The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for South African Brown Bread Recipe from the 1970s

chmoss's picture

Looking for South African Brown Bread Recipe from the 1970s

I left South Africa in the 1970s and still long for what we called "Brown Bread" which was available from every "Corner Cafe" AKA Convenient Store. It would be baked by a local commercial bakery and often arrived at the store still warm. It was never wrapped in plastic like modern USA mass market loaves of bread. In no way could it be called artisan. It was the cheapest bread available. I believe it was subsidized bt the government. It was delicious. By the time we arrived home from it would be half consumed.

I have not yet found a recipe that tastes authentic. The seed bread recipes than Google offers me are not the same as my memory - but I mat be wrong.

The local bakery was called Gallaghers, as I remember.

I have found, and tried, the two recipes below. They are sort of close, but not quite there.

Any ideas from someone who remembers the taste?

Apologies if this request does not pass the "Artisan" bar. I ask as an Amateur Baker. 


525g Whole Wheat Flour* 1 tbsp easy bake yeast 11g 1/2 tsp Salt 2 tsp Maple Syrup 2 tsp oil 450 - 500ml warm water Put all ingredients in bowl480g of flourKeep yeast away from saltAdd warm water a bit at a timeMix with wooden spoonQuite a wet doughPut in tin to rise covered 20-25 minutes until doubled in size200C (390F) 30-40 minutesHard crustHollow bottom sound  OR From the Snowflake website Brown breadPreparation Time: 35 - 50 minutesCook Time: 35 - 45 minutesServes: Serves 6 - 8There is nothing better than home-made bread, and it's never been easier!Ingredients1kg Snowflake brown bread flour 10ml salt30ml butter or margarine10ml sugar10g (1 sachet) instant dry yeast 650ml lukewarm water Sift flour and salt together. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add sugar, mix and add yeast. Gradually add enough lukewarm water to mix to a soft dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 - 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Knock down dough on a lightly floured surface and knead again until smooth. Divide dough in half. Shape each piece into a loaf and place into two greased 22.5 cm loaf pans. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 - 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.Brush top with water and bake in a preheated oven at 200 °C for about 35 minutes, until golden. Leave in pan for a few minutes before turning out into a wire rack to cool.
alpaca's picture

does this bread look anything like Irish brown bread? e.g. this?

If so, the type of flour might be the key. Irish brown bread uses a coarse whole-wheat flour that is not commonly available in the United States. However, it can be ordered online from King Arthur (well, not right now due to the pandemic). This article from David Lebovitz gives a good overview of Irish brown bread along with a recipe.

chmoss's picture

The David Lebovitz article looks closer to my memory than the enriched recipe in the first reference. I will give it a try. Thank you.