This section is from the book "Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery And Meat Substitutes", by Sarah Tyson Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery And Meat Substitutes.......
This recipe will answer for Parker House rolls, tea rolls, tea biscuits - in fact, any small light roll. It may also be made into Vienna rolls. The manipulation and baking of all these are practically the same.
Scald a pint of milk; add to it, while hot, four tablespoonfuls of butter, a half teaspoonful of salt and two tablespoonfuls of sugar. When lukewarm, add one compressed yeast cake moistened in a half cupful of lukewarm water, or you may add two dry yeast cakes that have been made into a "starting" sponge. Add three cupfuls of flour, beating all the while. Then add sufficient flour to make a dough. Turn this out on a board and knead continuously fifteen or twenty minutes until the dough is soft, elastic, and free from stickiness. Put it back in the bowl; cover and stand in a temperature of about 8o° Fahr. for two and a half to three hours, until very light. Then turn the dough carefully on a board, roll it out, cut into rounds, and press a knife handle down in the centre of each round. Brush one half of each round with a little melted butter, and fold over the other half, pressing it down. Stand these in a pan where they will not touch each other, cover, and stand in a warm place until very light - about one hour. Brush the tops lightly with milk and bake in a very quick oven fifteen minutes.
This dough may be made into small round biscuits a little larger than an English walnut, each biscuit put into a greased gem pan and baked as tea rolls.