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The crust and the crumb of the bread differ physically and chemically. This is due to thesudden and intense heat to which the crust is subjected. In the crust the starch is rapidly decomposed into dextrine and maltose, which are caramelized by the heat, making the crust darker and sweeter than the crumb. When bread grows stale, the moisture passes from the damper crumb to the drier crust, and it is supposed that the starch undergoes a chemical change. "The whole question of staleness is one about which little has been absolutely proved.''
Cost of Baking.—A barrel of flour will make nearly 300 loaves of bread as ordinarily baked. A 10-cent loaf weighs about 1% pounds. The consumer thus pays 8 cents a pound for bread. A pound of bread can be made from about threequarters pound of flour. At 2 cents per pound for flour, it is estimated that the cost of a pound of bread, exclusive of fuel and labor, is about 2 cents, which allows a half cent for shortening and yeast. While the fuel and labor add materially to the cost, these figures verify the statement that all the combined operations of raising wheat in Dakota, transporting it to Minneapolis, grinding it, and shipping the flour to Boston or New York cost less than to bake the flour into bread and carry it from the bakery to the home.
Macaroni in its numerous forms is a palatable and nutritious food. It is comparatively inexpensive, and is largely replacing meat dishes, which are continually becoming more costly. In food value and in use in the dietary, macaroni is very similar to bread. As a rule, the harder the wheat, that is, the more gluten it contains, the better it is suited to the manufacture of macaroni. Many wheats are used, however, which are not real macaroni wheats. The true varieties are quite widely grown, and have long figured in commerce. Algerian durum wheats are exported for this purpose, and form a standard type. Not a little macaroni wheat is grown and used in South Argentina. The wild goose wheat of Canada, rejected as a bread wheat, now finds use as a macaroni wheat, especially in France. The Japanese use home-grown wheat. The metadine wheat of France is a half-hard wheat that is being largely used, but with a mixture of durum wheat. Indian and Turkish wheats are often mixed with such wheat as the Algerian. Russia grows some of the finest macaroni wheats, chiefly known in France as Taganrog, because Taganrog is the principal point of export. Some of the wheats of Italy, the native land of macaroni, are second to none. One of the best varieties is Saragolla wheat. Even the common bread wheats have been quite extensively used, especially in the United States. Such wheat, however, does not produce a high grade macaroni, and this is one of the reasons why the quality of American macaroni has generally been below that of the imported product. Austria has also manufactured a low grade product from bread wheats.
The Macaroni Industry had its birth in Naples, and before 1875 the Italian product had not yet been equaled in any other country. The Neapolitan manufacturers gained their fame on account of the excellent quality of the native wheat. The cultivation of this has long been neglected. In the main, the spread of the macaroni industry seems to have taken place during the last quarter of a century. It developed a great wheat growing industry in Algeria and Tunis. "Semolina" or "Semoule," the coarse flour from which macaroni is manufactured, has become an article of commerce beyond mere local trade. Not only has the macaroni industry developed greatly in France and Italy during recent years, but also in the Levant and in many other foreign lands. In 1903 France produced about 330,000 pounds of pastes per day, onethird of which was exported, chiefly to the United States, but also to Austria, Germany and Belgium. Italian exports go principally to the South American nations, and to a limited extent to England and the United States. In Japan, macaroni is extensively manufactured and consumed.
In the United States, the macaroni industry began with the use of bread wheats. During 1900, it became established on a durum wheat basis in North Dakota. From 1896 to 1901, about 15 to 20 million pounds of macaroni, vermicelli and similar preparations were annually imported by the United States. These imports amounted to nearly 30,000,000 pounds and were valued at over $1,000,000 during the fiscal year of 1902-3. The very finest quality of Italian macaroni is rarely exported to America, because it retains its quality only a few months, "while the commonly exported article remains good for a year." The high quality of the best Italian macaroni is doubtless largely due to the wheat from which it is made, but it may^also be due to the action of bacteria.
Process of Manufacture of Macaroni—In the manufacture of semolina, the wheat is first cleaned, which includes washing by water. Sometimes it is then dried, and moistened a second time. The water is considered essential to the cleaning, and it also aids in decortication. Special machinery has been devised for cleaning and dampening the wheat. It is milled in much the same way that soft wheat is ground into flour. In the best quality of semolina the resultant product is from 60 to 65 per cent of semolina, from 12 to 15 per cent of flour, and from 18 to 20 per cent of bran. Some of the lower grade wheats yield only from 30 to 40 per cent of semolina of an inferior quality. The miller's object is to get as much semolina and as little flour as possible. A special machine known as a "Sausseur" is used in grading the products. Semolina is not flour, but a much coarser product. As a rule, the manufacturers of macaroni do not grind their own wheat, but obtain their semolina from millers of that product. The semolina must be mixed in order to maintain a certain standard, the same as wheat is mixed in order to obtain a uniform flour. The product which goes into the macaroni should have from 45 to 50 per cent of gluten.
Before mechanical methods came in vogue, macaroni was kneaded by means of a wooden pole, or by piling up the dough and treading it out with the feet, after which it was rolled with a heavy rolling pin. By having a fire under the vessel, it was partially baked while being reduced to tubes and strips. "Modern mechanical methods are simply enlargements of the old family process by which the housewife mixed flour and water, kneaded the batch, rolled it into sheets, cut it into strips and hung it out to dry. In the modern factory the semolina is measured into a steel pan about 8 feet in diameter, within which travels a stone wheel. Water is added, the machine is put in motion, the wheel moves slowly around the pan, thus kneading the batch until it attains proper consistency. Just ahead of the wheel is set a small steel plow, to gather and turn over the mass, so that it falls under the rim of the approaching wheel, thus guaranteeing an even kneading of the whole amount of semolina measured out.'''
There are also other mechanical methods of mixing the dough. A small quantity of saffron is added to give a yellow color. After mixing, the dough is placed in a cylinder with a perforated bottom, through which the product is forced by means of a piston. The strings of paste are cut to the proper length as they issue, and are then thrown over reed poles to dry. In two hours they will dry sufficiently in sunlight, but if the weather is unfavorable longer time is required in sheltered terraces. When slightly dry, they are cellared in damp underground vaults for at least 12 hours. By this time the dough is moist and pliable again, and the poles are carried to storehouses which are open on all sides, but shaded from above. Here the strings hang from 8 to 20 days, according to the dryness of the weather. This gives them a horn-like toughness which prevents breaking from rough handling. In winter, the drying rooms are kept at a temperature of about 70° F. Thousands of reed poles bending under the weight of the yellow strings of macaroni cover the housetops, the courtyards, the narrow streets, and the hillsides of the little suburban towns about Naples. Mats spread upon the ground are covered with many kinds of short-shaped "pastas." If the holes in the iron plate through which the dough is forced are very small, vermicelli is formed. A still smaller and finer sort is called fedelini. When the holes are larger and have a conical blade inserted, tube macaroni is formed. Paste rolled thin and cut in various shapes is called Italian paste.
In producing the various kinds of pastes, there is a very slight difference in the amount of water needed. Vermicelli requires a little less than any other form. To meet competition and changes in public taste, eggs are kneaded into the paste, rice flour, corn flour and potato flour are introduced, and the juices of carrots, turnips, cauliflower and cabbage are mixed with the paste. So much is mixed with the semolina that the macaroni consists of wheat to the extent of only 1 U. S. Dept. Agr., Bu. Plant Indus., Bui. 20, p. 25.