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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1570

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1404
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

perfectly cold, to wrap each loaf up separately in a sheet of white greaseproof paper, and then in a sheet of thick brown or other waste paper, and set the loaves in rows upon a shelf in a room or pantry free from dampness or draught, where the room is dry, without fire, or artificial light. This room or cupboard should be in a shady position and well protected from the sun's rays. Bread preserved in this way—provided, of course, it has been properly made and baked—will keep good, sweet and moist for 10 days, and the last loaf should be just as good as the first, although it will be somewhat drier, but not to any appreciable extent. But very particular attention must be paid to the preparation of the bread, otherwise it will not keep in condition for any length of time. If bread is not required for keeping longer than a week, it can be stored in a clean earthenware pan furnished with a lid, but if a pan or crock is used for the purpose, it must be thoroughly scalded and rinsed out every week, and then wiped with clean cloths and dried before the fire, and allowed to become quite cold before storing the bread in it. If required to be kept only for 2 or 3 days the bread will not need very special treatment, but will keep quite well on shelves in the larder, the only precaution necessary being to protect the loaves from the sun and draught. Bread can also be kept wrapped in clean cloths for a few days, but in all cases, no matter how it is kept, it must be perfectly cold before being packed away. It is a fact that should not be lost sight of, that the larger the loaf the longer it retains its moisture, and as loaves decrease in size the drier they will become; all kinds of small bread and rolls should therefore be freshly made as frequently as possible. As a rule the capacity of the oven will be limited, and where the number to be provided for is large, it will be necessary to bake more than once a week, and where this is the case no very extraordinary precautions will be necessary, as all the bread will be consumed comparatively fresh. It is an excellent plan to arrange the baking so that there is always one batch in hand; it will not then be necessary to serve hot bread at the table, which is a very uneconomical practice. A loaf may be somewhat freshened by being warmed through in a slack oven, but it must be remembered that this is only a very primitive method of toasting, and that the loaf will be the drier for the extra baking. Upon no consideration be persuaded to dip the bread into water of any description before placing it in the oven, for the crust will crack all over, and peel off in flakes, and the result will be most unsatisfactory.

INGREDIENTS FOR CAKES.

Butter is of the first importance in cake-making, and where a rich cake is desired of fine flavour and keeping qualities, only the best butter should be used. But in most instances it will be desirable to use a somewhat cheaper fat for the purpose of cake-making.