I recently found some mouth-watering classic bread recipes in my grandmother’s deliciously fascinating cook book.
Faded, cracked, and dog-eared, her archive of recipes has been in my family for more than 50 years and luckily I’ve been gifted it for my own kitchen shelf.
I can spend hours flipping through its worn pages, looking at some of the recipes that were considered the requisite dishes a housewife should make at the time, from simple table dinners to suggestions on how to make a buffet service or set the table for a formal party.
There are so many great ones: how to make homemade classic bread recipes, relishes, hollandaise sauces and the best lemon meringue pie. I love every one because they remind me of all those memories of my grandmother cooking and baking for our family. I cherish the scribbled notes on the pages, knowing they were written by her very hand. In some ways, it feels like she’s still with me.
It was hard to choose what to include here, but I gravitated towards the homemade classic bread recipes. I love the idea of spending an afternoon in the kitchen baking your own loaves. It feels very old-world. When you think about it, back then they didn’t have the luxury of popping by an artisanal market for freshly-baked bread; everything had to be made with time and with love, and there’s something deeply sentimental about that to me.
I’d serve these for Sunday brunch, or as a mid-week treat with tea. I hope you try them! You would make my grandmother very proud.
Peanut Butter Bread
- 2 cups flour
- 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- ¾ cup milk (whole)
- Sift together all the dry ingredients in a bowl
- Beat the egg, then add the peanut butter and milk, blend all together well until uniform
- Add the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients
- Mix only well enough to blend the ingredients, don’t over-mix
- Turn the mixture into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes
- Cool and allow to age (which really means allow it to sit) for at least one day before serving
Orange Nut Bread
- 2 cups pastry flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
- 1 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds would work)
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup milk (whole)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Mix and sift dry ingredients into a bowl, then add orange rind and nuts
- Combine well-beaten eggs and milk, add to flour mixture and mix together until smooth
- Add cooled, melted butter – Do not overbeat the mixture
- Turn into a buttered loaf pan (8 x 4 x 3)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or longer