Editor’s note: This reader recipe is an online addition to our September 2017 cover story, “Recipes from the heart.”

Shredded Wheat bread

By Marit Johnson

One of the most important recipes in my life almost didn’t come into our family. My parents received this recipe from my dad’s college friend. During my parents’ honeymoon in New England, Dad kept trying to convince Mom that they should visit his friend. Mom kept telling him no. She didn’t want to go visit people she didn’t know while on her honeymoon. In the end, she went. During their time with dad’s friend, they ate Shredded Wheat bread. Mom asked for the recipe before they left.

Shredded Wheat bread has been a staple in my family ever since. (Dad still reminds mom how she almost missed out on this recipe.) It was the first kind of bread I learned to make with mom; it’s always the first thing made when company is coming to visit, and we’ve used it as Christmas gifts for teachers, thank-you gifts and food for families who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For me, this bread is the smell of home and the feeling of community. This past year I made Shredded Wheat bread for my Lutheran Volunteer Corps housemates. Over the course of our service year I’d made many kinds of bread. Soon, my housemates demanded that I make only this bread. It quickly became known as “The Bread of Life” in our house.

In many ways, Shredded Wheat bread has been a bread of life for me. It unites so many people and memories from my past and present. Sharing food, breaking bread and sharing stories is a long-standing part of the Christian tradition.

What other stories will be shared over this bread? I hope many, many more as we continue weaving our stories together as the community of Christ.

Johnson is a North Dakota native who served in Lutheran Volunteer Corps from 2016-2017 in Chicago.

Recipe (makes 3 loaves)
3 large Shredded Wheat biscuits, crushed
½ cup molasses
½ cup shortening
½ cup brown sugar
3 teaspoon salt
4 cups boiling water
2/3 cup powdered milk
2 packages yeast
9 cups (or more) bread flour

1) Combine crushed shredded wheat with shortening, molasses, brown sugar and salt.
2) Add boiling water and powdered milk. Let stand 10 minutes.
3) When lukewarm, stir. Add yeast and stir until dissolved.
4) Add flour and turn onto a floured board and knead bread until mixture is a firm dough.
5) Let rise until doubled; punch down and let rise again.
6) Form 3 loaves and let rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

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