I make treacle bread a lot, it’s such a rewarding loaf for many reasons. The treacle adds sweet malty flavour to the crumb and makes it perfect for serving with cheese in many forms, as well as smoked fish or pâté. It toasts well too, for topping with marmalade or Marmite. 

It’s also an easy bread because it only has one rise before baking, so after kneading you can pop it in a loaf tin and be ready to bake in about 45 minutes. 

One of our regular guests at Wordsworths Community Café (every Monday at St Matthias Halls in London’s Stoke Newington) keeps reminding me that he would like the recipe, so here it is. More filling (and nourishing) than fluffy supermarket bread, I use it in our delicious cheese toasties, which have become a staple on the menu. 

I make two 850g loaves in 2lb/900g loaf tins but you could halve the recipe and just make one, or two smaller loaves from a half recipe. It freezes really well too.

To make 2 x 850g loaves

700g strong white bread flour

300g strong wholemeal bread flour

2 sachets (or 14g) instant dry yeast

20g fine sea salt

50g black treacle 

650ml warm water 

Prepare the loaf tins: oil or butter them generously, or line with baking parchment. 

If you have a food processor or mixer you can add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on medium speed to combine using the dough hook or blade.
In a mixer you can knead on low speed for 6 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Otherwise tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic – it’s quite wet and sticky, but don’t add flour, just keep pulling and stretching (wet hands will help). 

Then divide the dough evenly in two, stetch out into a square the length of the tin, roll up like a Swiss roll and carefully place the dough in the tins, seam-side down.

Cover with a tea towel. 

After half an hour, turn the oven on to 190C. By the time it has reached temperature the bread should be ready to bake (see the picture above). 

Dust the top with flour and bake on the middle shelf for 20 minutes, then turn the loaves out of the tins and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes (tap the bottom, a hollow sound means the bread is done). 

Leave to cool before slicing.

© Linda Galloway 2023