Making bread from scratch
Making bread from scratch

How to Make Bread

...the ancient way! If you're looking to add another string to your bow while outdoor activities are still somewhat limited, why not try your hand at bread-making? Perhaps, like some of us here in the Andante office, you've mastered a sourdough starter and have baked a few delicious loaves, and now you're looking for a new challenge? Well, why not bring your hunger for history into the mix?

How do you make bread from scratch? What are the basic ingredients of bread? There are so many variants on the humble loaf that we could be here all day discussing them, which is why we've decided to share a recipe with you via Getty that will leave you with a delicious, dense Roman round with a wedge pattern on the top. 


  • 4 cups of wholewheat or spelt flour (plain flour would also work, but the loaf would be lighter)
  • 1 & 1/8 - 1 & 1/2 cups of water

...And that's it - two ingredients only. No rising agent, no additives. You could, of course, add a little seasoning if you prefer and it might make the process easier to grease your bowl with oil, but these steps aren't necessary. 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees for 15 minutes and place a tray filled with water on the bottom.
  2. Put flour (and any seasoning) into a bowl, then add 1 cup of water. Combine together until a dough forms, adding the remainder of the water if needed. The dough should come together, but should be fairly dry. 
  3. Knead the dough for around 10 minutes, until it feels elastic.
  4. Shape into a ball and leave to rest in a lightly oiled bowl for another 10 minutes. After the time is up, knead once more for 2 more minutes. 
  5. Reshape back into a ball and flatten the top down until it's around 6 & 1/2 inches in diameter. 
  6. To make the ridges in the loaf's top, use a chopstick or skewer and press into the dough to form a cross, and then again in the gaps between (see picture above) until 8 'wedges' are formed.
  7. Use a wooden spoon to poke a hole down through the centre of the loaf (you might want to dip it in flour first to avoid your dough sticking), and then put the loaf in the oven on the middle shelf to bake for 45 minutes. 
  8. When the time is up, leave the loaf to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it. 

More ancient recipes:

If you'd like to try other ancient recipes, you might enjoy these past blog posts.

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How to Make Bread was published on 5 October 2020