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Field Bread

1916 Manual for Army Bakers
Pages 82-83

Yield: 144 pounds
about 16 ounces

105 lb.
3 lb.
2 lb.
Cottonseed oil, or lard   8 oz.
Compressed yeast
12 oz.
6 gal. 2 qt.


  1. Mix unto a very stiff dough.

  2. Dough should be ready to punch the first time in four and one-half hours. Punch second time after one-hour.

  3. Scale at 4 pounds 8 ounces, round up, and flatted into a round loaf about 1-1/2 inches thick.

  4. Allow only 15 minutes proof in the pan.

  5. Just before putting in the oven make a round hole in the center of the loaf with the ends of the thumb and forefinger joined together. This hole is sufficient size to permit the gas to escape and will result in a load less liable to crush in transportation, less subject to mild, and with a smoother appearance that had been slashed across the surface with a knife.

  6. Allow the chamber doors to remain open for the last 15 minutes of baking.

  7. Bake for one hour and a half at 475o F, letting fall to 450o F last half hour.

Notes on field bread production:

The close texture of the field bread is due to the extremely stiff dough, well kneaded, and the short proof in the pan. The tough crust to the small amount of cottonseed oil (or lard used).

When making continuos runs of field bread divide the men of the unit into two shifts of two men each, each shift working eight hours, and taking up the work at the point left off by the preceding shift. The shifts should alternate from day to day in order equalize the work.

For field bread make a dough every hour and 30 minutes. Seven runs can be produced in 16 hours by this method. This is considered an average day's work for a unit and is about the maximum amount of work the men can stand continuously, although they can produce 10 runs per day for a short time.

Seven runs will give 1,008 pounds per unit each day, 9,072 pounds to the 9 units peace strength, 12,096 to 12 units war strength. [Ed. note: according to page 73 of the manual, a field bakery company at war strength had 15 units, not 12.]

Return to Bread Baking in World War I Army

October 1999

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