Rory O’Connell introduced us to the Ballymaloe Yeast bread, and while doing so to the “Grant” loaf A Grant loaf is a wholemeal bread, invented by accident in World War II by baker Doris Grant to encourage workers to eat well on their rations. The loaf was subsequently named after her. It is peculiar amongst breads made with a yeast in that kneading is not necessary. We learn to cook the Ballymaloe version, which I am quite sure is far tastier than poor Doris Grants.
I however, was eating this bread before I had even heard of Ballymaloe, as this was the bread my mum in law made, nearly every day up until about a year ago when the thermomix arrived. So since I was about 16 I have loved this bread. I often said if I opened a restaurant she would have to make the bread. I loved it every single time I had it. Both of my children would rush into their house and look for the bread with homemade jam or honey. And she never said no, even making extra loaves when she knew they were coming.
One time, when the kids were quite small, Jordan must have been about two, we were travelling back from visiting a friend in Cork, and were dropping into Mrs Allen in the house, to collect the turkey. They were closing for Christmas that day and we were invited to stay for lunch. I tentatively accepted, and quickly spoke to both children about the absolute necessity of being on their BEST behaviour, no running around, no noises etc, and to eat everything. So we sat down to soup, and all was going well until Jordan was offered bread, and said in a VERY loud voice.. “What, they eat Granny’s bread here too?” I nearly died of embarrassment, but it was just laughed at, and soon the kids were playing with Rachels’, sliding down the stairs on trays. So now in Ballymaloe I am learning to make Granny’s bread, and many more. From sourdough
To white yeast rolls,
to white soda bread
And loving it, mind you I think Nigel will still be the main bread maker in the family. But it’s always good to have a back up.