Salt Rising Bread

An interesting bread recipe if you are short of yeast is salt rising bread.  It is a basic recipe that uses a minimum of ingredients.  It is a dense, white bread that develops its unusual flavor from a unique fermentation process.  Salt Rising Bread utilizes naturally occurring bacteria, rather than commercial yeast, as its rising agent.  This was one of the reasons that this bread was first made.  Pioneer women were often unable to purchase yeast, so they used this alternative means of fermentation.


  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 11/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 pint lukewarm milk
  • Flour

Dissolve ½ teaspoonful of salt in the two cups of hot water.  Gradually beat in enough flour to make a very soft dough, beat by hand for about 10 minutes.  Cover the dough and set it in a warm place for about 8 hours until raised.

After the time in up, stir the remaining salt into the pint of lukewarm milk and add enough flour to make a stiff batter.  Then work the stiff batter into the raised dough and mix thoroughly.  Cover this and set it in a warm place to rise until it is very light.  Knead in enough additional flour to make the mixture the consistency of ordinary dough.  Form them into loafs and set them to rise.  When they have raised place in the oven and bake until done.

This recipe is from a 1908 cookbook and was a method commonly used throughout the United States in that time period.


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6 Responses to Salt Rising Bread

  1. Lynn says:

    I cannot thank you enough for this recipe!! Not only do I have fond memories of hot, toasted salt rising bread from my grandmother’s kitchen but this will be a ‘keeper’ recipe for bread-making if there is no yeast available! Most recipes I have will create a soda type bread or a cracker, but salt rising bread does rise with naturally-occurring bacteria.

    Thank you again.

  2. Prep Lady says:

    Thanks this will come in handy when my stores of yeast is gone!

  3. millenniumfly says:

    It’s also possible to substitute baking soda and lemon juice in place of yeast.

  4. Jan says:

    How many loaves does this make? How much flour is used??

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