A blog where families who love and live the Catholic Faith can share, encourage and support each other.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Monastery Bread for St Bruno

St Bruno , with the encouragement of Bishop St Hugh of Greenoble, founded the Carthusian order of monks , their monastery being at Chartreuse.

I have been fascinated by monastery cookbooks in my time..simple meals to feed a large number of people with minimal fuss or cost.

Some of my favourites?

Well, I own this one....Twelve Months of Monastery Soups. Delicious soup recipes for wintry family dinners.

And what comes to mind, to eat with a monastery soup? Monastery bread, of course!

Simple, rustic, crusty bread.

On the feast of St Bruno, or some time this weekend, why not bake bread?

Here is a simple recipe for rustic, hearty, no knead bread....

No-Knead Bread

3 cups bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 3/4 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, ( overnight!) at warm room temperature.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 200 degrees. Put a heavy pot (I have used Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then remove cover and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. And let it cool a bit before slicing!

Eat and enjoy, in honour of St Bruno.


  1. Leonie, I didn't know there was such a thing as monastery cookbooks. I wonder if a huge pot of monastery soup would feed all the guests on the evening of my daughter Felicity's wedding. (Less than two weeks until the big day!)I need to make something simple for anyone who is still hungry after the afternoon tea reception.