Cook’s Notebook: Fruitcake, no-knead French Bread


Longtime reader Larry Kent called recently to ask for two Dorothy Dean recipes.

He said he needed a recipe for Heirloom Fruitcake and a French Bread that doesn’t require kneading. He said he remembered the recipes were from 1964, the year he began subscribing to The Spokesman-Review.

The fruitcake recipe was easy enough to find. We’ve run the recipe for the dark fruitcake a number of times over the years.

Finding the French Bread was a little trickier. (Mostly because I was searching for French toast at first by mistake. Sorry, Larry.)

I finally found the recipe on a leaflet titled, “Foreign Breads” originally published in 1963. The recipe is easy and as Kent remembered it doesn’t call for kneading.

Here’s the bread recipe and a bonus recipe for Crisp French Toast that will be perfect if you’re treating Mom to breakfast in bed next weekend.

French Bread

From Dorothy Dean’s Homemakers Service, 1963

1 package yeast

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups sifted flour


To make dough: Soften yeast in lukewarm water; stir until yeast dissolves. Stir in sugar and salt. Sift flour and measure into a large bowl. Make a well in flour; add liquid all at once. Stir till well mixed, use your hands to complete mixing, but do not knead. (Dough will be slightly sticky.) Cover bowl with damp cloth. Let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.

To shape bread: Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Divide in two. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll each portion of dough to a rectangle, about 10-by-14 inches. Starting at one long edge, roll up dough and pinch along edge to seal seam. Shape loaf by rolling ends back and forth under palms until ends are pointed and loaf is about 18 inches long. Place loaves on greased baking sheet, sprinkled with corn meal. With sharply pointed knife, cut diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart across top of loaves. Do not cover. Let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.

To bake bread: Place a pan of hot water on bottom shelf of oven. Lightly brush loaves with cold water. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Again, brush loaves with water; reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue baking 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool loaves quickly to give crackly crust.

Yield: 2 loaves

Approximate nutrition per 2-ounce serving: 124 calories, less than 1 gram fat (3 percent fat calories), 3.6 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 334 milligrams sodium.

Crisp French Toast

From Dorothy Dean’s Homemakers Service, 1967

3 eggs

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

6 slices bread

Beat eggs slightly with rotary beater; beat in sugar, milk and flour. Trim crusts from bread slices, cut diagonally to make triangles. Dip in egg mixture; drain. Fry until golden in about 1 inch of hot fat or oil; this takes but a minute or two per side. Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve at once.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: Unable to calculate due to recipe variables.


Click here to comment on this story »

Back to Spokesman Mobile