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York Bakery Offered Variety of Goods

Ad from 1916 York Hospital Auxiliary Cookbook
I have been having a good time reading both the recipes and the local ads in the recently reprinted 1916 York Hospital Auxiliary Cookbook. Even though there were a good many recipes for home-baked breads, rolls, cakes and cookies in the cookbook, Minnich’s Bakery didn’t miss a chance to advertise the variety of products that they would be glad to bake for you.
Small rusks are among Minnich’s offering. A previous post on bakeries in the 1856 York City directory mentioned rusks. Online research indicated that rusks were a hard, twice-baked biscuit, like zweiback or biscotti. Maybe not. A friend gave me copies of rusk recipes from a 1928 White House Cookbook. One example, given below, is for a sweet raised bun.


In 1 1/4 cups of warm milk dissolve half a cake of compressed yeast…. To this add three well-beaten eggs, a small cup of sugar and a teaspoonful of salt; beat these together. Use flour enough to made a smooth light dough, let it stand until very light, then knead it in the form of biscuits; place them on buttered tins and let them rise until they are almost up to the edge of the tins; pierce the top of each one and bake in a quick oven. Glaze the top of each with sugar and milk, or the white of an egg, before baking. Some add dried currants, well-washed and dried in the oven.

By tins, I think they mean muffin tins, so you would get a muffin-shaped bun. There is a similar recipe in the York Hospital Auxiliary cookbook and it mentions that the same dough also makes good cinnamon buns. They sound good–I might have to take up baking.
Anyone remember eating rusks baked by family member or bought at local bakeries? Were they sweet? Were they hard or soft?
The 240 page York Hospital Auxiliary cookbook was reprinted though the courtesy of the John Zimmerman family from a copy found in the collection of Kathryn W. Zimmerman. It is available at the York County Heritage Trust Museum Shop or through the York Hospital volunteer office.