What is the product known as a Grant loaf

The Grant wholemeal loaf is one recommended by Doris Grant (1944). Grant had taught household readers to mix and bake wholemeal bread by an easy method with no kneading and only one rising. The Grant loaf is not one intended for commercial production but rather for home baking. The following is the method and procedure suggested by Grant, with imperial units:

3/ lb English stoneground, wholemeal flour

2 pints 4 fluid oz of water at blood heat (or slightly less)

1oz sea-salt, Maldon salt or ordinary salt

1oz sugar, preferably Barbados muscovado cane sugar

1oz yeast (or up to 4 oz extra food value)

The production method was as follows:

• Mix the salt with the flour in a large basin and warm it (make lukewarm - not hot) on the oven top or above a low gas flame, so that the yeast will work quicker.

• Crumble the yeast into a pudding basin, add the sugar and a quarter pint of lukewarm water.

• Leave for ten minutes to froth up; then stir to dissolve sugar.

• Pour this yeasty liquid into the basin of warm flour. Add the rest of the warm water, and do so gradually in case all the water is not required.

• Stir the whole with a wooden spoon until the flour is evenly wetted, then mix well by hand for two minutes.

• The resulting dough should be wet enough to be slippery, but not too wet.

• Grease three two-pint tins inside and warm them well. Turn the dough into the warmed tins, put them about two feet above a low gas flame (or in the oven while the oven is warming up), cover with a cloth and leave for about 20 minutes to rise by about one-third. Bake in an oven at 205 °C (400 °F, regulo 5) for 45 minutes to an hour.

Grant considered that 'real' bread should be made from wholewheat grown on naturally fertilised soil and freshly stoneground (c.f. organic). She identified the most important production points as being:

• to warm the flour and the baking tins;

• to froth up the yeast separately;

• to make the dough wet enough to be slippery;

• to remember that wholewheat dough must not be kneaded and only requires a few minutes to mix.

David (1977) gives a metric recipe as:

Wholemeal flour Water

1.6 kg 1.25 litres

Salt

Sugar

Yeast

Margarine or butter (optional)

Tin size: three x 1kg tins Baking temperature 205 °C

We have tried out the method using 500 g wholemeal flour to 0.51 water with mixing for 5 min with a household mixer. The resultant bread was coarse structured with fragile crumb but perfectly acceptable for home-made bread.

References

DAVID, E. (1977) English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Allen Lane Penguin Books

Ltd, London, UK. GRANT, D. (1944) Your Daily Bread, Faber & Faber, London, UK.

Continue reading here: What is Baumkuchen and how is it made

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