The Fresh Loaf

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Need help identifying name of bread.

truman's picture

Need help identifying name of bread.

I am transcribing a journal from 1904. It's about a group of guys hiking their way in the woods in northern Minnesota to stake their timber claim. They have a cook which keeps making this bread but the guy's writing is not the best. It looks like Gullette but I can't find anything like it searching in Google. This is what he writes:

Wm. who is our cook makes what we call “Gullette”.  This is a very palatable bread and is made as follows:  He mixes a can of baking powder into about 20 pounds of flour and then opens the sack pushes the flour up against the sides so as to get a hollow, into this he pours water and mixes his dough, then takes the dough and puts the dough into the frying pan and places it in the fire.  After it has baked there for about 5 to 10 minutes the bread is baked and he puts in some more dough, this is repeated until enough bread has been baked.

Has anyone heard of Gullette - perhaps I'm intrepeting it wrong or he mispelled it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. He also appears to refer to this as "Dough-Gods" or "Dough-Goods" though it looks more like gods. He always puts quotes around these.

Thanks very much!


suave's picture

To me it sounds like a regular, if very plain, biscuit.

PaddyL's picture

Bannock was something that was made regularly by people in the bush.  It's very basic, as would be the ingredients which would have to be carried in, so flour, baking powder, possibly a bit of sugar if they were lucky enough to have some, and water to mix.  Then it was whacked into a frying pan and baked over the fire.  In Australia, it's called damper, but that's usually cooked right in the ashes of the fire.

legare's picture

No, but I think the spelling is wrong. Try "Gullible" instead.


truman's picture

Actually, I'm trying to decipher the name. It looks like it's spelled Gullette - has anyone heard of this or know maybe how it should be spelled? 



PaddyL's picture
PaddyL's bannock.

Daisy_A's picture

Hi Cindy,

'Gullette' as you spell it here is referenced on this website, which details 'metis' or 'mixed' Native American-European cultures in the USA and Canada.

'Two traditional food dishes are Boulettes and Beigns, a meatball soup served with fry bread and Gullette, which is an unleavened, heavy bread".

The word seems francophone in origin and this newspaper Q&A food column from the 1940s refers to 'Gullette' as a Belgian dish. The recipe given is for a sweet dough but cooked in a similar way, in an iron pan. You need to scroll down on the newspaper text to get to the reference.,2487749.

One possibility is that like  'paella', 'gullette' might refer to the pan in which these breads are cooked? The sweet recipe calls for a "gullette iron".

This sounds like a very interesting project - wishing you well with further work on it!

Kind regards, Daisy_A


truman's picture


Thank you so much for your help!! I'm glad now I have the correct spelling.

(I'm slowing transcribing this to a blog at but it's so slow going because of his bad handwriting and light pencil. It's not really that interesting but it's historical I guess.


Thanks again, Daisy.


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Cindy,

No problem, it was fun to track it down. You were right there with the spelling despite the original bad handwriting!

Historical is interesting I guess, thinking about how people cooked and lived before us. I will try to catch the transcript on your blog.

Best wishes,  Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture

Apologies double post, which I've replaced with this - pinger going for bread! Daisy_A

wally's picture

The recipe is for bannock, which is a simple (usually) pan-fried quickbread. When canoeing through Maine years ago for 6 weeks, bannock was a staple in our diet.


LindyD's picture

Bannock is a bread that you can cook using little more than a fire and a stick though it can also be baked or fried. Names for bannock include bushbread, trail bread, grease bread and galette.

amauer's picture

Interesting. A round crusty cake! I always thought they had to have fruit involved, but it is a shape. So it's a round fried biscuit bread. I'm from MN, I have to remember this for our next BWCA canoe trip. I doubt if we want to carry that much flour, though!

EvaB's picture

is a type of waffle iron, and similar to a gauffer iron which makes a sort of waved waffle not the one with holes, kind of like the wave chips which are cut on a special cutter.

I cannot remember where I referenced this, but found it in the past few years, it could mean a cast griddle that had waves in the bottom, or it could be just cooked on a griddle or in a cast skillet.

The recipe is just plain old bannock, eaten it lots of times, no shortening makes it stiff and dense. Never liked it much, but hey when you don't have shortening to make the dough into biscuits you take what you get!

missmarisa's picture

My grandmother used to make these for us for breakfast....very yummy with butter and a fresh cup of coffee or tea!!  I know in many places in New England and Canada they are called "doughboys" and served with molasses, but my grandmother and great grandmother called them gullettes and served them with either butter or maple syrup...our family is french Canadian.

My grandmother would make up a simple dough and fry oval pieces in a skillet with butter or crisco. Very simple to make and filling in your tummy!!

The poster certainly isn't's an actual bread dish that my family has enjoyed for many generations.  Now that my grandmother has passed, my mother and I are keeping the tradition alive by serving these occasionally to our family.  It's a wonderful winter morning treat!   How wonderful that you found such a reference to them in writing....and thanks to all for the information you have shared.  I think I will make up a batch tomorrow morning. :)

truman's picture

I double checked the journal and hoped he had written doughboys but nope, it definitely looks like "dough-gods". So I tried a google search of dough gods and a lot of sites came up. I read the following on's message board:

Has anyone come across doughboys or doughgods in their research. In talking with Blacksmith, Jeff Miller, today he asked me if I'd come across the terms. He made note that doughboys were made aboard ship as a ration for men going ashore on expeditions ect. in the 17th century. Dough boys were made with flour and water with minced saltpork to make a ball shape, that was then boiled in water, by the late 18th, early 19th century, they were cooked or fried in fat and were then known as dough gods.

and also:


" Dough Gods." Take 2/3 cupful of flour, 1 small teaspoonful of baking-powder, 1/4 teaspoonful of salt, and 1 slice of fat bacon, minced fine as possible. Mix thoroughly in your bread-pan and add water slowly, stirring and working with your cooking-spoon till you have a fairly stiff dough. Flour the loaf top and bottom, flour your hands and pat the dough out into a couple of big cakes about half an inch thick. Bake in the ashes, same as the biscuits. Or, as your frying-pan is not working, warm and grease it, and put in one of your cakes. Place over a steady slow fire (hot coals, not blazes), and shake occasionally so the cake will not stick to the pan. When it is brown on the bottom, slide it out on your plate, previously greased, and stand it up on its edge beside the fire, so the heat will bake it on top. Now attend to the other one the same way, except you can use the frying-pan to stand it up at the side of the fire. Turn your " dough gods" around as it becomes necessary so they will bake evenly on both sides. When they get enough " backbone," you can take them out of the pans and prop them^ so they lean with their tops toward the fire. Have them close, and provide a good steady bed of coals, not too hot. 

This "bread" is somewhat similar to biscuit loaf. It is the old way of baking with bacon instead of rendered grease or lard, used by men who carried nothing they could do without, and whose only food staples were flour, bacon, baking-powder and salt.

Loopie's picture

My grandmother was born & raised in Quebec and moved to Vermont as a young adult where she married my grandfather. They Then moved to New York State where they raised their children and I was born. Point is, my grandmother made what she called "guillette". (Pronounced 'gee-let' with a deep throated g sound.) It was basic frybread like Native Americans make and she used a yeast dough. Hope this helps and isn't too little, too late for your work. ~ Loopie

Susan Metis Art Artists and Artisans's picture
Susan Metis Art...

Hi Cindy,

A dough god is a bit of bread dough that is flattened out by hand and fried in oil or lard. The process is an easy one, just make your favorite generic white bread recipe and let it rise at least once maybe twice depending on the recipe. You flatten the same amount of dough that it would take to make a bun and poke some holes in it with a knife or a fork and then gently place it in hot oil or lard. This bread trick has a history in many countries but the main one that calls it Dough Gods are from the First Nations and Metis people of Canada and the US. We grew up having dough gods occasionally for dinner whenever our Mom was baking bread. Usually after the first rise, so as to have something to eat while the kitchen was booked making bread. It is literally FRIED BREAD. The name I believe originated from the french word Doughgots, which probably goes back to the 1700's.  IT IS NOT BANNOCK!!! This is often used by those who were not raised in the culture or who perhaps are unaware there is a difference. Bannock is a heavy biscuit dough made into a large wheel and baked with only a few fork holes in it to let some of the heat out during baking. You can also make bannock on an open fire on a cast iron frying pan or on stick over the fire like a marshmallow. This recipe has been handed down from our our Mother Eva Martineau-Dahlseide, her mother Maggie Delaney, her mother Genevieve Missinabiskop and her mother Marguerite Iswesis. We can't go any further back than that in written history as it was before Confederation and Treaty records.  

dharmapupil's picture

Hi, Cindy,

This thread has spanned years, but I just found it so here's my deux centimes:

The word "guillette" made me in mind of the standard french cuisine item, the Gallette. Usually a sweet cake, it can also be savory. It's made like a sugar cookie, baked, but in a shallow pan and then is used as a base for a sliced fruit topping. In the savory version the sugar is out and it's more like what you are describing. As noted above, I think it might actually be referring to the pan itself. Over the course of 100+ years cooking terms drift, just like other parts of language.

Regarding "Doughgods", I had those for breakfast many times. However, they were just your usual Danish pastries in our house. At least, that is what my grandparents called them! My grandmother grew up here in California and my grandfather grew up in Iowa in the early 1900s. As a young teen he worked in lumber camps across the North, starting in Minnesota and going west, with his big brother. In my research of the term I find that it is referenced as being a North and West regional dialect term, so that fits in quite well with your source and my Grandfather! I have no way of actually knowing whether my grandmother just picked it up from him or used it herself before they met.

If you come across any reference to Joe or Cecil Thurber in your journal, I'd love to hear about it please. That would be a heckuva coincidence!

Regards, Philip