Cinnamon Rolls From Mat

Or possibly Nat? Using a bread sponge.

Here’s a version from the May 18, 1918 edition of the Fort Wayne News And Sentinel:

Cinnamon Rolls.

Take one quart of sponge, two tablespoonful of lard, one-half cup of sugar and enough flour to make a smooth dough but not too stiff, let rise till doubled and pat (not roll) into a large sheet about one-third inch thick, spread with melted lard and sprinkle with cinnamon, roll as you would a jelly roll and cut in pieces one-half inch thick, place in pan and let rise until very light, brush with melted lard and sprinkle sugar on them and nuts if you wish. Bake thirty minutes.

The sponge instructions were printed earlier, in the March 8, 1918 edition:

Bread Recipe.

At supper time boil four medium sized potatoes, when done pour boiling water from potatoes over three tablespoonful of flour and stir thoroughly, mash potatoes and add to flour and water and two teaspoonful of sugar and add sufficient warm water to make two quarts; when it becomes lukewarm add one cake of yeast which has been soaked in one-half cup of warm water, be sure to add yeast while the mixture is still warm; do not let it get cold but do not add while hot; cover and wrap and set in a warm place overnight, never on register and never on back of stove, rather keep a little way from fire and put thick cover on to keep draughts away; in the morning add salt and about one teaspoonful of sugar, also one tablespoonful of lard and enough flour to make a batter. Let it rise which it will quickly after it is: after it is foamy stiffen it, add flour until it does not stick any more; knead twenty to thirty minutes, let rise until doubled make into loaves and let rise again until doubled and bake one hour for loaves and one-half hour for biscuits; do not put bread in oven until oven is just right heat, about three hundred degrees Fahrenheit for loaves and a trifle hotter for biscuits. After loaves are in oven about twenty minutes or beginning to slightly brown increase the heat a little and after about twenty minutes more decrease to the first heat. When risen and just beginning to slightly brown increase the heat a little and after about twenty minutes more decrease to the first heat. When risen and just beginning to brown place brown paper (not printed) on top of bread and the bread will bake well done on the inside of loaf; do not have oven too hot at first as bread will form hard crust and will not rise.

Was this before the invention of the period, or something?

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the 16th page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...
In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.

Later addendum:

[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

Cinnamon Rolls From Mat

Mix to a soft dough in morning:

2 c. of bread sponge
1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. new milk
1-1/2 Tbsp. lard
1 tsp. salt
1 egg

Let rise until double in size, roll out in thin sheet, spread butter over it and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Yesterdish suggestion: I’m guessing you’re supposed to add “enough flour to roll out.”

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