The National Loaf revisited
With austerity in the air (austerity and Christmas??) there have been several mentions in food blogs recently of ration book cooking including "The National Loaf". Introduced in 1942 the national loaf, made from wholemeal flour, was introduced to combat shortages of white flour. @serialcrafter issued a gentle challenge "Go on, you can knock one up in no time."
How would it taste, what would it cost, how easy would it be to make?
To cut to the chase this loaf made with only wholemeal flour tasted excellent, quite farmyardy if you know what I mean, and it wasn't heavy. By the way, the hand holding the Nutella laden knife is son Patrick, not me.
So what about the cost?
£1 exactly for my two loaves, including electricity for the oven. Per 100g this works out at 7p compared with a Hovis loaf at Tesco for 17p per 100g!! (OK, I gave my labour for free.)
And the work and time involved?
Well it took 2.5 hours from thinking about it to the first bite however only 30 minutes of this was work, split into 22 minutes initially then a 6 minute spell and a quick 2 minutes.
The cost per loaf drops further if you fill the oven, probably to around 6p per 100g. The overall time and work time involved stay the same though you do have to work harder with a larger lump of dough!
There are ways to improve the flavour and digestibility of breads which take more time but these don't involve more labour, just a bit of planning.
So go for it. 22 minutes gets you a wonderful flavoursome healthy loaf.