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Grandmother Bread

Posted By Suzanne McMinn On December 19, 2007 @ 9:45 am In Breads,The Farmhouse Table | 165 Comments


Deliciously simple and simply delicious, Grandmother Bread is a daily staple in our farmhouse. This is a heritage recipe, tested by time and the hands of mothers and grandmothers for over a hundred years. This secret family recipe is different from many standard white bread recipes in that it contains no milk, egg, or oil, and its very simplicity produces a bread of light but sturdy texture that yields loaves for perfectly sliced sandwich bread (the best sandwich bread you’ll ever taste! also makes excellent french toast!), plus the same dough can be used to create dinner rolls, cinnamon-swirl loaves, sweet rolls, crispies, and apple-streudel ladder loaf. Many recipe variations for Grandmother Bread are included on this site. (See links below.) And, once you’ve grasped the concept of the standard Grandmother Bread recipe, you can create variations of your own–the possibilities are limitless!

Read all about the family history behind this bread recipe here.

Never baked homemade bread before? Learn how to make bread here.


How to make Grandmother Bread:

Two-loaf standard recipe

3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour







In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Stir in first three cups of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing in half. With floured hands, shape dough into loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Tear off two pieces of waxed paper and grease with oil spray (to prevent it from sticking to the loaves as they rise) and cover loaf pans. Let rise till loaves are tall and beautiful! (About an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.)

Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Makes two loaves. Recipe can be cut in half.

One-loaf standard recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups flour

Make Sourdough Grandmother Bread

Modify Grandmother Bread as follows to convert to sourdough. Learn more about baking Grandmother Bread with sourdough starter and how to make sourdough starter here.

One-loaf sourdough recipe

2/3 cup starter
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour

Two-loaf sourdough recipe

1 1/3 cups starter
2 2/3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
7 cups flour

Follow general instructions for making Grandmother Bread above.

You can use sourdough starter in any Grandmother Bread recipe. Add the starter to the water/yeast mixture in the first step and add the baking soda along with the flour then carry on with the chosen recipe variation per instructions.

Pizza made with Sourdough Grandmother Bread. Each one-loaf recipe makes two large thin-crust pizzas.

More Grandmother Bread tips:

How to Make Homemade Dough Enhancer–for making Grandmother Bread with whole grains.
Freezing Grandmother Bread–for making Grandmother Bread ahead of time.

Grandmother Bread recipe variations:

Apple-Streudel Ladder Loaf
Cinnamon Crispies
Cinnamon-Swirl Bread
Go Savory: Whole Wheat Herb Loaf, Garlic-Cheese Rolls, and More
Homemade Hot Dog & Hamburger Buns
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Caramel-Pecan Rolls, Orange Rolls, and More
Pumpernickel Bread
Raisin Bread
Sourdough Pizza

Recipes using Grandmother Bread:

Breakfast with Grandmother Bread: Egg Grandwiches, Stuffed French Toast, Cheesy Poached Eggs (and more!)
Garlic-Herb Croutons
Shrimp Toast
Pepperoni Rolls
Tea Room Coconut Toast
The Ultimate Breakfast Casserole

Dinner rolls.

Cinnamon Crispies.

Egg Grandwiches.

Raisin Bread.

Grandmother Bread shaped in a french-style loaf with garlic and cheese.

Make more out of life. Eat more Grandma Bread!

See the Grandmother Bread Cookbook page for even MORE recipes.

Note: More Grandmother Bread recipes added regularly. Please check back! Also, feel free to ask questions about breadmaking here, or visit the forum to chat about Grandmother Bread with a bunch of fun people! Ask questions, share ideas, make friends. We’d love to see you.


See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.


See All My Recipes


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