During the mid-1800s, bread was a stable food. Like today, there were many different types of bread and bread mixtures. Cornmeal, rye, potatoes, rice, hominy, buckwheat and other variant ingredients were used to make different kinds of bread. Most of these breads had a base of wheat flour and a smaller proportion of another type of flour or ingredient. Bread was thought to be unhealthy when warm; so many books advised waiting a day before eating.Bread was available for purchase at bakeries but many houses still made their own bread. Bread was also being manufactured by machine at this time.
 The Complete Confectioner (Philadelphia: J. B Lippincott, 1864), 143-154.
 Mrs. Beeton’s Dictionary, 45
The recipe I used was from Mrs. Hale’s New Cookbook that was published in 1857. It was for "English Rolls."
-8 Cups Flour
-1 Pint of Warm Water, which should be between 105 degrees and 115 degrees, or you will kill the yeast.
-3 Tablespoons Yeast, The fast acting kind is fine. If you use period liquid yeast, omit the pint of warm water.
-2 ounces of Butter, softened
-1 teaspoon Salt
- Enough water to make a dough that does not stick to your hands.
If you are curious about what ways to shape your bread. Round loves with crosses on the top were popular as well as bread baked in tin loaf pans. Here are some loaf examples:
|A traditional style of bread baked in a tin loaf.|
|This style of loaf was popular in England but not in the U.S.|
|An illustration of the Bread Riots. Look at all the different kinds of loafs.|
For more reading, The English Bread Book by Eliza Action in 1857, is a very good start. For different kinds of American bread recipes try, The Improved Housewife, published in 1855, particularly pages 125- 128.