Coffee Ring (1939)

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Fri Aug 3 05:28:48 UTC 2001

   "Coffee ring" is not in OED.
   It's not in John Mariani's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD & DRINK.  It's not in Jean Anderson's AMERICAN CENTURY COOKBOOK.
   But go to (formerly SOAR) and you'll find five "coffee ring" recipes.
   Isn't there any scholarship is this field at all?  Doesn't anybody in America eat?  Why do I give all my work out for free?  But I digress.
   From THIS WEEK magazine in the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 30 July 1939, pg. 22, col. 5:

   Finally, here is a recipe for that (Gertrude--ed.) Priester favorite--coffee ring.  In this case, however, we are giving you our own recipe which we have used with great success.

   _Coffee Ring_
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1 yeast cake
5 1/2 cups sifted flour (about)
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pecan halves
1 egg white
   Cool milk to lukewarm.  Add yeast and dissolve.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour, beat in well and allow to stand 1 hour.  Add egg yolks, butter, salt and sugar.  Beat in remaining flour to make a stiff dough.  Knead down and put in warm place until double in bulk.  Roll out to 1/2 inch in thickness, sprinkle with combined brown sugar and cinnamon and dot with a little butter.  Roll as for jelly roll, twist ends around to form a ring.  Place on greased pan, sprinkle with pecans and currants, and allow to rise until double in bulk.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) about 25 minutes.  Brush with beaten egg white which has been mixed with a little water and return to oven for about 5 minutes.

   From Clementine Paddleford's column in the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 16 September 1939, pg. 9, col. 6:

   It is a half-pint bakery in Greenwich Village that takes Edith Mckay of State Street, Brooklyn, out of her way home twice a week to buy little pies and home-made bread.  "You must go and visit that shop," she writes. (...)
   GRATIS--The coffee ring is the gift of a villager, a German, once a professional baker.  This man and his wife had a daily yen for a yeast bread ring stuffed with raisins, currants and nuts.  Nowhere was such a breakfast bread for sale.  It was bake it themselves or go without.  The former baker offered to teach the little bakeshop how to make this specialty if it in turn would keep it in stock.  For several weeks this would-be bread buyer came and made the bread himself until the village baker has it right to a raisin.  That was a year ago.  Today this ring is best seller from the bakery's bread board.

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