Grape-Nuts Bread: Add Milk and Bake

Grape Nuts bread w boxCall Grape-Nuts cereal the original health food. Created by C.W. Post in 1897, this super-crunchy blend of whole wheat and barley flours has fueled World War II soldiers on tropical missions and climbers on Mount Everest. It’s now back in vogue as a great source of dietary fiber and iron.

It’s not clear why New Englanders first decided to add Grape-Nuts to baked milk-and-egg puddings in the early 20th century. Yet Grape-Nuts pudding remains a classic at restaurants with fake wood tables and drip coffee by the potful.

Maine cookbook bleachedThe bread that I adapted from the 1950s Maine Cook Book (Picture Book Press) retains the idea of baking Grape-Nuts but creates a loaf instead of a pudding. This bread is mostly cereal and flour, with little binding it together. It’s sort of like a cereal bar without all the syrup sticking everything together. Because the texture is dry, a little bit of butter or jam on top goes a long way.

Grape-Nuts Bread [1950s]
Makes 1 loaf

1/2 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
1 cup sour milk [or buttermilk]
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted shortening [I used butter]

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Place the Grape-Nuts in a bowl. Add the sour milk and soak for 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the egg, sugar and melted shortening. Add the Grape-Nuts and milk mixture; stir just to combine.
  4. Bake in a loaf pan for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  5. Let cool before slicing and serving.
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About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers: hamburgers shaped like squares and peanut butter sandwiches. Fast forward 100 years and 500 miles north from my hometown of Richmond, Virginia to Boston, Massachusetts. Somehow, I ended up with a cooking gene as well as an interest in history and family stories. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and stories -- and other American recipes with a past. What do you have to share?
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