A critical study of the chemical and physical factors involved in cake making
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There is no specific history as to how and when the first cake was made. However, it is reasonable to suppose that it developed logically from bread making at an early date, when some clever cook found that the addition of several ingredients heretofore unused in her bread produced a loaf with a new and pleasing flavor. The origin of cake making is probably almost as ancient as that of bread making, yet the development of the two processes has been unequal and along divergent lines. At an early stage bread making was reduced to its simplest terms and was understood to be a mixture of basic ingredients made according to a formula of fairly definite proportions. This was largely due to the fact that bread making was so early commercialized and that even as far back as biblical times, bakers worked according to fixed rules to meet a demand for a standard product. With cake making the process, instead of becoming more simplified, has become more complex. One reason for this fact is that cake making has never yet been successfully commercialized, partly because the materials necessary are more expensive and more perishable than those used in bread making, but probably because there has never existed a demand for a standard cake. Another reason can be found in the many different constituents used in cake making and the numerous possibilities of variation. Much the same complex condition exists with cake making in the home. The average housewife believes that there are as many varieties of cake as there are recipes in her cookbook. Since the ingredients and proportions vary with each recipe, it never occurs to her that there is a possibility of reducing all these recipes to a common denominator, as it were, and of defining the limits of variation. To her mind there is something mysterious about cake making. She must follow the recipe verbatim in order to obtain a successful result, and even then she is in no wise certain as to the ultimate outcome until the cake is safely out of the oven. If, after long practic
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