Pioneer Recipes: Hand-Mixed Bread

June 29, 2017  - by 
How to make hand-mixed bread that's been passed down for generations.

This handwritten bread recipe is still used today and evokes fond memories of helping
Grandmother mix bread by hand. It makes 4 loaves.


  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 yeast cakes (or 7–8 teaspoons dry yeast)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 14 cups flour


In a large mixing bowl, place the yeast cakes in the warm water, and let them sit for 5 minutes. In a large saucepan, mix the milk, salt, sugar, and shortening. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add 8 cups of flour to the mixture, and mix well. Add the mixture to the yeast and water mixture, and mix well. Then add the remaining 6 cups of flour, and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Mix again for another 15 minutes.

Put the dough into a greased bowl, and let it rise until doubled. Knead it again, and turn it over. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours. Shape into 4 loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Let rise for another 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 450° F. Then turn the oven down to 375° F, insert the loaves, and bake for 45 minutes.

Food has a way of bringing the family together and carrying the emotions of family memories with it. Learn more about your pioneer ancestry and gather the family to try some of these historic recipes and to bring a taste of what life was like for your pioneer ancestors into your home.

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