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I totally concur with the opinion of YouTube chef Titli Nihan that the modern Hovis loaf tastes nothing like the bread I remember as a child. TN has an interesting theory that the Hovis bread of that generation was in fact based on white flour (rather than wholemeal), with the addition of black strap molasses and wheatgerm.

I seem to vaguely recall the latter ingredient being included from advertising, but the black strap molasses seems out of place. In that post-war world, the use of Tate and Lyle black treacle would seem more appropriate, especially as they had a major operational presence in the UK at that time. In her video, TN admits that her recipe isn't quite on point, could this be the reason, as black strap molasses and black treacle are not always interchangeable?

Reference recipe: https://youtu.be/Nu-v6ICAGKo

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  • What Hovis bread are you talking about? Hovis is a company that makes many types.
    – GdD
    May 26 at 8:09
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    For those of us who would prefer to read a recipe in 30s rather than wasting 5 minutes watching a video - thebreadkitchen.com/recipes/hovis-recipe-old-style One thing I note is they don't even start off with Hovis flour, they use plain white & add wheatgerm. After that, I'd be tempted to ignore anything they say.
    – unlisted
    May 26 at 9:24
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    @GdD - Hovis [at least back in the day] was a very very specific loaf. They didn't do any variants at all until the 80s.
    – unlisted
    May 26 at 9:25
  • Thanks @Tetsujin. The video was the only recent reference I'd come across.
    – Greybeard
    May 26 at 10:08
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    Interesting historical question, but my usual sources for British food history have nothing about Hovis bread other than its place in the history of promoting wholemeal bread. And Hovis themselves seem weirdly more concerned with reporting their history of advertising than talking about their own bread; I think they let their marketing firm write their history pages.
    – FuzzyChef
    May 28 at 16:38

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