Dinner or Breakfast Rolls

Method

Crumble down very small indeed, an ounce of butter into a couple of pounds of the best flour, and mix with them a large saltspoonful of salt. Put into a basin a dessertspoonful of solid, well-purified yeast, and half a teaspoonful of pounded sugar; mix these with half a pint of warm new milk; hollow the centre of the flour, pour in the yeast gradually, stirring to it sufficient of the surrounding flour to make a thick batter; strew more flour on the top, cover a thick double cloth over the pan, and let it stand in a warm kitchen to rise. In winter it must be placed within a few feet of the fire. In about an hour, should the leaven have broken through the flour on the top, and have risen considerably in height, mix one lightly-whisked egg, or the yolks of two, with nearly half a pint more of quite warm new milk, and wet up the mass into a very smooth dough. Cover it as before, and in from half to three-quarters of an hour turn it on to a paste-board, and divide it into twenty-four portions of equal size. Knead these up as lightly as possible into small round, or olive-shaped rolls; make a slight incision round them, and cut them once or twice across the top, placing them as they are done on slightly floured baking sheets an inch or two apart. Let them remain for fifteen for twenty minutes to prove; then wash the tops with yolk of egg, mixed with a little milk, and bake them in a rather brisk oven from ten to fifteen minutes. Turn them upside down upon a dish to cool after they are taken from the tins. An additional ounce of butter and another egg can be used for these rolls when richer bread is liked; but it is so much less wholesome than a more simple kind, that it is not to be recommended. A cup of good cream would be an admirable substitute for butter altogether, rendering the rolls exceedingly delicate both in appearance and in flavour. The yeast used for them should be stirred up with plenty of cold water the day before it is wanted; and it will be found very thick indeed when it is poured off, which should be gently done. Rather less than an ounce of good fresh German yeast may be used for them instead of brewer’s yeast, with advantage.

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