One of the simple joys of life is the aroma of warm homemade bread when it first comes out of the oven. And, when the bread is thickly sliced and smothered with butter, it is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Though I’ve been making hundred-year-old recipes for years, I recently realized that I’ve never made a hundred-year-old recipe for White Bread, so when I came across a White Bread recipe in a 1920 cookbook, I just had to give it a try.
The bread did not disappoint. This classic white bread has golden crust, and a light and fluffy texture.
Here is the original recipe:
When, I made the recipe, I substituted a packet of dry yeast for each cake of yeast.
Here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:
2 packets dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 quart (4 cups) lukewarm water (110 – 115° F.)
2 tablespoons shortening
3 quarts (12 cups) bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Add shortening and half the flour; until smooth beat. Add salt and then gradually add the remaining flour until the dough reaches a consistency where it can be handled. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Put in a large greased bowl, cover and place in a warm spot that is free from drafts until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch dough down, then divide dough into four equal parts and shape into loaves. Place in four greased loaf pans, and cover. Let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Bake loaves in 375° F. oven for 35 -45 minutes or until lightly browned.
60 thoughts on “Old-fashioned White Bread”
Bread is so satisfying to make. I must try this one when I’m over my cold. Wouldn’t be able to taste a thing today!
I hope that you are feeling better very, very soon. I think that you’ll like this recipe.
Thank you. The recipe sounds good. I was disappointed with rolls I made a month ago. I kneaded the dough for eight minutes, as instructed. They were not good — tasted like flour. I wonder if I added too much flour to keep it from sticking.
hmm. . . I don’t know what might have caused the problem. I agree that somehow the proportions might have been off. Another thought, did you use bread flour? It might have a better flavor than all purpose flour.
Bread flour was out of reach, and I didn’t get the ladder. I must remember to use the best ingredients all the time.
I made my first loaf of bread when I was in my 20’s and this could have been the recipe! I was hooked.
It’s nice to hear that this recipe brought back some warm memories.
Love fresh baked bread – when someone else makes it! This recipe could be doable though.
🙂 This recipe is relatively easy as far as bread recipes go.
I’m afraid if I make it I will be hooked on bread making. I’ll then need a few extra hours in each day!
Ah! I can smell it baking!
The kitchen did smell nice when it was baking.
Baking bread is so therapeutic.
I love the smell of homemade bread. I made bread at least 2 times a week until I found out I could longer eat it. Now I just inhale in the bakery section of the grocery store.
At least you can still enjoy the smell. It must be hard to go from regularly making bread to not being able to eat it.
But worth it. Not eating it totally changed my health. No regrets.
Typo meant T2D
Hi AG, I know what mean about eating bread (carbs). I’ve turned my health around 180 degrees. No more joint pain and best of all no more T2G. Lovin life.
Sometimes people feel sorry for me because I cannot eat gluten and I tell them how happy I am that I figured out what was causing all my health problems. Happily gluten free!
So true, fresh bread out of the oven is such a wonderful treat. Great looking loaf! 🙂
I was pleased with how the loaves turned out.
I often bake bread but I like simple recipes. I will try this one!
If you like a basic homemade white bread, I think that you’ll like this recipe.
I bake all my bread but like one with lots of seeds and whole wheat. I am interested that shortening appears here. Growing up I used lots of shortening, but I don’t even have a can any more. I wonder when it stopped being essential.
This recipe appeared in a 1920 cookbook promoting Crisco that Proctor and Gamble published. Crisco (and other shortenings) were considered more modern and sanitary than lard back then.
I didn’t know that and am glad you told me.
I just made white bread yesterday for I needed more bread. Usually I make wheat but with Leona not feeling well I just did white. I found it interesting that quicker, stronger fermentation makes a better bread, never knew that. Nice nice to know!!
I hope that Leona feels better soon. I also found the statement about quicker, stronger fermentation making better bread interesting. I wondered if that is still the current belief. Personally I tend to prefer regular dry yeast over quick rising .
Nothing better than freshly baked bread with a couple pats of butter or to make a sandwich 🙂 Maybe I should make my bread for paninis this week!
Now I’m intrigued. I’ve never tried making bread for paninis. I bet they are really good with homemade bread.
This looks fantastic. I make all our bread. Made an olive loaf this morning.
mmm. . . the olive loaf sounds wonderful.
I made dinner rolls over the holidays using two different recipes. They both turned out just okay. I am aiming for the dreaming bread with the crisp crust and light interior. I’ll keep practising . . .
Hopefully you’ll make the perfect bread soon. Your dream bread sounds divine. Practice makes perfect. 🙂
Ah, the aroma of homemade bread is so comforting. And then to enjoy a fresh slice of homemade bread. Yummy!
I agree! Fresh homemade bread is the perfect comfort food.
Wow! 12 cups of flour must make a LOT of bread. To make one loaf, I usually use 3 cups. I love the smell of homemade bread!
This recipe makes 4 loaves. I guess that people had big families a hundred years ago, and needed to make lots of bread. You may want to divide this recipe in half to make it a more appropriately-sized recipe.
Oh my, that looks sooo good!xxx
This recipe makes a very nice White Bread.
I used to make my own bread in a fuel fired oven – wood stove.
Since I moved from that oven the motivation hasn’t been the same!
It sounds absolutely wonderful to bake bread in an old-fashioned stove. I bet that you were very skilled in the art of baking bread with that stove. I love cooking that is a bit challenging, and requires knowledge and skill.
in fact it was super easy, I’m not a cook by any means but I’d leave the loaf on the oven as it heated up and by the time the oven was warm enough it had risen nicely! Had to make three as the friends made a habit of visiting on baking day!
Everything you describe sounds lovely. I wish that I’d been one of your neighbors. I definitely would have found an excuse to stop by on bread-making day. 🙂
I used to make bread about forty years ago. Come to think of it, I was forty pounds heavier, too. Not a good thing. I love fresh bread. You make me think how I may make bread one time with my granddaughters, just to share the experience. Thanks for the memories and the inspiration, Sheryl.
You definitely should make bread sometime with your granddaughters. I bet that they’d really enjoy it.
I have already put fresh yeast on my list. I will hunt down a favourite recipe I used from long ago. I may use the one you shared, Sheryl.
I agree with you, there’s no better smell than baked bread. I do tend to cheat though and make it in a bread machine! 😊
When making hundred-year-old recipes I knead the bread; but, like you, my husband and I often use a bread machine when we make homemade bread.
My niece would love this recipe and I’d love to taste this kind of bread! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome. It’s a nice recipe. I think that you and your niece would enjoy it.
Nothing beats fresh baked bread!
I agree- Homemade bread is the ultimate comfort food.
That’s a great looking loaf of bread.
I really like good bread (I don’t care for sandwich bread). That’d be a reason the various diets in vogue which eschew bread would be a complete non starter for me.
Thank you! Homemade bread is the best.
Thanks Sheryl, Today is the 5th time I made this. Will continue making this bread as it is very easy and has a very great taste.
Thank you for taking a moment to write a note about your experiences with this recipe. I have a lot of fun doing this blog, and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone likes a recipe.
Wow this is the 24th loaf of your wonderful bread. Sad to say that because I’m carnivore I only taste the bread. The plus side is I’ve tasted the bread 24 glorious times. Now my daughter is now a believer. Many more loaves in the future.
I just noticed this comment. Wow- I’m humbled that you’ve made this recipe 24 times. This is a special recipe!