"What's that?" I hear you all say, ears pricking up in anticipation. "Bread that you can actually eat on a diet instead of crossing the room to avoid?"
No, sadly. This is Georgian 'Diet Bread'. In those days, there wasn't the phrase 'to go on a diet' like there is today. It had a much wider meaning than simply to lose weight. This recipe incorporates fennel and sage in the dough to aid digestion and, er, movement. In other words, it was a bread that helped with your general diet.
The diet-bread rolls shown were made by Pat as the refreshments for last week's lecture. She has many historical recipe books and likes to treat us to something authentic each week. This time she spread half the rolls with butter (above) and the other half with potted cheese (below), giving a completely different taste. The potted cheese was made by mixing grated cheese, butter, mace, cinnamon and a dash of sherry, then pressing the mixture into a pot before spreading. A sort of upmarket Ploughman's to go with the subject of the talk - "The Inns, Taverns and Alehouses of Georgian Suffolk"!