I am posting these recipes to be used as part of my talk on recipes, March 17, 2022. However, anyone coming across this page at any time are encouraged to take a stab at converting these recipes to bakers math.
In bakers math, flour is always 100%. The other ingredients are expresses as a percentage of the flour. Thus, if you have a recipe that is %100 flour, %60 water, and 12% barm then that would be 100g flour, 60g water, and 12g barm. Converting recipes to bakers math makes it possible to compare recipes. The ratios, plus the instructions, tends to offer a clearer picture
To Make French Bread the best way.
Take a gallon of fine flour, and a pint of good new ale barm or yeast, and put it to the flour, with the whites of six new laid eggs well beaten in a dish, and mixed with the barm in the middle of the flour, also three spoonfuls of fine salt; then warm some milk and fair water, and put to it, and make it up pretty stiff, being well wrought and worked up, cover it in a bowl or tray with a warm cloth till your oven be hot; then make it up either in rolls, or fashion it in little wooden dishes and bake it, being baked in a quick oven, chip it hot.
— Robert May, page 239, The Accomplished Cook, 1685
Ordinary Bread (Recipe for race horses)
From Gervase Markham, Cavelarice (1607, Book 3, p.35)
Take a strike of clean beans, two pecks of wheat, and a peck of Rye, grind these together, and then sift them through a tempse, then knead it with good store of barm and water, but let your water be scalding hot, that it may take away the strong savor of the Beans, when you have knodden it well, then lay a cloth over it, and let it be also well trodden, then mold it up into great loaves like Household loaves, having as near as you can guess, about a peck in a loaf; then bake as you bake good household bread, and no otherwise, and let it be at least two days old before your horse taste any of it. But if your horse for whom you make this bread, be exceedingly soluble and much subject to looseness in his body, then you shall put in no Rye at all: but if he be of a hot body, and subject to more than ordinary dryness, then you shall over and besides the Rye, put to the former proportion of corn, about two pounds of sweet butter.
To Make French Bread
Take a half a peck of fine flour, put to it six yolks of eggs, and four whites, a little salt, a pint of good ale yeast and as much new milk, made a little warm, as will make it a thin light paste; stir it about with your hand, but by no means knead it; then have ready six wooden quart dishes, and fill them with dough; let them stand a quarter of an hour to heave, and then turn them out; and when the are baked, rasp them: the oven must be quick.
— E. Smith, The Compleat Housewife, 1727
How to make the best sort of Cock-bread.
“Royal Art of Cockfighting” by Robert Howlett, published in London, 1709
But in my opinion there is yet a better sort than any of these, and I make it thus, viz. of the best and finest Wheat-meal, I take three-quarters of a Peck, and one quarter of Oat-meal of the purest sort, and first of all mix these well together; then add the Whites of twenty new laid Eggs, four Yolks, an Ounce of the best extract of Liquorish, and as much of the fine Powder of brown Sugar-candy, a quarter of an Ounce of Anniseeds, and Carroway-seeds grossly bruised, with a Lump of good sweet Butter as big as your fist at least, and a quarter of a Pint or more of the best White-Wine that can be bought for Mony, with three or four spoonfulls of Syrup of Clove-gilliflowers put into it, and a Date or two, with some Candyed Eringo Roots cut very small so that it may be scattered into every part, and let these Ingredients be all well worked together, in some Tub, or Pan fit for that purpose, with your hands, until you are Satisfied that they are thoroughly incorporated.
Then take Wood-sorrel, Ground-Ivy, Featherfew, Dandelion, and Burrage, of each a like quantity, and distill them in a cold Still, and add three or four Spoonfuls of the pure Juice of Lemmons to every Pint of distilled Water; And add as much of this Julip as will serve to make all into a good stiff Past; let this be wrought quick, and made into little flat Loaves, which ought to be a day or two old before you spend them, and then being well rasped, or pared, so that none of the burned or brown outside remain, they may then be cut and given to the Cocks, as aforesaid.
And this I take to be the best and fittest sort of Bread for English Cocks, it being a Food that does greatly strengthen and exhillate them, and at the same time cools, and keeps them Temperate in their Bodies, provided you have regard to the Season; for in Hot Weather, or where the Climate is more than ordinary hot, there must be more of the cooling Ingredients added; and fewer, or a less quantity of those that are hot in Nature.