Sometimes the best foods are not the most complicated. This Depression Era Bread recipe can be made with only 3 ingredients and the end result is a delicious loaf of bread that tastes amazing!
If you are looking for a way to save money, making your own bread is a great place to start. Before you get intimidated and click away, I promise you it isn’t as hard as you think it is.
The best place to start is with this Depression Era Bread.
This bread recipe only has 3 ingredients (with one optional ingredient for extra flavor). It is foolproof. I’m a lazy baker. I only bake things that are fairly straightforward and don’t add any extra stress to my life (no one has time for that). This bread recipe is perfect for that.
This bread does take a bit of time to make, but in the end, you can make 7 loaves of bread for about $2.50. That’s an awesome way to stretch your food budget! It’s not all hands-on time either so you can work on one task and then get back to your to-do list.
What is Depression Era Cooking?
During the Great Depression, many families had to cook with basic ingredients and learn to live with less. These families learned some important lessons on frugal living and limiting waste that we can all learn from today.
I love hearing stories from some of the people who lived through the Great Depression. They had to get creative in the kitchen in order to put dinner on the table and what they came up with was often delicious.
You can hear some of these stories from Clara, a 94 year old Great Depression survivor who now shares her family recipes on her YouTube channel, Great Depression Cooking.
She is a very funny lady and shares lots of stories from the time. She said, “Everything was really bad, but the food was good.” She is a wealth of information, especially to families who are struggling with their food budget in our era today. She has become so popular that she has put her best recipes in a book called “Clara’s Kitchen”.
Depression Era Bread Recipe
You can make Clara’s bread in your own home with only 3 ingredients, but the recipe I am using has 4 ingredients because I added salt. Here is the recipe I used based on her recipe and below you will find her video for making the bread.
Depression Era Bread Ingredients
5 lb bag All- purpose flour
5 TBS Yeast (Clara used cake type yeast but I used Rapid-Rise yeast)
6 Tsp Salt (optional, but I think it added flavor to the bread)
6 cups warm water (more or less depending on your dough)
How to Make Depression Era Bread
Pour flour in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center of the flour.
Add yeast to well and then add enough of the water to the well to dissolve the yeast (you can use your hands).
After yeast is dissolved start adding more water and mixing in flour until you form a dough.
Knead dough in the bowl for a bit. Let the dough rise in a warm place with a towel loosely covering the top. After it has risen double in size, punch down the dough and divide it up into 7 loaves.
Shape the dough loaves and put in loaf pans. If you do not have 7 pans, use a cookie sheet and the loaves will come out just as nice fine.
Let the dough rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Make slits in the top of the dough to make it look pretty.
Bake at 350° until it gets brown on top (this will vary a bit based on your oven).
Cost of Depression Era Bread
Flour: $1.50 (I got on sale during Christmas and stocked up.)
Yeast: about $1.00
Salt: pennies . . .
So for about $2.50 I made 7 loaves of bread. That’s cheaper than the cost of some single loaves from the grocery store.
Each loaf costs about $0.36, depending on the ingredients you use.
I served this with beef stew and it was amazing. This goes really well with soups or as a basic sandwich bread.
The bread was really good. It was more of a rustic type of bread, kind of like French bread, and worked well with hot foods. My family really enjoyed this bread. I gave several of the loaves away as gifts and they were a huge hit. What a neat inexpensive gift. They all raved about it as well.
Give this Depression Era Bread a try and get a little taste of history for yourself!
KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire RedKitchenAid KSM75WH Classic Plus Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, WhiteFleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast, 3 pk, 0.75 ozPyrex Prepware 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl SetFox Run Brands 2.75-Quart Stainless Steel Mixing BowlStainless Steel Mixing Bowls by Finedine (Set of 6) Polished Mirror Finish Nesting Bowls, ¾ – 1.5 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 8 Quart – Cooking SuppliesKUKPO Mixing Bowls – 3 piece set Includes 1.8 Qt, 3.6 Qt, 6.5 Qt, Easy Grip Handle With Non – Skid BottomWilton 2105-6813 Perfect Results Nonstick Cooling Grid, 16 by 10-Inch
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