The 18th Century saw the introduction of large numbers of cookery books. The national levels of literacy had increased dramatically and the standard of living had shown a significant improvement in most households but the very poorest. The population was also undergoing a shift from rural living to town living as the enclosures and the agrarian revolution cause a shift in working patterns.
The most popular of the new cook books was Hannah Glasse "The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy" 1747 (7th edition - 1803).
In 1750 the perpetual oven was a great leap forward for bakers. By placing a constant fire under the oven, with a flue around the oven, temperature could be constantly maintained. This made bread making a faster and more consistent operation, improving the safety of bakeries.
Tea and coffee were readily available as social drinks and coffee houses were to be found in all large towns. Chocolate was also sold as a leisure item. After 1760 the sandwich was considered to be the way forward in bread eating.
Towards the end of the 18th century, breakfast would be taken at 9am, afternoon tea at around 2pm and dinner at 6pm onwards.
By the end of this century, we see the introduction of bread tins. The square loaf is possible, but will not be made on a regular basis until after 1807 following Mrs Rundells advice on how to use tins for baking bread (New System of Domestic Cookery).
Download the following .pdf recipes
|Square Loaf Tin|
|Square Tea Loaf|
This part of the Bread Pages looks at the key recipes that were used in different periods of history.