I have a reprint of a book published in 1859 called The Young Housekeepers Friend. It is fascinating. In addition to recipes like the one below, it talks about how to wash your clothes (in a pot outdoors) and how to manage your servants.
If you think baking bread from scratch is too much work, how would you like to have to make your own yeast first. The book provides recipes for three different kinds: dry yeast, soft hop yeast and potato yeast. Potato yeast, it recommends, should be made once a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the winter.
Boil one handful of hops in two quarts of water half an hour. Strain it and return the tea to the kettle. Have ready grated eight large potatoes, or nine small ones; which stir into the tea.
Let it boil a minute or two and it will thicken to a batter. When nearly cold, add half a pint of good yeast. let it ferment well then put into a jar and cover close. Always shake or stir before using it.
Use a porcelain kettle for making this yeast, or an iron one tinned inside. A common iron one will turn dark.
What do you think–want to try it? 😉