For variety, substitute for the sugar two or thre»-tablespoonfuls of molasses, and add one to two tea' spoonfuls of ginger.
1 quart flour,
2 level tablespoonfuls butter, 1 egg,
1 teaspoonful baking powder,
1 pint cold milk (or enough to make a soft dough). Rub butter and flour well together, add beaten egg, a pinch of salt, and the milk, till a soft dough is mixed. Form into rolls and bake quickly.
This smells to heaven while it is fermenting, but is a welcome change after a long diet of baking-powder breadstuffs. For a baking of two or three loaves take about a pint of moderately warm water (a pleasant heat to the hand) and stir into it as much flour as will make a good batter, not too thick. Add to this one-half teaspoonful salt, not more. Set the vessel in a pan of moderately warm water, within a little distance of a fire, or in sunlight. The water must not be allowed to cool much below the original heat, more warm water being added to pan as required.
In six to eight hours the whole will be in active fermentation, when the dough must be mixed with it, and as much warm water (milk, if you have it) as you require. Knead the mass till it is tough and does not stick to the board. Make up your loaves, and keep them warmly covered near the fire till they rise. They must be baked as soon as this second rising takes place; for, unless the rising is used immediately on reaching its height, it sinks to rise no more.
Mix a pail of batter from plain flour and wrater, and hang it up in a warm place until the batter sours. Then add salt and soda (not baking powder) and a spoonful of sugar, thicken with flour to a stiff dough, knead thoroughly, work into small loaves, and place them nefore the fire to rise. Then bake.
The following is by Mrs. Pinkerton:
" The sour-dough can ranks high in the list of woods time-savers. It is easy to manipulate, will supply yeast for both cakes and bread, and requires only one start, for it improves with age. Our sour-dough pail has now been going continuously for nine months and is getting bettei all the time.
" To make the ' sourings,' stir two cups of flour, tw</ tablespoons of sugar and one of salt in sufficient water to make a creamy batter. Stir in a tablespoonful of vinegar and set near a fire or in the sun to sour. One author has said ' it requires a running start of thirty-six hours.' Two days' souring is better. Do not be dismayed by the odor. The woods axiom is, ' the sourer the better,' and it will not be at its best the first few days. Its great advantage for campers lies in the fact that it will raise either bread or pancakes in any temperature above freezing.
" Pancakes should be set in the evening. Beat until smooth; water and flour in proper proportions for batter. Stir this into the ' sourings ' in the sour dough can. This rises overnight. In the morning the amount of batter necessary for breakfast should be taken out, leaving enough yeast for the next day. Into enough batter for two we stir two tablespoons of molasses, one teaspoon of salt, and one half teaspoon of soda, the last two dissolved in hot water. Then, small cakes are better and more easily handled than those the size of the frying pan.
" A quick, hot fire is necessary for pancakes, although, when frying in a pan, care must be taken or they will burn. Once a cake has burned to the pan you may as well stop and clean the pan thoroughly or every succeeding cake will be spoiled.
" Uneaten pancakes should be broken up and dropped into the sourings. It improves the cakes. Some woodsmen are almost superstitious about the mixture, and, with them, the sour dough pail rivals the garbage can as a receptacle for uneaten foods. When the yeast loses its sourness from overwork a tablespoon of vinegar will revive it. The 'sourings' can be carried in a pail or in a push-top tin. If you use the latter be sure to allow plenty of room for expansion. We still carry ^n a blanket evidences of too active 'sourings.' "
Set the dough to rise over a very few embers, keeping the pot turned as the loaf rises. When equally risen all around, put hot ashes under the pot and upon the lid, taking care that the heat be not too fierce at first.
On the bark of maples, and sometimes of beeches and birches, in the northern woods, there grows a green, broad-leaved lichen variously known as lungwort, liverwort, lung-lichen, and lung-moss, which is an excellent substitute for yeast. This is an altogether different growth from the plants commonly called lungwort and liverwort — I believe its scientific name is Sticta pulmonacea. This lichen is partly made up of fungus, which does the business of raising dough. Gather a little of it and steep it over night in lukewarm water, set near the embers, but not near enough to get overheated. In the morning, pour off the infusion and mix it with enough flour to make a batter, beating it up with a spoon. Place this " sponge " in a warm can or pail, cover with a cloth, and set it near the fire to work. By evening it will have risen. Leaven your dough with this (saving some of the sponge for a future baking), let the bread rise before the fire that night, and by morning it will be ready to bake.
It takes but little of the original sponge to leaven a large mass of dough (but see that it never freezes), and it can be kept good for months.
Quickly made, wholesome, and good for a change. Keeps like hardtack.
2 1/2 pints flour,
1 tablespoonful salt (scant),
1 tablespoonful sugar.
Mix with water to stiff dough, and knead and pull until lively. Roll out thin as a soda cracker, score w'th knife, and bake. LInleavened bread that is to be carried for a long time must be mixed with as little water as possible (merely dampened enough to make it adhere), for if any moisture is left in it after baking, it will mould.