Don’t miss the total revision of my pumpernickel bread recipe. A German favorite, this bread gave me problems when I first baked it. After several tries, I have some helpful hints so you don’t have to go through the same learning process I did.
Hale’s Restaurant stood on the corner of Main and Front Streets–the main intersection of Killbuck Ohio– when I was in school in Killbuck, Ohio. Recently on a Facebook group for present and former residents of that village,contributor “Tootzi” Snyder, shared a special recipe. Claude Hale, the owner of Hale’s restaurant had given his meatloaf recipe to her. Thank you, Tootzi for setting me out on this research and cooking adventure.
[Note: That is not Claude Hale in the photo above, but a person from the Danville fire department. Ironic when you read the history of the restaurant, which I outline below]
UPDATE March 2019: Although I cheated and served French Fries instead of mashed potatoes, I did have gravy on the meatloaf I made. Somehow I knew peas and mashed potatoes and gravy had to be part of the meal. Sure enough, the husband of a high school friend of mine posted on the Killbuck group: The first meal that I had in Hales was meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy. $.70 The side dishes were : Peas,prunes, head lettuce, Apple sauce. cottage cheese and garden salad. [presumably, pick two. And can you imagine prunes on a restaurant menu today? As a side dish?]
And about that “mango” in the recipe–remember it is Midwestern lingo for green pepper. Here’s a good explanation of how that word usage and confusion happened.
My grandmother and grandfather Guy and Vera Anderson (on the left in the picture at the top of the page) ran a restaurant in Killbuck, too. They started serving meals in the mid-1930’s and closed around 1945 when my grandfather began to have heart trouble. So naturally, I was curious to learn whether Hale’s restaurant came along afterwards to fill a void. Or was Hale’s a competitor to the Anderson’s Restaurant just down the street on Main? After all, I’m certain that Anderson’s also served meatloaf.
Hale’s Restaurant Timeline
After some Googling and reading newspaper articles from the period, I can present this history of Claude Hale and his restaurant. Alas, no menus or ads featuring meatloaf.
Prior to April 1940: A restaurant called Bob and Bud’s Restaurant operates in the landmark Killbuck building at the corner of Main and Front Streets. [I have no information about Bob and Bud’s, unfortunately.]
April 1940: Claude Hale movs from Akron when he buys an interest in Bob & Bud’s Restaurant in Killbuck from Fred Teisher . Robert Teischer remains as his partner and assists in operating the restaurant, which becomes Hale’s Restaurant.
March, 1943: World War II calls all able-bodied men and Claude Hale signs up to fight. He announces he will close Hale’s Restaurant. [Apparently Mr. Teischer had moved on.] This threatens to leave Killbuck with no restaurant for the first time in 50 years according to the Killbuck columnist for the Coshocton Tribune. [If that is true, the first restaurant in Killbuck started in the 1890s, which definitely was earlier than the Anderson’s restaurant, So whose was it?]
In 1943, Mrs Mayme Burton rescues the town when she starts serving meals at her place of business on North Main Street. She also operates a gasoline station and a grocery store. (Sounds just like the combos we have now with gas pumps, shopping and a fast food restaurant under one roof.)
1946: When he returns from the war, Claude reopens the restaurant. In the Killbuck Gang Facebook page, Owen Mellor recalls Hale’s was open in 1946.
June, 1958: The newspaper reports that Mr. and Mrs. Claude Hale have repurchased the restaurant from Norman Crandall. I was not able to find a notice of the original sale to Crandall, so don’t know when that took place. As far as I know the restaurant continued to operate as Hale’s throughout the 50s.
December, 1967: The Coshocton Tribune announces that Claude Hale and his wife have sold their restaurant to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dobbins. (They sold the business but retained the building, which included apartments.)
December 1970: A devastating fire breaks out in the middle of the night. Despite the efforts of 75 fireman and twelve trucks, the restaurant and apartments above are destroyed.
A FIRE Reveals the History of the Building
Newspaper coverage of the fire brings the story back to my own family. A few months ago, I featured a photo of my great-great grandmother, Mary Morgan’s home on the corner of Main and Front Streets. The article on the fire includes speculation that the building was built before the turn of the century. I knew that, because my great-grandfather ‘Doc’ Stout started his first medical practice there when he married Mary’s daughter, Hattie.
Even more interesting, the article says that the building previously served as a dry goods store and a post office. That is all part of my family history. Mary Mogan’s first husband, Asahel Platt operated a dry goods store. I discovered that fact through the probate papers filed after his death. After her second husband, Jesse Morgan, disappeared from her life, Mary served from time to time as postmistress for Killbuck.
All those activities, plus her business as a seamstress, took place in the same building that later housed Hale’s restaurant. You can clearly see the similarity with the picture of Hale’s restaurant above.
So much for the history of the Hale’s Restaurant. How about a slice of restaurant meatloaf? Claude Hale’s recipe obviously serves a lot more people than you might at home. In the notes on the recipe, I tell you how easy it is to convert this to 1/3 the size.
Also, this recipe is pretty basic. If you want to try one with a little more pizazz, see my own meatloaf recipe. I believe the use of tomato paste or sauce or catsup probably derives from the Anderson’s Restaurant recipe. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (Although I may add more eggs to the Anderson Recipe next time, because I really liked the texture of Hale’s meatloaf.
This is a vintage, mid-century restaurant recipe for a no-frills meatloaf, juicy and flavorful.
Course Main Course
Keyword beef, meatloaf, vintage recipe
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 3hours30minutes
Total Time 3hours45minutes
1 1/2lbonionchopped fine
1mango (green bell pepper)chopped fine
1bunchcelerychopped fine or 3 tbsp celery seed
Beat eggs. Mix all ingredients, pack in pan and bake 3 and 1/2 hours. (temperature not given, but for such a long baking time, probably 325)
This is the full restaurant-sized recipe as written by the restaurant owner. I made 1/3 the amount and it made an 8″ loaf pan plus a mini loaf pan. Alternatively, it would fill a 9″ loaf pan.
The recipe is easy to divided in thirds. Just remember that 1/3 a Tablespoon is 1 teaspoon, so don’t overdo the pepper.
Several people on first seeing this recipe thought it was too many eggs, but I found the eggs and cracker meal balanced perfectly with the ground beef for a very good texture.
You can serve it with a brown gravy (mix 3 tbsp melted butter and 3 tbsp flour, and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups beef broth depending on how thick you want the gravy.) For an authentic mid-century restaurant meal, serve with mashed potatoes and canned peas and a lettuce salad.
I’ll admit that I am a little late in wishing you a Happy New Year with this Swiss New Year Bread. I hope that I will get back to regular blogging, and intend to start with a collection of recipes that I used over the holidays.
Welcome back and thanks for reading.
Way back in November 2016, I shared a bread recipeused by my husband’s grandmother, Helen Kohlerand his motherAgnes Badertscher.They used this incredibly delicious bread dough to make either rolls, loaf bread or coffee cake. My husband’s sister, Kay, told me that Grandma Kohler called it New Year Bread.
That seemed odd, because when I looked up Swiss New Year bread, I saw images of a braided loaf, and Granda Kohler, as far as we could remember, did not make braided bread. However, when I checked the Mennonite Cookbook that I like to refer to for traditional Swiss Mennonite recipes, I found a recipe for a braided New Year Bread that was very similar to Grandma Kohler’s recipe.
What is Zupfa?
In the Sonnenberg cookbook, I discovered a bread titled Zupfa And as is the rule in small communities like the Wayne County Ohio Mennonite community, my husband immediately recognized the name of the recipe contributor. Mrs. Merl Lehman, in fact is married to one of his not-too distant cousins.
I compared the two recipes–Grandma Kohler’s and cousin Mrs. Lehman’s Zupfa. The main difference between the two was that Grandma’s recipe included 1/2 cup of sugar. Additionally, she mixed the yeast with some sugar and water to proof it before mixing it in whereas Mrs. Lehman, mixed her yeast with the dry ingredients. And the Zupfa is a braided loaf that takes more than four hours to complete when you include all the waiting for multiple rising periods.
And what is Zupfa? As you may have suspected, Swiss New Year’s bread — a braided white bread.
Bread is Simple/Bread is Complicated
Note: Everyone makes bread with the same basic ingredients: flour, salt, yeast and water. However, it is amazing how many variations of bread exist by tweaks to that basic recipe. (For instance check out this very simple peasant bread). You can add eggs or shortening/butter, milk instead of water, or sugar. And of course there are a multiplicity of flour types, and you can add in fruit, nuts and seeds to the finished product. The shapes are different, the way you handle the dough, how many times it rises–all these variations to the simple basic four ingredients can make an enormous difference.
I think some people don’t try baking bread because bread making involves a kind of “baby sitting.” You can’t just mix up some stuff, pour it in a pan and put it in the oven. Zupfa particularly demonstrates that challenge. Although the work is not extensive, the baby sitting takes up more than three hours.
So here you have Swiss New Year’s Bread (Zupfa). Just remember:
Start early. (If you are in a hurry, bake the Peasant bread I linked above.)
Don’t be afraid of the braiding process. It probably won’t be perfect the first time–or in my case–ever.
I watched a couple of You Tube videos on braiding bread, and recommend you look for the King Arthur Flour video lesson. Plus a tip from another video–always pick up the bottom strand to fold over to the center.
You’ll notice if you are searching for tips on braiding bread, that you get a lot of challah recipes. The breads are very similar in appearance.
The Swiss New Year Bread (Zupfa) is not as complicated as you might think, but it does take a long time to make because of several risings–so plan ahead.
Keyword bread, Swiss
Prep Time 40minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
2pkgdry yeast4 1/2 teaspoons
1/2CButterplus some for brushing top
Mix 3 Cups of flour, yeast and salt in large bowl.
Heat milk with butter over low heat until just warm. If you are using an instand thermometer, you are shooting for 110-115 degrees. (I think of it as the temperature of baby’s bath water.) Mrs. Lehman adds that the butter does not have to completely melt.
Gradually add liquids to dry ingredients in bowl, Beat either by hand or electric mixer for at least two minutes.
Add one cup of flour and blend in.
Beat eggs slightly and add to the batter. Beat at high speed for two minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
Keep adding flour to handle easily, and stir in until no flour is visible.
Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth–five to ten minutes.
Grease another large bowl (or scrape out all remnants from mixing bowl and reuse). Shape dough in ball and turn it in the bowl so all sides are shiny with the butter. Leave sooth side up, cover with cloth or plastic wrap and let rise until double–about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down gently, cover and let rise again until double–30-40 minutes.
Turn the dough out on board and divide in two parts. Make two rounds and let it rest 10-15 minutes.
Divide in two parts, and set one half aside, covered. Divide the half into three equal parts and roll each into a 14″ strand.
Using the three strands, place close together on lightly greased baking sheet. Braid the stands gently and loosely. Do not stretch.
Fasten ends and tuck under securely. Repeat the process with second half.
Brush the braided dough with softened butter, cover with damp cloth and let rise until double — 40-50 minutes.
Brush with egg yolk glaze and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (190 degrees on instant thermometer inserted in center) Let rest on pan for ten minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. When totally cool, wrap tightly for storage or freezing if you are not eating the bread immediately.
Mrs. Lehman called for 7 1/4 to 7 1/2 cups of flour, which I found excessive.
I put the bowl of dough into an unheated oven with just the oven light on and that worked very well for the first rising periods. Just remember not to preheat the oven, until you get to the point where the braided dough is rising. You will let it rise on the counter or near but not on the stovetop while the oven heats.
When I was braiding the first loaf, at first I did not get the strands close enough together as I braided, so I had large lumps. It was not hard to unbraid it and start again. Of course you can make the loaf longer and skinnier or shorter and fatter as you wish.
I added the 1/2 cup of sugar to the recipe because I thought a slightly sweet taste would be appropriate for this special bread.
Finally, I have to mention that I apparently let the braided dough rise a bit too long. If you look at the final picture with the instructions you will see some strange strands. That is the sign of what is called over-proofing. Had I been aware, I could have corrected it by starting over with the shaping. Honestly, I don’t think the problem was serious enough to do all that, but it is handy to know that you can correct the problem and get a pretty loaf.