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Baking Powder WarsThe Cutthroat Food Fight that Revolutionized Cooking$
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Linda Civitello

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041082

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041082.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

The Burden of Bread

The Burden of Bread

Bread Before Baking Powder

(p.5) Chapter 1 The Burden of Bread
Baking Powder Wars

Linda Civitello

University of Illinois Press

This chapter shows how American exceptionalism in food set the groundwork for the baking powder revolution. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, bread was a staple food in the diet of Americans, who consumed one pound per person per day. Bread was also symbolic and connected to religion and morality. Housewives had to make their own yeast and bake bread, and were judged for it. Poor loaves were believed to cause dyspepsia, a catch-all term for any digestive problem. Pressures from Sylvester Graham and other authorities, plus variables in yeast, flour, gluten, climate, ovens, and measurements, created baking difficulties for women.

Keywords:   bread, morality, yeast, Graham, flour, gluten, dyspepsia

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