Period Plantation Short'nin Bread

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Shortbreadrounds.jpg
Shortbreadrounds
No machine-readable author provided. AdinaB-O'B assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We all must have sang the song, "Short'nin Bread" as children. It originated among slaves working on plantations in the early 1800s. The gist of the song is that the doctor orders short'nin bread to help heal the sick children and it does work.

Short'nin bread was a treat that plantation cooks could whip up easily. It only required butter, brown sugar and flour. The word short'nin bread is actually shortbread. It had been popular in England for hundreds of years. The difference with the plantation type and the English type is the brown sugar which gave the South's short'nin bread a distinctive flavor.

Short'nin Bread Recipe (recreated)


2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Line a 17x 11.5 jellyroll pan with parchment, or spray with non-stick spray.
3. In a large bowl of a mixer, cream the butter; beat in the sugar until very light and fluffy.
Turn mixer down to low speed and add the flour and salt., mixing until smooth.
4. Alternately, the dough may be done by hand. Make sure the butter is very soft and mix it well with the brown sugar; work the flour and salt in by hand until smooth. ( Of course, this be way plantation cook would have done it.)
5. Press the dough evenly onto the prepared pan.
6. Using a sharp knife and a ruler, score the dough into squares, eight on the long side of the pan by six on the shorter side.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly brown.
8. Immediately use the sharp knife to cut through the score marks into squares.
9. Cool thoroughly before serving.

This is fun recipe to make with children. As it cooks, they can sing the song "Short'nin' Bread".

Lyrics to song Short'nin' Bread".

"Three little children, lyin' in bed
Two were sick and the other 'most dead
Sent for the doctor and the doctor said,
"Give those children some short'nin' bread."

Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread,
Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread.

Put on the skillet, slip on the lid,
Mama's gonna make a little short'nin' bread,
That ain't all she's gonna do,
Mama's gonna make a little coffee, too.

Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread,
Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin,
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread.

When these children, sick in bed,
Heard that talk about short'nin' bread,
Popped up well to dance and sing,
Skipped around and cut the pigeon wing.

Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread,
Mama's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
Mama's little baby loves short'nin' bread."

Recipe for Short'nin Bread
 
Last edited by a moderator:

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Simple is always good in cooking. As I wrote, this can be a fun recipe to make with your children or grandchildren.

My son always liked to help me cook. Now , he is the cook in the house. His wife just doesn't care about cooking. His son, my grandson, who is nine likes to help him cook. I guess the cooking is being handed down from generation to generation. I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother, and so on.
 

chellers

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Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Location
East Texas
A couple more verses:

I snuck to the kitchen, picked up the lid
I filled my pockets full of shortnin' bread
I winked at the pretty little girl and said
"Baby, how'd you like some shortnin' bread"

Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread
Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread

Got caught with the skillet
Got caught with the lid
Got caught with my mouth full of shortnin' bread
Six months for the skillet, six months for the lid
Six months in the jail eatin' shortnin' bread

Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread
Mamma's little baby loves shortnin', shortnin'
Mamma's little baby loves shortnin' bread

http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/paul_chaplain/shortnin_bread.html
 

jpro

Corporal
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Original lyrics:
Behine de hen-house, on my knees,
Thought I hearn a chickin sneeze
Sneezed so hard wi' de whoopin' cough
I thought he'd sneeze his blame' head off.

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

O I' got got a house in Baltimo'
Street-kyars run right by my do'
Street-kyars run right by my gate,
Hit's git up soon an' set up late.

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

De raincrow hide in some ole tree
An' holler out, all hoarse, at me
Sayes, "When I sing, de rain hit po'
So's you ain't 'bleeged to plow no mo'!

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

And my favorite rendition Rock a Billy style...enjoy

 

chellers

Lt. Colonel
Retired Moderator
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Location
East Texas
Original lyrics:
Behine de hen-house, on my knees,
Thought I hearn a chickin sneeze
Sneezed so hard wi' de whoopin' cough
I thought he'd sneeze his blame' head off.

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

O I' got got a house in Baltimo'
Street-kyars run right by my do'
Street-kyars run right by my gate,
Hit's git up soon an' set up late.

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

De raincrow hide in some ole tree
An' holler out, all hoarse, at me
Sayes, "When I sing, de rain hit po'
So's you ain't 'bleeged to plow no mo'!

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

And my favorite rendition Rock a Billy style...enjoy

I was trying to find the original lyrics. Thanks for posting.

The video is fantastic!
 
Last edited:

Seduzal

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Location
Canton, North Carolina
Original lyrics:
Behine de hen-house, on my knees,
Thought I hearn a chickin sneeze
Sneezed so hard wi' de whoopin' cough
I thought he'd sneeze his blame' head off.

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

O I' got got a house in Baltimo'
Street-kyars run right by my do'
Street-kyars run right by my gate,
Hit's git up soon an' set up late.

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

De raincrow hide in some ole tree
An' holler out, all hoarse, at me
Sayes, "When I sing, de rain hit po'
So's you ain't 'bleeged to plow no mo'!

(chorus)
Fotch dat dough fum the kitchin-shed
Rake de coals out hot an' red
Putt on de oven an' putt on de led,
Mammy's gwineter cook som short'nin' bread.

And my favorite rendition Rock a Billy style...enjoy

It's been a long time since, but I remember that song and group. As a kid growing up in school we would all sing short'nin'bread on our way to lunch. It was a very poplar tune among the kids way back when we grew up!:dance:
 

John Davison

Retired User
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Location
Guffin Bay, NY
It's been a long time since, but I remember that song and group. As a kid growing up in school we would all sing short'nin'bread on our way to lunch. It was a very poplar tune among the kids way back when we grew up!:dance:
Geeze, glad to see the entire lyrics -- I could only remember just a few lines! "Return with us now to those days of yesteryear."
 

John Davison

Retired User
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Location
Guffin Bay, NY
Simple is always good in cooking. As I wrote, this can be a fun recipe to make with your children or grandchildren.

My son always liked to help me cook. Now , he is the cook in the house. His wife just doesn't care about cooking. His son, my grandson, who is nine likes to help him cook. I guess the cooking is being handed down from generation to generation. I learned from my mother, who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother, and so on.
And some of those recipes passed down from generation to generation. My wife mastered all the old "family recipes" from my Mom and Grandmom. Oyster dressing with Giblet gravy, pickled cucumbers, homemade mincemeat, and Spiced "put up" peaches being among my my favorites. Oh! And persimmon pudding as well.
 
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