Baking Bread using a Vintage Universal Bread Bucket

Universal #4 Bread Bucket

Universal #4 Bread Bucket

Hello.  For my very first blog post I thought I would do one on a common chore that every farm wife was well acquainted with; baking bread.  Today I am  going to be making bread using my #4 Universal Bread Bucket.  This bread bucket was made by the Landers, Frary and Clark Co. in New Britain, CT.  They started making these about 1900 and they won a Gold Medal at the 1904 Chicago Exposition.  This accomplishment is proudly displayed on an emblem on the front of the bucket.  I have two of these buckets and I found them both on Ebay.  They are known as the 3 minute bread maker.  Lets get started and make some homemade bread.

Universal Bread Bucket

Bread bucket, dough hook, crank, lid and clamp.

First I rinse out the bucket with warm water to make sure it is clean and to warm the metal.  Today I am making 4 loaves so I next measure out and add to the bucket 37 oz. of warm water approx. 105 degrees F.  Don’t go over 110 degrees F or it will kill the yeast.  Add 1/4 cup of yeast and 5 tbs. of sugar to the water in the bucket and gently stir.  Allow it to proof while you  measure out 13 cups of flour in a separate bowl, add in 3 1/2 tsp. of salt and mix it in with the flour.  Dump half of the flour and salt mixture into the bucket and attach the dough hook and handle and mix it in fairly well.  Now add the rest of the flour and crank the handle a few more rounds to start mixing it together.

Jeanne McDonald the vintage farm wife.

Turning the handle to knead the dough.

Now is the time to attach the bucket to a solid surface so it doesn’t move around.  I attach mine to a wooden kitchen chair.  You attach it with the bread bucket clamp by tightening it down to the seat of a chair or counter top.  I find it much easier to use a chair as the counter is too high to use comfortably.

Universal bread bucket

Dough raising in bucket.

Once the mixture forms into dough you will crank it around for at least 3 minutes; hence the 3 minute bread maker, this is the kneading process.  Now put the lid on the bread bucket and place it in a warm place to rise.  It usually takes about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.  Once it has risen crank the handle around until the dough forms into a ball and then let it rest for 20 minutes.

During this time you should grease your bread pans so they are ready to go.  After the rest period the dough will have risen some again.  Crank the handle around to punch the dough back down to form a ball.  Next remove the dough hook from the bucket and dump the dough onto a greased or floured surface.

The vintage farm wife baking bread.

Putting loaves in my Tappan Deluxe oven.

 Divide the dough evenly into 4 pieces and form each one into a loaf to fit into the bread pans.  Cover the bread pans with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise.  It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to rise and it should be about double in size.  You will want to preheat your oven to 425 degrees F before the dough has fully risen.   I’ll be baking the bread in my vintage Tappan Deluxe oven; it bakes like a dream. Don’t make your dough wait on your oven or it will over rise and collapse.  Once the dough is ready place the pans in the oven and bake for 25 to 28 minutes.  When it’s done the bread should have a hollow sound when you tap on it and it should be a nice light golden brown.  When done immediately remove bread from the pans and place on rack to cool.

Jeanne McDonald the vintage farm wife

There’s nothing like a slice of freshly baked bread.

Now for the good part.  Cut yourself a warm slice and slather it with butter and enjoy.  There’s nothing like a fresh warm slice of homemade bread.  The smell in your kitchen alone is worth the effort.

 Thanks for stopping by.


Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.

Ecclesiastes 9:7

6 Replies to “Baking Bread using a Vintage Universal Bread Bucket”

  1. Hello Jeanne,
    Your blog brought back warm memories of my mother baking bread and the wonderful smells in her kitchen. Rich and Jack would just happen to stop in when she baked. She would set a loaf of warm bread on the table along with a large knife, and the butter dish. They would slice off both ends and eat them. Then slice off both sides and eat them. Then slice the middle in half and eat them. One loaf, gone! Well, I am going to try to find her recipe. She used a big metal dish pan to mix her bread dough in. Keep those memories coming. Loved your first blog. Sue
    ps. I hardly recognized you until I got to the pic of you with the bucket on the chair. You are one gorgeous chick.

    1. Hi Sue;
      Thanks so much for the kind comment. What a fun way to eat a loaf of bread! I’ll be putting new posts on as often as I can. Check back and hopefully I’ll stir up more great memories.

  2. I was just gifted with a Universal #4 (tin) Bread Bucket with all the parts! I can’t wait to try it out. A couple questions: What is the best way to clean it….hasn’t been used in years? And, is the material it’s made out of still considered “food safe”. Just wondering. Thank you for any info.

    1. Congratulations on receiving a bread bucket! Just clean it with dish soap and warm water dry well. Apply a bit of olive oil to the crank pivot for lubrication. Since they are made of tin they are food safe. I’ve been using mine for years and I love it. I now get 5 loaves out of one batch of dough. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. Have fun with your bucket!

  3. Jeanne, Thank you for providing the recipe. I grew up with my dad using his to make bread only at holiday time. He stopped making and using his bread bucket about 15 years ago. I have been able to find one on ebay and will begin making bread in it this week. I appreciate that you shared the recipe. Have a lovely day. Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine, congratulations on finding a bread bucket. I’m sure you will enjoy using it and making bread like your Dad used to. One thing that I found is that I like to grease my bread pans with butter as this works best. It doesn’t absorb into the dough like shortening or oil will. The bread loosens easier when the pans are greased with butter. Happy baking!

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