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gfron1

Old Timey Recipe - What is "yeast flour"?

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3 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

The recipe is from the 1830s for skillet cornbread. It already has a separate line for 1 C AP, so that's not it. What do you think?

 

Whats the amount of yeast flour?

 

Is there any other leavening like baking powder?

 

Maybe its just powdered yeast as opposed to a cake?

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10 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

Not in these old recipes. Most of the technique is assumed.

As I suspected! But most cornbreads from the time were not leavened with yeast I don't think.

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31 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

As I suspected! But most cornbreads from the time were not leavened with yeast I don't think.

That gets to my other post about pone. I've seen leavened and un...the un generally called pone and fried in a hot cast iron. I haven't paid enough attention to all these old recipes to know when the introduction of baking powder happened in the area. It was invented in 1843.

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Is there any instruction about letting the batter proof etc?

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18 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

Nope. 

Probably in the 1830s they couldn't imagine anyone not knowing all the bits they left out 😂

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Sourdough starter was my guess until looking at the quantity called for, not near enough. 

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Have you tried speaking with Madeline Matson at the Missouri State Library?  (She is a food historian who has written a book “Food in Missouri, A Cultural Stew”


Edited by RobertM (log)
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1 hour ago, RobertM said:

Have you tried speaking with Madeline Matson at the Missouri State Library?  (She is a food historian who has written a book “Food in Missouri, A Cultural Stew”

 

How has she passed my radar!? I'll look her up immediately.

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I just saw something on the Townsends youtube channel about bread baking in the remote areas of the 1800's using dried unbaked dough from a previous sourdough batch as the yeast starter.  The piece he used was 2 years old and looked like a very dry cookie.  He broke it into small pieces easily, I would think it could resemble flour if broken down enough.  Perhaps this is "yeast flour"?


Edited by lemniscate spelling (log)
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Posted (edited)

Sorry I missed this thread until now.

FWIW—it's likely baking powder.

Source: The Scientific American Cyclopedia of Formulas, Partly Based Upon the 28th Ed. of Scientific American Cyclopedia of Receipts, Notes and Queries, 1913

yeastflour.JPG


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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I researched this for a good bit of time.

In other recipes it seems to refer to self-rising flour.

There's no mention of other flour or a leavening agent in the recipe.

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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As a youngster, we generally had around the house both all-purpose and self-rising flour. It is a testament to where I grew up that I thought for years the only self rising flour was "Martha White Self Rising Flour With Hot--Rise Plus," a legacy from the Flatt and Scruggs show on Saturday evenings.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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5 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

Sorry I missed this thread until now.

FWIW—it's likely baking powder.

Source: The Scientific American Cyclopedia of Formulas, Partly Based Upon the 28th Ed. of Scientific American Cyclopedia of Receipts, Notes and Queries, 1913

 

If the recipe was really from the 1830s it can't have been baking powder: the first baking-powder-like product didn't come around until 1843, and it wasn't really widely available until the mid-1850s. See this interesting Smithsonian Magazine article for details. @gfron1, how confident are you in the date on that recipe?

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Chris Hennes
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

If the recipe was really from the 1830s it can't have been baking powder: the first baking-powder-like product didn't come around until 1843, and it wasn't really widely available until the mid-1850s. See this interesting Smithsonian Magazine article for details. @gfron1, how confident are you in the date on that recipe?

 

Hartshorn salt (ammonium carbonate), deer antler, was used as far back as the 17th century—supposedly, according to Davidson, Alan (1999), Oxford Companion to Food, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 372

 


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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The Scientific American Cyclopedia of Formulas does say "closely resembling Berlin yeast flour" - which brings up a couple loose end tidbits....
it is essentially baking powder, and it does mention the carbonate of ammonia (baker's ammonia) may be omitted....

 

baking powder was invented by Horsford, an American who had 'chemical education' ties to Germany.
a German 'chemist' aka today's pharmacist - Ludwig Clamor Marquart was first to produce and market 'yeast powder' - later renamed to 'baking powder'

Yeast was used for brewing beer a 1,000+ years prior to either of these.

 
there is a beer "Berliner Weisse" - which is produced using "Berliner Yeast Powder"
"A blend of German weizen yeast and Lactobacillus bacteria to create a subtly tart, drinkable beer"
- in the 1800's probably not described in those terms.

 

baker's ammonia - the pre-baking powder leavening agent - would likely not be used in a moist product like cornbread as the aroma lingers in moist products.  
which creates the possibility that the recipe is using a immigrant version of  "Berliner Yeast Powder" and the use of "flour" vs. "powder" may be a simply language/usage issue.  grains (= flour) were the source of beer brewing yeast, a powdered prep would probably look like "flour"

 

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You might want to check if it is dried brewers yeast, which was used almost exclusively for levening bread as far back as in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and continued well into the 19th century.  

"Cakes" of the fresh yeast were sold by brewers to bakers, who maintained community ovens, and they in turn dried the yeast and sold it to their customers who would prepare the dough at home and bring it to the baker for baking.

It had to be crushed and sieved into a fine powder and mixed with water and a little flour to produce the "sponge" or starter, which was set near the fire overnight to "awaken and grow" then early the next morning added to more flour and water and a little salt to make the dough which was worked and left to rise once, then shaped, left to rise and then taken to the bakery. 

Somewhere in my boxes of books, I have one that describes a place in Boston, during the Revolutionary War, where "a dozen women lined up, carrying their fat loaves and waiting for the baker to admit them to the warmth of the bake-house."

 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Tangentially, my father told of being sent by his mother to the local brewery where they would fill a small pail of yeast from the top of a vat for him.    His chagrin was when they told him to lean forward for a sniff then jerk the ladle up, coating his face with yeast.    Humiliating for a 7-8 year old boy.      Our small town had two breweries and one cider works.


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