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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1556

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

"through," while that which does not pass through the sieves is termed "tails," and forms the feed for the second and subsequent breaks, until the last break is reached, and the "throughs" are reserved for gentler treatment.

The first break reduces the grain to rather large particles, and as the "tail" passes down to the lower breaks it becomes more branny, until, at the last break, very little but bran is left. The grain having been passed through the rollers and sieves gives several different products that need not be particularised here; then comes the purification process, which is done with machines termed "purifiers," fitted with horizontal sieves of "Swiss-silk," through which the currents of air are passed. By the motion of the sieves and the action of the air the light and impure particles are lifted to the top, the lightest are blown away, and the medium floated to the tail to be repurified, the heaviest and best semolina only passing through the sieves. The "throughs" from the different breaks are now run through smooth rollers that run at slightly different speeds, and afterwards comes the dressing, which results in 1st Patents, 2nd Patents; 1st Bakers, 2nd Bakers, which are more than equivalent to the whites, supers, households, and No. 28 of the old-fashioned miller. Of course, the middlings, sharps, pollard and bran are taken out during different stages of the process.

Wholemeal and Brown Breads.—In ancient times, down to the Emperors, bolted flour was unknown. In many parts of Germany the entire meal is still used for bread, and in no part of the world are the digestive organs of the people in a better condition. But the principal grain used is rye, and not wheat, as in England. Brown bread has of late years become more popular, and many physicians have recommended it to invalids with weak digestion and people of sedentary habits with great success. Nevertheless, it is questionable whether wholemeal bread would prove an advantage to the mass of the people, for the bran is not digestible, and indeed, its value, in the physician's hands, depends upon that. Decorticated bread, from which the bran only is absent, is not open to the same objection, and will afford a pleasant change, occasionally, from the white bread which is so popular. Unfortunately brown bread is sometimes made from white flour and bran, leaving out all the central products, and, therefore, cannot be of so high a dietetic value as wholemeal or decorticated wheatmeal bread. Bran contains a large proportion of phosphates and mineral matter, and the ferment peculiar to wheat flour, said to assist in its digestion; hence it will be seen why brown bread is more nourishing than white bread; indeed, we may lay it down as a general rule, that the whiter the bread, the less nourishment it contains. At the same time, the white loaf still flourishes, and the colour of the crumb is a sure indication of the quality of the flour used in its manufacture.

Bread-making is a very ancient art. The Assyrians, Egyptians and Greeks used to make bread, in which oil, with aniseed and other spices