Munchie Monday: Puffs for Breakfast

February is National Hot Breakfast Month which provides a great opportunity to share a Macculloch-Miller family recipe for a baked breakfast called puffs. The ingredients and directions are very similar to a popover recipe. I compared the Macculloch-Miller Puff recipe with Fannie Farmer’s Breakfast Puff recipe in her 1896 The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Her recipe lists the following ingredients: 1 cup flour, ½ cup milk, ½ cup water. Mix milk and water, add gradually to flour and beat with eggbeater until very light. Bake same as popovers.

What did breakfast look like in the 1800s? First, breakfast food varied depending upon the region you lived in and your economic status. Warm porridges, oatmeal, and hasty pudding (made from cornmeal and milk) were very common along with hoecakes and johnny cakes which were also made from corn. Cold cereals began to appear at the end of the 1800s. In 1863 health reformer Dr. James Caleb Jackson (1811-1895) developed Granula for his patients at the Jackson Sanatorium in Dansville, New York and the Kellogg brothers, John Harvey (1852-1943) and William Keith Kellogg (1860-1951) invented and perfected Cornflakes to help improve patients’ diets at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. Kellogg’s Cornflakes were first sold to the public in 1906. Throughout the 1800s, hot breakfasts could include eggs, hot or cold meats, muffins, and toast served alongside the Breakfast Puff recipe shared here.

Original Recipe—Puffs for Breakfast or for Dessert with Wine Sauce
Mix 1 pint of flour with 1 pint of milk and 1 egg. Add a little salt and bake in roll-pans made very hot and half full. This will make 1 dozen.

Adapted Recipe—Puffs for Breakfast or for Dessert with Wine Sauce
2 1/3 cups of flour
2 cups of milk
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease muffin or popover pan, set aside. Warm milk in microwave. Beat egg in medium bowl. Sift flour. Add milk, sifted flour and salt. Beat with eggbeater or until very light. Heat greased muffin/popover pan in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill cups halfway with batter. Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot. Makes 9 large popovers. Serve hot with butter.

Four browned round bread puffs are stacked on a plate.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: Middle, High School, College, Life Long Learner

Munchie Monday: Puffs for Breakfast Photo Gallery

Mixed batter in a large mixing bowl. A baked puff sliced in half. Each half has melting butter spread on top.