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Articles by Evan William McVey
Celtic Cookery Part 3: Breadmaking

One of the things I love best about cooking is the art of bread making. It is a skill that requires a lot of patience and understanding.

I have been taught and experienced French, American, Indian and Italian basic bread making at work, cookery schools and TAFE in Sydney all of which have strong influence on Celtic cookery history and technique.

Once I gained a bit of confidence and understanding, trial and error, I decided to tackle the following recipe simply called “Scotch Crumpet Loaf”.

Evan with the Scotch Crumpet Loaves

It is a monster of a recipe especially when making it at home in a small kitchen. This is a 4 ½ kg yeast based bread recipe. I would think that the proving times could be easily sped up with the use of a commercial prover. Once baked and cut it should have the consistency of a crumpet. The slices can then be grilled and topped with jam etc. The bread has a long shelf life, maintaining quality and freezes well.

Scotch Crumpet Loaf

1st Set:

250g Wholemeal flour                           500g Unbleached white flour

5g Dry yeast                                        5g Salt

2 ½ Cups tepid water              

Add ½ cup of the tepid water to the dry yeast and stand aside for 10 minutes. Sift the flours and salt together in a basin, and aerate with hands. Add the remaining water and yeast water, then knead briefly until the ingredients have combined. Allow to stand, covered for 12 hours.

2nd Set:

500g Wholemeal flour                           500g Unbleached white flour

1 Tbl Liquid malt extract/ malt powder     5 Cups tepid water

15g Salt

In a separate basin sift the flours and salt together. Create a well in the 1st proven mixture. Add the malt and water, then the sifted flours. Fold the new ingredients in well. Cover and allow to rise for 2-3 hours.

3rd Set:

1kg Unbleached white flour                               3 Tbl Vegetable oil

25g Salt                                                          ¾ Cup tepid water

On a large kitchen workbench, sift the flour and salt together. Add the proved bread mixture. Make a well and add the water and oil. Knead the ingredients well. Divide the mixture into 4-5 standard oiled bread loaf tins, filling each tin half way. Cover and stand for 1 hour, or until dough reaches the top of the tin. Meanwhile preheat oven to 220C. When the bread has risen, bake for 40-45 minutes. Taken out of oven when ready and cool on racks.  

Evan William McVey

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