I understand that a lot of people have been making bread during this time of quarantine. So I was going through an old cookbook and found these recipes and thought I would share. The cookbook is called the Ames Woman’s Club Cook Book and it was “compiled by the women of the Ames Woman’s Club” of Ames Iowa. I couldn’t find a publication date but the “Interesting facts about Ames Iowa” included in the book cited the 1930 census so I’m assuming it was published after that and before 1940. Anyway, I find books like this fascinating because they give me a glimpse into the past. I have a small but growing collection of them, and I like to read them from time to time. Anyway, I assume that enough time has passed that copyright isn’t an issue. I mean it’s been at least 80 if not 90 years. Also, I’m not making any money on this blog and I’m totally not claiming these recipes as my own. I just thought I’d share because I think that the way the ladies wrote these was a bit… interesting. Also I think it would be fun if people try to follow these recipes and see how they turn out.
I hope y’all find these recipes as fun as I do. And no, I didn’t cut anything off of them. I did blur out the title of the next recipe on the bottom because it’s distracting but that’s it. The first one really doesn’t have any directions after “mold.” So I honestly don’t know if one is supposed to bake it or not. I guess that you are, and that the person who wrote the recipe just assumed you, the reader, knew that. And, no, the second recipe does not give a temperature to bake the bread. Again, I guess that the writers just assumed the people reading know exactly what temperature to bake bread at and wrote with that assumption in mind. And (for the third recipe) a “medium hot” oven is — about 350o F if I remember correctly. That was standard measurement for the time period… kind of. Depending on where you lived. Thanks goodness it got a little more accurate as time moved on! ^_^
Now, I’ve made bread before, dear reader — it used to be one of my favorite things to do. And it’s way more complicated than these three brief writings would have you believe. Quite a lot can go wrong — you can kill the yeast if the milk is too hot. You can kill the yeast if you leave it to rise in too hot of a place. You can use too much yeast, or too little yeast. You totally need to use flour on the surfaces to keep the dough from sticking whenever you knead it (and you need to knead it). You can forget to add sugar and then the bread won’t rise. So many little things can kill your bread-making attempts. But I think that if someone knows what they’re doing, they can figure it out. I might give these recipes a try myself when I’m feeling up to it.