Looking for history of hand-crank bread maker

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have an old-fashioned metal bucket bread maker with a metal lid and dough kneader. A cross piece contains a hand crank that is attached to the kneader. This bread maker bucket clamps to a kitchen chair.

When we were growing up, my mother made bread and rolls with this bread maker and they were delicious! Could you find out some history on this and provide a recipe? My mother’s recipe is lost and she has dementia. Thank you for your assistance. — David Tedford, Poland.

ANSWER: Some of the first bread pails were the Number 4 Universal Bread Maker by Landers, Frary & Clark of New Britain, Connecticut. They were all the rage around the turn of the twentieth century and actually won a gold medal in the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

A companion publication, “How to make bread : but not in this disagreeable old-fashioned way,” was published in 1910 and can be viewed online: tinyurl.com/l5yv27c. The following are some directions and one of the recipes from this publication.

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One quart of liquid to three quarts of sifted flour is as near as you can make a general rule. All the liquids should be put in first, all the flour afterwards. Note, however, that some flours require more liquid than others, and two or three trials will show the housewife what slight variation, if any, from these proportions is necessary to accommodate the kind of flour she uses. The machine is large enough to allow four loaves of bread to raise in the pail.

Four Loaves.

Into your quart (4 cups) measure put one compressed yeast cake, crumbled up, one tablespoon sugar, one tablespoon salt, two tablespoonsful melted lard or butter, fill measure with lukewarm water and turn into Bread Maker. Lastly, add three quarts (12 cups) flour.

This publication assumes that the reader has their own method for rising time and baking. You could use a recipe of your own, just use the bucket’s crank in place of kneading and allow the dough to rise in the bucket before dividing it into loaves.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am the administrator for a what has become a very popular group on Facebook called “Brettuns.” This group is a place for people who grew up or live in Brettuns, Livermore, North Livermore or any of the Livermores, to reminisce about the days gone by. If anyone has any “old” school photos, family photos, photos of homesteads, historic locations or just places of interest in Brettuns and all the Livermores, please share with us. We would love to hear your stories as well. Let’s all go down memory lane together! — Carol Gordon, no town.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Friends Together Peer Support and Recovery Center at 31 Park St., next to the Livermore Falls Fire Station, will be holding their fundraising yard sale on the first weekend in June. It is not too soon to start putting suitable items aside for this event. Remember though, we do not accept clothing. If you wish to start dropping off items, the Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. Items may also be dropped off at the back door of the Center.

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