Grant Loaf

For those who prefer the denser chewiness and the added nutritional value of bread made with wholemeal flour, there are many good recipes available. I like a loaf made with half or two-thirds white flour to appropriate proportions of wholemeal flour. But for a pure wholemeal loaf, probably one of the easiest and most reliable recipes is that for the Grant Loaf, developed by Doris Grant for her book Our Daily Bread. It produces a soft, wet dough that you have to spoon into the loaf tin. It is not kneaded, nor does it have a second rising, and it is difficult to imagine that it will ever rise. It does a little. The secret is to warm all the ingredients and the loaf tin. Once used to the recipe and convinced that it will work, you can double the quantity. A food processor is ideal for this mixture.

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Ingredients

  • a good 14 oz / 400 g wholemeal flour
  • 1 heaped tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp active dried yeast
  • 12–13 fl oz / 340–370 ml hand-hot water

Method

Mix the dry ingredients (except the yeast) using just half the sugar, and put them to warm. Mix the remaining sugar with the yeast, sprinkle it into ¼ pt / 140 ml of the hand-hot water, and let it work for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 2 lb / 900 g loaf tin, and put it to warm. Warm the food processor by filling the bowl with hot water or immersing it in a washing-up bowl of clean hot water. Once the yeast has frothed up, re-assemble the food processor, and put in the warm dry ingredients, the yeasty liquid and the remaining hot water. Process until you have a smooth but wet dough. Spoon it into the prepared loaf tin, and put the whole thing inside a large polythene bag. Leave to rise in a warm place for 25–30 minutes, by which time the dough should have risen to the top of the loaf tin. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 190°C / 375°F / Mark 5 for about 1 hour. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out on to a wire rack to cool.

Variation

You can replace the sugar with honey or black treacle for an even more distinctive loaf.