1 qt. milk
2 cups stale bread-crumbs
1 good handful of flour
1 tbs. melted butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. salt
Work the bread and milk smooth, stir in the butter and eggs, then the salt, lastly just enough flour to bind the mixture. If too thick, add milk. These are wholesome and good. Take care they do not stick to the griddle.
From Common Sense in the Household by Marion Harland, New York, 1871
Comment: Ah, the precision measurements so favored by 19th century writers! “A good handful” is defined above, but for those who insist on more detail all we can do is suggest adding the flour a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. It will most likely not take very much as breadcrumbs are incredibly absorbent and two cups will soak up a quart of milk without any difficulty at all.
It was standard practice in the 19th century home to keep a covered jar handy into which was swept any crumbs or leftover pieces of bread for future use in recipes like this one. When one’s bread is made and baked a loaf at a time by one’s own hands, one is much more reluctant to let the slightest bit of it go to waste.