All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Everyday Bread #59 - Doris Grant's Original Whole Wheat No Knead Loaf

Doris Grant's 'Original' Whole Wheat No Knead Loaf

I've baked another no-knead bread, this time a version of what is purported to be the original Doris Grant bread (from her book 'Your Daily Bread', ca 1944).  This was found online and was provided by (I'm assuming) UK baker Paul Pursglove of 'Paul's Bread'; there are dozens of other Doris Grant Bread versions 'out there' in the h'Interland, but I've scooped this one from the pdf linked to his page.  Even with Paul's help converting the weights and measures for me, I still had to measure certain things, and I still had to convert the yeast


  • 450 g wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp or 3 g yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt (kosher) 3 g
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1.8 c or 426 ml or 400 g hot water


Mix yeast and some honey and water while the flour warms in the bowl you will mix it in, in the oven at the lowest setting (mine's lowest is 170 F), about 10 - 15 minutes.  Grease a baking tin and place it in the oven to warm with the flour in its bowl.  When the yeast blooms, mix it in the larger volume of water that has been mixed with the butter and the rest of the honey.  Take the flour from the oven and turn it off for now.  Add the salt to the flour and mix it up.  Add the yeast and water mix slowly, stirring the flour together, until your dough becomes a sticky mess.  Then pour it into the prepared warmed tin and press it down along the edges.  Let rise 30 minutes, then preheat the oven to 425 and bake 30 minutes in the tin, and 10 minutes out of the tin.

My Experience:

My water was pretty hot to touch, so I was worried about killing the yeast again.  I did heat up the flour in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, just like when I did Myrtle Allen's Brown Bread.

This bread went into the oven at 425.  I preheated the oven when the 30 minute rise was finished: the loaf didn't look finished to me then, but by the time the oven was preheated, it had expanded a little.  It had not doubled. 

Nevertheless, I slipped it in for 30 minutes, then my intention was to depan it for another 10 minutes.

That is where I failed.  The bread was well and truly stuck, and when I used a knife to loosen the edges, I unfortunately pierced one side of the loaf.  Mist escaped, along with much of the heat that was still working to bake the interior of the loaf.  Big mistake.  Worse mistake though, I thought I could still get the loaf out intact.

 I could not.  So I got as much out as I could, and then stuck the largest piece back in the oven, for all the good it would do, for another 20 minutes.  And, God help me, I ate all of the pieces that were sitting there on the counter.

With butter.  And peanut butter.

It actually tasted quite good warm like that.  But I ate so much, that when I was finished, I had some more.  And then I laid down and within about 20 minutes I noticed that my heart was racing, my blood was pumping.  That was interesting, I thought.  I wonder if I can monitor this effect sometime?

Obviously, I have to try this loaf again, and soon, to redeem myself.  I propose a longer baking time.  I propose more or different grease (I had used coconut oil, and I thought I had put lots on). 

What if, instead of putting it in a tin, you put it directly on a stone?

Notes to Myself
  • Obviously you have to try this again.  Try a longer bake, 40 minutes before trying to remove it from the tin.  Also: you didn't heat the tin.  Try that.
  • It is definitely underproofed.  You do want to let it double before baking.  Wait an hour, or two hours, if need be.  You might have killed some of the yeast with the too-hot water, but you didn't kill them all (there was some rise).  You just have to be patient with the yeasties, nurture them, let them do their magic.
  • Get the water the right temperature: not too hot, not too cold: Measure it.
  • If the loaf sticks again, try it free-form on a baking stone (how to get it to rise without spreading?); or try a greased baking paper liner; or look into those silicone mats
  • Investigate why your blood pressure and pulse elevates after eating bread

1 comment:

  1. The original recipe specifies the dough must be slippery - a sticky mess as you mention sounds too dry. - a condition Doris Grant warns against.
    Also she suggests you let it rise by about one third, She does not have butter in the mix, and rather than honey suggests :Barbados muscavado sugar" - ie soft dark brown sugar. She also used more yeast than your recipe - about 9 gram for 1/2 kilo of flour, and "up to 35 gram for greater nutritional value"