New Years' Cakes

Original Recipe

Take 14 pound flour, to which add one pint milk, and one quart yeast, put these together over night, and let it lie in the sponge till morning, 5 pound sugar and 4 pound butter, dissolve these together, 6 eggs well beat, and carroway seed; put the whole together, and when light bake them in cakes, similar to breakfast biscuit, 20 minutes.

                                     From American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1796

Modern Adaptation

6-8 cups of sifted flour
2 cups of milk (warmed, not hot)
1 tsp. (two packages) yeast
1 cup white sugar
8 oz melted butter
2 well-beaten eggs
4 tbsps. caraway seed (or more, to your taste)

Put 4 cups of sifted flour in a bowl. Add warm milk and yeast and blend together. Let sit until yeast froths. Add sugar and melted butter and mix together thoroughly. Add the beaten eggs and then whisk in another cup of flour to the mix and blend well. Add caraway seeds. Add more flour if necessary to make it a dough. Gently knead the dough until it pulls away from your hands cleanly. Let it rise in a bowl in a warm place for an hour. Take the dough and break it up into 3 inch spheres. Place them, flattened, onto a greased baking sheet and put them in an oven at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown and risen. It is similar to a modern scone. Happy New Years!