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“We are not gluten intolerant, we are intolerant to the haste of modern life.” Clive Lawler, fermenter and bread-maker

The following amazing stuff about bread is one of the reasons why this blog is called ‘Slow Food’

I recently went to a fascinating talk by Clive Lawler about bread making – the ‘slow’ way and all about glutamates (umami) – the savoury taste in food – bread has it, along with a multitude of other foods that we enjoy, especially when they are cooked slowly.

He shows that traditionally bread, in the past,  was left to prove for a longer period than it is now – 12 hours instead of 2-3 and this process not only adds nutritionally to the bread but eliminates the problems associated with gluten intolerance.

I have been making this bread for a while now – a) because it tastes so good and b) because it is so easy! Everyone who tries it wants the recipe – always a good sign.  Use a large non-reactive pan that has a lid.


500g unbleached white ‘strong’ flour
Good pinch of dried yeast
Good pinch of powdered ginger
1level tsp sea salt
1 desert spoon molasses
2 tablespoons olive oil
350ml filtered/rain water, approx.

  1. Sift flour

  2. Mix dry ingredients together

  3. Add oil, molasses and water until you get a ‘beatable’ consistency.

  4. It should be pliable, but not sloppy.

  5. Beat it for a minute or so until all ingredients are combined and the dough becomes elastic.

  6. Here is the good news IT DOES NOT NEED KNEADING!

  7. Put the lid on and leave for 12 hours – overnight.

After 12 hours of being left in a draught-free warm spot (I use my laundry).  Note the bubbles.

Transfer to a pan of your choice.  I was using a 28cm spring-form pan because I wanted a largish/flattish loaf to go with a Greek meal.

Lightly oil the pan and sprinkle with polenta/sesame seed/ poppy seed/ dried herbs etc – not oil, or it will stick

Leave to rise for another 2 hours in the same warm place, lightly covered.  Turn oven on!

After rising for another 2 hours in the pan, place in heated oven. on 190oC for 35-40 mins. until bread sounds like a drum when you knock it with your knuckle.

TIP:  Always turn bread out straight away onto a cooling rack.  If you leave it in the pan condensation forms on the bottom and makes it go soggy.

TIP:  If you want the crust to be crispy, spray water into the oven a couple of times while it is cooking.

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