03 January 2019

Guildford Manchets - A British Historical "Receipt" (Recipe)

Guildford Manchets (Rolls) - A British Historical Recipe / www.delightfulrepast.com

A few weeks ago my heart was in southwest England, and I made Devon Flats. This week it moved over to the southeast, Surrey to be precise, and I made Guildford Manchets (pronounced man-chits).

Guildford Manchets are pastry-like bread rolls that date from Medieval times in Guildford, Surrey. They are flaky, buttery rolls that make a perfect continental breakfast or fit in at the finest dinner party. 

It makes me so happy to find an old ‘receipt’ (recipe) with directions like “Make the bread dough in the usual way” and imprecise (or sometimes no) measurements and turn it into something my dear readers can easily do.


Guildford Manchets (Rolls) - A British Historical Recipe / www.delightfulrepast.com


I found this one at Foods of England and couldn’t resist. I didn’t have any lard on hand and didn’t want to buy a pound of organic lard for the 1 ounce called for, so I used organic unsalted butter, which also makes the recipe vegetarian.

And, of course, bakers didn’t have instant yeast back in the Middle Ages. But I didn’t want to trouble any of my craft beer brewing friends for a bit of barm from the top of their vats, so I “made do” with store-bought yeast.

I love historical cooking, but only when it’s good! These are some seriously good rolls, and I hope you’ll try my updated version soon.


Guildford Manchets (Rolls) - A British Historical Recipe / www.delightfulrepast.com


Guildford Manchets


(Makes 16)

1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces/142 grams) unsalted butter, divided
3 dip-and-sweep cups (15 ounces/425 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons (8 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) salt

1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) milk and water, about the same amount of each, room temperature

Egg Wash: 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon water, pinch of salt*


* The egg wash “goes far” so there is lots left over; I just stuck it in the microwave for under a minute and had a scrambled egg snack so as not to waste that good organic egg--I hate food waste!

1 Take the butter out of the refrigerator. In a tiny bowl, melt 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of the butter; let cool slightly. Put the remaining butter in a small bowl and let stand at room temperature until needed. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour the melted butter, milk and water into it, stirring to form dough. It might look like you need more liquid, but knead lightly with one hand, right in the bowl, to bring the dough together.

2 Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes. Use only as much flour as you need to keep dough from sticking to the counter (I measure out 1/8 cup in advance to work from so that I'm sure to not add too much) . The dough will feel sticky, but it won't actually stick. Place flattened ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure so I can quickly see when it has doubled) and cover loosely with lightly oiled lid or plastic wrap (no need to oil lid or plastic wrap if container is large enough that the doubled dough won't reach it). Let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Note: Rising time will vary with the temperature. We keep a rather cool house, which makes for a slower rise.

Guildford Manchets (Rolls) - A British Historical Recipe (this photo of the dough after first rise and the creamed butter)  / www.delightfulrepast.com


3 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cream the room temperature butter. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Press and roll it out to a 16x8-inch/40x20 cm rectangle about 1/2 inch/1 cm thick. 


4 With short edge facing you, spread the butter over two-thirds of the rectangle. Fold the unbuttered third over the middle third, and then fold the remaining third over that. Pinch the edges to seal. Roll the dough again to the same size rectangle and fold. Repeat two more times.

5 Roll out the dough a final time into an 11-inch square. Cut the square of dough into 16 equal pieces. To shape the buns, take a square of dough and turn its corners under into the center, pressing down to seal, and form a round, flat bun. Place buns on a greased or parchment-lined 18x13x1-inch half sheet pan. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

6 Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas6. When buns have risen and are ready to go into the oven, whisk together the egg wash and brush it on the tops of the rolls. Bake them for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Note: They keep well stored tightly covered at room temperature for a few days. Reheat loosely wrapped in foil for about 8 or 10 minutes in preheated 350F/180C/Gas4 oven.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

62 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

I have never heard of those Guildford Manchets, but I know I would love them from your description...buttery, flaky, homemade buns..who could ever resist those nicely golden brown soft buns!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Angie. Went back several hundred years for these, so I'm not surprised you haven't heard of them! Great with a cup of tea.

ellen b. said...

Hats off to you for your culinary adventures! You are an inspiration. :)

Marilyn Miller said...

Now those buns would definitely go with tea. They sound delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Ellen! I always think of my mother when I'm doing my "culinary adventures!"

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Marilyn! And they're so easy.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

I also have not heard of these lovely looking rolls. They sound heavenly and remind me somewhat of popovers. I love vintage recipes {or receipts} as our southern friends call them. My, they would be lovely with jam and a cup of tea!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sandi! I had them with apricot jam and Earl Grey tea.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I believe! Not being much of a bread-chomper, I make few concessions to that traditional staple of life. But your “receipt” looks like the real deal. Seeing those wafer thin tiers in the photo of the obviously moist rolls, along with the buttery glaze and slightly yellow caste, convinces me. Real butter folded into the center of such a delicacy would be welcome on my table.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sully. Yes, real butter just makes everything better, doesn't it?! Mmm …

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I'm with you, Jean, and hate food waste! Your special little rolls look so wonderful. Thank you for sharing a new recipe with me. I do love making bread, rolls, etc.
Happy New Year, Jean!

Louca por porcelana said...

I agree with Ellen,you are an inspiration!They look delicious!Amazing display too.Happy 2019,Jean!

Margie said...

Happy New Year, Jean!

I love that your first post of 2019 includes a pretty tea set.

Thanks for the visit! The year-end round-ups would be a great way to highlight the recipes that you've shared throughout year. Some bloggers share the "most viewed" or "most commented" posts. Or you can pick your favourite (which is what I did).

Tony Grant said...

Bloody Hell Jean. "Guildford Manchets." I've never heard of them. I know Guildford extremely well though. It is sixteen miles south of where I live. It is a lovely country town in the middle of Surrey. Some great examples of English architecture over the millennia. Some architecturally attractive modern buildings included. The High Street is on a steep hill leading down to the River Mole. The Hill on the opposite side reaches up to The Hogs Back Hill. Jane Austen often travelled along the Hogs Back on her way to London and stopped in Guildford for the horses on her carriage to be changed. There is a cemetery on the side of the Hogs Back where Lewis Carol is buried.He died in Guildford at his sisters home. Guildford Castle, built just after the Norman Conquest in 1066, became a medieval hunting lodge used by HenryII and Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 13th century. There are some fantastic examples of Georgian coaching inns in Guildford which are now heritage hotels and restaurants. You would love Guildford Jean. You seem to be getting closer and closer to where I live with your recipes. We have some nice French and Italian restaurants in Raynes Park, virtually on my doorstep. Next time Jean!! Ha! Ha! I will ask in one of the bakeries in Guildford about Guildford Manchets next time I am there. Can't believe I've never heard of them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thank you. I'm sure Cissy would enjoy making these with you, spreading on that butter layer and rolling it out. What a perfect gran you are!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aawww, Maristella, thank you! I have such fun in the kitchen, if I can inspire anyone else to do the same, that makes me very happy indeed.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Margie. We do love our teaware, don't we? :D I definitely want to do one of those posts next January--2020 (doesn't that sound weird?!).

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, thanks so much for filling me in on Guildford! I'll be interested to hear whether anyone you meet in Guildford has heard of them. It *is* a historical recipe, so you might have to time travel! Wonder if Jane Austen had them there during her coach stops?

Phil in the Kitchen said...

You really are talking about my backyard now. Guildford is not much more than 15 minutes away from me and I can often be seen wandering haphazardly about there. In addition to its fine High Street, modern cathedral and castle it has many restaurants, coffee shops and bakers but I've never found a manchet for sale in any of them. I reckon you could find at least 10 or 15 different types of Italian bread for sale in Guildford but not much in the way of traditional British food. Surrey is a bit like that. I've never tried making a manchet but it really should be on my list.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Phil, I'm so glad you could fill me in on the current state of bread in Guildford. I'm glad there is such a variety of Italian breads, but I wish someone would revive the traditional British foods there. I had hoped when I first saw GBBO that it would spur on British baking, but they haven't stayed with the theme; they even had aebleskiver last season!

Jeanie said...

I may have to pass this one on to the resident baker! They really do look delicious.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Jeanie, thank you! I think your dear baker will have fun with this one!

Cheryl said...

Oh my heavens. Your Guilford manchets seem like the perfect thing for winter comfort eating . . . warm from the oven . . . slathered in butter . . .

Sylvia Lance said...

These rolls looks delicious! Thanks for linking up with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 28

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Cheryl. Filled with butter and slathered with more!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sylvia. I'm a real bread fan.

Curtains in My Tree said...


Hi Jean Happy New Year

Gosh I wonder if I could make those up for me to eat all of Them ?LOL

I think I would enjoy a trip to England

just a quick hello and thanks for stopping by my blog

Lorrie said...

These look delicious! I love reading about historical food and often wonder just what it would taste like. Modernizing the "receipts" is a great idea.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, CIMT! My life is like a trip to England. An English friend living in the US had her parents visiting from England and brought them to dinner at our house. Her mother was commenting on the dinner and some of my things and my friend said, "See, didn't I tell you, Jean's more English than WE are!"

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Lorrie. Of course, if I was going for more authentic Medieval, I might have included a bit of whole wheat flour or wheat germ to give the effect of what would have been the very finest white flour at that time (a bit rougher than what we have now).

kateonthinice said...

Interesting as here in France recette is the same word for receipt and recipe. Love food history and have a budding chef in the family who I have promised I will cook with so much more this year. Will be adding your recipe to our list. Thank you. #BlogCrusb

Pauline Wiles said...

Jean, I wondered at first glance if these are a bit like Aberdeen butteries which you kindly blogged about here:
https://www.delightfulrepast.com/2016/06/aberdeen-butteries-rowies.html
I lived in Aberdeen when I was a child so anything which resembles these treats definitely catches my interest!

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

What great looking rolls. I would love to have one right now. Happy New Year!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kate, thank you so much. I love getting kids in the kitchen! And I think you and your budding chef will have a lot of fun with this recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pauline, these are about half as buttery as Aberdeen butteries, so not quite as croissant-like. But they are very good--lots of layers, quite fluffy, very flavorful. Mr Delightful loved them and wants to have them again right away.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Gerlinde. And you can have them for lunch if you start them right now!

April J Harris said...

As you know, I love historic recipes, Jean! I have been to Surrey many times (my sister in law and family live there) but sadly I had never learned about Guildford Manchets. It's definitely my loss as they look so good! I love how flaky they are. Thank you for doing the research and sharing this traditional British treat. Pinning and sharing on the H&S Facebook page. Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope to see you at the first Hearth and Soul Link Party of 2019 on 7th January. Happy New Year!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, April. Guildford Manchets seems to be a food lost to time. I imagine them being served at feasts of Henry VIII. But I hope more people will discover, and do what they can to preserve, the historical foods of their region.

Suchot said...

Yum!! I've never heard of these but love making different things and it's a cold snowy day here, so perfect for baking!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sounds wonderful, Suchot. Nothing I like better than baking on a cold winter day!

Lowcarb team member said...

Aren't historic recipes great :)
I enjoyed this post.

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Jan. I have such fun with historic recipes!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Now those are beautiful rolls, love how they have all those nice layers to them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, thank you! Those layers *are* yummy!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

These are beautiful! It’s funny that you mention organic lard - I have just found my first source and can’t wait to make tortillas!

Kim said...

Historical recipes are fascinating. Very nice!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David! Glad you found the organic lard. I love homemade tortillas!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kim, thank you. I love history AND food, so, historical food, yeah!

Ellen Hawley said...

Those sound gorgeous.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Ellen. They are soooo delicious *and* easy!

Hayley said...

Looks delicious! #TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Hayley.

Jo (A Rose Tinted World) said...

Like you, am totally intrigued by local historic recipes. These flaky buttery buns sound gorgeous! #TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jo. I don't know how anyone could NOT be intrigued by historic food, but … !

Kitchen Riffs said...

I've never heard of these! But then, I'm no expert on English dishes, particularly the historical ones, so why would I have? Glad to make this recipe's acquaintance now, though -- spectacular looking receipt (love that spelling!). Fun post -- thanks. And Happy New Year!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, John! I have a lot of fun with historical, English (mostly) foods--taking me to another time and place.

Lucy At Home Blog said...

Oh my goodness - these look delicious! I've never heard of them before, but I do love a nice historical recipe - thank you for sharing it with us #blogcrush

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lucy, thank you so much! I hope you'll make these soon. Love #blogcrush.

Miz Helen said...

We sure have enjoyed featuring your post in our Top Ten for Full Plate Thursday this week! Hope you have a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you sooo much! I really appreciate being featured, especially since you have sooo many wonderful foods to choose from!

Craft Beering (created by the Perrines) said...

These are simply screaming my name. I love it when I encounter a new recipe like this - absolutely will try them soon!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

That's what I like to hear, Perrines! I think you're going to love them!

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