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Category Archives: Breakfast

German Fruit Bread (Hutlesbrodt)

Mom made bread every week, usually the white kind.  As a little kid I thought the very best bread was the insides of a slice, still a little warm from being baked.  Occasionally Mom made raisin bread which was darker and rather bitter…too much so for my little kid palate.  Sometimes she even went so far as to add citron or candied fruit.  “Gross,” was my humble opinion.  Why would anyone do that?  Well, from these clippings I’m going to assume it was something she grew up with in Germany and was something festive that you made at Christmas time.  I wonder if she thought these were “Yummy” or just made her nostalgic for the old country.  

In the first clipping, Farm Gal from Nebraska spells it “Hutlesbrodt”.  I empathize with her for trying to figure out how to spell a German word passed down by word of mouth, but never in print.  The second clipping is closer to what I found when I researched it.  I found that the term is Swabian German: “Hutzelbrot”. The name comes from a type of bread that contains dried pears (“Hutzeln”). Incidentally, if a person spoke “Swabian German” that was a dialect from the south of Germany.  My parent always told me “We speak Low German.  Low German is what you speak at home, but High German is what they teach in school.”  High German (Hochdeutsch) is taught in schools and it’s what you hear when you turn on the TV or the radio. Low German is what people talk at home, it’s kind of a slang and it varies from region to region.

Two Recipes for Old German Fruit Bread

Dear Hope:  I am sending two Hutzel Brod recipes that Clare from Kansas requested.

No. 1 Hutlesbrodt (an old German recipe)

Make a coffee cake batter as follows:
1 quts warm water
1 package yeast, dissolved
4 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt.

Mix with enough flour for a soft batter.  Soak 1 pound dried prunes.  Cook slowly till tender.  Sweeten and cool.  Remove seeds from prunes.  Have enough juice on them  for 1 cupful.  Add:

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Nuts, as many as you like (pecans or hickory nuts preferred)

Mix all into soft dough.  Mix stiff like bread.  Let rise once, then form into loaves.  Let rise again and bake at 350 degrees.

I clipped this recipe out of a paper or magazine just as it reads here.  I have never tried it.  So you will have to use your own judgment on amount of flour to use and how long to bake.  I suppose about an hour.

No. 2 Hutzel Brod:
I clipped this one from somewhere too, and have baked this.  This German fruit bread is delicious, keeps well and makes an excellent holiday breakfast dish.

Stew 2 pounds prunes, 2 pounds dried pears (I would prefer dried apricots), each by itself.  Pit, drain, and cut the fruit, saving the juice of each.

1 pound raisins
1 pound currants
1/2 poud almonds, shredded
1/2 pound walnuts chopped
4 ounces citron
4 ounces orange peel
4 ounces figs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon anise seed.

Make your sponge from 6 pounds flour, warmed.  Wet it with 1 quart fruit juice.  Add 2 cakes compressed yeast, work it and set it to rise.  When light work in:
Another 1 quart fruit juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 wine glass brandy or sherry
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon salt

Now add all the rest of the fruit.  Knead well, let rise, then make into loaves.  Let rise again, and bake in a very slow oven.

This is an old German recipe and makes twelve loaves.  Try giving Hutzel Brod for unusual gifts.

Just a reminder about these recipes.  It seems to me there is an awful lot of liquid for the sponge.  I wonder if you couldn’t use less, but the same amount of yeast, and not quite as much fruit or flour.  I am going to try it that way.

Here is a good way to cook the prunes.  Night before using, wash prunes, put in large jar or crock, pour boiling water over just to cover.  Cover tightly and let set overnight.  Next morning put over low heat and just simmer, don’t boil, for about 20 minutes.  Add very little sugar, and they are really good.  — A Farm Gal from Nebraska.

Why Make Wine?



Potato Doughnuts

I don’t know whether this was clipped because Mom was interested in making doughnuts or because it was a way to use left over mashed potatoes.  I don’t remember her making doughnuts, but I’ve tried a few times.  Mainly it seemed like such a waste of a lot of cooking oil, shortening or lard….whichever I chose to use for frying.  I wasn’t ever able to make them like those I could get at the donut shop. Mine were always prettily heavy soaked with the cooking medium. 

Cooking something at 370° as opposed to 350° or 375° is interesting to me.  I don’t think it’s a typo.  Probably it’s easier to read an even number on a candy thermometer.

Potato Doughnuts

1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 teaspoons baking powder
5 cups enriched all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

Beat together sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy.  Add mashed potatoes and continue beating.  Sift together nutmeg, baking powder and flour.  Add to first mixture alternately with milk.  Roll out on floured board, cut with doughnut cutter.  Fry in deep fat at 370° until brown, turn and brown on other side.  Drain a few minutes on paper towels.  Put sugar in paper bag and add a few doughnuts at a time.  Shake to coat.  — Mrs. W. Fred Bolt, Isabel.



May’s Three-Day Buns

Here’s a clipping from Hope Needham’s column.  Good old-fashioned ingredients.  Do a little each day and at the end something delightful!  I must say the measurements are rather vague.

 Fresh yeast might be even more hard to find today at the grocery store.  An on-line search indicates it is not dry and if you buy it and keep it for six months it is not what she is talking about. So, you’re looking for fresh or compressed yeast, not dry; besides, I don’t think the dry stuff would last through three days. It’s way too active. This is what “Loves to Cook” indicates you can get from professional bakers and pizza places. You might find it in cube form in the dairy section.

May’s Three-Day Buns

Dear Hope: Stir a yeast cake (you can get a lot of fresh yeast very cheaply from the bake shop–wrap it in foil and keep in refrigerator) into a half a cup of warm water.  Add a spoonful of sugar.  Do this in the evening, and in the morning add enough flour to make a soft batter or dough.  Let rise all day in a cool place adding 1/4 cup sugar or more, 2 cups cold water and 1/2 cup lard.  In the evening after supper, add a little salt and flour enough to make a stiff dough.  Knead well, let rise an hour, then make into buns set well apart in pan.  Butter tops well.  Let rise all night and bake first thing in the morning about half an hour in a 375 degree oven.l  These are so nice for breakfast, to serve at club, etc.  Don’t cover at night, but remember to butter well.  They are so light they will fall if jarred.l — Loves to Cook, Iowa.


Guetta (pronounced “Goo-tah”) was served for breakfast during the winter until we ran out.  Guetta is made by first boiling off the really bony pieces of beef (or pork, sometimes) like the neck and organ meats, grinding the meat and returning it to the “soup”, then thickening the mixture with oatmeal.  It was stored in 3 gallon or 5 gallon stone crocks and kept in the cellar.  Early in the morning Mom would go to the cellar and scoop out a frying pan full of Guetta, put it on the gas burning stove to warm and usually get a yummy crust on the bottom of the pan.  I usually ate a serving of it over a slice of home-made white bread along with a glass of fresh milk.  I always loved fresh warm milk almost straight from the cow.  (When I tell people that they are usually like “Ewwww”, but I don’t care. I like it).

Since Mom spoke broken English (term used in the day for someone whose second language was English), the “r” at the end of a normal word wasn’t often pronounced.  Think “but-ta” for “butter”.  I assumed that what Mom was saying was actually “gutter”.  Now, telling your friends you had “gutter” for breakfast just wouldn’t do.  My sister said to refer to it as “head-cheese”.  I can’t say that sounded particularly more refined, but probably better than “gutter”.

My best friend, Wilma, came from north central Kansas in a German Lutheran community.  When I described “Guetta” to her, she knew what I meant.  “We call it ‘Knip’ and we eat it with syrup on top,” she said.  Eventually I read something in a magazine about something in Philadelphia that they call “Scrapple”.  I don’t think I ever read this clipping in Mom’s cookbook referring to Scrapple, but here it is.  I think Mom thought it was interesting that it could be made with chicken.


Someone was asking about scrapple, and I guess most folks think of it as being a cornmeal much with bits of pork or cracklings in it, and that is a very good kind; but I also make it with chicken. When we freeze our chickens, we put up some packages of just necks and backs, to use for soup, sandwich meat, etc.

Sometimes I cook up a package of these bony parts, save and strain the broth and add enough water, if needed, to make the amount of mush I want to make.  I take the meat from the bones, discarding skin, and set aside  Then I make the must and cook for about 15 minutes, than add the chicken bits (you can grind them in a food chopper if you prefer), and season well with salt, pepper, and whatever you like, and cook 15 minutes longer.

Then pour into a loaf pan and cool.  Place in  refrigerator over night, or at least for several hours.  We like it for breakfast.  Slice in half-inch slices and fry brown in hot fat.  Serve with butter and syrup.  If you happen to have some chicken fat to fry it in, that is fine, but most any good sweet fat will do; pork or beef or vegetable oil.

Hmmmmm….any good sweet fat…. pork fat rendered is “lard”, from beef fat rendered is “tallow”….vegetable oil……what would be a fat that isn’t “sweet”…..and how would it be classified…bitter?….sour?….hmmmm

Perfect Yogurt

I like to experiment with cooking and other things.  I come by it honestly.  Mom did too.  I remember when she was in her Yogurt phase.  I had never heard of the stuff when she started messing with it.  I’ll bet this is the recipe that got her started.  Mom was somewhat of a “natural foods” person and any home remedies for maladies caught her eye.

When I lived on a ranch in 1979-1980, we had fresh milk daily from cows that my husband or other ranch hands milked every morning.  I bought an electric yogurt maker and experimented with it for about a year.  I don’t remember seeing much yogurt in the grocery stores at the time. I’m thinking that I probably used yogurt from the grocery store for starter, though, so maybe I’m wrong about it.  Anyway, I don’t think my yogurt was anywhere near as good as the Greek Gods Honey Yogurt that I’m fond of now.

This recipe is from the Hope Needham column from the Drover’s telegram.

Perfect Yogurt

Dear Hope:
I’ve never seen in you column a recipe for yogurt cheese.  It is a live food and valuable for anyone who suffers from digestive disorder.  The activating ingredient is the lactobacilus which is capable of destroying any and all malignant bacteria with which it comes in contact.

Yogurt has been a staple food in parts of India for centuries and is eaten by peasants in Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey and Pakistan.  The “starter” comes from some of these places but is now kept alive in some of our American cities.  I’ve made several attempts to convert sweet milk into yogurt, buying the lactobacillus in some health store whenever I cahanced to be in a large city, but I had no luck, and the small stores in the region where I live do not handle it,.

After four unsuccessful attempts I finally succeeded and can now tell your readers exactly how to proceed and no one can fail who follows directions closely.  Skim milk or pasteurized milk did not make the cheese for me, but when I use fresh whole cow’s milk from the farm, it is perfect.

I put 2 quarts of milk on to boil and while it is heating, add 1 heaping cupful of dry skim milk, stirring in well.  When the milk is about to oil over the top I turn the head down to simmer and begin stirring with a wooden spoon (no other kind will do).  Stir constantly for 15 minutes, then let stand until lukewarm–if you have a thermometer (I don’t) to 105 degrees.

Then you take out 1/2 cupful, and here is the important step, mix in 3/4 cup of the “starter” which may be purchased yogurt or from a batch you have made yourself.  Now put this mixture in with warm milk, which by now will measure less than 1/2 gallon.  When well mixed, put in an earthenware crock and set in a warm place, free from draft, and wrap it well.  I use a clean heavy old bedspread.

When you get up next morning your cheese will be finished.  It will be the consistency of a nice custard and taste like sour cream with just a slight tang of the “starter”. I store it in seven half-pint jars, through none of them are quite full, so I can have one to eat each day until time to make it again.  there are 120 calories in a full cup of yogurt.

This food has done wonderful things for my health.  I work all day without becoming tired.  I store my yogurt in the refrigerator.

Don’t forget to save out 1/4 cupful so you can make it again.  I would never be without it. –Mrs. Chenoweth, Kansas.








This is another post about those morning confectionary treats: “Donuts”.  The last one I posted was for baked donuts, but these are fried like they are supposed to be.  The spelling is interesting.  Mom didn’t make donuts generally, but I can fully understand if she was in one of those curious experimental modes…..I’m often in those myself.


For sour cream doughnuts follow this recipe, but use sour cream instead of milk.  Omit butter.  Reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon and add 1 teaspoon soda

1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 cup milk
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg or nutmeg and cinnamon mixed
2 teaspoon salt
Approximately 3 1/2 cups flour

Sift dry ingredients together with exception of sugar.  beat together eggs, milk, sugar and butter.  Add dry ingredients.  Add flour if required to make a dough just firm enough to pull and still soft.

Put one-third of dough on floured board, knead slightly, pat and roll out one-fourth inch think.  Cut with doughnut cutter.  Brown lightly on both sides in deep fat at 370 degrees.  Drain on heavy absorbent paper.  Cool.  Sugar by putting powdered sugar and doughnuts in a paper bag and shaking.

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