Easiest, Most
Delicious Bread

What You Need


Organic whole wheat flour, a mix of seeds and grains, honey (or molasses, maple syrup, agave syrup, sweet potato), whey, sea salt, olive oil, yeast and water.


Mixing bowl, wooden spoon, tea towel, cast iron frying pan, oven.


8 to 10 minutes a day, every day. And no washing up EVER...

Mixing The Dough

(5-6 minutes)

The Dough

Making the dough takes 5 to 6 minutes, usually before you go to bed at night. This is a measurement-free, fermented, whole wheat artisan bread so there's no recipe. We don't measure anything because it slows the process down and we'd get it wrong anyway. Besides, bread baking is a ritual, a practice, not a scientific experiment - ten minutes a day devoted to feeding your family the best way possible. Done right, it's a moment of meditation, a yoga routine, like saying your prayers. When your kitchen fills with the smell of fresh bread in the morning, your prayers are answered.

Before you start you'll need the ingredients and equipment listed above. We encourage you to buy good quality organic whole wheat flours and grains (and avoid white flour). You'll pay more, but there's nothing else you can do for a couple of bucks a day that will improve your family's health and well being by half as much. You'll also need to set aside two periods each day (the first about 6 minutes long, the second about 2 minutes) that are 8 to 14 hours apart. This gives your flours and whole grains enough time to ferment properly.

Pour whole wheat organic flour into a flatish mixing bowl. Aim for about a tennis ball of flour per person. (If you're a family of four or more, you'll have to divide your dough into two or more loaves.) For two to three people that's a mound about the size of an upturned soup bowl, but shaped more like a volcano. After watching us do it a few times you'll quickly learn to do it without thinking. Simply trust yourself to get it right.       read more

Cloaking and Baking

(2 minutes)

Cloaking and Baking

You shape the loaf five to fifteen minutes before baking it. First, remove the tea towel from your mixing bowl. During the night the dough should have slowly risen so it now looks something like this. Before getting your hands sticky, sprinkle the bottom of your cast iron frying pan with a good covering of golden flax seeds (it could be poppy seeds or corn meal) and place it nearby. Then dribble some olive oil over the top of the dough and oil the palms of your hands. We don't get overly worried about washing our hands ahead of time.

Now, using your fingers or the same wooden spoon you used to mix the dough, separate the dough from the edges of the bowl and gather it into a more manageable mound in the centre of the bowl. Do it gently so you don't pop all those lovely air bubbles made by the yeast. Then gather the dough into your hands and spend 30 seconds to a minute "cloaking" the loaf.

Cloaking involves repeatedly grabbing part of the outer surface from the top of the dough ball and stretching it out and around and down to the bottom. What you're doing is lengthening gluten strands and wrapping them around the dough to make a skin a bit like a balloon. This helps the loaf bake into a more loaf-like shape.

Okay, you're done. Drop the cloaked loaf gently into the cast iron frying pan and put it in a warm place to rise for about ten minutes (if you have a gas oven with a pilot light, it's a great place to let your loaf rise on a cold day). If you were sparing in your use of olive oil, or spent too long cloaking the loaf, you may want to brush the loaf with some extra olive oil so it browns nicely as it bakes. The left-over olive oil on your hands makes great moisturizer for your forearms or legs.

There's no need to pre-heat your oven. Put the bread in after ten or so minutes, turn it to 325 - 375 degrees, and the bread will rise a little more as the oven heats up. The loaf is done after 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf. When it's done it makes a hollow sound when you rap it on the bottom with your finger tips. If you like a soft crust, put a bowl over the loaf when it's done and the steam will soften it.

Tips and Tricks

How much your bread rises during baking depends more than anything on the moisture content of your dough (assuming you remembered to add yeast!). If you don't add enough water, you may get a puffed-up loaf, but your flours and grains won't have enough moisture to ferment properly. If you make it too wet, you'll have beautifully fermented dough, but it may bake flat (no problem, just cut it horizontally). There isn't any right or wrong in terms of how your bread should look. It's bread for your soul. It's about your body (and all the millions of critters that live inside you, and on you) getting the kind of fibre- and nutrient-rich bread they need to thrive and blossom.

Of course, other things also affect how much your bread rises. Because whole grains and seeds are denser (heavier) than flour, they slightly impede your bread's ability to rise. As for sweetener, yeast love honey so if you give them lots they'll tend to reproduce (and fart) more, making your dough more bubbly. A warm environment also excites yeast more than a colder one, so if you give them lots of honey, warmth and only a small sprinkling of seeds and whole grains, they'll tend to rise more than otherwise. The trouble is, if you stimulate them too much they can rise too fast and then collapse in exhaustion, having consumed all their food in one big orgy. The best possible loaf comes from dough that rises slowly and steadily all night long.

What happens if your own life gets crazy and you don't get around to baking your bread today? Don't worry, just stick the dough in the fridge (to slow down the speed at which it ferments) and bake it the next day. Because bread dough is a living microcosm, a natural organism, you'll get a more "sour doughy" loaf, and it won't rise as much, but it's deliciously hearty and healthy. In this situation you might experiment by throwing in a handful of fresh herbs, or sauteed garlic, or caraway and cumin seeds. If it bakes very flat call it "garlic herb pumpernickle", slice it thinly, toast it, and serve it with gravlax or butter. Everyone will be blown away.

There are plenty of other things you can do using our basic bread dough as a starter. When mixing the dough throw in raisans, sultanas, prunes, figs and dates and make "fruit loaf" (serve it with sharp cheddar and apple slices as desert). You can also use it as a starter for fermented whole wheat pizza dough. Instead of cloaking it into a ball at baking time, add a little more flour so it handles better, then stretch and press it out thinly on a baking tray or a wooden pizza shovel before adding toppings.

Our bread easily lasts four days, longer if you keep it in the fridge. And if you ever worry that it's a complete failure - don't! Give a slice to your dog and watch it shamelessly beg you for the next one. Then try it again yourself. That's what real good live food tastes like.

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If your daily routine means you don't have time to bake your bread in the morning, shift the pattern described here forward about twelve hours. Then you only have to set aside 6 to 8 minutes in the morning to make your dough; and you cloak and bake your bread towards the end of the day. We prefer the other way round because we don't have day jobs and we love eating our bread fresh out of the oven for lunch. The only crucial thing is that your dough should have at least 8, and preferably 12 full hours to ferment.

Because we live in a healthy natural environment, our hands are home to lots of healthy natural micro-organisms that help connect us with our greater being. Plenty of evidence shows that ultra-hygienic modern environments, especially during childhood, harm the development of our immune systems by impeding the symbiotic interaction of the world around us with the world inside us. For instance, here's a study that shows that kids who suck their thumbs and chew their finger nails into their teens suffer from fewer allergies later in life than those who don't. Obviously if you live in an environment with lots of chemicals and toxins, washing your hands becomes more important.