Make your own Elizabethan bread

Flour pours into a sack at the mill

Bread has been a staple of diets for centuries and for most of that time its production has involved a whole community, from planting to harvesting.

The millers’ role, turning this grain into flour, made him an important person in the village, but not all flour or bread was the same.

The wealthy demanded fine white flour to make white manchet bread, to be eaten along with meat, game, imported fruits and spices.

The rest of the village made do with cheaper brown flour made from rye and barley and this was eaten with vegetable stews – less exciting but much healthier.

Take your taste buds on a tour of the past with our Elizabethan bread recipe.


  • 3 cups of wholewheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of beer
  1. First, dissolve the yeast in the beer and stir in the salt. Let it stand for 15 minutes, until a brown froth starts to form.
  2. Next, make a well in the flour and pour the yeast mixture in.
  3. Knead the dough enthusiastically until it becomes elastic-like. Form it into a round loaf and prick it with a knife.
  4. Leave the dough in a warm place to double in size, you’ll need patience, this can take 1 or 2 hours.
  5. Once the dough has proved, pop your bread into the oven, pre-heated to 170°C, bake until golden brown.
  6. Leave your bread to cool before tasting. We like it with vegetable soup, for an authentic Elizabethan meal!