Quality - Quality bread meant quality ingredients. Flour was examined for quality to see if it adhered to the hand slightly. It was also examined for color; if it was white, with slight yellowish or straw colored tint, it was a good sign. Care had to be taken with other ingredients as well.
Skill - Well trained bakers were few and far between. Soldiers took turns at baking and with no formal bread recipe to follow, results varied with the skill of the soldier making the bread. Soldiers were given little training, which was rather surprising since the army placed so much emphasis on the quality of the bread.
Diet - The bread was a staple of the soldier's diet. 18 oz of flour was rationed to each soldier a day. The flour baked down to about a one pound loaf. Because the bread was a staple, the bake house was in constant use.
Process, Preparation - The process of baking bread was important. This included warming the oven up to the right temperature; proceeding through each step of the breadmaking process carefully; the proper mixture of ingredients, etc. Each step was important in producing a successful loaf of bread.
Cleanliness - While the role of bacteria was not understood yet, the attraction of vermin to food was. Soldiers took care to keep the bread pans clean, and to clean the furniture, especially the dough trough and the kneading table. Food particles were scraped out of the cracks of the furniture regularly to discourage bugs.
Health - As a staple of army life, all the steps taken in the bakery were taken to assure that the bread would be as healthy as possible. Inspections of the bakery were done to assure clean conditions. Bread was not served until a day old, as it was believed the fresh yeast would cause digestive problems.
Theme: Because bread was a staple of army life, all the activity that went on there was done with the goal of producing as good quality bread as possible, which would contribute to the overall health of the soldier.
Talk about the bakery duty and the bread making process.
Explain why bread was so important in the soldier's diet.
Describe various utensils needed to adequately prepare bread in the bake house.
Objectives: After participating in this program, the students will be able to:
Name bread as one food item a soldier got three meals a day, seven days a week, for his entire five-year enlistment.
Give at least one reason why bread is served day-old instead of fresh to soldiers.
Give at least three ingredients needed to make bread (flour, yeast, salt, water).
List the various steps in the bread making process.
Identify at least two tools or pieces of equipment used in army bread making.
Have students engaged in various steps of the bread making process (e.g. kneading thedough, rolling the dough out with a rolling pin, forming the dough into loaves).
Resource Management/Safety Concerns:
If students are in bake house while fire is going, make sure they stay back from the fire and caution them about touching the metal doors, as they are hot.
If students are rolling dough, etc., it would be advisable to have them wear gloves to avoid the spread of germs.
Due to health regulations, we cannot offer bread to the visitors.