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Best Homemade Holiday Breads

Updated on November 17, 2012
Old fashioned wood stove and baking oven
Old fashioned wood stove and baking oven | Source

Very Old Recipes

These are all recipes that are at least a century old, passed down through generations of certain families. These are all what are referred to as soda-leavened breads, and they are best with a few tips that I will give you. Add the dry mix or the soda last. Avoid stirring the batter any more than necessary. It will remove the gas needed to raise your bread dough. Get your batter in the pan and in the oven immediately, for the same reason. For every tsp. double-acting baking powder called for, or each 2 teaspoons single-acting powder, you could substitute ½ tsp. baking soda, plus ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk. You can let the ½ cup sour milk or buttermilk replace ½ cup sweet milk or other fluid.

Gingerbread

Sift together 3 cups whole wheat flour, a tablespoon cinnamon, and a teaspoon each of clove, ginger, and baking soda. Add pinch of salt.

In another bowl, combine 3 beaten eggs and a cup each of oil, brown sugar, sour milk and molasses. Beat dry ingredients into the liquid. Pour into greased and floured 8 x 12 inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes.

Source

Chocolate Cake

Mix in your baking pan 1 ½ cups flour, a cup sugar, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, a teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt. Melt 6 tablespoons shortening and stir into these ingredients already given. Add a tablespoon vinegar, a teaspoon vanilla extract, and a cup cold water. Make holes in batter and stir. Bake mixture right away in preheated 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes.

Hobo Bread

Boil 2 ½ cups water to pour over 2 cups raisins and 4 teaspoons baking soda. Let this sit covered overnight. In the morning, add a cup of sweetener( molasses, white or brown sugar, honey, but nothing artificial). Then add 4 tablespoons of some type of shortening(bacon grease, oil, butter, melted lard, whatever you have). Add four cups of your favorite flour and a pinch of salt. Pour batter into 3 loaf pans, making each about half full. Bake at 350 degrees F for an hour. Cool before removing from your pans.

If you'd really like to do this authentically, bake in metal coffee cans. That's what the hobos did during the Depression era.

Rhubarb Nut Bread

Combine 1 ½ cups brown sugar, a cup buttermilk, an egg, ½ cup vegetable oil, 2/3 cup water, and a teaspoon vanilla extract in large mixing bowl. Beat until well mixed. Then add 2 ½ cups wheat flour, a teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt, and mix this well. Stir in 1 ½ cups finely chopped rhubarb and ½ cup whatever nuts you like. Divide your batter between two 8 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees F for about an hour.

Source

New England Brown Bread

Combine a cup each of the following flours: corn, whole wheat, and rye. Add 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt. Add 2 cups buttermilk and ¾ cup molasses. Pour your batter into a 2-quart greased container. Cover loosely, set container on a rack in a large pot, then pour boiling water in the outer pot. Fill it halfway to the top of your brown bread mold. Cover kettle with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over medium heat 3 ½ hours. Water around your mold should be boiling the entire time, and you will need to add more. Remove brown bread and mold from water, and use a knife to cut it loose from its container. Turn it upside down and release the bread. It is best hot. **Raisins are optional in the mix. If you elect to use them, use a half cup.

Real Hot Cocoa

As a bonus, my mother made this for me:

Mix a heaping teaspoon Hershey’s unsweetened dry cocoa and sugar to taste with enough evaporated milk to mix easily in your cup. Pour in hot water to fill cup the rest of the way. Stir frequently, as ingredients will separate. Guaranteed to be the best cup of cocoa that you have ever had.

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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It is always a good time to bake bread, especially when the weather so warrants. Enjoy!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Today is the first cold day of the season. Your article has inspired me to head into the kitchen and bake some bread. Thanks.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kim, I have to agree with you there. It is the perfect opportunity to get the oven going, and mebbe a pot of stew or soup, that can simmer all day.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 

      4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      There is nothing more wonderful than warm, fresh bread straight from the oven, especially on days like these when it looks like we're in the throes of another ice age!! I think it might be time to roll up my sleeves..yum!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Enjoy these, Jackie. They are certain to please.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Hey I missed this, will sure tuck it away for this winter! Thanks.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sharon, Add four cups of your favorite flour and a pinch of salt. I think I am blind, I did not see what you are referring to. The problem is with the Hobo Bread, right?

    • profile image

      Sharon 

      5 years ago

      If you read the Hobo Bread real good you will see it does say flour cup.

      Read it again.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, my gosh, Gus, you are so right! If I ever write a book, I'll need to ask you if you are available for hire to proof it. I will correct that now.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Deb - Where's the flour in the "Hobo Bread?" Needs about 2, 3, or 4 cups of the stuff.

      Gus :-)))

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Deb (aviannovice) -

      Hate to be a pest after my reading of this fine article and its old-timey recipes. However, I do have a question that none of the other commenters seemed to put in front of you...

      Where (and how much) is the flour (or other starch stuff) in the Hobo Bread recipe. Do the soaked raisins take the place of flour? Hard to envision that. I read through that recipe 5 times and didn't find anything in it except raisins, water, tons of baking soda, and lots of fat. I am not very bright about recipes, so what in the world am I missing here? Enjoyed the article very much. Forgive me for my ignorance about the hobo Bread.

      Gus :-)))

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Definitely make the hobo bread!

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 

      6 years ago

      With the holidays upon us I am sure to revisit this page and try a couple of these scrumptious delights! Thanks! I remember my Dad talking about hobo bread! :)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are very welcome, ignugent. I'm sure that you will enjoy it.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 

      6 years ago

      This is very interesting. I am curious about Hobo bread. The ingredients seems simple and I think it is easy to make.

      Thanks for sharing. :-)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sure, Connie, help yourself. That is the best potato soup recipe, in my opinion.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mycee. Glad that you enjoyed it.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I'm bookmarking this, Deb! I used to just love brown bread, so that will be the first one on my list. By the way, I made your potato soup recipe and it was awesomely good!

      Voted Up and Useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      hi deb. i always love when you write hubs like these..

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Kashmir, I actually included those for my northern friends. You like your brown bread with or without the raisins?

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Why, sure, Kathy. Don't take any spirit hunting, as you will be relieved of it. However, the ghosts might be a little more generous with answers.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hope you like 'em, Mhatter. It's good stuff.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It sure is, Brenda. I like the old recipes, myself. Makes me feel a little closer to the ancestors.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You'll be all right, Billy. Just make one of the breads.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Carol, they are. Watch out for lard and other heavy grease, like bacon grease, too. If you can use a lighter oil, like canola, it really will be better for you. Can't beat the taste with lard, though.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend great hub, love all these great bread recipes . My favorite ones are New England Brown Bread and Gingerbread .

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • kathyinmn profile image

      Kathy 

      6 years ago from Jordan MN

      Hobo bread...not that's a blast from the past! I haven't had that in years! I remember that it tasted soooooo good we never got enough of it. Thanks for the reminder on how to make it

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      History meets recipe. I was unfamiliar with all these breads. Thank you.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Rhubarb bread! Well that is a new one for me. I shall ask my elderly friend Ruby about it. She might have an old recipe also. If not I will make this one for her. Thanks so much. I love finding new recipes and bread is always wonderful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have not heard of hobo bread in years; quite popular when my parents were kids, and that's how I originally heard of it. My grandma used to make it and it was pretty darn good.

      Is there a better smell in life than homemade baked bread right out of the oven. I am drooling now, Deb; thanks a lot! :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Lots of good holiday fare here. Love these breads and the recipes seem straightforward and easy enough. Thanks for sharing all this.

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