Scald a cup of milk and add three tablespoons of sugar with one-half teaspoon of salt. When the right temperature (lukewarm), add a yeast cake softened in a little warm water. Too much water prevents the yeast mixing evenly. Add the stiffly beaten white of an egg and enough flour to knead. Knead well, using the palms of the hands and pushing it from you on the board with a sliding motion. When it is smooth and satiny to the touch, keeps its round shape, and does not stick to the board or hand, it is ready to be placed in a clean oiled bowl. Knead in all the flour that will be needed at this time, if not, the yeast will have no opportunity to raise it sufficiently. On the other hand, use no more than is absolutely necessary. Flours vary and for this reason no definite quanitity can be given. Cover tightly in order that no crust need form. When it is double in bulk, knead again with just enough flour to keep it from sticking. Then roll with a heavy rolling pin until about a quarter of an inch thick. Cut with a medium-sized biscuit cutter.
To shape the Parker House rolls, spread each biscuit with a very thin layer of butter, then with a case-knife crease through the center, fold over and press the edges closely together. Do not butter the baking tin, and place them far enough apart to prevent their touching, even after they are raised.
Roll the biscuits between the palms until from eight to ten inches long, of uniform size and with well rounded ends. Let them rise; bake and serve these breadsticks with soup or the salad. Brush three sticks lightly with melted butter and braid loosely. Two sticks twisted make another variation. In twisting or braiding allow plenty of room for the dough to rise, otherwise the distinctive shape will be lost. Shape others like a horseshoe, using a plain breadstick, and tie sailors’ or true lovers’ knots; both of these latter are effective.
“Pocketbooks” need an oblong piece of dough cut with one end pointed. Brush with melted butter and fold in thirds, leaving the pointed end on top. Press firmly together at the point. When baked they should open like a pocketbook in three crisp folds.