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Pioneer bread

Included in the must-have cookbook of the new year, America's Best Lost Recipes by Christopher Kimball, is this updated version of Pioneer Bread, a dense quick bread with a history dating to the covered wagon era. It's perfect for everything from morning toast to an afternoon snack or a companion to soup at lunch or dinner.


3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

2 cups buttermilk

½ cup corn syrup

1 cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried dates, chopped

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Beat the egg in a medium bowl, then stir in the buttermilk and corn syrup. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (a few streaks of flour should remain), then stir in the walnuts (or pecans), 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 out 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.

The bread will keep at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 4 days. The bread also can be wrapped in 2 layers of aluminum foil and frozen for up to 2 months.

From America's Best Lost Recipes

Nutrition facts per serving: 205 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 216 mg sodium, 3 g fiber