Vintage Recipe~1903 Finger Rolls

This was the first vintage recipe I’ve made in a while, from this particular book.

It’s always an adventure trying to decipher what they mean. The lack of directions are alway a challenge. Here is the recipe as written in the book.

The biggest challenge with this recipe was the ingredient “liquid yeast”. I used sourdough starter. However, I don’t think that’s what they meant. I know they often used brewer’s yeast back then.

After I decided on the yeast, the rest was relatively straightforward . I made them bigger than the recipe suggested. This was mainly because I wanted to use them as a sandwich/hamburger bun. I could have easily gotten 12 out of the recipe.

Here’s the recipe, laid out in our more modern version.

Finger Rolls

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

A nice dinner roll recipe with just the basics. I used my sourdough starter in place of the liquid yeast called for in the recipe.

Credit: Annabel Lee – Good Housekeeping Everyday Cookbook 1903


  • 1 cup scalded milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup liquid yeast (I used sourdough starter)
  • enough flour to make a soft dough -about 2-3 cups


  1. Mix milk and butter together in a large bowl. When cooled, add sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. Add enough flour to make a soft dough.
  3. Knead for 15 minutes.
  4. Rise 3-4 hours, until doubled
  5. Shape small pieces of dough into balls, then into a finger long roll with pointed ends. (I decided to make mine a bit bigger, for use as sandwich/hamburger rolls)
  6. Place rolls on baking pan and rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
  7. Brush with a beaten egg.
  8. Bake in a hot oven (400 degrees) for 10-15 minutes .

Closing thoughts:

It has been fun getting back into vintage baking after so much time away. Initially, right out of the oven, these were delicious. Just so light, fluffy and delicious. However, they didn’t keep well. The next day, they were a bit hard and dry. I’m not sure I’d make them again.

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