The National Wheatmeal Loaf

If you are finding it challenging to get your usual bread or want to put your extra time at home to good use, you may want to bake your own bread.

Bread was the mainstay of the wartime kitchen and was nearly always made at home, although the national wheatmeal loaf was available from bakers.

This loaf makes a very rustic and high fibre loaf of bread, and is ideal for sandwiches, toast as well as being the perfect accompaniment for soups, stews, and casseroles.

This recipe is from the Ministry of Food – Jane Fearnley Whittingstall, and to keep it authentic it’s in Imperial measurements.

(Makes 2 loaves)


1 ½ lb wholemeal bread flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dried yeast
1 dsp honey or treacle
16 floz tepid water

What to do

  1. Mix together all the ingredients and knead for about 10 minutes until you have a soft dough.
  2. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave until dough has doubled in size (around 2 hours).
  3. Knock back the dough, give a short knead then cut into two equal pieces. Place in 2 x 2lb loaf tins, allow to rise for a further 2 hours.
  4. pre-heat oven to 200°c then bake loaves for 30 min. To test the loaves turn them out of their tins and give the base a tap. if it sounds hollow they are ready.
  5. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Find more thrifty wartime dishes here

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31st Mar 2020
Thanks for voting!
I wonder if it’s at all possible to freeze it at the ‘cut into two equal pieces’ stage ? Have very limited space for storage here
31st Mar 2020
Thanks for voting!
That's fine - if you can get flour!

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