Baking on a Victorian Stove.
Lessons in Cookery.
Just stumbled across Lessons in Cookery. The book has a unique layout because it is written not for the average home cook, but for a home economics teacher who may be teaching a class of young students.
The fascinating part about the book’s layout is that it offers a unique look at the small details of cooking in a Victorian kitchen during the 1880s. In the excerpt below, Lesson 2 focuses entirely on how to bake with a wood-fueled stove, to include judging temperature, as well as its general care and keeping.
The excerpt discusses dampers, air flow, smoke control, and coals. Technical details that have generally been all but lost to time with today’s modern ranges. Admittedly, dampers are something of scientific mystery to me. If you haven’t already seen it, the documentary A Toast to Fannie Farmer demonstrates exactly how challenging it can be to skillfully operate one of these wood ovens (our family would certainly be left eating cereal.).
I will never complain about cleaning my oven ever again. Ever. Ever. Ever.
Source: Lessons in Cookery, 1889.