Recipe: Carnation Milk Bread

The Story of Carnation Milk, Booklet, 1915. Things Made with Carnation Milk .

As mentioned in the last post on a 1915 Carnation Milk booklet, the recipes included are adaptations of conventional contemporary favorites such as Perfection Salad, Welsh Rarebit, and Macaroni and Cheese. The bread recipe below includes detailed instruction but omits information about oven temperature and baking time, suggesting that such information would have been understood. The adapted version produces only one loaf and omits the boiling water, using the milk as the only liquid. The resulting loaf is very soft and tasty- delicious plain or toasted, with butter and rhubarb jam.

Carnation Milk Bread, from "The Story of Carnation Milk"
Makes 3 small loaves and a dozen small rolls

1 cup Carnation Milk
2 Tbs shortening
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
3 cups boiling water
1 yeast cake
1/2 cup lukewarm water
11 to 12 cups (even) flour

Measure Carnation Milk, shortening, sugar, and salt into bowl; pour on the boiling water; stand until lukewarm.
Add the yeast which has been dissolved in the lukewarm water; stir in as much flour as dough will take up, and turn upon bread board.
Knead 15 to 25 minutes, adding additional flour as needed. Put in mixing bowl and cover; set to rise; when risen to double original size, turn on floured board, cut into loaves, kneading only to give shape. Let rise in pans to double size and bake.

5 o'clock teaspoon Adapted Milk Bread
Makes 1 standard loaf

1 cup evaporated milk, plus more for brushing
1 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour

Grease a standard-size metal loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a 1"-2" border. Pour 1/4 cup warm (almost hot) water in a large, non-reactive bowl and sprinkle yeast over surface of the water. Give it a little swirl so that the yeast dissolves. Gently heat evaporated milk and butter in a saucepan until lukewarm and the butter has dissolved. Pour into bowl, and stir in sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour. Continue to add flour about 1/2 cup at a time until the dough will not take more. Turn on a floured surface and knead 5-7 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth, soft, and no longer sticky. Place in a large bowl covered by a damp cloth and set in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Once dough has risen, gently form into a loaf shape, place in greased loaf tin, cover, and set to rise, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F. Once loaf has more or less doubled, brush with a little evaporated milk or butter and place in center of oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
*To be sure the bread is done, lift from pan by pulling on the parchment border. Insert a bamboo grilling skewer through the middle at an inconspicuous spot. If it comes out clean, the loaf is ready.

A reader submitted the following wonderful adaptation of the recipe for use with bread machines:

Carnation Milk Bread Adapted For Bread Machines
Prep Time: 15 | Cook Time: 3 hours | Servings: 1 1-1/2 pound loaf | Difficulty: Easy


3/8 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 package)
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk (1 can)
1 1/2 Tbs butter
3 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour


Sprinkle yeast on top of warm water and then swirl
Heat milk to 100° (30 seconds in microwave, then stir)
Stir in sugar, salt, yeast mixture
Pour into bread machine
Measure flour into bread machine
Set machine to light crust setting if it has one

Notes: Warm means 98°–105°

See also, Selling Milk Between the Wars" Two Pre-WWII U.S. Milk Industry Booklets, Part 1


Hiroko said...

I love milk bread :) This looks slightly different from the milk bread in Japanese bakeries, but it looks wonderful!

the five o'clock teaspoon :: said...

Yes, Japanese milk bread is richer and much softer and spongeyer. I've never made it myself, but would like to try it with evaporated milk and experiment with a sort of tres leche combination with cream and powdered milk.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a recipe similar to this one. I took a cooking class in 1980 where one of the recipes was for Flower Pot Bread, but lost the recipe in a move. The defining ingredient was evaporated milk and it used oil for the fat. I quit measuring the flour and added enough so it looked like chocolate chip cookie batter. It rose in the pan and was was baked in a seasoned flower pot. It was done when it sounded hollow when thumped on the bottom. I later baked it in 4 small (not teeny) loaf pans and it was the perfect size for my children. Thank you! Lee