I grew up reading Little House on the Prairie and often thought about what life was like for the early pioneers. Between 1820 and 1880 the promise of free land tempted settlers to make the perilous journey westward by covered wagons. Having made the journey by car it’s hard to imagine making the same journey by covered wagon. I’m sure the early pioneers had different versions of pioneer bread, probably made with corneal and rye and wheat flour. Without commercial yeast they would have relied on either sodium bicarbonate as the leavening agent or a sourdough starter.Pioneer Bread

This bread is reminiscent of the true Pioneer Bread, it relies on sour milk to do its leavening and has no butter or oil. The recipe makes two loaves. It is a quick bread and is delicious!Pioneer Bread

Pioneer Bread


3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 large egg
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried dates, chopped


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Whisk the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl, and then stir in the buttermilk and maple syrup. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Then stir in the walnuts, raisins, and dates until just incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes our clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely, at least 45 minutes. Serve.Pioneer Bread

This Pioneer Bread will keep at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to two months.Pioneer Bread

19 comments on “Pioneer Bread

candy on June 1, 2018 11:40 am

I am always on the look out for a new bread recipe. Can’t wait to give this one a go. Found you on Blogging Grandmothers Link Party.

Nancy Wolff on June 1, 2018 12:33 pm

I am in love with this bread, it is so easy to make and so delicious. I like to toast a piece for breakfast to enjoy with my coffee. It’s good just plain!

Victoria on June 1, 2018 12:57 pm

I can’t wait to try this bread. I have never heard of pioneer bread but this sounds so good.

Nancy Wolff on June 1, 2018 5:45 pm

I’m sure you will love this bread, its perfect in the morning with a cup of coffee or in the afternoon with a cup or tea or…so many ways to enjoy it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com on June 1, 2018 12:59 pm

Nancy, this looks delicious. And I love LHOP! I included my own family’s covered wagon story in my Cream Gravy post. I tend to romanticize life in other eras, but I do like my modern comforts.

Nancy Wolff on June 1, 2018 5:45 pm

I’m like you I do like my modern comforts! This bread is delicious!!

Sylvia Lance on June 1, 2018 6:36 pm

Nancy, this looks delicious! I will definitely be trying this one, my hubby will love it!

Nancy Wolff on June 1, 2018 7:09 pm

We liked it so much I had to quickly put the second loaf in the freezer so we didn’t eat it all up!

Amy on June 1, 2018 9:16 pm

Looks delicious! TFS!

Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid on June 1, 2018 10:22 pm

I’ve often wondered what it was like for the pioneers too. They were some brave people, huh? Never heard of this bread before but it looks and sounds tasty. Shared your post x 4 ♥

Angie on June 1, 2018 11:00 pm

As a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie, I will have to give this a try!!! (Glad we are past covered wagons these days!)

Cathy Sokolowski on June 2, 2018 6:39 pm

This looks yummy. I have pinned this so that I can try it one day!

Christie Hawkes on June 2, 2018 6:43 pm

Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing on #BloggingGrandmothersLInkParty.

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome on June 4, 2018 3:02 pm

I bet this bread would make amazing french toast! Thanks for sharing at the what’s for Dinner party – Have a great week!

Nancy Wolff on June 4, 2018 8:10 pm

What ana amazing idea, it would make wonderful french bread! So glad I still have a loaf in our freezer!

Miz Helen on June 12, 2018 3:00 pm

I will love your Pioneer Bread, Nancy! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen

Nancy Wolff on June 12, 2018 3:50 pm

Mia Helen,
I can’t tell you how much we enjoy the Pioneer Bread! Perfect with your coffee in the morning or a cup of tea in the afternoon!

Lisa Lynn on June 14, 2018 1:03 pm

Congratulations on your featured post at Oakhill Homestead on the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

This bread looks delicious!

Nancy Wolff on June 14, 2018 1:21 pm

This bread is too good!! Hum, wonder how it would taste with your rhubarb jam! 🙂

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