Bread is one of our oldest foods, a pillar of civilisation. Nearly every civilisation around the world has developed it. Bread has several key ingredients: (flour, liquid, oils*, leavening substance*, salt*, sugars*)

the major types for each of these are:

flours: wheat corn nut rice

liquids: water milk broth blood (yes blood)

oils: butter olive oil sesame seed oil other oils**

leavening substances: Yeast baking powder fermented stuff***

sugars: cane corn syrup maple others ****

* not essential
** too many to list, but the big distinction is between fat and vegetable oils
*** wheat flours have natural rising qualities
**** can’t list off the top of my head ...


"Bread consists in flour, salt, water and yeast. Anything else is cake." (Lugo Teehalt; Clearwater Lake Ecological Congress; 1972; Keynote address.)

White flour (Cheap flour will do.)
Warm water

Add the yeast to the water with a little of the flour. (For dry mix yeast, which is best avoided, follow the genetic engineer's instructions.) When the yeast has "dissolved" add the rest of the ingredients and mix. (Added much later, 13th. Sept 2007: An improvement in the lightness of the bread, and it does not increase the time to make the bread by much, is had by allowing the mixture to rise quite a lot before kneading it. This also makes it easier to knead.) Knead the mixture 64 times, say, preferably longer. (To knead: smear the dough away from you; rotate dough through 90 degrees; fold the edge nearest you to the edge furthest from you. Kneading may be less effort if the bread is allowed to rise slightly.) Allow to rise, it rises faster the warmer it is - remembering yeast is a living organism, until it doubles in size, preferably (very) more than doubles. Knead lightly 35 times, say. Shape and place on lightly floured, dry baking tray. Sticks and buns are nicer, easier and quicker to cook than are loaves. Place in a cold oven. Cook for 30 minutes in a very cool oven (gas mark 1). Then turn up oven to hot (gas mark 7) and cook for about 15 minutes for sticks and buns or a little longer, until it sounds hollow when tapped on the base, for a loaf.

The important points to get a good, well risen texture are:

Do not use too much water, a stiff dough is much easier to cook.

Do not "over prove". That is, after the second knead do not allow the bread to rise much before you cook it. In the method no rise at all is specified and this gives good results. Not over proving is much the most important consideration. The idea is to get the bread to rise as much as possible when it is inside the oven.

One way to adjust the crustiness is how long it is cooked. (Another is brushing with brine.) Longer cooking gives a robust crust and more flavor.

The yeast organism is inhibited by salt.

The less yeast you put in the better the flavour, (this is by far the most important consideration for flavour - the yeast lightens the dough by filling it with bubble of gas, but it also ferments the flour and it is universally held that this provides the nice taste) but it takes longer to prove.

Yeast may be economized upon by saving some of the dough, mixing it with water and some fresh flour, covering and allowing this brew to ferment until the next time you make bread. In this way yeast needs to be purchased only once. Sporus does not know if this is safe - other organisms cohabit with the yeast - but it makes excellent bread.

Letting the bread prove in a refrigerator overnight often gives particularly good results.

Bread-ologists would be appalled but a lovely sweet taste is produced by putting no salt in the bread, but it has to be no salt at all not even a pinch.

Always experiment, only then can the bread get better. The inevitable cock ups are rare.

My parents could never agree on the best place to keep bread, the fridge or the bread bin. I discovered the answer to this several months ago. Bread should always be stored at room temparature, preferably in an air tight box or bread bin to slow down the staling (is that a real word?) process.

Bread kept in the fridge will go dry extremely quickly. The reason for this is that the amount of water that can be absorbed by the starch in the bread declines sharply as the temperature drops towards zero. This can clearly be seen on frozen bread; there will be a thick layer of ice on the bread from the water that has been given up by the starch.

If bread is to be frozen then it is best to do it in as cold a freezer as you can manage, and then defrost it as quickly as you dare. This will make the water freeze before the bread can release it and thaw when the starch is capable of holding it, meaning that once the bread is back up to room temperature it will still be nice and soft.

In many operation system kernels, bread() is a function that reads a specified block from a block device into a buffer. This function appeared in UNIX, and the name is still used in Linux and maybe other operating system kernels.

One of the most popular British TV series of the 1980s, Bread was a situation comedy written by Carla Lane, who had already achieved success with The Liver Birds and Butterflies. It premiered on BBC1 on May 1, 1986, and ran for 6 years, with 74 episodes in seven series (including 3 longer special episodes).

The show revolved around the lives of a large family, the Boswells, Catholics who lived in a terraced house in Liverpool, the city which was also the setting for Lane's earlier The Liver Birds, and the then-popular soap opera Brookside. Much of the action was centred around their kitchen table at the beginning and end of the day. In between, the characters faced a variety of struggles as they fought to bring home the bread (a common slang term for money), which they then placed (as banknotes, not sliced white) in a china chicken in the middle of the table.

The show's cast was largely made up of unknowns, many from Liverpool. Most of the Boswells were portrayed as scamsters, dole scroungers and idiots, but at the center was the tough matriarch Nellie Boswell, played by Jean Boht. Catchphrase: "That tart!"

Nellie's many children were:

  • Joey, a Fonz-like figure in a leather jacket and infinite cool, who was played by Peter Hewitt for 4 seasons and then the far less impressive Graham Bickley. Catchphrase: "Greetings!"
  • Adrian, a sensitive poet, who proved to be totally feckless in both love and unemployment. He was played by Jonathon Morris. Catchphrase: "'Anging by a thread! 'Anging by a thread!"
  • Billy, played by Nick Conway, the really really stupid one, who was always getting in messes that Joey had to sort out. (You can probably tell by now the way the show was put together.)
  • Aveline, an aspiring model, whose marriage in 1988 attracted a vast audience. She was played by Gilly Coman and then Melanie Hill.
  • Jack, Victor McGuire, who came and went.

There was also Nellie's husband Freddie (Ronald Forfar), not the most trustworthy of figures, and his mistress, the wonderfully named Lilo Lil (named for a type of cheap bed). The family was completed by Grandad (Kenneth Waller), with his catchphrase: "Where's me tea?"

Paul and Linda McCartney, friends of Lane's, made a brief guest visit in 1988. A stage version was shown in London in 1991. The show finished November 3, 1991.

Like most sitcoms it perhaps has a kernel of truth in the poverty and unemployment of Liverpool at the time, a once-great port city facing slow industrial decline, and a place renowned for the dry humour of its inhabitants (not that the show's humour was exactly dry). However, it equally existed in a bizarre sitcom parallel universe somewhere between the scheming Thatcherism of Only Fools and Horses and the incredibly dated idyll of Coronation Street. Which is probably not a bad place for a successful show.

While many of Lane's later shows were as much about pathos as comedy, Bread was lighthearted and unashamedly silly (in other words, its humour depended on catchphrases and repetition rather than observation or strong characters). It also proved vastly popular, winning audiences of over 20 million viewers. For all that, it was never a critical success, and initially provoked anger for its stereotyped characters. As a classic example of feel-good comedy, centred on family unity, it is not surprising that the show was as popular with viewers as it was derided by more sophisticated commentators.

Despite the show's huge success, much of its cast seemed keen to depart at the first opportunity. This saw more than one character played by multiple actors, with the inevitable effects on realism, continuity, characterisation and quality, and by series 5 (1989) it was in clear decline. Since it finished, Lane has had no real hits, with shows such as Luv being cancelled rapidly due to their dark tone and lack of jokes: these serious ventures failed to find favour with critics that hated Bread, although she was capable of skilful writing when she tried. Increasingly, she has devoted herself to animal rights campaigning.

The fortunes of the cast members have been varied. Jean Boht has proved herself a fine actor in other works, such as a starring role in Terence Davies's acclaimed tale of postwar Liverpool misery Distant Voices, Still Lives, and as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in 4.50 From Paddington. She did return to her bad sitcom roots with a role in "Brighton Belles" (a mid-1990s English remake of the Golden Girls which vanished without a trace.)

Peter Howitt is the most successful cast member, although you won't see him on your screens too often. He directed the feature films Sliding Doors (1998), AntiTrust (2001) and Johnny English (2003); he also had blink-or-miss it cameos in the first two films. Proving himself something of a renaissance man, he wrote Sliding Doors, is working as writer/director/producer/composer on upcoming feature The Other Half, and made a brief appearance in Highlander: The Series in 1992.

Melanie Hill (not to be confused with the British Big Brother contestant of the same name), has done much television and film work: Brassed Off, When Saturday Comes, From Hell and The Hawk in cinemas, and Crocodile Shoes, NCS: Manhunt, Silent Witness, Playing The Field and Cardiac Arrest on television. She is currently married to actor Sean Bean.

Victor McGuire has made a career in bad comedy, with roles in Sean's Show (Sean Hughes's postmodern i.e. crap sitcom), Goodnight Sweetheart (Gran and Marks' spooky time travelling adultery sitcom), and kid-with-bowel-problems motion picture Thunderpants. He is also looking forward to a role as "Cop 1" in Hellraiser: Hellworld, according to IMDb. Jonathon Morris was in Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm in 1998. Nick Conway briefly appeared in Coronation Street and managed a couple of other sitcoms, as well as appearances in Sharpe (1997) and northern soccer drama When Saturday Comes (1996).

The theme song (performed by the cast with scant regard for melody) went something like this:

Gotta get up, gotta get out,
Grab the world by the throat and shout (oo-ee-oo),
Buy it! Sell it! The game's getting hard,
But someone's dealing you a losing card.


Nellie Boswell - Jean Boht
Adrian Boswell - Jonathon Morris
Freddie Boswell - Ronald Forfar (series 1-6)
Joey Boswell - Peter Howitt (series 1-4), Graham Bickley (series 5 onwards)
Aveline Boswell - Gilly Coman (series 1-4), Melanie Hill (series 5 onwards)
Jack Boswell - Victor McGuire (series 1-3 and 5 onwards)
Billy Boswell - Nick Conway
Grandad - Kenneth Waller
Martina - Pamela Power
Oswald - Giles Watling
Julie - Caroline Milmoe (series 1 and 2), Hilary Crowson (series 3 onwards)
Shifty - Bryan Murray (series 4 onwards)
Celia Higgins - Rita Tushingham (series 4)
Lilo Lil - Eileen Pollock
Roxy - Joanna Phillips-Lane
Derek - Peter Byrne
Fr Dooley - J G Devlin
Yizzel - Charles Lawson
Yizzel's mate - Simon Rouse
Leonora Campbell - Deborah Grant
Irenee - Sharon Byatt
Carmen - Jenny Jay


  • Mark Lewisohn. "Bread". Carla Lane Website. July 3, 2003.
  • "Bread". TV Cream. July 3, 2003.
  • Internet Movie Database. July 3, 2003.

Make some bread tomorrow. You don't need to knead anything. The ancient Egyptians used bread as a form of currency and they had a workforce of thousands that were paid exclusively in bread—do you think they screwed around with kneading?

Hell naw. They threw a bunch of flour and water in a trough and hacked at it with their hoes till it formed a gooey slop. After a few hours, the slop would start bubbling from all the yeast that was growing in the trough and then they'd scrape it onto a slab of pottery to bake.


How to make your own staff of life:

Plan to do this 15 hours in advance.

You will need:

  • an oven
  • a bowl
  • plastic wrap
  • a heavy oven-proof pot (8" diameter is what I use) with a lid (cast iron if you've got it)
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • a dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of yeast

Add all of the bolded ingredients to your bowl, adding the water last. Hack at it with a spoon or spatula until well-mixed. The dough will be extremely sticky. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 14 hours (it is worth the wait).

Now your dough should look like a giant sponge. Hack at it with a spoon or spatula until you deflate it a bit. Now put your pot in the oven at 450º F (230º C) for 30 mins. to heat up. Take the pot out of the oven, pour your dough into the pot, put the lid on, and place the pot back inside the oven to bake at the same temperature for 30-40 minutes. Because the steam from the dough-slop can't escape from the pot, you will get a crackly crust like you wouldn't believe. Professional bakers have expensive steam-injected ovens that create the same environment.

The bread shouldn't stick if the pot is hot enough to start with. If you are still worried, throw some cornmeal in the bottom for insurance. Some of the cornmeal will burn into carbon, but that is more or less what happens to the bottom of your crust anyway.

This recipe has been going around the internet as if the idea of two parts flour to one part water is some kind of revolution. This recipe is not a revolution, but if you want, you can think about it as money in the bank.

Update for FAQs:

If you have a pot 10" or larger you will get flatter looking loaves if you use the same amount of ingredients. Try incrementing the recipe keeping the same proportions until you find what works. You might need to bake for a bit longer if you do this. This is a very flexible recipe and I don't even use measuring cups normally. I just try to hit 2 flour/1 water. If you use a different system of units, try experimenting! If you are curious about the conversion though, here are the metric conversions I found for 3 cups: .71 liters and .3 kg. If you weigh by pounds, use .66 lbs of flour.

Message me if you have more questions.

Bread (?), v. t. [AS. braedan to make broad, to spread. See Broad, a.]

To spread.




© Webster 1913.

Bread (?), n. [AS. bre�xa0;d; akin to OFries. brad, OS. brd, D. brood, G. brod, brot, Icel. brau, Sw. & Dan. brod. The root is probably that of E. brew. See Brew.]


An article of food made from flour or meal by moistening, kneading, and baking.

Raised bread is made with yeast, salt, and sometimes a little butter or lard, and is mixed with warm milk or water to form the dough, which, after kneading, is given time to rise before baking. -- Cream of tartar bread is raised by the action of an alkaline carbonate or bicarbonate (as saleratus or ammonium bicarbonate) and cream of tartar (acid tartrate of potassium) or some acid. -- Unleavened bread is usually mixed with water and salt only.

Aerated bread. See under Aerated. Bread and butter (fig.), means of living. -- Brown bread, Indian bread, Graham bread, Rye and Indian bread. See Brown bread, under Brown. -- Bread tree. See Breadfruit.


Food; sustenance; support of life, in general.

Give us this day our daily bread. Matt. vi. 11


© Webster 1913.

Bread, v. t. Cookery

To cover with bread crumbs, preparatory to cooking; as, breaded cutlets.


© Webster 1913.

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