A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern

Home About Us Blog Genealogy Recipes Gardening Manners and Etiquette Real Estate Destinations History
Hunting and Fishing Photojournalism Southern Furniture Maker Inspiration Write Life Opinion Contact-

Appetizers/   Beverages/    Bread/     Desserts/   Heritage Recipes/   Icings, Glazes, Fillings Meats/   Salads/   Sauces/  Soups/   Vegetables/  
Teri Towe's Dowling Recipes/   Houston County Recipes/   Christmas Southern Style/  Ramseys and Recipes   Wakefield Recipes


Apricot Bread

Banana Nut Bread

Biscuits 1

Biscuits 2

Bread Sticks

Cornbread Dressing

Broccoli Cornbread

Country Club Muffins

Country Cornbread

Diana Duncan's Awesome Lemon Bread

Sour Cream Biscuits

Southern Country Cornbread

Spoon Bread

          "When the bread rises in the oven, the heart of the housewife rises with it.” Frederika Bremer


“There is no reason why a poor man should not have as well prepared and palatable food as the wealthy, for, by care and pains, the finest bread may be made of the simplest materials, and surely the loving hands of the poor man’s wife and daughter will take as much pains to make his bread nice and light as hirelings will do for the wealthy.” Marion Cabell Tyree, Housekeeping in Old Virginia, Louisville, Kentucky: J. P. Morton and Company, 1879. 

Bread was once the symbol of sustenance: “Man cannot live by bread alone.” Breadmaking was a source of pride for the housewife. With refrigeration and specialization of labor in modern times our attitude toward bread has changed. This culinary “art” is one we now take for granted. Yet the smell of homemade bread baking still draws family and friends to the kitchen. Breadmaking machines have taken some of the difficulty out of the process. 

Marion Cabell Tyree’s comments on bread make us appreciate good bread and be grateful for our modern convenience. It is well worth remembering that this is how our grandmothers provided for their families.

“Bread is so vitally important an element in or nourishment that I have assigned to it the first place in my work. Truly, as Frederika Bremer says, “when the bread rises in the oven, the heart of the housewife rises with it,” and she might have added that the heart of the housewife sinks in sympathy with the sinking bread. I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you? I would recommend that the housekeeper acquire the practice as well as the theory of breadmaking. In this way, she will be able to give more exact directions to her cook and to more readily detect and rectify any blemish in the bread. Besides, if circumstances should throw her out of a cook for a short time, she is then prepared for the emergency. In this country fortunes are so rapidly made and lost, the vicissitudes of life are so sudden, that w know not what a day may bring forth. It is not uncommon to see elegant and refined women brought suddenly face to face with emergencies which their practical knowledge of household economy and their brave hearts enable them to firmly meet and overcome. 

To return to the bread question, however. Good flour is an indispensable requisite to good bread. Flour, whether old or new, should always be sunned and aired before being used. In the morning, get out the flour to be made up at night for the next mornings breakfast. Sift it in a tray and put it out in the sun, or, if the day is damp, set it near the kitchen fire. Only experience will enable you to be a good judge of flour. One test is to rub the dry flour between your fingers, and if the grains feel round, it is a sign that the flour is good. If after trying a barrel of flour twice, you find it becomes wet and sticky, after being made up of the proper consistency, you had better then return it to your grocer.

The best flour is worthless without good yeast. Yeast made up in the morning ought to be fit for use at night. It should be foamy and frothy, with a scent slightly like ammonia. After closely following the directions for yeast-making, given in the subsequent pages, the bread will be apt to succeed, if the flour employed is good.

There is a great art in mixing bread, and it is necessary to observe a certain rotation in the process. To make a small quantity of bread, first sift one quart of flour; into that sift a teaspoonful of salt, next rub an Irish potato, boiled and mashed fine, then add a piece of lard the size of a walnut, and next a half teacup of yeast in which three teaspoonfuls of white sugar have been stirred. (Under no circumstances use soda or saleratus in your light dough.) Then make into a soft dough with cold water in summer, and lukewarm in winter. Knead without intermission for half an your, by the clock. Otherwise five minutes appear to be a half hour when bread is being kneaded or beaten. Then place it in a stone crock, greased with lard at the bottom, and set it to rise. In summer, apply no artificial heat to it, but set in in a cool place. As bread rises much more quickly in summer than in winter, you must make allowance for this difference, during the respective seasons. The whole process, including both the first and second rising, may be accomplished in seven or eight hours in summer, though this will be regulated partly by the flour, as some kinds of flour rise much more quickly than others. In summer you may make it up at nine o’clock P.M., for an eight o’clock breakfast next morning, but in winter, make it up at seven P.M., and then set it on a shelf under which a lighted coal-oil lamp is placed. If you can, have a three cornered shelf of slate or sheet iron, placed in a corner of the kitchen, just above the bread block, it will be all the better, though a common wooden shelf, made very thin, will answer, where you cannot get the other. The coal-oil lamp underneath without running the risk of burning the shelf (if wooden), will keep the bread gently heated all night, and will answer the double purpose of keeping a light burning, which most persons like to do at night, and which they can do with scarcely any expense by using a coal-oil lamp.

Never knead bread a second time in the morning, as this ruins it. Handle lightly as possible, make into the desired shapes and put into the moulds in which it is to be baked. Grease your hands before doing this so as to grease the loaf or each roll as you put it in, or else dip a feather in lard and pass lightly over the bread just before putting it in the oven to bake. Let it be a little warmer during the second rise than during the first. Always shape and put in the molds two hours before breakfast. If hot bread is desired for dinner, reserve part of the breakfast dough, keeping it in the kitchen in winter, and in the refrigerator in summer till two hours before dinner. 

In baking set the bread on the floor of the stove or range, never on the shelf. Always turn up the damper before baking any kind of bread. As you set the bread in the stove, lay a piece of stiff writing paper over it to keep it from browning before heating through. Leave the door ajar a few minutes, then remove the paper and shut the door. When the top of the loaf is a light amber color put back the paper that the bread may not brown too much while thoroughly baking. Turn the mould around so that each part may be exposed to equal heat. Have an empty baking pan on the shelf above the bread, to prevent it from blistering: some persons fill the pan with water, but I think this is a bad plan, as the vapor injures the bread. When thoroughly done, wrap the bread a few moments in a clean thick bread towel and send to the table with a napkin over it, to be kept on till each Person has taken his seat at the table.”



“Boil one quart of Irish potatoes in three quarts of water. When done, take out the potatoes, one by one, on a fork, peel and mash them fine, in a tray, with a large iron spoon, leaving the boiling water on the stove during the process. Throw in this water a handful of *hops (see index), which must scald, not boil, as it turns the tea very dark to let the hops boil.

Add to the mashed potatoes a heaping teacupful of powdered white sugar and half a teacupful of salt; then slowly stir in the strained hop teak so that there will be no lumps. When milk-warm add a teacupful of yeast and pour in to glass fruit jars, or large clear glass bottles, to ferment, being careful not to close them tightly. Set in a warm place in winter, a cool one in summer. In six hours it will be ready for use, and at the end of that time the jar or bottle must be securely closed. Keep in a cold room in winter, and in the refrigerator in summer. This yeast will keep two weeks in winter and one week in summer. Bread made from it is always sweet.”

Yeast that never fails

Boil twelve potatoes in four quarts of water till reduced to three quarts. Then take out and mash the potatoes and throw into the water three handfuls of hops. When the hops have boiled to a good tea, strain the water over the potatoes, a small quantity at a time, mixing them well together. 

Add one teacup of brown sugar

1 teacup of salt

1 tablespoonful of ground ginger. 

When milk-warm, add yeast of the same sort to make it rise. Put it in bottles, or a jug, leaving it uncorked for a day. Set it in a cool place. Put two large tablespoonfuls of it to a quart of flour, and when making up, boil a potato and mix with it. This yeast never sours and is good as long as it lasts.

Diana Duncan's Awesome Lemon Bread

Have 3 lemons ready at room temperature (tip: roll them firmly between hands and on a table or counter before squeezing to extract more juice.)

Microwave or heat ½ cup milk until just lukewarm – add 1 TB lemon juice and set aside to let it curdle

Cream together:
¼ lb soft margarine or butter (butter is better)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 TB fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. fresh lemon rind grated fine (no white part)
½ tsp. vanilla

In separate bowl mix:
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour milk or buttermilk – mix by hand and don’t overdo or it gets tough.

Bake in 1 large greased & floured loaf pan at 350 for 55-60 minutes (or 4 little mini-pans for 45-50 minutes.) Watch carefully! Poke center with toothpick to test doneness. Baking times can vary.

Tip: Fully line baking pan with waxed paper, trim edges that stick up, and spray with non-stick cooking spray. The loaf lifts out cleanly and the wax paper peels off and the pan is much easier to wash.

Cool slightly after baking. Rest on racks over waxed paper. Poke lots of deep holes in crust with round toothpick (the more the better). Spoon on glaze, working it gently into the holes. Let set 15 mins and repeat. Continue to repeat until desired glaze thickness is reached.

Glaze Recipe:

Juice of 1 entire lemon
¼ cup granulated sugar


Cool completely, wrap tightly. Better if baked 24 hours before serving. If you prefer the bread chilled or live in a warm climate, you may store it in the fridge after the initial 24 hours.

Serve with lemon butter if you really think you aren't already getting enough calories.

1 TB grated lemon rind
½ lb butter
3 TB lemon juice

(You can vary this recipe substituting oranges or key limes for lemons)


Apricot Bread 

Recipe By :Gerry Chancey


2 Cups Sugar

2 Cups Self-rising Flour

3 Small Jars Apricot Baby Food

3 Eggs

1 Cup Oil

1 Cup Chopped Nuts

1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

1 Teaspoon Orange Rind -- grated

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

2 Teaspoons Cloves

2 Teaspoons Nutmeg

1 Cup Powdered Sugar


Mix. Bake 1 hour. While hot cover with 1 cup powdered sugar. Doubled this makes 3 loaves. 


Banana Nut Bread

Recipe By :Hilda Ramsey 

1/2 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 Cups Flour

1 Teaspoon Soda

3 Bananas -- over ripe

Pinch Salt

3/4 Cup Nuts

1/2 Teaspoon Butter Nut Flavoring

Cream Cheese

Orange Juice -- undiluted



Fill loaf pan 2/3 full..Let stand 10 minutes. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Filling: Cream cheese/orangejuice/honey Source: "Mavis Gwaltney" 


Biscuits 1


Recipe By :Charlie Capps

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter

3/4 cup milk


Cut butter into flour, salt and sugar; add milk. Roll out and cut. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 


Biscuits 2


Recipe By :Charlie Capps

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter

3/4 cup milk


Cut butter into flour, salt and sugar; add milk. Roll out and cut. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Biscuits 3

Recipe By :Charlie Capps

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter

3/4 cup milk


Cut butter into flour, salt and sugar; add milk. Roll out and cut. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 


Bread Sticks


Recipe By :Rosa Thomas

8 hot dog buns

2 sticks butter -- melted

herbs to taste, or garlic, paprika, celery

salt, etc.

Parmesan cheese 


Cut each bun into 4 pieces lengthwise. 

Add herbs to butter and brush mixture on bread.

Sprinkle with cheese

Bake 200 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. Store in tight container. 


Broccoli Cornbread


Recipe By :Evelyn Davis


1 Box Jiffy Cornbread Mix

4 Eggs -- beaten

1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese

3/4 Cup Onions -- chopped

1 Package Frozen Broccoli

1 Stick Butter -- melted


Mix. Bake in a skillet 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

Cornbread Dressing

Recipe By :Sharman Ramsey

1/2 cup butter

4 1/2 cups turkey broth

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped celery

1 large pan cooked cornbread

2 Tablespoons bell pepper

1/2 cup rice -- cooked

salt to taste

6 eggs – beaten

Mix onions, celery, broth, salt and pepper. Boil until tender. Mix remaining ingredients in larger bowl. Add cooked liquids and more broth if needed. Bake until done. 


Country Club Muffins


Recipe By :Evelyn Davis

1 1/2 Cups Unsifted Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Allspice

2 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar -- packed

1/2 Cup Milk

1 1/2 Cups Grated Carrots

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Pecans -- chopped


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl mix first five ingredients.

Beat eggs. Add eggs. Add brown sugar, oil, milk and white sugar. Add to above. Mix until smooth. Add carrots, raisins, nuts. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees until done. 


Country Cornbread

Recipe By :Sharman Ramsey

1 1/2 cups Adams medium grind corn meal

3/4 cup flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs -- beaten well

1 1/2 cups milk

4 Tablespoons shortening


Mix meal, flour and salt together. Mix well. Add beaten eggs and milk. Put shortening in heavy skillet in oven till melted. Coat sides of skillet. Pour shortening into the mixture. Spoon mixture into skillet and cook in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. 

Source: "Jean Burson"


Sour Cream Biscuits


Recipe By :Mary Alice Bishop


1/2 Cup Butter -- melted

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1 Cup Self-rising Flour


Preheat oven to 400 degrees


Combine butter and sour cream. Mix with flour.

Fill ungreased tiny muffin tins with batter 3/4 full. Bake about 15 minutes until brown. Cool 3 minutes before removing from oven. 


Southern Cornbread Dressing

Recipe By :Pat Renfro

2 1/2 Cups Martha White Cornmeal

2 Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Milk

1 Tablespoon Wesson Oil

1 Large Onion

1 Cup Celery -- chopped

1 Bunch Green Onions -- chopped

1 Stick Butter

1 Box Seasoned Bread Crumbs

1 Package Saltine Crackers, Low Sodium -- crushed

Salt and Pepper

Combine the first 5 ingredients until moist.

Bake the cornbread in black skillet at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then crumble. Saute the onions and celery in butter until tender. Combine the crumbled cornbread and sauteed vegetables with bread crumbs, broth and crackers. This mixture should be moist, but not soupy. Salt and pepper (use plenty of pepper). Pour into sprayed casserole dish and bake for approximately 1 hour at 375 degrees.

Spoon Bread

Recipe By :Rosa Thomas

2 cups milk

1 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar, or 2

1 tablespoon butter, or 2

2 eggs, room temperature -- separated


In top of double boiler, or heavy saucepan, scald milk.

Add meal gradually, stirring constantly until thickened.

Cool slightly, add sugar, butter and egg yolks, beating well.

When well cooled, gently fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour into a greased baking dish.

Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes. (approximately)

Serve at once.






 Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster