Grandma Huey’s Brown Bread

I don’t remember my mother’s mother well.  She did not live close by, and she passed away when I was still quite young.  I have some things of hers, though, that help me know her just a bit:

A few photosmom's family

Some treasured pieces
GCG dishes

Hettinger crazy quiltGCG Burgess book


Her hand-written recipe bookGCG recipe book








I can tell which recipes she used over and over by the spots and stains on those pages.  So many of them have notes on them: “delicious!” “Good for sandwiches” “Flora’s best!”  My own mother has told me that the Cranberry Ice in Orange Cups was a favorite tradition for Thanksgiving.  And, I like to make Grandma’s Brown Bread.  It’s quick and moist, hearty enough to make a meal with a pot of baked beans, yet can stand alone on a pretty plate for a ladies’ tea.



½ cup molasses

1 cup sour milk

1 egg

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

¼ cup white flour

1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour  (Grandma’s recipe calls for “graham” flour)

1 cup seedless raisins (optional)

If you don’t happen to have a cup of sour milk on the counter, add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into your liquid measuring cup, then fill with milk to the 1-cup mark.

GCG souring milk

Let this stand for about 15 minutes; you’ll see it begin to curdle and “sour”.

Mix the molasses, sour milk and egg together, then add to the combined dry ingredients. GCG dry bread ingredients

Mix until evenly moist, add the raisins, spoon into greased pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.GCG mixed bread ingred



Greased round cans, filled just a little over half full, make lovely slices. This recipe will fill two round cans and a small bread tin, or one large bread pan.

GCG breads cooling

Here’s what I can tell you about my grandmother…

Family was important.  You can tell this by the way she is looking at her baby girl in the photo, the carefully kept quilt, and the well-used recipes for daily meals.She loved pretty things and special occasions.  Look at the beautiful glass serving bowl, the delicately painted plate, and remember the recipe for “Cranberry Ice”.  Note the number of places she’s marked her recipes –“served at Elizabeth’s wedding” or “nice for tea sandwiches”.She had friends (“Hattie’s favorite!”) and loved nature. The pages of the Burgess book are marked with a bird’s feather, a pressed rose, a single fern leaf.She was thrifty—using the milk that had soured, molasses for sweetener.

And, one final thing—I did not know my grandmother well, but I realize she’s given me more than a great recipe for brown bread.  She’s given me a heritage that includes what is important to me, too: family, friends, a love of nature, thrift and conservation and yes, pretty things and special occasions!brown bread


This recipe for Grandma Huey’s Brown Bread is shared as part of the Bread Bake Off on the FARM CHICK‘s site.  Hop over there for more delicious bread recipes!

This post was shared on The HomeAcre Hop ,Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest #17, and is part of “Tasty Traditions“.


  1. Love this! Can’t wait to try. Thanks for sharing such a treasured recipe.

  2. This is wonderful. Thank you so much.

  3. That was fine in those days when cans were not lined. I suggest no one cooks with modern cans. Heating them could release unhealthy chemicals.

    • Meredith/GreenCircleGrove says:

      Excellent point, Carol, and good advice. I use wide-mouth pint (glass) canning jars, filled just over half full, and they work nicely.

  4. I featured your post on The HomeAcre Hop this week! Congrats!

  5. This is such a sweet and tender post Meredith. Even though you didn’t know your Grandmother well, I can tell you love her. And I am sure she would be very touched to know that you have given her so much thought and honored her in this way! Well done! ~Katie

    • Meredith/GreenCircleGrove says:

      Thank you, Katie. I do think it honors someone to share memories–even if you only share them with yourself as you use a recipe, plate up cookies, or sort through old photos.

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