The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

mothers bread receipe

mpiasec's picture

mothers bread receipe

just found an old receipe of my mothers, (died) for bread.  It calls for 2 qts. milk, 5-6 eggs, 1 1/2 c sugar, 1 tble. salt, and 1/2 c butter melted.  Hear is the catch, it calls for 5cents worth of yeast mixed with warm water, then add flour plus rest of ingredients and knead.  What exactly is 5 cents worth of yeast and how much flour.  No amounts given on these.  How many loaves of bread will this make?  Can anyone break this down to 2 loaves.  How much kneading is involved?  Help, the last words on the receipe say Good Luck.....

GAPOMA's picture

Wow, not easy.  If we assume a 50-55% hydration, it looks like this recipe will make about 12 loaves.  (A bit over 3kg of milk, eggs, sugar & butter.)  If you want two loaves, then divide everything by 6.  Thus ...

1 1/3 cups milk
1 Egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted

I usually add about 2-3 tsp of yeast per loaf for a standard white bread, so I'd add about 5 tsp of yeast.

As for the flour, I figure you'll need at least 4 1/2 cups and probably closer to 6 cups. I'd start with the lesser amount, the add flour until the dough looked workable.

This should get you in the ballpark.  The recipe itself is nothing unusual, other than it's size and the nostalgic value connecting it to your mother.  Take a look at the KAF recipe for comparison (

- Greg

Syd's picture

[Have just noticed that Greg posted while I was typing this up.  So I am not ignoring your entry and just giving my own point of view, Greg. :) I like the way you have kept it all in cups like the original.  It is just that my mind works best in metric)!


Okay, I will have a go at this but am hoping others can weigh in on it and point out any errors I might have made or add anything I might have overlooked. 

Let's start by converting your recipe to metric units.  It is going to make it much easier to work with.

2 quarts of milk: let's assume it is a US quart (if it is an imperial quart it will be slightly more)  @ 946ml per quart (let's round up to 950ml) that is 1900ml or 1900g of milk

5 eggs @ 50g for a large egg: 250g

1 1/2 cups sugar: 300g

1 tble. salt ( I am assuming 1 tble. = 1 tablespoon): 20g

1/2 cup of butter: 110g

The next thing would be to work out the hydration of the loaf.  For a loaf like this I am going to assume about a 66% hydration.  66% is a good hydration to work with.  The dough is still soft enough to knead without too much difficulty but not sticky enough to cause problems.  Also 66% is fairly typical for a white sandwich loaf which I am assuming this is.  With 1900g of milk and 250g of egg you have a liquid component of 2150g.  You will need 3,257g of flour to make a dough with a 66% hydration.  Let's round that down to 3,250 for the sake of simplicity and orderliness.

Finally, the yeast.  Typically, we would add about 1% instant yeast to a bread like this.  That is 32.5 g of yeast, but let's round that down and call it 30g of yeast.

So now our recipe looks like this:

  • flour 3,250g       100%
  • milk  1900g          58%
  • eggs 250g             8%
  • sugar 300g            9%
  • salt  20g                0.6%
  • butter 110g           3%
  • instant yeast 30g  1%

Total dough weight =  5860g (that is almost 6kgs of dough)![About 13 one pound loaves]!  I hope you have strong arms or a mighty big mixer! I would definitely scale it down to about 1/3 of its size.  (Just multiply every ingredient's weight by 0.33).

At a glance, the salt looks a little on the low side, but there might be a reason for this.  And it is your mother's recipe so I wouldn't change anything until I had tried it once. You never know, you might be very pleasantly surprised.





GAPOMA's picture


I agree with using a higher hydration.  I didn't spend time to think and just pulled 55% out of my ... 

Whoops!  I stand corrected.

- Greg

mpiasec's picture

I just want to thank whoever responded to breaking down my mothers bread receipe, however being an amateur baker myself I still need your help in figureing how to make 2 loaves out of her 12 loaf receipe.  Thank you.....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If you prefer metric, just take the amounts and divide by 6 to get the amount for two loaves.  

Example:  3250 /6 = 540g flour  (541.6 but I rounded down)

Syd's picture

I still need your help in figureing how to make 2 loaves out of her 12 loaf receipe.  Thank you.....

As Mini suggests, you just need to divide everything by six and you will have enough for two loaves. :)

So now your recipe will look like this:

Mother's Bread

  • flour 540g      
  • milk  315g         
  • eggs 40g          
  • sugar 50g         
  • salt  3g             
  • butter 18g        
  • instant yeast 5g

Do you have a scale?  It is going to be much more accurate if you do.  If you are just getting into bread baking, I would suggest you invest in a digital scale.  They are very accurate and very reasonably priced, too.  It will make a big difference to your bread baking. 

Hope this helps. :)