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Jo Sweeney’s Bread

My son turned 31 a week ago and that is almost as long as I have been baking bread. I have tried many different bread recipes over the years but only a few have stuck, each one for a different reason. Jo Sweeney’s bread continues to be used because although it is a twice kneaded bread it is an uncomplicated recipe and relatively quick to make.


1 tablespoon dried yeast (or fresh equivalent).

2 tablespoons honey or sugar.

2 cups warm water.

1 teaspoon salt.

4 to 5 cups of flours and seeds of your choice. In this case I used zentrofan wholemeal flour and a handful each of sesame seeds, pumpkin kernels, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds).


In a small bowl place the yeast, honey and warm water and leave in a warm place until the mixture starts to froth (about 10 minutes). Place the flours, seeds and salt into a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast mixture is frothy add this to the combined flours and seeds.

Mix everything well and then knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough feels smooth and elastic. This will take between 5 and 10 minutes. Not only is kneading activating the gluten fibres, just as importantly, this is when your loving energy is introduced into the bread.

Kneading the dough.

Now place the lightly oiled ball of dough back into the large bowl, cover with a clean cloth and find a warm spot where the dough can rise until doubled in size. This can take between 1 to 2 hours depending on the ambient temperature. Once risen, remove the dough from the bowl and on a lightly floured surface knead again. Not so long this time, maybe just a few minutes.

Shape the dough into an oval loaf and place on an oiled baking tray for the second rising.

Again, cover with a cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C (360F) for about 30 to 40 minutes. Longer is better to ensure that the loaf is cooked right through. Enjoy!

Good enough to eat. Bread, cheese and feijoa relish.

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