Thursday, May 19, 2016

Light Rolls for Breakfast

Light Rolls. c. 19th c.

Recipe Provenance
This recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

Light Rolls
To 2 quarts of flour, put a pint of warm water, with a tablespoonful of lard, mixed in it, break 4 eggs in the flour & add a spoonful of yeast, mix all in a batter & when light, bake in small rolls.

About Breakfast Foods
According to the Servants' Guide and Family Manual (London, 1831), breakfast should be conducted as follows:

Source: The Servants' Guide and Family Manual,
Printed for John Limbered, London, 1831
I am particularly inspired by the suggestion to serve "varieties of rolls" and to keep things as simple as possible to avoid soiling a negligé!

Light Rolls: My Recipe Redaction

  • 2 Cups Warm Water (about 105º F), Divided
  • 1 Packet Active dry Yeast
  • 24 Ounces (or scant 5 cups) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Half Tablespoon Fat (butter or lard)
  • 2 Large Eggs

1. Measure just 1/2 cup of the warm water into a small bowl and add the yeast. Stir until blended and set aside for 5 minutes, or until bubbles start to form.
2. Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl. I always prefer to weigh my flour, so weigh it if you can! Add the salt to the flour and whisk together.
3. Add the fat to the remaining 1.5 cups of warm water and allow it to melt.
4. Add the water/yeast mixture and the water/fat mixture to the flour. Stir.
5. Add the eggs to the flour mixture and stir until well blended.
6. Cover and place in a warm spot. Let rise at least 2 hours. The dough will be very wet:

7. While the dough is rising, grease 2 regular-size muffin tins.
8. Spoon about a scant 1/4 cup measure of the dough into each muffin cup.
9. Let the dough rise for another 30 minutes. During this time, heat oven to 350º F.
10. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until light golden brown.

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