Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them by C. Houston & Alberta Goudiss

Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them is an interesting historic account of how precious food was during the First World War, and what an act of patriotism it was to go without or save food for the benefit of our troops overseas. “What are you giving so that others may live?” “Send more to Europe or they will Starve.” The book’s recipes were based on guidelines issued by the United States Food Administration to substitute non-wheat grains to consume less wheat, meat, fats, and sugar.

Foods That Will Win the War/Little AmericansPublished as a guide to housekeepers in 1918 by food expert and publisher of Forecast Magazine, C. Houston Goudiss, and his wife, Alberta M. Goudiss, the Director of The School of Modern Cookery. “Two meatless days a week would mean a saving of 2,200,000 lbs. of meat per annum.” It’s hard to fathom in this day-and-age in the western world, where global imports make a huge variety of food available year-round for most of us. The book is a fascinating historical link how food was valued during war time.


A picture for the book Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them

Food will win the war, and the nation whose food resources are best conserved will be the victor. This is the truth that our government is trying to drive home to every man, woman and child in America. We have always been happy in the fact that ours was the richest nation in the world, possessing unlimited supplies of food, fuel, energy and ability; but rich as these resources are they will not meet the present food shortage unless every family and every individual enthusiastically co-operates in the national saving campaign as outlined by the United States Food Administration.

The regulations prescribed for this saving campaign are simple and easy of application. Our government does not ask us to give up three square meals a day—nor even one. All it asks is that we substitute as far as possible corn and other cereals for wheat, reduce a little our meat consumption and save sugar and fats by careful utilization of these products.

There are few housekeepers who are not eager to help in this saving campaign, and there are few indeed who do not feel the need of conserving family resources. But just how is sometimes a difficult task.

This book is planned to solve the housekeeper’s problem. It shows how to substitute cereals and other grains for wheat, how to cut down the meat bill by the use of meat extension and meat substitute dishes which supply equivalent nutrition at much less cost; it shows the use of syrup and other products that save sugar, and it explains [pg 5] how to utilize all kinds of fats. It contains 47 recipes for the making of war breads; 64 recipes on low-cost meat dishes and meat substitutes; 54 recipes for sugarless desserts; menus for meatless and wheatless days, methods of purchasing—in all some two hundred ways of meeting present food conditions at minimum cost and without the sacrifice of nutrition.

Not only have its authors planned to help the woman in the home, conserve the family income, but to encourage those saving habits which must be acquired by this nation if we are to secure a permanent peace that will insure the world against another onslaught by the Prussian military powers.

A little bit of saving in food means a tremendous aggregate total, when 100,000,000 people are doing the saving. One wheatless meal a day would not mean hardship; there are always corn and other products to be used. Yet one wheatless meal a day in every family would mean a saving of 90,000,000 bushels of wheat, which totals 5,400,000,000 lbs. Two meatless days a week would mean a saving of 2,200,000 lbs. of meat per annum. One teaspoonful of sugar per person saved each day would insure a supply ample to take care of our soldiers and our Allies. These quantities mean but a small individual sacrifice, but when multiplied by our vast population they will immeasurably aid and encourage the men who are giving their lives to the noble cause of humanity on which our nation has embarked.

The Authors.

Note: The Recipes in this book have been examined and approved by the United States Food Administration. Illustrations furnished by courtesy of the United States Food Administration.

Save Wheat

A picture for the book Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them

Reasons Why Our Government Asks Us to Save Wheat, with Practical Recipes for the Use of Other Grains

A slice of bread seems an unimportant thing. Yet one good-sized slice of bread weighs an ounce. It contains almost three-fourths of an ounce of flour.

If every one of the country’s 20,000,000 homes wastes on the average only one such slice of bread a day, the country is throwing away daily over 14,000,000 ounces of flour—over 875,000 pounds, or enough flour for over a million one-pound loaves a day. For a full year at this rate there would be a waste of over 319,000,000 pounds of flour—1,500,000 barrels—enough flour to make 365,000,000 loaves.

As it takes four and one-half bushels of wheat to make a barrel of ordinary flour, this waste would represent the flour from over 7,000,000 bushels of wheat. Fourteen and nine-tenths bushels of wheat on the average are raised per acre. It would take the product of some 470,000 acres just to provide a single slice of bread to be wasted daily in every home.

But some one says, “a full slice of bread is not wasted in every home.” Very well, make it a daily slice for every four or every ten or every thirty homes—make it a weekly or monthly slice in every home—or make the wasted slice thinner. The waste of flour involved is still appalling. These are figures compiled by government experts, and they should give pause to every housekeeper who permits a slice of bread to be wasted in her home.

Another source of waste of which few of us take account is home-made bread. Sixty per cent. of the bread used in America is made in the home. When one stops to consider how much home-made bread is poorly made, and represents a large waste of flour, yeast and fuel, this housewifely energy is not so commendable. The bread flour used in the home is also in the main wheat flour, and all waste of wheat at the present time increases the shortage of this most necessary food.

Fuel, too, is a serious national problem, and all coal used in either range, gas, or electric oven for the baking of poor bread is an actual national loss. There must be no waste in poor baking or from poor care after the bread is made, or from the waste of a crust or crumb.

Waste in your kitchen means starvation in some other kitchen across the sea. Our Allies are asking for 450,000,000 bushels of wheat, and we are told that even then theirs will be a privation loaf. Crop shortage and unusual demand has left Canada and the United States, which are the largest sources of wheat, with but 300,000,000 bushels available for export. The deficit must be met by reducing consumption on this side the Atlantic. This can be done by eliminating waste and by making use of cereals and flours other than wheat in bread-making.

The wide use of wheat flour for bread-making has been due to custom. In Europe rye and oats form the staple breads of many countries, and in some sections of the [pg 13] South corn-bread is the staff of life. We have only to modify a little our bread-eating habits in order to meet the present need. Other cereals can well be used to eke out the wheat, but they require slightly different handling.

In making yeast breads, the essential ingredient is gluten, which is extended by carbon dioxide gas formed by yeast growth. With the exception of rye, grains other than wheat do not contain sufficient gluten for yeast bread, and it is necessary to use a wheat in varying proportions in order to supply the deficient gluten. Even the baker’s rye loaf is usually made of one-half rye and one-half wheat. This is the safest proportion for home use in order to secure a good texture.

When oatmeal is used, it is necessary to scald the oatmeal to prevent a raw taste. Oatmeal also makes a softer dough than wheat, and it is best to make the loaf smaller and bake it longer: about one hour instead of the forty-five minutes which we allow for wheat bread.

The addition of one-third barley flour to wheat flour makes a light colored, good flavored bread. If a larger proportion than this is used, the loaf has a decided barley flavor. If you like this flavor and increase the proportion of barley, be sure to allow the dough a little longer time to rise, as by increasing the barley you weaken the gluten content of your loaf.

Rice and cornmeal can be added to wheat breads in a 10 per cent. proportion. Laboratory tests have shown that any greater proportion than this produces a heavy, small loaf.

Potato flour or mashed potato can be used to extend the wheat, it being possible to work in almost 50 per cent. of potato, but this makes a darker and moister loaf than when wheat alone is used. In order to take care of this [pg 14] moisture, it is best to reserve part of the wheat for the second kneading.

Graham and entire wheat flour also effect a saving of wheat because a larger percentage of the wheat berry is used. Graham flour is the whole kernel of wheat, ground. Entire wheat flour is the flour resulting from the grinding of all but the outer layer of wheat. A larger use of these coarser flours will therefore help materially in eking out our scant wheat supply as the percentage of the wheat berry used for bread flour is but 72 per cent. Breads made from these coarser flours also aid digestion and are a valuable addition to the dietary.

In order to keep down waste by eliminating the poor batch of bread, it is necessary to understand the principles of bread-making. Fermentation is the basic principle of yeast bread, and fermentation is controlled by temperature. The yeast plant grows at a temperature from 70 to 90 degrees (Fahrenheit), and if care is taken to maintain this temperature during the process of fermentation, waste caused by sour dough or over-fermentation will be eliminated. When we control the temperature we can also reduce the time necessary for making a loaf of bread, or several loaves of bread as may be needed, into as short a period as three hours. This is what is known as the quick method. It not only saves time and labor, but, controlling the temperature, insures accurate results. The easiest way to control the temperature is to put the bowl containing the dough into another of slightly larger size containing water at a temperature of 90 degrees. The water of course should never be hot. Hot water kills the yeast plant. Cold water checks its growth. Cover the bowl and set it in the gas oven or fireless cooker or on the shelf of the coal range. As the water in the large bowl cools off, remove a cupful and add a cupful of hot water. At the end of one and one-half hours the [pg 15] dough should have doubled in bulk. Take it out of the pan and knead until the large gas bubbles are broken (about ten minutes). Then place in greased bread pans and allow to rise for another half hour. At the end of this time it will not only fill the pan, but will project out of it. Do not allow the dough to rise too high, for then the bread will have large holes in it. A good proportion as a general rule to follow, is:

3½ cupfuls of flour (this includes added cereals)
1 cupful of water or milk
½ tablespoon shortening
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cake of compressed yeast
In this recipe sugar has been omitted because of the serious shortage, but after the war a teaspoon of sugar should be added. The shortening, although small in quantity, may also be omitted.

These materials make a loaf of about one pound, which should be baked in forty to fifty minutes at a temperature of 450 degrees (Fahrenheit). Allow a little longer time for bread containing oatmeal or other grains. Such breads require a little longer baking and a little lower temperature than wheat breads. If you do not use a thermometer in testing your oven, place a piece of paper on the center shelf, and if it browns in two minutes your oven is right. If a longer period for raising is allowed than is suggested in the above recipe, the yeast proportion should be decreased. For overnight bread use one-quarter yeast cake per loaf; for six-hour bread, use one-half yeast cake per loaf; for three-hour bread, use one yeast cake per loaf. In baking, the time allowed should depend on the size of the loaf. When baked at a temperature of 450 degrees, large loaves take from forty-five to sixty minutes, small loaves from thirty to forty minutes, rolls from ten to twenty minutes.

It is well to divide the oven time into four parts. During the first quarter, the rising continues; second quarter, browning begins; the third quarter, browning is finished; [pg 16] the fourth quarter, bread shrinks from the side of the pan. These are always safe tests to follow in your baking. When baked, the bread should be turned out of the pans and allow to cool on a wire rack. When cool, put the bread in a stone crock or bread box. To prevent staleness, keep the old bread away from the fresh—scald the bread crock or give your bread box a sun bath at frequent intervals.

Even with all possible care to prevent waste, yeast breads will not conserve our wheat supply so well as quick breads, because all yeast breads need a larger percentage of wheat. The home baker can better serve her country by introducing into her menus numerous quick breads that can be made from cornmeal, rye, corn and rye, hominy, and buckwheat. Griddle cakes and waffles can also be made from lentils, soy beans, potatoes, rice and peas.

Do not expect that the use of other cereals in bread-making will reduce the cost of your bread. That is not the object. Saving of wheat for war needs is the thing we are striving for, and this is as much an act of loyalty as buying Liberty Bonds. It is to meet the crucial world need of bread that we are learning to substitute, and not to spare the national purse.

Besides this saving of wheat, our Government also asks us to omit all fat from our yeast breads in order to conserve the diminishing fat supply. This may seem impossible to the woman who has never made bread without shortening, but recent experiments in bread-making laboratories have proved that bread, without shortening, is just as light and as good in texture as that made with shortening—the only difference being a slight change in flavor. These experiments have also shown that it is possible to supply shortening by the introduction of 3 per cent. to 5 per cent. of canned cocoanut or of peanut butter, and that sugar may also be omitted from bread-making recipes. In fact, the war is bringing about manifold interesting experiments which prove that edible and nutritious bread can be made of many things besides the usual white flour.

The recipes herewith appended, showing the use of combinations of cereals and wheat, have been carefully tested in The Forecast School of Modern Cookery. Good bread can be made from each recipe, and the new flavors obtained by the use of other grains make a pleasing and wholesome variety.

A family which has eaten oatmeal or entire wheat bread will never again be satisfied with a diet that includes only bread made from bleached flour. Children, especially, will be benefited by the change, as the breads made from coarser flours are not only more nutritious, but are rich in the minerals and vitamin elements that are so essential to the growth of strong teeth, bones and growing tissues.

The homemaker, too, will never regret her larger acquaintance with bread-making materials, as the greater variety of breads that she will find herself able to produce will be a source of pleasure and keen satisfaction.

To Conform to U.S. Food Administration Regulations During the War, Eliminate Fat and Sweetening in Breads—Whenever Fat Is Used, Use Drippings

1 2 3Next page


Social media scholar. Troublemaker. Twitter specialist. Unapologetic web evangelist. Explorer. Writer. Organizer.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button