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Recipes: War Bread and Salmon Loaf

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Here are two recipes featured on American Food Roots, as part of their video series highlighting the food of World War I and its impact on American culture.

War Bread

During World War I, white flour was thought to be the purest, healthiest flour and so was saved for the troops. Many breads of the era used “thirded” recipes, recipes that included three different types of grain — a throwback to Boston brown bread. The original version of this recipe calls for 1 cake of yeast and for the bread to be baked in “moderately hot oven.” We have done the conversions for you. This recipe was adapted from “Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them,” by C. Houston Goudiss and Alberta M. Goudiss.

Ingredients (2 loaves):AmericanFoodRoots War Bread

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 6 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 6 cups rye flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Directions:

  1. Pour the boiling water into a large bowl and add the sugar, fat and salt. Put the bowl aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. When the boiled water cools enough to keep a finger in it for a few seconds, add the dissolved yeast. Add the rye and whole wheat flour.
  3. Cover and let rise until twice its bulk, shape into loaves; let rise until double and bake about 40 minutes, in a 350-degree oven.

Salmon Loaf

Fish was seen as a plentiful and economic alternative to meat. (In fact, even chicken was considered a meat alternative.) Recipes of the World War I era also assumed a certain amount of cooking skill. The original directions for this recipe, adapted from “Foods That Will Win the War and How to Cook Them,” by C. Houston Goudiss and Alberta M. Goudiss, simply said “Mix thoroughly. Bake in greased dish 30 minutes.” We have offered a bit more help.

Ingredients (1 loaf):AmericanFoodRoots Salmon Bread

  • 2 cups cooked salmon
  • 1 cup grated breadcrumbs
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoonful onion juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4-inch loaf pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a log and place it in the greased loaf pan. Bake until cooked through, about 1 hour or until firm.

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