Healthy Bread Recipes

Making your own bread is very rewarding. On a cold day it's comforting to have the oven on for warming the kitchen and almost nothing beats the smell of freshly baked scones. Here are some tips before you start. 

Yeast bread tips: make sure you don't use too hot water or milk as it will kill the yeast, have it as hot as feels comfortable when you put your hand in there. Make sure you knead the dough well. Time yourself to be sure because ten minutes kneading feels like a long time and most times we under-knead. You can't knead too much when it comes to yeast bread. Don't leave out the salt. Have your oven hot. Don't over rise your bread or it will sink when you put it in the oven. If you over rise it just knock it back and reshape, let it rise again and then bake. Use stoneground flour for yeast breast. Coursely ground wholewheat flour will make very heavy bread if you are using yeast unless you use 50/50 wholewheat and white.

Soda bread tips: this is the opposite to yeast bread, handle the dough as little as possible. Just enough to make sure everything is evenly distributed and then stop. Have the mix rather too soft than too firm. Only use a light dusting of flour to stop it sticking. Don't leave it sitting around waiting to go into the oven. Have your oven hot when you put the bread in there. 

Wholewheat Herb Scones

1 Cup of wholewheat flour or whole spelt flour
1/2 cup of good white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon raw sugar
2 oz (60 g.) butter
1 teaspoon mixed herbs (your choice)
5 tablespoons natural yogurt

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and lift the dry mix with your hands a few times to get some air in there, this will help to make the scones light. Rub in the butter. Add the herbs and then the yogurt and mix until a soft dough is formed, add a little more yogurt if the dough is too firm and sprinkle with a little flour if it's too sticky. Do this fast and don't handle the dough too much as this will make your scones tough. Roll out gently onto floured surface and use an upturned glass or scone cutter to cut out rounds. Place them on a floured or oiled tray and bake for about 25 minutes. Serve warm

Basic Wholewheat Bread

1 and 1/2 lb. (700 g.) wholewheat flour or whole spelt flour.
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 cup of good honey
1/2 cup of good vegetable oil
3/4 pint (4.5 dl.) warm water
1/2 oz. (15 g.) fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons dried yeast

Mix the flour, salt and oil in a large bowl; in a separate bowl put the honey, pour over the warm water and blend in the yeast. (if dried yeast is used, leave for 15 minutes to activate.) Make a well in the flour and pour in the yeast and honey mixture Blend until a firm dough is formed. Knead on a floured surface for at least 10 minutes. Form a ball with the dough, place in a covered greased bowl and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour - the dough should be double in size. Knead for another 2-3 minutes; shape into a loaf and put into a greased 2 lb. (1 kg.) loaf tin; cover and leave in a warm draft free place until it has reached the top of the tin. Bake in a hot oven 230 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 200 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. To test empty the bread out of the tin and tap the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow.

Country Loaf

1 lb. (450 g.) wholewheat flour or whole spelt four
1/4 lb. (125 g.) rye flour
1/4 lb. (125 g.) cornmeal
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 cup of raw milk or milk alternative
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 oz. (15 g.) fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons dried yeast

Mix the flours together with the salt; in a saucepan combine the wet ingredients and cook over a low heat until the molasses has dissolved and is well blended. Put the yeast in a bowl and slowly add the warm but not hot milk and molasses, stirring thoroughly. Pour the yeast mixture into the flours. Blend until a firm dough is formed. Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes; put the dough in a covered bowl and allow to rise until it has doubled in size. Knead for a few more minutes; make into two oval loaves and put on a greased baking sheet; make a couple of knife slits on the top; leave to rise again until about double in size; bake for 35 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade.


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