Monastery Bread

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This is a wholemeal loaf from my childhood,  enriched with a handful of porridge oats. It's a very traditional loaf from the Northern counties of England and is sometimes referred to as Monastery Bread. 

Why is it called 'Monastery Bread'? Sadly, I haven't a clue! 

What I do know is that it is bread for breakfast or late afternoon, whether toasted or not, and delicious spread with the best of butter and a good jam, Marmite or honey.


250 gms wholemeal or whole wheat bread flour

125 gms of strong white bread flour

125 gms porridge oats (or oatmeal, if that's how you know it) 

1½ teaspoon of crushed sea salt

1 teaspoon runny honey

25 gms unsalted butter

350 gms of tepid water

and to activate the yeast

  • mix the honey (above) with 100 gms of tepid water (from the 350 gms total).  Add 2 teaspoons of dried yeast, stir and cover. Leave for ten minutes in a warm place until frothing nicely. Then use it immediately. 

Rolled oats for topping. 


1. Activate the yeast as mentioned above.

2. Mix the flour with the salt and the oats. 

3. Stir in the melted butter and the active yeast mixture. 

4. Add the remainder of the water. 

5. Mix and knead until you have a smooth dough. 

6. Place in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and place somewhere warm until it has doubled in size. 

7. Tip out onto a lightly-floured surface. Knock-back and shape as desired. 

8. Cover and leave in warm place until the dough doubles.

9. Preheat an oven to 200⁰C. 

10. Mist the top of the dough and sprinkle oats onto the surface, 

11. Mist the oven and then bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and hollow when tapped on the underneath. 

12. Cool on a rack

Happy baking.....


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