1 pint warm milk
1/2 teacup [about 2 tbs.] butter
1/2 cup homemade yeast [1 packet or cube commercial]
1 tsp. salt
Set a sponge with these ingredients, leaving out the eggs, and stirring in [additional] flour until you have a thick batter. Early next morning add the well-beaten eggs, and flour enough to enable you to roll out the dough. Let this rise in the bread-bowl two hours. Roll into a sheet nearly an inch thick, cut into round cakes, and arrange in your baking-pan two deep, laying one upon the other carefully. Let these stand for another half-hour, and bake.
…The rule is to divide the twins, thus leaving one side of each cake soft, and, piling them loosely in the pan, set them in the oven when the fire is declining for the night, and leave them in until morning. Then put them in a clean muslin bag, and hang them up in the kitchen. They will be fit to eat upon the third day. Soak in iced milk or water, drain on a shallow plate, and eat with butter or with fresh berries.
From Common Sense in the Household by Marion Harland, New York, 1871
Comment: Rusks were once very common items which have faded almost entirely into the mists of history with the advent of commercial bread-making. When each household had to make “our daily bread” by hand, at home, with considerable investment of time, labor and ingredients, it was inevitable that some days would come on which bread could not be made, perhaps because the breadmaker was in the throes of childbirth or the like. Thus the need for a bread dried enough to avoid spoilage for several days. It did not need to be as long-lasting as ship’s-biscuit or its landbound counterpart of hardtack, but still something that might carry a traveler through a few day’s journey when circumstances did not permit the purchase of food as one went along.