A super speedy wartime wholemeal loaf

Now please don’t unclick this, thinking that you haven’t got three hours spare to rustle up a loaf of bread. This is a hassle free way to make bread, developed by a baker called Doris Grant during the Second World War. You can have a loaf baked within an hour with no mess and no kneading and it tastes fab.

Round here it’s bordering on the impossible to get a loaf of bread actually made of 100% wholemeal flour.¬†Even loaves which are called wholemeal are far too light with only a peppering of wheatgerm, so really not that good for you.

The bread will only keep for around three days, but this isn’t really a problem as you’ll find it will disappear pretty quickly. It’s at its best toasted with lots of butter, so delicious and good for you.

The key to success with this recipe is to keep the flour and the water warm – not boiling hot but blood hot. If you don’t, the end product will be more akin to a brick and not a loaf of bread!

500g/1lb wholemeal flour
3/4 pint/425ml warm water
1 tsp black treacle or malt extract
1 tsp salt
1 sachet dried yeast

Heat the oven to 230 degrees.

Measure out the warm water and add the yeast and the treacle/malt and stir until dissolved. Weigh out flour and add salt. Mix thoroughly. Add the water all in one go to the flour and then mix with a spatula. The dough should be too wet to knead. Pour into a medium sized greased bread tin and leave in warm place the dough to rise for 20 minutes covered by a tea towel.

At this point place a baking tin with about a centimetre of water in the bottom on the floor of the oven. The steam created makes for a softer loaf.

When the dough has nearly got to the edge of the tin, put it into the oven. After about 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 200 degrees and cook for a further 20/25 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the tin and give it a tap on the bottom. It should sound hollow if it is cooked. Place the loaf on a rack to cool.