Shredded Wheat Bread | Retro Recipe

4.57 avg. rating (89% score) - 7 votes

Shredded Wheat Bread doesn’t exactly taste like the cereal it’s named for, but somehow it wouldn’t be the same without it. The crumbled biscuits contribute a barely-there whole-grain quality to the bread’s flavor while the addition of molasses and sugar lend subtle fragrance and sweetness that many find irresistible. Also, like all homemade breads, this retro-inspired loaf boasts a hearty texture and a refreshing lack of preservatives.

shredded wheat bread

A vintage favorite – Shredded Wheat Bread.

Aimee Seavey

For vintage recipe inspiration, I often turn to my own cookbook collection. I love nothing more than the spiral-bound community cookbooks prevalent at thrift stores and library book sales, and when I see a golden example from New England, I can’t help myself (space on the bookshelf be darned).  This one, What’s Cooking in Massachusetts: Favorite Bay State Recipes compiled by the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation, appears to be from the 1960s, and beyond the Shredded Wheat Bread, it includes recipes for regional favorites like Copley Plaza Relish, Fish Chowder, Boiled Dinner, and Boston Cream Pie detailed with whimsical hand-drawn illustrations.

 shredded wheat bread vintage recipe

Community cookbooks — my favorite resource for classic recipes.

Aimee Seavey

Shredded Wheat Bread is an old recipe, which make sense since Shredded Wheat cereal dates back to 1893. In the early 20th century companies often developed recipes to go along with products, and this bread was likely no exception. Early versions called for the bread to be steamed, but by the 1910s a recipe very similar to the one we’re using today that called for baking the bread in the oven was the norm.

Be sure to purchase the “original big biscuit” variety of Shredded Wheat when you make this bread. The little frosted squares, while delicious in milk for breakfast, are not going to cut it here! You’ll also need a robust, dark molasses for the bread’s signature light sweetness.

shredded wheat bread molasses

Shredded Wheat “big biscuits” and molasses are 2 of the special ingredients in this recipe.

Aimee Seavey

While a sturdy kitchen mixer is helpful in mixing the dough and getting the knead started, I think the biggest perk of baking bread is getting your hands dirty and kneading the dough until its smooth and elastic. Your hands will tell you when its ready, and the more you knead, the better you get at it. You may even start to look forward to it as a form of stress release or relaxation, plus you can’t beat the reward — homemade bread!

shredded wheat bread dough

Time to knead!

Aimee Seavey

This recipe yields 2 loaves, and since my matched baking pans are never in the same place at the same time, I had to eyeball the right amounts of dough into the 2 loaf pans I tracked down. As you can see, they baked up beautifully and (after I brushed them with melted butter while they were still hot) shone lustrously.

shredded wheat bread loaves

Brushed with melted butter, the loaves look and smell divine.

Aimee Seavey

It’s perhaps the hardest thing in the world not to immediately tear into a loaf of fresh bread, but I did, because I knew I wanted my first bite to be in the form of toast. I love toast, and this bread, with its subtle sweetness and slightly chewy texture, is the perfect vehicle for a pat of butter (just a pat!) and mug of tea.

shredded wheat bread toast

Makes delicious toast!

Aimee Seavey

Have you ever had Shredded Wheat Bread? If you haven’t, you should, and if you have, I bet it’s time to make some more!

Shredded Wheat Bread Recipe Links

  • I inherited several wonderful bread recipes from my Grandmother, including one very much like this. I included it and others in my cookbook “Grandma’s Home Bakery.” These are all wonderful recipes that introduce even the youngest baker to the world of yeast baking. Thanks for sharing your recipe and helping to keep home bread baking alive!

  • Susan, the molasses flavor is light and just the littlest bit sweet – I think you’ll like it! And Martha, yes, because of the molasses Shredded Wheat Bread is similar to Anadama. I am a big fan of that one, too. Will have to try Grape-Nuts bread sometime! Happy baking!

  • Years ago my brother’s girlfiend made some Grapenuts bread and gave a loaf to my family. That was good, too! I’m going to try this recipe – it seems a bit like Anadama, which I love.

  • I am excited about trying this. I can almost taste it AND I’m not a great fan of molasses, but it still is beconing me!


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