the baker, whose habits and education do not lead him to investigate speculative doctrines and opinions, may find several observations that will prove serviceable in the prosecution of his business, particularly the abstract and tables of the assize laws, which, being derived from authentic sources, will preclude the necessity of his consulting a variety of acts of parliament, which, unless carefully digested, appear to contradict one another. ; -v

To scientific men there will be found but little information in this volume, that" -,... -. ,- was

was not well known before; but they will observe, that the multifarious subjects connected with the art, have been arranged and brought forward in a popular and intelligible form, in order that the subject may be clearly and distinctly understood by persons unacquainted with chemistry and chemical authors ; and I trust such a view has been given of the : art, that if every baker's apprentice, throughout the United Kingdom, was. i to be presented with a copy of this little ! book on signing his indentures, he would thereby attain a better and more scientific view of his business than he could possibly learn in a whole life of illiterate practice, by following the old routine, which passes without improvement from. one generation to another; and thus a new order of men would arise, who, by filling up the imperfections, and correcting, by practice, the errors herein, would have the satisfaction of establishing the art on a solid foundation, and thereby render their business truly respectable.


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