White Bread

Although we think of white bread as an everyday food and wheat bread as the speciality item, that order was reversed in the 1860s. People commonly ate wheat bread on a daily basis and had white bread for special ocassions.

This recipe comes from An Army Wife's Cookbook by Alice Kirk Grierson. Mrs. Grierson was the wife of Col. Benjamin H. Grierson, commander of the 10th U.S. Cavalry. Co. A of the 10th Cavalry was stationed at Fort Larned from the summer of 1867 to January 2, 1869.

This is a modern version of the recipe originally found in Mrs. Grierson's cookbook. The large quanity is for a housewife making bread for either a large family or to stock up for the week.

Julia Buckmaster's White Bread

3 medium sized potatoes 1/4 tsp salt
1 quart water (4 cups) 1 cup evaporated milk
14 to 15 cups flour, sifted 1 cup water
2 packages dry yeast (1/4 oz each) 2 tps butter
1 tbsp sugar

Peel, slice and boil potatoes in 1 quart of water until tender. Pour potatoes and water into blender. Blend until smooth. Cool. Sprinkle yeast on potato mixture.

Stir in enough flour to make stiff batter (about 10 cups), salt and 1 cup water, butter and remaining sugar.

Warm milk mixture until butter melts. Cool to room temperature and add to potato-flour mixture. Stir in enough of the remaining flour (about 4 to 5 cups) to make a soft dough. Mix with electric mixture on high speed for 3 minutes.

Turn into greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. When dough has doubled, punch down and turn out on floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Form into 5 loaves and place into greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Bake in a 400° oven for 40 minutes. Butter top of each loaf upon removal from oven.

Makes 5 loaves.

Last updated: December 19, 2018

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