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This recipe is based on a recipe by Doris Grant who at the beginning of the 20th century was an important influence on the use of fresh natural ingredients in the food we eat.
For 60 years Doris Grant fought the major food companies against the use of refined carbohydrates and white sugar, especially in white bread. She attacked the use of agene, which was added to flour to make the bread easier to bake, declaring: “If you love your husbands, keep them away from white bread . . . If you don’t love them, cyanide is quicker but bleached bread is just as certain, and no questions asked.”
During the mid 1930s she wrote a series of bestselling books which were published alongside her weekly column in the Sunday Graphic.
The “Grant Loaf” is something she will always be remembered for. It came about due to an error she made when starting to make bread. After several months Doris realised that she had forgotten to knead the dough. She then experimented using kneaded and unkneaded dough and found that her friend preferred the taste of the unkneaded bread.
The original recipe for the Grant Loaf states:   To produce three of these loaves required 3 lb. of stone-ground whole-wheat flour; two pints of water; two teaspoons of salt; three teaspoons of Barbados sugar (or, alternatively, a tablespoonful of honey); and three teaspoon measures of dried yeast.
I do hope that you like her friends enjoy my version of this historic recipe.

Ingredients

  • 125g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g strong wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5g fast-action dried yeast
  • 3/4 tbsp clear honey
  • 175ml warm water
  • butter or spread to grease Mr D’s bread tin

Preparation method

  1. Cut a parchment (baking paper) base lining for the bread tin. Grease the tin, not forgetting the lid. Place the cut out parchment into the base.
  2. Sift the flours into a large bowl and reserve the grain – the brown bits that are too big to fit through the sieve.
  3. Add the salt and yeast and mix well.
  4. Make a hole in the centre and pour in the honey and slightly warm water.
  5. Mix well with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough.
  6. Dust your hands with flour and remove the dough. Shape the dough to fit the greased bread tin and place it in. Dust the top with the grain husks that you sieved earlier.
  7. Put on the lid. Place the tin somewhere warm to rise for 1 to 2 hours. Check it from time to time. You are looking for it to have 3/4 filled the tin.
  8. Once risen, place the tin, with lid closed, on a trivet in the inner pot.
  9. Pour in boiling water until the water comes about 3/4 of the way up the side of the tin.
  10. Put the inner pot on a heat source and bring back to the boil.
  11. Once boiling turn the heat down so the water in simmering. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes with the inner pot lid on.
  12. Turn off the heat and place the inner pot into the insulated outer container.
  13. Shut the lid and leave to thermal cook without power for a minimum of four hours. It can be left overnight.
  14. Once cooked remove the tin from the inner pot and carefully take off the lid.
  15. Leave for a few minutes then run a knife carefully around the edge of the bread and turn out onto a rack.

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