Barley Nut Bread: Feeding the Crowds at Columbia University and Elsewhere

In her 1918 cookbook One Hundred-Portion War Time Recipes, Bertha E. Nettleton, former manager of Columbia University’s Horace Mann Lunch Room, shares tips for feeding a crowd. “In the effort to plan menus which comply with suggestions and requirements of the Food Administration and which at the same time meet financial ends, the resources of the Institutional Manager or Lunch Room Director are taxed to the utmost,” she writes.

A nation at war taxes these resources all the more. Nettleton thus published her cookbook with “[t]he aim and purpose [of furnishing] recipes and suggestions helpful to those who are trying to cope with the present situation by increasing the variety of dishes which are palatable, nutritious, economical and practicable.” American doughboys could ship for Europe well-nourished, while noncombatants back home could do their part for the cause.

The recipes in her book, Nettleton writes, “are chosen from those used and found popular at the Horace Mann Lunch Room, Teachers College,” and she considers them a success if “they prove of value to others,” for only then “the purpose of the writer will have been accomplished.”

With that in mind, here’s a recipe from Nettleton’s book for barley nut bread intended to feed a hungry crowd.

Barley Nut Bread

Barley flour… 8 lbs.
Rolled oats … 3 lbs.
Baking powder … 8 oz.
Salt … 3 oz.
Milk … 4 1/2 qts.
Sugar … 2 1/2 lbs.
Walnuts … 4 lbs.
Eggs … 14
(No fat)

Scald milk and pour over oatmeal, let stand one-half hour or more, beat eggs and add, mix and sift dry ingredients, and combine the two mixtures. Put in bread pans and let rise fifteen minutes before baking. Bake in moderate oven about an hour. Keep eight to twelve hours before cutting. Yields eight loaves weighing three pounds each.

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