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Old November 21st, 2012, 05:26 PM   #51
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The Victorian infant mortailty rates for Glasgow that I quoted was for the year 1899-NOT 1999.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:53 AM   #52

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Yes, during WW1 the "Pals" regiments were a big thing, but they also came up with units which became known as the "Bantams", made up of little men who did not make the required height in the normal scheme of things.

I remember from my childhood the quite large number of old people who were very small. I'm from the North West of England. They were tough people, though.

A quick question about baking, if you don't mind? My hand made bread tends to come out heavy (read: like a couple of bricks) with a dense texture. Any suggestions?
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 02:30 AM   #53

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Yes, during WW1 the "Pals" regiments were a big thing, but they also came up with units which became known as the "Bantams", made up of little men who did not make the required height in the normal scheme of things.

I remember from my childhood the quite large number of old people who were very small. I'm from the North West of England. They were tough people, though.

A quick question about baking, if you don't mind? My hand made bread tends to come out heavy (read: like a couple of bricks) with a dense texture. Any suggestions?
Use proper bread flour. Start with a "sticky" dough, adding small amounts of flour until it just holds together; do not knead it too much-too much flour and too much kneading makes it too dense. Allow the dough to rise before baking. Alternatvely, buy one of those Japanese bread-making machines!
Why is impossble to but decent bread in Britain without going to a specialist independent baker?

Last edited by Ancientgeezer; November 22nd, 2012 at 02:35 AM.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 02:35 AM   #54

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Yes, I do use proper strong bread flour. From what you say, I may be using too much flour, as I have a tendency, having hot hands, to end up with two boxing gloves made of dough, so I tend to add extra flour. This may be the crux of the problem. Cheers!
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:47 AM   #55

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As someone who served a full appreticeship as a baker and confectioner 50 years ago (I became a fully fledged tradesman in 1962-I also won-in 1959- a Bronze medal for baking a well known British bread called ''Hovis'' which is still available-all this chatter about bread and foodstuffs and xmas pies which Iused to make at home for my family at Yuletide has brought a nostalgic tear to my eye.
Even though because of festive season demand between 1958-61 I had to work 12 hour night shifts between 6PM and 6Am to help meet conmsumer demand. But the paid overtime was handy for meeting Xmas/Hogmany expenses.
But to get back to the original question; even in the 1930's class in Great Britain governed nutrional levels beteen social classes.
For example, in 1935 famous Scottish nutrionist and dietary expert John Boyd Orr (Later Lord Boyd Orr) published a study of inter class eating habits and biological growth in Scotland .
Boyd Or revealed that in 1935 Scottish middle class children in Scotland wwere on average, five inches taler and 11 lbs heavier than their working class equivalents of identical age and this due to the poor diet of the Depression impoverished working classes. In the same period the vitamin deficency induced disease of ricketswhich stunted growth and deformed limbs was endemic in the slum areas of Glasgow and Dundee among the Scottish industrial working class.
Even today ne is struck by the proliferation of elderly Dundonians of both sexes who are around five feet zero ''tall and have bow legs-this is throwback to Dundee's deprived past.
In Manchester, England in 1900 at the height of the Boer War,Army recruiting medical officers reported rejecting sometimes six out of ten o the men who prersented themselves for pre joining medicals because they failed to meet height weight requirements
In Glasgow in 1999 the infant mortality rate was 200 deaths of childen failing to reach their second birthday for every 1000, live births in working class slum areas of the city.
By 1956 post Welfare State the infant motlity rate had dropped to 14 deaths per 1000 live births.
Rickests have been abolished among modern Dundonians of my generation because from 1946 free cod liver oil and orange juice was provided for every child betweeen infancy and 12 years.
But Glasgow Scotland's working class areas, even today, have the worst death rates in the United Kingdom due to much lower life expectancy.
Shettleston and Easterhouse in Glasgow(deprived areas) males have an average life expectancy of around 55 compared to 75 for many affluent areas throughout the United Kingdom-a 20 year gap.
Scotland also has the highesT U.K. death rates from cancer,-especially liver cancer heart disease and stroke in the U.K.
Finally, a question-how many of those posting on this thread have ever tasted the traditional Scottish Hogmany delicacy of ''Black Bun''?-which my fellow bakers and I used to make in prodigious quantities at this time of year?
Thank you for that interesting post which I read while eating a late brunch of boiled eggs with three slices of (your) Hovis!
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 02:18 PM   #56
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Black Dog-it sounds to me like you are not proving it long enough. In my day in the 1950's bread after being chaffed/moulded and put in bread pans was taken to a steam proving cupboard to be ''proved'' to undergo steam induced raising of the loaves until they were wet, moist and fully inflated/proved /raised.
Do you find tht when you cut the baked loaves in the middle the dough is holed or ragged and collapsing ?-that's a classic symptom of not proving the dough enough -letting it raise to the proper level.
Modern technolgy, I suspect, has probably eliminated ''proving'' but if you like, you could try A-Placing a can of water in an oven at a temperature where it will come to steam (the water) placing a properly moulded and chafed (worked by hand) loaf in its pan ABOVE THE CAN OF WATER.
Close the oven door then let the water steam up for half an hour and check to see from time to time if the dough has risen and is moist, wet .
Once the loafr has expanded thus to its normal size gently removie it then fire it the oven until ready.
Good luck!
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