Recipe of the Week - Laura Ingalls Wilder's Whole Wheat Bread

Someone out there in the blogosphere mentioned Laura Ingalls Wilder's cookbook as a place to find frugal, tasty recipes. I have to admit, I was dubious. My interpretation of Pioneer Food consisted of lots of pork fat and gruel. Boy, was I ever wrong!

I've always had this strange fascination with anything molasses. Maybe it has something to do with my PA Dutch heritage and their love affair with fasnacht - heavy, cake doughnuts traditionally served with table syrup or molasses. Be that as it may, I heart anything molasses. Well, except that shoofly pie I made with molasses instead of dark corn syrup. That was a bit much.

So, when I saw this recipe, I started salivating like one of Pavlov's poochies!

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Whole Wheat Bread

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses plus a little
1 egg
3/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8" loaf pans (or, if you're like me and don't own 8" loaf pans, 1 9" loaf pan and about 3 muffin cups).

Measure out brown sugar, put into a 1 cup measuring cup. Top with molasses. Let it set for about 5 minutes so the sugar can absorb the molasses, and top off if necessary.

Add egg, baking soda/water, and milk, stirring well.

Sift flours, powder, & salt together. Add to wet works. Stir in raisins and nuts. Divide between loaf pans (or loaf pan and muffin cups).

Bake for about 50 minutes, until it tests done. Note - if using muffin cups, they'll be done in about 20 minutes.

Verdict: This "bread" is somewhere in the land between quick bread and brick. This is one dense cake. Maybe because there's no fat in the recipe? Nevertheless, it's one delicious, dense brick of a baked good. Schmear a slice with some cream cheese, or dunk bites in applesauce. This recipe is a keeper!


  1. Good for you, it does look delicious. Are you still making cheesecakes?

  2. Oooh! A bread recipe that doesn't call for yeast. I just may be able to do this! lol

    Interesting that it's so dense. Usually when you use even parts whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour the density isn't as....dense. :S Maybe next time reduce the whole wheat and increase the ap, or instead of whole wheat flour use whole wheat pastry flour.

  3. OH...MY...GOSH! That looks SO good. FYI...replace about 1/4c. of WW flour w/bread flour. It will take away some of the denseness - makes a lighter weight bread.

    Blessings, Kim<><

  4. You are like a Julia Childs LOL