Recipes For The Simple Pioneer Breakfast

If you need a lot of energy to sustain yourself throughout a day filled with tough chores, eating a hearty, healthy breakfast is crucial. How about we look back at our ancestors and try a few simple recipes for a tasty pioneer breakfast?

In recent years, drinking energy drinks or munching power bars to get through the day has become a popular trend; however, not only are these choices generally unhealthy, relying on them heavily goes against our basic human biology.

Early pioneers didn’t have energy bars or drinks. Instead, they depended upon a filling breakfast to get them through a strenuous workday. You probably already have your own favorite go-to breakfasts, but it’s always interesting to try something new.

Lumberjack Breakfast History

Pretty much every diner has its own version of the lumberjack breakfast, although it might be named differently on the menu.

Lumberjack breakfasts typically include a stack of pancakes, one or more types of breakfast meat, eggs, hash browns, and coffee. Some diners might offer more, some less, but the meal is always huge.

But where did the lumberjack breakfast originate? While there appears to be no way of definitively tracing its origin, according to cookbook author Anita Stewart, via Esquire magazine, there’s an 80-plus-year-old Vancouver hash house that has served a “Yukon-Style” breakfast that includes all of what most would recognize as the regular lumberjack breakfast items.

Of course, the more obvious answer is that meals like this were named after the lumberjacks’ folklore. Cutting down trees in the extreme heat and cold from dawn until dusk required a lot of energy, and a large breakfast delivered the necessary fuel.

Here are a few recipes, all simple and classic, that have been cooked as far back as the late-1800s.

1. Drop Biscuits

making drop biscuits

Ingredients:

  • TLW2b12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk

Tools:

  • Large baking sheet
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Small spoon to scoop batter
  • Spatula

How to prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and grease a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar and salt; mix well.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, blend the melted butter and milk. Slowly stir the melted butter and milk mixture into the dry ingredients. The butter must be fully melted so the mixture doesn’t become lumpy. Once the butter and milk are completely combined, only mix a few seconds longer. The dough should be moist and goopy.
  4. Using a small spoon, drop batter onto prepared baking sheet. Ensure that the scoops are all the same size so that they bake evenly. Bake the biscuits until the edges are golden, about 9 to 11 minutes. Serve warm.

2. Corn Cakes

making corn cakes

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter
  • ¾ cup breakfast sausage
  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels, cut from cob
  • 6 scallions, green part only, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk

Tools:

  • Large skillet (or two, if you don’t want to clean your pan halfway through cooking)
  • Small saucepan
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife

How to prepare:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, spooning out the milk solids that rise to the surface. Remove the majority of the milk solids. It’s ok if some small clumps remain. Pour the clarified butter into a separate bowl and set aside.
  2. Cook the breakfast sausage in a skillet until done. Transfer it to a bowl and set aside. Leave the grease rendered from the sausage in the skillet and move on to step
  3. Cook the corn in the skillet until the kernels have all browned slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer the corn to the bowl of sausage, stir in the chopped scallions and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean or place a second skillet on the stove.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, sugar, salt, cracked black pepper, baking soda, baking powder and cayenne pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the sausage, corn and scallion mixture.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of clarified butter in the clean skillet. In small batches, spoon tablespoons of batter into the skillet. Cook each cake until it is brown and crispy on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Use 1 tablespoon of butter for each batch. As they’re cooked, transfer the cakes to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm.

3. Eight-Step Scottish Oatcakes

making eight step scottish oatcakes

The following recipe is fairly solid, but oatcakes can serve double duty as a tasty and filling snack as well as a hearty breakfast. Scottish oatcakes are great when you’d like something that’s not too sweet with a cup of coffee or tea.

Ingredients:

  • TLW2 b11 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups steel-cut or old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces about the size of peas
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

Tools:

  • 2 large baking sheets
  • Large bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Round cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or water glass
  • Spatula
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp kitchen knife

How to prepare:

NOTE: If you’ve forgotten to chill the vegetable shortening in advance, pop it into the freezer for about 15 minutes. It must be semi-solid.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, grease the baking sheets and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the oats.
  3. Using your fingertips, rub the shortening into the flour-oat mixture until the mixture feels coarse.
  4. Pour in the buttermilk, and stir until a dough forms.
  5. Flour a cutting board or clean countertop. Roll the dough out until it is roughly ¼-inch-thick from edge to edge.
  6. Cut out small cakes using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter or water glass. Arrange oatcakes on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them evenly. Gather scraps, reroll and cut out additional cakes.
  7. Bake the oatcakes in the preheated oven until pale golden on the edges, about 11 minutes.
  8. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and cool for 5 minutes. Then, move the cakes directly to the cooling racks. Cool completely and serve.

Concluding

These recipes were tested by both my family members and me, and we love them. It’s not complicated to make a pioneer breakfast and you will soon discover that even simplicity has a great taste.

There are many other dishes out there that stood the test of time, so if you have a favorite one, use the comment section and tell us about it!

Suggested resources for preppers:

The #1 food of Americans during the Great Depression

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