Baking bread is definitely something I haven’t mastered yet. I was about to start another attempt and thought I’d have a look at what Mrs Beeton said. I guess unsurprisingly as bread has been around for such a long time that her recipe is not that far from current standard recipes. That being said it’s nice to see and try.
Ingredients – 1 peck of flour, 2 ozs of compressed or distillery yeast, 1 1/2 ozs of salt, 3 quarts of water.
Method – ‘Turn the flour into a clean pan, and make a “bay”, or hole in the centre. Let the water be about 80 degrees Fahr., or blood-warm, so it feels neither hotter nor colder than the hand when placed in the water. Put the water into a bowl, add the yeast and salt, and stir up well with the hand till dissolved, then turn it into the bay, and make up into rather a stiff dough; knead well, and leave to dry, cover over with a clean cloth, and set the pan of dough in a warm place to prove for at least 2 hours, then give it another good kneading and drying over, and leave it for another hour; turn out onto the board, divide into suitable-sized pieces, make into loaves, prove and bake.’
See how it compares to my standard bread recipe:
if you need a bread tin similar to mine you can find it below.
I’d also highly recommend reading a copy of ‘Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management’: