In the 1950s and 1960s many Hiking Club backpackers, rock climbers, and mountaineers included in their personal food commissary a bread/cookie called Logan bread – the properties of which included longevity, high calorie, nutritious, indestructability, etc. I made it a couple of times and regret to say that, in my own homebaked product, “palatable” could not be included in the above list.

Logan bread was likely created in the 1950s. A charming website account, The Legend of Logan Bread has a description and recipes, but no documentation. So who created Logan bread, and how did it get to Berkeley? Julie Verran, who was briefly involved with Dave Dornan, provides a partial answer:

"Dave Dornan's mother invented Logan Bread for a climbing trip he made, as a high-altitude food source that would keep its shape if it got wet. Then, she often served a plate of it to visitors. The family owned the Chuck Wagon bar and restaurant, with the famous Silver Dollar mahogany mirrored bar, in the Tetons; which Dave now owns, last I heard. The secret is to pat or roll it thin and not to overbake it. Graham flour is the main ingredient, with dried fruit, honey, and other ingredients. It is baked a long time in a slow oven. Relatives are graham crackers and a Mexican pastry that is also flat and made with graham flour. Graham flour is an early health food invention, whole wheat with coarse and fine grinds combined.

Dave visited Berkeley ca. '62, climbed in Yosemite with UCHC and Sierra Club RCS folks, and later did graduate work at UCB. That would make the late 1950s about right for Logan Bread's creation. Krehe and Kathy's recipe is really similar to the way I made it; [they] have improved it by adding Buckwheat etc. I think Dave stayed at the Pad [i.e Krehe Ritter's place at 1130 Spruce St., Berkeley] and may have taught the folks there how he made it."

We’re still looking for the original recipe, but meanwhile both John Fiske and Krehe Ritter sent comments and modified recipes. Each looks tastier than my memory of the original.

Kay Hershey Loughman
June 2014