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Bread recipes

General notes on bread making

  • Stoneground organic wholemeal flour is best, as it has all the goodness of the grain in it, but it doesn't keep very well. The best it to buy whole grain, and grind it yourself. If you don't have a grinder, buy small amount of flour regularly, and check the best before date. White flour keeps better.
  • Make the dough as wet as possible. Learn to knead with water rather than with flour.
  • Let the dough rise as slowly as possible. This ensure that the bread will keep longer, and will taste better
  • If possible, use spring water. In some area, main water contains so much chlorine that it will inhibit yeast action, and your bread won't rise properly. Plus you don't want all that chlorine in your bread, do you?
  • Yeast works best around 28 degrees, so aim for that temperature when mixing the ingredient for your dough. At lower temperature, the bread will rise more slowly, which may be what you want.
  • Baking times are approximate, as they depend on your oven. You will have to experiment and find out what works for you. Bread is baked when the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when taped with the knuckles.

Clare island sourdough

One of the easiest made bread we serve on our retreats on Clare Island, and one of the most popular too...

  • 150 g wholemeal rye flour
  • 150g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 150g strong white bread flour
  • 150g dow from the previous batch. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
  • 5 g of salt
  • 1/2 liter water at body temperature
  • a teaspoon of organic olive oil (for oiling the tin)

Mix the flour together with the salt in a large bowl. Put the dough from the previous batch in a food processor with half of the water and blend to the consistency of milk. Mix this with the flour and the rest of the water, and knead  to a soft elastic dough (about 10 mn).
Put aside 150 g of dough (for the next batch) in a glass jar. The jar should be left open until the dow in it has fully risen, then closed and kept in the fridge. 
Oil a bread tin.  Spread some flour on the worktop and roll the dough into a floury sausage, just big enough to fit in the tin.  Leave to rise in a warm place until it fills the tin completely (about 8 hours at 20 degrees, but depends on temperature). Bake for 35 minutes in a hot over (210 C). Leave to cool fully before slicing.
You will need to bribe someone who is already making sourdough bread to get the original starter dow. Once you have it, it's plain sailing.

More recipes:

Soups

Salads and starters

Main courses

Ghee

Desserts

Herbal teas

See also our article on Eating a yogic diet