Wicked Way-Back Wednesday
English muffings from the 18th century.
For version for a 21st century cook, see Paula Marcoux’s Cooking with Fire
To make Muffings and Oat-Cakes.
To a buſhel of Hertfordſhire white flour, take a Pint and a half of good Ale-yeaſt, from pale Malt, if you can get it, becauſe it is whiteſt ; let the Yeaſt lie in Water all Night, the next Day pour off the Water clear, make two Gallons of Water juſt Milk warm, not to ſcald your Yeaſt, and two Ounces of Salt ; mix your Water, Yeaſt, and Salt well together for about a quarter of an Hour, then ſtrain it and mix up your Dough as light as poſſible, and let it lie in your Trough an Hour to riſe, then with your Hand roll it and pull it into little Pieces about as big as a large Walnut, roll them with your Hand like a Ball, lay them on your Table, and as faſt as you do them lay a Piece of Flannel over them, and be ſure to keep your Dough cover’d with Flannel ; when you have rolled out all your Dough begin to bake the firſt, and by that Time they will be ſpread out in the right Form ; lay them on your Iron ; as one Side begins to change Colour turn the other, and take great Care they don’t burn, or be too much diſcolour’d, but that you will be a Judge off in two or three Makings. Take care the middle of the iron is not too hot, as it will be, but then you may put a Brick-bat or two in the middle of the Fire to ſlacken the Heat. The Thing you bake on muſt be made thus:
Build a Place juſt as if you was going to ſet a Copper, and in the ſtead of a Copper, a Piece of Iron all over the Top fix’d in Form juſt the ſame as the Bottom of an Iron Pot, and make your fire underneath with Coal as in a Copper: obſerve, Muffings are made the ſame Way ; only this, when you pull them to Pieces roll them in a good deal of Flour, and with a Rolling-pin roll them thin, cover them with a Piece of Flannel, and they will riſe a proper Thickneſs ; and if you find them too big or too little, you muſt roll Dough accordingly. Theſe muſt not be the leaſt diſcoloured.
And when you eat them, toaſt them with a Fork criſp on both Sides, then with your Hand pull them open, and they will be like a Honey-Comb ; lay in as much butter as you intend to uſe, then clap them together again, and ſet it by the Fire. When you think the Butter is melted turn them, that both Sides may be butter’d alike, but don’t touch them with a Knife, either to spread or cut them open, if you do they will be as heavy as Lead, only when they are quite buttered and done, you may cut them acroſs with a knife.
Note, Some Flour will ſoak up a Quart or three Pints more water than other Flour ; then you muſt add more Water, or ſhake in more Flour in making up, for the Dough muſt be as light as poſſible.
(The intial transcript came from Celtnet – then I added the random caps and italics from the Prospect Books edition.
Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/glasse-wine-brewing-bread-17.php
Copyright © celtnet)
“First Catch Your Hare…” The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. A Lady (Hannah Glasse). Facsimile of the first edition, 1747. Prospect Books, 1995. p. 151.