Uncle Willie Fears’ Soda Bread Recipe (1928)

We just found this old recipe in my mother's "1936 Hurricane Valley Home Demonstration Club Cookbook." Uncle Willie, William Newton Fears (1877 – 1966), was a trapper and backwoods entrepreneur who moved from Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1903 to Tater Knob Mountain, Alabama. He had several remote camps in the Hurricane Creek and Paint Rock River watersheds for his trapping and 'sang digging operations. His "sodee bread" was a staple in the camps and is still talked about today by those trusted souls that had the pleasure of visiting his camps.
Uncle Willie Fears’ Soda Bread Recipe (1928)

From J. Wayne Fears

Received the email below from friend and mentor J. Wayne Fears the other day. When I read it, I just couldn’t wait to try a batch, and it is mighty fast to put together and it tastes mighty good. I prefer corn bread by just a hair, but this is a close second if the camp cache is running low on cornbread fixin’s.  And for a quick “sandwich” type bread, this “sodee” bread, as Fears’ great uncle Willy called it, takes the lead. It’s great with a big ol’ piece of summer sausage and some cheese on top of it.

(Note: These old recipes always leave us guessing a bit when it comes to heat and time. Since it’s still winter here in the North Country, I used the electric oven in the house to heat the Dutch Oven and bake the loaf. I used a temperature of 375° F. It took just over half an hour to develop a nice golden brown crust on top.)

Email from J. Wayne Fears:

We just found this old recipe in my mother’s 1936 Hurricane Valley Home Demonstration Club Cookbook. Thought it interesting enough to share with you. As I find these old recipes I will pass them along, please feel free to discard them or use them. I just think they are neat. Fellow campers under the big pine might, too!

Uncle Willie’s “Sodee” Bread Recipe (1928)

Uncle Willie, William Newton Fears (1877 – 1966), was a trapper and backwoods entrepreneur who moved from Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1903 to Tater Knob Mountain, Alabama. He had several remote camps in the Hurricane Creek and Paint Rock River watersheds for his trapping and ‘sang digging operations. His “sodee bread” was a staple in the camps and is still talked about today by those trusted souls that had the pleasure of visiting his camps.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk

Directions

  1. Preheat Dutch Oven.
  2. Smear loaf pan with butter.
  3. Mix together all ingredients and form a soft dough.
  4. Add a little more buttermilk if needed.
  5. Pour dough into buttered pan.
  6. Place in Dutch oven and bake until golden brown.

Serve with sour wood honey on it.

 

There are 2 comments. Add yours

  1. 17th April 2013 | Johnnie Hudman says: Reply
    I tried Uncle Willie's "sodee bread" recipe. It worked great. I cooked it in a cast iron skillet in a conventional oven at 375 degrees. It was done in twenty minutes. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Johnnie
    • 18th April 2013 | Bill Miller says: Reply
      Yes sir! Some good! If you get the chance, Johnnie, put down in an email the method you had for making country gravy. I still can't stop mine from being lumpy!

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