Thursday, September 18, 2008

#78 Doris Grant's Loaf

I was “working from home” the other day and therefore needed to procrastinate heavily; been making a poster for the Faculty of Life Science Research Symposium and though there’d be fewer distractions at home where there’s the internet, telly and the kitchen. I thought I’d have another stab at bread recipe and the last one was very nice, but I rushed it rather. Then I remembered Doris Grant’s Loaf – I had bought some stone-ground wholemeal flour specifically for the recipe, but had totally forgotten about it. I’m trying to get fit at the moment and so trying to cut down on white carbs, so this one was right up my street, plus Griggers says that as long as you can read and measure you can make this bread as it requires no kneading. I’m not too sure about that, but it is easy and certainly a welcome change.

Add 1 ½ level tablespoons of dried yeast to 1 ½ rounded teaspoons of dark Barbados sugar (you can use honey, but I like burnt liquorice taste you get off molasses) and whisk in 1 ½ tablespoons of blood-heat water in a small bowl. Leave yeast to active and foam, which takes 20-30 minutes. I found that placing the bowl in a larger one filled with warm water sped the whole process up. While that’s happening weight out 1 ½ pounds of stone-ground wholemeal flour into a large bowl and mix in a teaspoon of salt. If (like me) you don’t have somewhere warm like an airing-cupboard, but the flour in an over at the lowest temperature possible and let it warm through. When the yeast is ready, make a well in the flour and pour in the frothy mixture and slowly pour in one pint of blood-heat water, mixing thoroughly with your hands (no need for mixers, here!). The dough should be quite sticky, though you may find you don’t need all the water. Split the mixture between a large and a small loaf tin that have been greased and allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes (I put it back in the still-warm oven). Bake for 40 minutes at 200°C.

FYI: Doris Grant was a very popular post-war cook and suggested this recipe as an alternative to the ‘national loaf’, which I can imagine flaccid and tasteless (though probably no way near as bad as our standard supermarket loaves these days).

#78 Doris Grant’s Loaf – 8/10. On my first slice, I thought I’d messed it up as it is not a light fluffy loaf, but quite heavy and mealy like soda bread. After another slice, I was hooked, and managed to eat most it to myself! Griggers suggests slicing it thinly with smoked salmon, but I’m not really a fan, so I had butter, farmhouse Cheddar and chilli jam. Go out and make this!!


Anonymous said...

I always inspired by you, your views and way of thinking, again, thanks for this nice post.

- Norman

Neil Buttery said...

Thanks Norman - it's always nice to receive a posting. The blog is a little quiet at the moment, but I'm going to get some things done this week hopefully.

Let me know if you cook anything!

Katrina said...

hi Neil - I've just found your blog when I search for Doris Grant's loaf. I frequently bake this loaf. IMHO, it is far superior to the National loaf (which I've eaten at the Imperial War Museum restaurant and baked at home). I love Jane Grigson's English Food and frequently refer to it. I'll revisit and follow your blog with interest.

FYI ... I've just started my own food blog

best regards,
Katrina :)

Neil Buttery said...

Hi Katrina.

Thamks for checking out the blog! I've had a quick look at your blog and it looks really good. I've become a follower and I'll add it to my blog-roll. You might just get some extra traffic via my blog (though don't hold your breath!)

I haven't done any bread recipes since i moved tpo the US - but if you're wanting some other ones the electric dough hook bread is good, especially for a busy mum who might want to make bread regularly as it requires little effort!

Keep in touch!