100 year old WEIRD baking hacks | How To Cook That Ann Reardon

100 year old WEIRD baking hacks | How To Cook That Ann Reardon


Welcome to How To Cook That I’m Ann
Reardon and today we’re looking at baking hacks from 100 years ago! I was
looking through this really old cookbook that belonged to my great-grandmother and
I asked my mum if I could borrow it. Let’s start by looking at some of the
kitchen maxim’s as they call it … some of these are just common sense like clear as you
go muddle makes more muddle! Good advice not one I always stick to. Others are
well how would you put it a bit strange! wash a saucepan but clean a frypan with
a piece of bread. Really? Let’s have a look when did paper towels become common?
1930s so close we’ve got to wait another eight years to get paper towel in their
grocery store. When the washing up is over wash the tea cloth as it saves the
cloths and cleanses the hands. This book actually has a whole page about laundry
work which is really interesting Check out a hand-cranked washing machine
and if you were rich enough at this stage you might have had an early-model
electric washing machine. We are so blessed now we just chuck everything in
the washing machine no need to wash the teatowel after you’ve done the dishes.
Let’s move from the laundry to cakes. The first tip here says the cake should
be placed in the oven as soon as possible after the eggs and milk have
been added … if allowed to remain too long the cake will become heavy. To test this
advice we’re going to make the plain cake from this book which has
ingredients such as flour and baking powder and good beef dripping! There is a
recipe in this book for how to make beef dripping so we’re going to have to make
that first. Go to your butcher and ask for the beef fat from around the kidneys
and chop that finely. Nothing was wasted back in this time, you have to remember
this is not long after World War one when food was very short. Butter was
still rationed right up until 1920. Because we do now have an abundance of
electrical appliances I’m going to actually use the mincer attachment on my
mixer to chop this really finely for me. The more finely you chop it the
quicker it’s going to break down when you do the next step. Add to the fat two
times the amount of water by weight and heat that up over a low heat until all
the fat has melted which as I said won’t take long if you’ve used the mincer and
made it really fine. Then strain that through a sieve into a
bowl and leave it to cool and the fat will come up to the top and set. You just
get rid of the water that’s in the bowl but take the fat off the top and it says
you want to reheat that to evaporate any water that might be still in that fat
and that takes about 15 minutes just letting it bubble slowly and then you
can let that set again. If you put that beef dripping into the fridge it sets up
really quite hard so I’m gonna have to let that soften a little bit now up to
room temperature so that I can use it. put the flour and the baking powder
together in a basin and stir these together and I’ll put all these recipe
quantities on the howtocookthat.net website for you in case you want to make
some of these hundred-year-old cakes as well and there’s a link to that below.
Then rub in the dripping it’s gonna take me a while because it’s still quite hard
but I’ll get there eventually. there we go that’s all rubbed in, then it
says add the sugar caraway seeds and peel (it’s not a very “plain cake”) and
the milk and beat that all together very thoroughly until the ingredients are all
well mixed. Grease a tin and put the cake mixture in. This is a really really thick
cake mixture so I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to see if it’s going heavy
by leaving it out but we’ll try anyway it says to bake from one-and-a-half to
two hours. I’m putting just the one of them in the oven straightaway and the
other one I’m going to leave on the bench for thirty minutes to see if
waiting makes it heavy. This is the one that went straight into the oven and
this is the one that I left on the bench. there may be a slight difference but
really not a lot and that could be because it started as such a heavy cake
in the first place or it could be because we have double acting baking powder now …
it starts bubbling while it’s sitting on the bench and then bubbles even more
when it’s in the heat of the oven. The flavor doesn’t really taste it beef but
it definitely has a slightly savory flavor to it you can tell there’s
something different – if you had butter or margarine in it. The beef dripping
could actually be quite nice in savory pastries but given the choice I wouldn’t
use it in cakes again. Next if you have unused crusts place them on a baking
tray in the oven and then grate them to make bread crumbs. Next we have two cake
hacks to stop a cake from browning. It says when the oven is very hot and the
tops of the cake are taking on too much color cover them with a sheet of kitchen
paper and to prevent the bottom of a cake subjected to long cooking from
burning the tin should be stood on a baking sheet covered with a layer of
sand! Interesting 🧐Okay for the Victoria cake it says we need to stir the sugar
and the yolks of eggs together until thick and creamy, then add the melted
butter. Pass the flour baking powder and a good pinch of salt through a sieve.
Stir lightly into the rest of the ingredients and add milk by degrees
until the mixture drops readily from the spoon. It actually doesn’t give a
quantity for the milk so I’m just adding it and mixing it in and I think that
drops readily from the spoon do you think that looks right? Now it says to
whisk the whites of eggs stiffly this is going to take a while let me just put
this in fast-forward… There we go gee that’s hard work hand
whisking. Stir them in as lightly as possible and pour the preparation into a
well greased tin. Now we don’t have any sand at our house so I’m just going to
have to use soil and this soil is a little damp for the purpose of
experimenting but just so you know what I had to start with. That looks just
wrong we’re having soil around the cake but I guess it’s not actually touching
so we’re all good for food safety there. and then we’re gonna put a sheet of
baking paper on top and pop that in the oven for 20 minutes. This is the one that
I baked without the baking paper on top and this is the one that had baking
paper on top so the hack actually worked for stopping the top of the cake from
browning. Then if we flip it over this one was the one that was baked normally
and this one had the tray of dirt ta-da! Look at that a genius 100 year old hack
that I’ve never heard of before! That’s actually awesome for layered cakes
because you don’t have a browned base or a browned top when you’re layering them
up. I like it and give me that one thumbs up 👍🏻 The next hack says always close the
oven door gently and open it as little as possible… I remember my mum used to
tell me this too but I’ve never actually tested it before. So we’re going to make
the sponge cake it says separate the yolks from the whites put the former
into a saucepan with the sugar and beat them and let them remain over the fire
until warm … keeping them well stirred. then it says whisk the whites of the
eggs into a very stiff froth. Now I know a hundred years ago they didn’t have
electric mixers yet but I’ve already hand whisked one lot of egg whites today
and that’s gonna do 💪 Then it says stir them into the other ingredients and beat
well for about half of an hour! I am not joking that’s what it says beep well for
half of an hour I’m so glad I’ve got my electric mixer because I reckon it will
be done in about 5 minutes. Then take out the whisk sieve in the flour and mix it
lightly together. put it into a greased mold dusted out
with a little finely sifted sugar and flour and bake the cake in a quick oven.
It’s been in there for about five minutes now and I’m gonna open the oven
and slam it shut a few times and just one more and we’ll see what happens. It
looks like it didn’t really drop at all it seems to be rising fine.
I imagine the modern-day ovens are a lot better at recovering the oven
temperature than it would have been if you had one of the older ovens. This next
one made me laugh when you were done peeling onions wash the knife at once
and put it away to be cleaned. Do not use it for anything else unless it has been
cleaned. Nothing is nastier or more indicative of
a slovenly and untidy cook than to use an oniony knife in the preparation of
any dishware the flavor of an onion is a disagreeable surprise. Thrusting the
knife once or twice into the earth will take away the smell. I’m worried the
rocks in the earth are going to blunt my knife and now it smells of soil!
If a loaf is rather stale it can be freshened by being enclosed in a large
biscuit tin and warmed through in a gentle oven. That seemed to work I like
warm bread I’d like to warm up any bread it makes it a bit more yummy. Next it
says a spoonful of vinegar will set a poached egg.
Let’s test plain boiling water first give that a stir to make a whirlpool
then add the egg into the center and you can see the white is getting quite
feathery and thin and there are little bits of white floating around in the
water if I pop that on some toast you can see it hasn’t really encased the
yolk. Now let’s get some fresh water bring that to the boil and add some
vinegar in give that a quick swirl and then add in the egg and look at that
it’s setting up really fast. The acid in the vinegar actually helps the egg white
to coagulate quickly so it not as feathery. It’s surrounding the yoke
it looks beautiful that hack works a treat and I know chefs
today still use that one 🥚 Subscribe to HowToCookThat, turn on the
bell 🛎 and select ‘all’ to be notified of new videos. Click here for more olden
days cooking here for more minis and here for chocolate. With thanks to all my
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on over to patreon/h2CT and check out their rewards there. Make it a
great week and I’ll see you next Friday!

100 thoughts on “100 year old WEIRD baking hacks | How To Cook That Ann Reardon”

  1. Today when I was listing everything I felt grateful in the day I thought of you and all your videos! Just popped into my mind "Ann Reardon!" A great addition to my gratitude journal 🙂

  2. I had a hand washer. I had to crank it when I was a kid. And me and my brothers would use the wringer to "dry" our clothes. I'm 19 😬

  3. Wow at the soil/paper technique. I used to love the crusty edges of cakes, but as I got older Ive found I dont anymore. Thts interesting to see it didnt brown the outside of the cake, but Im wondering if its still really soft too! That would be great for a crust-less-esque cake

  4. Anne i think you misunderstood the first tip about the fry pan. I dont think they mean to literally use a slice of bread to clean it instead of washing. I think what they mean is after you have cooked in the fry pan, wipe it out with a piece of bread to get all the goodness remaining and then eat the bread so that you are not throwing away the goodness left in the pan.

  5. 2:01 That's suet, not dripping! suet is the hardened fat from around the kidneys, dripping is the fat that "drips" off a roasting joint – the stuff you scoop off the top of your stock once it hardens. It used to be used in place of butter by frugal families.

  6. Can you please bring back the top ten recipes like the marshmellow one but this time can you do top ten nuts recipe please it just bring back memories

  7. When I saw Mrs Beeton I cringed. Most of her recipes were plagiarised and the rest were made up, like how long to boil things for. (Pasta for an hour and a half!) Publications like this from the Victorian era are a reason we now have "boring white people" food. They told people to boil the ever loving hell out of everything and rely on the fancy new bottled sauces to add flavour.

  8. the bread was used because bread soaks up grease. soap isn't good on pans so you season it by wiping it with a tissue. or bread if you're in the 1920's

  9. "i've already whisked one lot of egg whites today and thats gonna do" dont worry, no one blames you, you did better then most would even consider

  10. I already knew about the "be gentle with the oven" thing, as we had a really old oven when I was a child. If you ever so slightly bumped that oven while baking the cake would fall flat…nevermind opening the door!

  11. I think this sort of thing is really neat – great video! Our ancestors wanted to lighten their workloads just like we do, which I find interesting 🙂
    I would like to make one comment about the "heavy cakes" which you didn't mention. A lot of milk in that era was not homogenized as it is today, and some people would probably have used raw milk. The cake may have had problems if the milk separated a bit before baking. My guess is that the bottom may have been heavier or stickier in that case. Just a theory though.

  12. 7:56 For the very little it's worth, regarding the extreme beating time after adding the egg yolks [sorry, this got a bit rambly]: My family is of Danish extraction, and every Christmas until her death, my great-grandmother would make the traditonal citron fromage dessert. My family never thought to write the recipe down before, unfortunately, she'd started to suffer from dementia, and the recipe she dictated from year to year fluctuated wildly. I had terrible trouble trying to follow any version of her recipe and get a product that didn't separate. But… my father, a professional baker, and one of my step-brothers spent several years working on the recipe, figuring out how to "repair" it, and finally managed to come up with a recipe that everyone in the family agreed tasted just right, and not only worked reliably, but, unlike any of my great-grandmother's versions, could also be scaled up or down reliably—we had a big family, all of whom loved the dessert, so she made it in bulk! (And sure, we could've just thrown away my family's traditional recipe and looked up a modern version online, but where's the fun in that?!) One of the things my dad and step-brother learned was that the whipped egg yolks had to be absolutely perfectly blended with the added sugar—if you could taste/feel any 'grittiness' in them, they weren't done… and even with modern electric mixers they still take a darn long time to combine fully!

  13. Great How to video, I am also creating how to video about make money off the stock market and teaching about how to trade stock and your video gave me a idea, thank you 🙂

  14. My mum uses vinegar in her water to poach eggs, it's actually a really clever tip. They knew what was up 100 years ago.

  15. I'm still trying to figure out the difference between washing a knife and cleaning it. But I don't think I want to try stabbing the ground with it. I'd rather wash it and take the chance on the onions if soap and water is, for some bizarre reason, unable to deal with the residue.

    I'm not sure I'd really want to put garden soil in a hot oven, where the heat might release heaven-knows what substances, like insecticides and cat pee, into the air to get into the food. If anyone really likes this hack, I would recommend going down to the local builders supply store and picking up a bag of sterilized sand sold for use in filling children's sand boxes. I know this is readily available and very cheap in the U.S. and I assume it would be the same down under.

  16. The point about 'a bit of bread' was not wasting the fat in the frying pan. The fat would have been pork or beef and would have been super-tasty. It was common to dip bread in pork dripping. Since animal fat has been vindicated both as healthy and as an aid to weight loss, this is a good hack.

  17. Very cool hack with the egg at the end! I cant wait to try that one & the bread crumb hack!🍳🍞👍🍽💖Thats some great history yall have in that recipe book😎📙📜

  18. My grandma had a hand cranked wash machine out back near the garage. I always liked to run stuff through the rollers! These days I wish I had one of these. Worked better than my current machine. Just need grandkids to "play" with it for me!

  19. OMG THE WHIRLPOOL… THAAAAAATTTTTS WHY MY POACHED EGGS SUCK! never thought of that! You're the best! Thanks for the vinegar tip too!

  20. I wonder what kind of a person would look at an egg white and decide to start beating it for half an hour for no good reason.

  21. Regarding not slamming the oven door, we had to be careful of that because we have a gas oven, and slamming the door could potentially snuff the pilot light, preventing the oven from lighting properly (and dumping the natural gas into the oven until you realized it didn't actually light…). Though it also makes sense that some dishes will not react well to receiving either a physical or temperature shock from a rapidly closing oven door.

  22. Just wanna say im your biggest fan haha i've been watching you since im 5 yrs old lol. For like almost 7 years😂

  23. Oh god, my mum has an old cookbook from way back when and everything is in 'dollops' and 'pinches' SAVE ME, STANDARDISED MEASUREMENTS

  24. The crust "trick" at 4:50 is what I use all the time, except I don't bother drying it in the oven. Old pieces of bread I just break apart a bit and let them sit in a bowl so they dry out, then I jsut use an almond grinder to mash them up.

  25. I suspect "clean a frypan with bread" at the start is for wiping out a cast iron pan, not modern stainless, hence the distinction. Soaks up any excess fat you're not draining off and saving and any burnt crumbly bits that would burn in the next use. Better than soaking your washcloths in hard to clean grease! And you can eat the bread.

  26. I’ve done something similar to bread to revive it. You just run it under the water and then pop it in the oven on a low temp (“warm” setting or 300f) and cool for a little 7-10 minutes, depending on how wet it got and if the inside/cut side of the bread got wet. It honestly works wonders!

  27. I'm late and this came across my recommended tabs, but I want to add that a lot of these hacks you've used, my mother still uses! And they do work, why fix what isn't broken?

  28. I got triggered at the knife smell hack.
    When stabbing the earth, did you also have to stab your plants?
    Still loved the video though!

  29. The tip for cleaning a knife right after cutting onions – before stainless steel, knives soaked up flavors in much the same way that cast iron can. Sticking the knife into soil is a new one on me.

  30. Hi Ann. Could you please make a Jewellery box cake? I’ve seen many of your tutorials and I like the way you show everything in detail.

  31. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you've never made beef tallow. It is wonderful for cooking with to enhance red meat dishes. Note, only use the fat from around the kidneys for making tallow. You also want to remove as much of the red meat from it, leaving only the fat.

  32. It's worth pointing out the original version of this cookbook is now over 150 years old (and was arguably even weirder!). I'm sure that version had some revisions but there's probably still recipes in there that haven't been changed much since the 1860's.

  33. Don't bake it with soil, it's gonna smell of soil… sand is much cleaner than soil… Plus soil can caught on fire in oven (yep, I actually did bake soil when our flowers caught some sickness and the soil needed to be sanitised, and our oven caught on fire). Use sand, not soil.

  34. Ann You should make a Stardew Valley cake! You could do a cake that’s the chicken from the exit button on the main menu! If you don’t want to it’s ok or if you don’t know what Stardew Valley is it’s a farming RPG game where you can get married, explore caves, farm, decorate, upgrade your house, raise animals, restore the old community center by getting certain items and putting them in certain bundles with after you complete all the bundles in a set it restores a certain area of the community center! There is also lots of secret lore and Easter eggs to find, but It’s not like I’m forcing you to play the game or even do the cake I’m just making a suggestion! Sorry this comment is so long and I hope it didn’t take forever to read! Thank you for all the things you do!

  35. this is so cool! you should definitely look into preserving the cookbook by scanning it or typing it up or something

  36. wow! i feel like i need a baking sand container to go next to my baking rice 😀 also so glad that you mentioned that chefs still use the vinegar for poaching eggs tip. It feels like common knowledge to me and i'm surprised every time people don't know about it.

  37. Making beef dripping? Have never heard of such a thing. You just pour it out of the pan after a roast and put it in the jar in the back of the fridge. You were using suet which is great in a lot of baking.

  38. That poached egg looked delicious. Now I have to have some. I enjoyed your video and will check out your collection.

  39. I was waiting on you to whip out your wood burning cook stove like these recipes are written for 😅 We actually have one in our house but I've never used it (there's an induction range /convection oven right beside it so never really wanted to use it – saving it for if we lose power or the apocalypse comes) 🤣

  40. That sand trick is how you keep from burning things when you bake in a dutch oven. And had you tried slamming the oven door half way to 90% done, the middle of that cake WOULD have fallen.

  41. Suet – The fat from around the kidneys from mutton or beef
    Used a lot in UK cooking recipes.

    Also, original fries were made with lard or suet.

    It's also healthier than oil in deep frying and frying since vegetable oil's can't handle the high temperature and will deteriorate and become carcinogenic (with the exception of coconut oil). That was the reason Transfats became popular for a while, since it was believed that it would avoid the problem with vegetable oils (hah).

  42. I know this is kinda late, but thank you so much for this video. That soil hack worked really well for me. I was attempting a 5 layer cake for the first time, remembered this video, and tried out the soil and baking paper hack. It worked wonders! The layers didn't brown at all!

  43. You are awesome. 🥰🤗 Thank you for creating videos for us. I love your channel. I haven't commented on your videos in awhile. Haha Hugs for you. 😁

  44. Washing a frypan with bread is something I still use to this day (I'm not 100, I'm 34…although I feel 100).
    Anyways it means that piece of bread will soak up the drippings and you can serve it as bread and scraping, crush it into breadcrumbs for soups and stew thickeners OR as a flavoured ingredient for dumplings or even stuffing for a Sundy Roast (not 'Sunday' we're proper speakin 'ere ya know?).
    It's a waste of lard to just wash it away, shame it's so common to do so now then again we use oil mostly these days.
    The slightly savoury solid cakes is excellent as a slight offset to the sugary sides of tea/coffee jam and cream.
    A great way to cut the fat (lard) is to run it up and down a cheese grater and it makes it WAYYYY easier to rub into flour.

  45. 📝📝🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍞🍽🍽🤩🥳😂👍🏻👩🏻👩🏽‍🍳🥧🥮⌚️⌚️⌚️⌚️⌚️⌚️⌚️⌚️📝📝📝📝☑️

  46. Me and my mum watch your videos all the time. Whenever I tell her you uploaded she asks for me to connect to the TV so she can watch with me. As the person I get my baking skills from, she loves your awesome cakes!

  47. The word cake means some thing different now. They didn't have refrigerators to keep things fresh, the cake needs to be dry so it will stay good longer. This kind of recipe may have been ment to eat like corn bread.

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