Doris Grant (nee Cruikshank) was a student at The Glasgow School of Art in the 1920s. She won a scholarship to study in Rome before being forced to leave the school upon her engagement. She also had a very unique claim to fame. After art school, Doris Grant went on to become a nutritionist and during World War II accidentally invented what is now known as the Grant Loaf after discovering that she had forgotten to knead the bread before baking. Campaigning against refined carbohydrates and the production of over-processed foods such as white bread, this simple loaf became an important point in Doris Grant’s nutrition theory.
Having suffered from severely painful rheumatoid trouble in her joints, Doris Grant found little relief and was nearly crippled by the condition. However this all changed when presented with an unorthodox treatment: a diet consisting of three columns of food – proteins, starches and acid fruits – with the following instruction, ‘Don’t mix foods that fight!’. These instructions had a profound effect on Grant’s life, apparently relieving the pain she had previously felt and by her own account making her feel happier, fitter and healthier. This diet was based on a theory put forth by Dr William Howard Hay, and it inspired Grant to publish two books based on the Hay system of eating.
In honour of our multi-talented alumnus, it seemed only fitting to try and bake a Grant Loaf. Following the recipe by Lorraine Pascale on BBC Food, Jocelyn Grant our archive assistant mixed the following ingredients:
- 225g/8oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 225g/8oz strong wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 300ml/11fl oz warm water
- vegetable oil or oil spray, for oiling
- a little milk, for brushing
She left the dough to rise (crucially without kneading first), shaped it and baked at 200c for 35 minutes. See an exciting time-lapse video of this process here.
After thorough testing by the archival department, we can certainly recommend this recipe.