Call 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.
The 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]
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
- Place the Grape-Nuts in a bowl. Add the sour milk and soak for 10 minutes.
- 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.
- Bake in a loaf pan for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool before slicing and serving.