From Humble Beginnings
When I first started baking bread in a jar, how little I knew at the time it would become a local favorite! I originally did them up as a unique gift idea for family and friends. From there, a little local business took off as others wanted a taste!
A taste of what? The bread? Yes! Also, a taste of something so unique and so practical that it became a popular gift of choice that went beyond my closest social circle! In addition to gifting their loved ones, they also bought these little jarred loaves of bread for themselves!
The Birth of Pioneer Kitty Kitchen
Upon the realization I had a good thing going, I decided to get involved with a local farmers market. Every Saturday, I would join a group of other sellers as we stood behind our respective tables, selling the goodies we would make available to the interested public.
I came up with the name of Pioneer Kitty Kitchen as a brand label for the loaves of bread I baked inside each mason jar I would later decorate and pass off as a buyable product. I remember asking my friend, Wayne Morris, to use his extraordinary talent as an artist to come up with something.
And he did! Thanks to him, I had the ideal brand label that had blended my persona as a “crazy cat lady” and an adept food maker at the same time!
Not only did I use this label upon each of my Bread In A Jar products, but also in the business cards I had drawn up.
The Bread, In A Jar!
But, enough about me and enough about the little business I started up. This is about the bread!
When I first learned how to make bread inside a jar I thought it was like somebody just re-invented the wheel! My first time at it was making Banana Bread In A Jar and it was a huge hit!
Upon researching the making of the bread, I learned when properly stored, the baked bread product can last up to a full week in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer. And, you don’t have to worry about them drying out as the baking and canning process locks in the moisture of the bread!
Now, before you put on your kitchen apron, you will first need mason jars that are ideal for the task ahead! What you will discover in the link I provided is my personal favorite to use. They’re so pretty! And, of course, practical! And, the recipes I’m about to go into detail about are designed with this particular size and style of mason jars in mind.
Before going further, I should add that there are five versions of each recipe! They are Diabetic, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Low Sodium, and Vegan! I take various dietary concerns into consideration, both as a personal preference and as a professional courtesy! You will find alternative ingredients with those special diets in mind near the end of this post.
Regular Ingredient List (See alternative options for specialty diets near the bottom of this page!)
For every single Bread In A Jar I make, I always use the following ingredients;
- 1 cup shortening
- 4 cups white sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Butter or spray (for greasing)
Pick your favorite and add to the base recipe I just shared!
Apple – Add 3 cups of finely diced apple
Apple Raisin – Add 3 cups of finely diced apple, plus 1 cup of raisins
Banana – Add 3 mashed bananas
Banana Chip – Add 3 mashed bananas, plus 1 cup of chocolate chips
Banana Nut – Add 3 mashed bananas, plus 1 cup of chopped pecans
Chocolate Chip – Add 3 cups of chocolate chips
Cinnamon – Add 1/2 cup of cinnamon (or more if you feel like you can handle more!)
Cranberry – Add 3 cups of dried cranberries (the ones made by Organically Yours is my personal favorite!)
Raisin – Add 3 cups of raisins
Zucchini – Add 3 cups of zucchini
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease insides of 12 straight-sided, wide-mouth canning jars.
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, your chosen ingredients from the list provided, and water. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Then, add this to your mixture.
- Pour mixture into the greased jars, filling each of them half full of the batter. Do not put lids on jars for baking! You need to be careful to keep the rims clean! If necessary, wipe off any batter that gets on the rims!
- Place the jars on a baking sheet and carefully into the oven. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize the lids and rings in boiling water.
- As soon as the baking is done, remove the jars from the oven one at a time. Wipe the rims and firmly put on the lid and ring. When done properly the jar will seal as the bread cools. Once you place the jars on the counter, listen for them to “ping” as they seal! If you miss the “ping”, wait until they are completely cool and press on the top of the lid. If it doesn’t move at all, it’s sealed.
Special Diet Considerations
As mentioned, there are Diabetic, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Low Sodium, and Vegan options to this Bread In A Jar recipe!
For Diabetic Diets, whatever you do, don’t use Aspartame to replace the white sugar! That stuff is chemical and it does not do your dietary situation an ounce of good! I know this from experience! Use cane sugar instead! I do this anyway, diabetic diet or not! Believe it or not, your body will thank you for this! Not only does it help keep your sugar level under control, but excludes other chemical compounds that can compromise the quality of your diet!
For Gluten-Free Diets who need to use a flour alternative, I will always favor Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour! Not only is it gluten-free, but Bob’s Red Mill has always been my brand of choice when it comes to following organic and non-GMO diets! I also use Bob’s Red Mill for baking soda and baking powder in such instances. Not only do I advise them for organic diets, but gluten-free as well. I know of a few celiacs and they each vouch this particular combination works better for them and not just in this bread-in-a-jar recipe!
For Kosher Diets, instead of shortening, use goose fat! Regardless if it’s for religious reasons or not, the flavoring and quality from the one I highlighted here have always been my personal favorite! Although I personally don’t stick to a Kosher diet, I actually prefer the goose fat over shortening!
For Low Sodium Diets that need to watch their salt intake, I recommend Windsor as the alternative of choice! This, in my opinion, is the best route to go for maintaining the quality needed to make any given food preparation that asks for salt. While some may choose to keep out the salt altogether, speaking as a professional cook and caterer, this is not an option everybody cares for! Some people love their salt!
Vegan Diets demand no consumption of anything that comes from an animal! So, this special consideration needs an egg alternative solution, a shortening alternative solution, and even an alternative greasing solution!
Vegg is an awesome egg alternative to not just my Bread In A Jar Recipe, but in every culinary puzzle that Vegans encounter when it comes to quality baking! The same can be said for Inca as their shortening method is plant-based, not animal! And, as for that alternative greasing solution, the extra virgin olive oil spray that comes from Frylight is awesome!
Frylight is among the favorite cooking sprays of choice for me, vegan diet in mind or not! In addition to their extra virgin olive oil version, there is also a butter-flavored one!
Label Your Bread!
Labels are the best way to identify what you made! This is especially true if you attempt more than one recipe! Also, labels give you the opportunity to mark down the date you made the bread. If you don’t eat everything at once, preferring to store the rest, at least the labels will help you keep track of your creation so that it doesn’t get stored for too long.
So, did you like this post? Would you like more recipe ideas from Mama Kitty? If yes, then please subscribe! As Mama Kitty puts it, “subscription memberships have its PURRks!”