Salt-Rising Bread, or Pioneer Bread

This old-fashioned method of making bread with a cornmeal starter is worth the effort! It's a good thing this recipe makes 3 loaves - everyone will want "one more slice"!

Photo by Julie W.
Get back to basics with home baked salt bread.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

600

minutes

SERVINGS

36

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

600

minutes

SERVINGS

36

servings

Ingredients

  • 8

    tablespoons cornmeal

  • Pinch salt

  • Pinch baking soda

  • 1

    teaspoon sugar

  • Scalding hot water

  • 1

    quart milk

  • 1 1/2

    teaspoons salt, divided

  • 4

    cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 to 4

    tablespoons shortening, butter or lard

  • Additional flour, if needed

  • Butter for tops of loaves

Directions

The night before you wish to do your baking: Put cornmeal in a pint jar. Add a pinches of salt and soda. Add sugar. Add enough hot water to fill the jar. Stir well. Cover with a lid and let stand overnight in a warm place. The next morning, combine of milk, cornmeal mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt and flour. Stir well to make a stiff batter. Cover and place the entire bowl in a container of warm water and set in a warm place. You will likely have to drain some of the water off and replace with warmer water on a continuing basis. Try to hold the temperature as constant as possible. It will take 3 to 4 hours to rise. If it is very slow in rising, you can stir it again, then place the bowl back in the warm water. When the dough rises, combine 1 teaspoon salt, shortening and flour enough to make a stiff dough. Knead 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Shape dough into 3 loaves. Grease the sides of the loaf pans well with butter, then place the loaves in pans and let rise until they are doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake 30 to 40 minutes. When the bread has finished baking, grease the crust heavily with butter as soon as you remove from the oven.

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