kombucha

How To Make Kombucha

What is Kombucha?

Consumed for thousands of years, kombucha, a fermented tea drink, has been known to improve digestive health, immune system and general vitality. It starts as a tea full of polyphenols which is then fermented with a ‘scoby’ which introduces and grows the healthy bacteria in the kombucha.

Why is it good for you? Not only is it re-introducing lost strains of good bacteria, kombucha also stimulates the release of stomach acids to aid in breaking down and digesting incoming food.

  • 1x kombucha scoby (you can pick up starter kits like this one
  • Kombucha starter (100ml of starter liquid)
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic sugar – this feeds the bacteria but doesn’t end up in the final product
  • 1 litre of filtered water
  • 2 organic black tea teabags (or loose leaf equivalent)

You will also need a ceramic pot or glass jar to store your fermenting kombucha that allows at least cms of breathing space once you fill it with 1.1 litres. Stainless steel brewers are commonly used when making beer but damage the beneficial bacteria in the scoby when making kombucha

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Start with clean dry hands and clean dry equipment to ensure you don’t introduce any unwanted bacteria to the mix.
  2. On a stove top, bring the water to a boil in a clean saucepan. Once it is bubbling, add your teabags/loose leaf tea and turn off the heat to allow the tea to steep for five minutes and then remove the tea bags/tea leaves
  3. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve (remember – avoid using anything stainless steel).
  4. Cover your sweetened tea with a clean tea towel so nothing falls into it and leave to cool to room temperature.
  5. Pour the whole brew into a glass jar and add your scoby and the starter juice, mix and cover the jar with a dry, clean cloth and an elastic band.

Fermentation

  1. Allow the tea to ferment at room temperature for up to 7 to 10 days during which time a new scoby will form on the surface (in hot weather, it ferments faster). The growth of the new scoby can vary. It is not unusual to see rounded opaque patches and or brown jellyfish-like tentacles forming underneath the scoby. These rounded patches are not mould if no green fuzzy growth that mould produce is seen. If any mould is seen, discard the brew and start again with a new scoby and clean equipment. Taste the kombucha after 3 days of fermenting to get a sense for what it tastes like. The kombucha tea should taste pleasantly sour and faintly sweet.  The longer you leave fermentation, the more sugar ferments outs and the more sour/tart the brew becomes.

Storage

  1. Once the kombucha tea has reached a taste you like and a new scoby has formed, remove the newly formed scoby and 100ml of the kombucha tea to start a new batch and repeat the process. If the newly formed scoby forms stuck to the older scoby simply tear off the new SCOBY to use with the new batch. Dispose of the older scoby.
  2. You can drink the remaining kombucha tea straight away or refrigerate.
  3. If you want a fizzier kombucha drink, (also known as secondary ferment), pour the kombucha tea into a glass bottle and place a lid tightly on and leave at room temperature.  After 1 to 2 days, you can drink or refrigerate.
  4. Larger quantities of kombucha may be prepared from the second batch onwards, by increasing the ingredients proportionately.

Recommended Dosage

Kombucha is best consumed 20-30 minutes before meals to improve digestion of the meals. Start with just a shot of 30mls a day and slowly build your way up to half a cup to 1 cup per day.

 

Storage 

Your kombucha can be kept refrigerated (for up to two week in fridge or up to two years in freezer) when you are not fermenting.  The kombucha tea can be kept in refrigerator for up to two weeks

 

Cautions

Mould can form on the culture if the brew is not acidic enough – usually because insufficient starter was used. It can also form because of poor hygiene.  If there is any mould on your culture throw it away and do not risk drinking it. Insufficient air flow to your bre can also spoil it, hence why we cover it with just a cloth and not a lid. Kombucha can become spoiled with a variety of other microorganisms, depending on the environment and conditions under which it is brewed. The acidity of kombucha will normally protect against harmful microorganisms, when spoiled, it will smell or taste unpleasant.

Kombucha isn’t for everyone – those with histamine issues, some allergies and some digestive issues react to the bacteria in kombucha. Not sure if kombucha is for you? Ask Carly !

Top 4 Gut Healing Favourites

“All Disease Begins in The Gut.” said Hippocrates, the Greek Physician knew that good health and well-being came down to how well the person’s gut was functioning. Now science is backing his claims with the development of testing on gut bacteria and digestive absorption.

The trouble is in today’s world, our guts are thrown so many curve balls that Hippocrates would never of thought about. So what can damage a healthy tum tum?

  • Medication – yes many of us need certain medications to get by, but long term use can change how the system works. Antibiotics, antacids, contraceptive pill, pain relief such as ibuprofen all affect the digestive system. Speak to your naturopath or prescribing doctor about alternatives before stopping any medications 
  • Stress – cortisol alters the secretion of digestive enzymes, affects blood flow and the natural waves of movement along the intestinal tract
  • Overuse of anti-bacterial products – from sprays, wipes, sterilising and bleaching, we have spent the last 20 years attempting to eradicate troublesome bacteria but in fact have wiped out a lot of the healthy bacteria that lives n our lives and protests us
  • Environmental toxins – including the soil quality things are grown in, pesticides used and plastic it is stored in, not to mention car exhausts, chemicals used on our skin. The list of what chemicals were are exposed to are at an all time high and negatively affect our digestive function
  • Bacteria imbalances – from how you were born (caesarean or vaginal) what bacteria your parents exposed you to, infant formula ingredients, what mum ate during pregnancy and what you ate as a toddler can all influence
  • Body size – how much weight you are carrying, ,as well as where on the body it is located can also affect how well your internal organs can function under pressure

 

So what can you do to support your healthy gut to improve function ? Let’s look at the Top 4 Gut Healing Favourites

 

kombucha1.   Kombucha

It might be a new thing to us, but Kombucha, a fermented tea drink has been consumed for thousands of years. It starts as a tea, usually green tea full of

polyphenols and fermented with a ‘scoby’ which introduces and grows the healthy bacteria in the kombucha. Why is it good for you? Not only is it re-introducing lost strains of good bacteria, kombucha also stimulates the release of stomach acids to aid in breaking down and digesting incoming food. Best drunk 20-30 minutes before meals, start with just a shot of 30mls a day and slowly build your way up to half a cup to 1 cup per day. Be wary of commercially made kombucha that can have more sugars than most soft drinks

2.   Kimchi & Saurerkraut

kimchi

Another source of fermented bacteria, kimchi is a Korean food made by lightly salting cabbage and radishes and storing well to encourage fermentation and adding seasoning and spices. The key to kimchi and sauerkraut (its German non-spiced relative) is the naturally occurring bacteria on the cabbages that having incredible gut healing properties, encouraging high levels of beneficial bacteria whilst discouraging harmful bacteria from taking up residence in your intestines. Start with a small teaspoon of kimchi or sauerkraut – too much too quickly will increase gut bacteria too fast (think bloating, stomach pains and excess gas). But when combined with a fibre rich diet, the healthy bacteria from 1-2 tablespoons of kimchi per day will ferment your dietary fibre and producing beneficial substances such as butyrate known to protect against colon cancer.

 

3.   Kefir

A fermented milk drink, kefir is another easy way to introduce healthy bacteria into your digestive system, replacing what has been lost over the years. Brewed with milk and powdered bacteria or ‘kefir grains’ the bacteria feed off the lactose in the milk, turning it lactose free whilst keeping the benefical bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilusBifidobacterium bifidumStreptococcus thermophilusLactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricusLactobacillus helveticusLactobacillus kefiranofaciensLactococcus lactis, and Leuconostoc species all known for their different health benefits. Start with smaller amounts of kefir and build up slowly – ideal to use in smoothies !

 

4. Bone Broth

Unlike the other 3, bone broth isn’t a fermented food/drink,but is fantastic at healing the digestive system. Nearly every traditional society boiled bones of meat-giving animals to make a nutritive broth to heal their people. As the bones cook in water – especially if that water has been made slightly acidic by the inclusion of cider vinegar – minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. Make at home in a slow cooker yourself, purchase it pre made or use the dehydrated form for a quick snack. Aim for 1 cup per day, but it can also be added to soup, curry and stir fry recipes – just use as stock Recipe for Bone broth

 

Want to heal your digestive system to improve your health & wellbeing? Book a one on one consult with Carly Elverd – Clinical Nutritionist & Herbalist getting long term results for people like you

 

IMPORTANT NOTE Those who suffer from histamine issues are best to avoid fermented foods and drinks such as kimchi, saurerkraut, kefir and kombucha as these are naturally high in histamine. Check with your naturopath or nutritionist if you aren’t sure

Is Gut Bacteria The Cause of Your Symptoms?

When we think of gut bacteria, we think of our digestive system. Now research is teaching us  that your gut dwellers can be affecting you in areas outside of your digestive tract. With our own cells out numbered 10 to 1, what strains we are housing can be the big decider of our health. An unhealthy balance of beneficial/good and pathogenic/bad bacteria, known as dysbiosis, it is not just your digestive system that can be affected.

So what disease are linked to dysbiosis? 

Digestive Conditions Linked to Dysbiosis

The diversity of your gut bacteria

Let’s start inside of your digestive system. Imbalances to your gut bacteria have been linked to:

  • Coeliac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diarrhoea
  • Diverticular disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Liver disease
  • Gum disease
  • Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Non-Digestive Conditions Linked to Dysbiosis

Outside of your digestive system, your gut bacteria interacts with your immune and nerve systems to have an affect on every cell of your body.

  • Alzheimers disease
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma & Eczema
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Depression
  • Diabetes Types I & II
  • Kidney stones
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
dysbiosis
Good and Bad Bacteria

 

Do you think your gut might be out of balance?

A Comprehensive Stool Analysis can test your levels of beneficial, harmful bacteria, yeast overgrowths as well as any parasites

Get your gut assessed

Is Your Gut Bacteria Making You Sick? Know the symptoms

berry smoothie

A Berry Nice Smoothie

Delicious any time of the day, this berry smoothie makes a super fast breakfast packed with vitamin C and antioxidants! The optional gelatine is a great gut healer


Is Your Gut Bacteria Making You Sick?

Gut bacteria also referred to as gut flora or gut microbiota refers to the trillions of microbes that call your digestive tract home. In gut bacteria, ibs, autoimmune, parasiteshealthy individuals, beneficial strains far out number any troublesome neighbours, leading to longevity, protection against chronic diseases and a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately in today’s world of overuse in antibiotics, refined carbohydrate diets and a kitchen far far away from the farm in which food are grown, our inner bacteria is at risk of being overtaken by some less than ideal inhabitants. These harmful bacteria have been linked to so many different conditions including obesity, stomach ulcers, particular cancers, diabetes, eczema, impaired immune systems, ADHD, anxiety and depression.

Since we discovered the wonderful inner world of gut bacteria, we have been studying them intensely to see what bacteria is found in healthy people and which tend to be seen in people with a range of illnesses and diseases. This data has gone on to create a list of beneficial and harmful bacteria. This can be tested easily with a stool sample sent to the laboratory.

So how can we tell what bacteria we are housing?

An overgrowth of harmful bacteria leads to a range of changes and symptoms, but let’s go through some of the most obvious ones.

1. Digestive Changes

When harmful bacteria take over, one of the most obvious signs is a change in your normal digestive symptoms:

  • Constipation or diarrhoeaconstipation remedy
  • Reflux/heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Gas

Perhaps you are running to the toilet more often, or going days before you need to. Reflux, heartburn and burping can begin due to the bacteria activity as well as gas from the other end. One of the most common is bloating, and that can be above the belly button in the small intestines or lower in the large intestines as the bacteria’s presence leads to rotting of dietary fibres and lots of stinky gas can be produced

diarrhoea home remedy2. Mental Health and Energy

That constant activity in your intestines leads to overly activated nerves that live along the intestinal wall. Add to this new research showing that the microbes in our gut contribute to our serotonin levels , and abnormal bacteria levels in those with mental health conditions and you are starting to see how these little critters can have such an impact on your mental health and energy levels. Gut bacteria over-growths have been linked to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

If you are experiencing these conditions, an investigation into your bacteria levels is wise

 

3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Whilst digestive symptoms, mental health conditions and energy levels are hard to document, most vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. But what often happens is that the person presents with a lack of a particular vitamin or mineral, regardless of what they are eating. We often think that the food we eat, is now inside of us, but if it comes into contact with a battle ground of bacteria at the intestinal wall, it may not be absorbed. Alternatively, the bacteria that exists in the intestines can also eat the broke down vitamins and minerals before it gets a chance to cross over the intestinal wall into the blood stream. Common gut bacteria related deficiencies include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B12
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc

If you’ve been told you are low on the above vitamin and minerals, maybe it is time to look at what’s happening in the gut

4. Antibiotic and Certain Medications

Many advances in medicine have saved millions of lives, and antibiotics is one of these. However, they are not designed to be usedare antibiotics safe as a prevention of infections, nor are they suitable for viral infections such as a common cold. In fact the over use of antibiotics has been the suggested reason as to the rise in auto-immune diseases. As a general rule, keep antibiotics for use inside of hospitals

Whilst antibiotics are effective against nasty infections, they also wipe out the colonies of beneficial bacteria that live happily in our gut. Even just one round of antibiotics can leave you exposed to have other harmful bacteria take over, that’s why you should see your health practitioner or naturopath if you are taking antibiotics, so together we can replenish the happy populations.

melbourne psychologist

5. Chronic Stress

Just as bacteria in the digestive system can negatively affect the nervous system, it can also go the other way, with stress causing changes in the gut that promotes harmful bacteria. There are many pathways that link your gut with your brain and vice versa, so they are in constant communication. But when the workload of the brain is high, communication because lost, leading to constipation and other gut issues. Stress reactions raise cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are pro-inflammation and encourage digestive issues.

melbourne naturopath

 

 

6. Skin Issues

Our liver is our number #1 go to when it comes to detoxifying our bodies, working to breakdown by products from normal cellular function and eliminating these via the large intestines. What most don’t know, if this pathway is compromised by a bacterial overgrowth, the skin takes over the detox job, pushing toxins out via the skin. Skin conditions that are linked to gut bacteria include acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. Your skin acts like a window, showing the effects of the external world as well as irritants on the other side of the glass – your gut. If your struggling with your skin, perhaps it’s time to look inside

7. Autoimmune Diseases

Your cells have little markers on their wall, letting our immune cells (white blood cells) know that we are part of the team. In auto-immune conditions, their is a communication meltdown, and white blood cells start attacking our own cells, thinking they are invading cells. Conditions that have this occurring are known as auto immune and include:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Some types of arthritis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Hair loss – alopecia
  • Diabetes – type 1
  • Multiple sclerosis

Changes in bacteria has been linked to abnormal digestion, perhaps because 70% of your immune system lives along the wall of the intestines, regulating what is coming in and out of the intestines and blood stream. Harmful bacteria over-growths in the intestines changes the function of the immune system and can lead to auto immune conditions and treatment should include gut bacteria

Think you may have a problem with your gut bacteria?

Book an appointment with Carly, the Naturopath Melbourne CBD to start a fixing your gut bacteria.

Toasted Pita & Bean Salad

Beans add protein and fibre to this tasty riff on the classic Middle Eastern salad fattoush, made with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, mint and pita bread.


Gut Loving Green Smoothie

It can be difficult to get enough fresh vegetables in your diet but with this green smoothie you can start your day with 3.5-6 grams* of fibre to feed your colon bacteria. To make your morning easier, pop all the ingredients into the blender jar the night before and store in fridge for breakfast the next day so you just have to blend it in the morning

*depending on fruit and vegetable choice


Improving Your Digestion with Bitter Greens

One of the most common practices I prescribe as a naturopath is bitter green vegetables. In addition to being one of those most nutrient rich foods, packed with

  • Vitamins A, C and K,
  • Minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium
  • Filled with folate
  • Gut loving fibre

Although the reason can be specific to the client, there is always a few fundamental benefits of increase those bitter green leafy veggies

Originally, we thought that consuming bitter foods activated the bitter taste buds that simultaneously stimulates enzyme production and bile flow. However recent research has revealed that bitter receptors aren’t confined to the taste buds and can be found in various locations along the digestive tract, regulating how much digestive power was required to break the food down to useable parts.

The extensive list of benefits range from

  • Clearer skin
  • Decreasing abdominal discomfort and bloating
  • Healthy blood clotting function
  • Less gas/flatulence
  • Improved fat digestion

What all of these things have in common is the stomach and liver’s response to incoming food. By stimulating these receptors, enzymes required to break down those all important vitamins and mineral for absorption into the blood. More enzymes, more effective digestion, the more nutrients you are able to harness from less food.

Now they aren’t called Bitter Greens because they taste sweet, they all do have a degree of bitterness to them to hit that bitter receptor. But not all are as strong as others (Read: you can slowly adapt your tastes) and there is a way to lighten the bitterness by lightly sautéing them with a good quality olive oil in a pan for about 3-5 minutes. Experiment with the types you have available, raw, and cooked to expand your taste responses.

Many bitter greens vary in name, depending on nationality (Asian to British varieties) so they may not be listed as what is below. As we don’t shop for vegetables by a universal botanical name, a mustard green in one store will look very different to another store. When in doubt, google what the store is calling it and check for other common names. I’ve included some pictures, so you can identify them also by sight

Types of bitter greens in Australia

  • Amaranth greens

  • Belgian Endive

  • Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

  • Chicory leaves

  • Curly Endive (Escarole)

  • Dandelion Greens

  • Kale (including Dinosaur Kale, Lacinto Kale)

  • Mizuna (Japanese mustard greens)

  • Mustard Greens

  • Radicchio

  • Rocket

  • Tatsoi (Spinach mustard leaves)

  • Turnip Greens

  • Watercress

The Low FODMAP Diet – The what, the why and the how

The term FODMAP is an acronym that stands for

Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, And Polyols

These types of carbohydrates got their own team name based on the length of their carbohydrate chains and have been known to worsen the symptoms of some digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These short-chain carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, attract excess water to the intestine and as they sit around waiting to be processed, they rapidly ferment in the gut, which can lead to increased gas, distention, bloating, cramping, and diarrhoea.

 

Oligosaccharides are unable to be digested as humans lack the digestive enzymes required to break them down. Foods that fit this category are artichokes, asparagus, beets, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, garlic, leeks, okra, onions, peas, shallots, wheat, rye, barley, legumes, lentils, chickpeas, apples, peaches, persimmon, watermelon, and pistachios

A disaccharide, Lactose is a made up of two sugar units. Lactose is only a FODMAP when there is an insufficient level of lactase, the enzyme required to break lactose down.  Several factors can influence lactase production such as genetics, ethnicity (Asian, African American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander), and other gut disorders. Common foods are milk, yogurt, ice cream, custard, and soft cheeses.

Fructose is a monosaccharide, a simple sugar and requires no digestion, however when fructose levels are greater than glucose, an alternative absorption method is used. This alternative method of absorption is impaired in some individuals, leading to fructose malabsorption. Common foods are apples, cherries, mangoes, pears, watermelon, asparagus, artichokes, sugar snap peas, honey, and high fructose corn syrup.

Fructans: Globe and Jerusalem artichokes, garlic (in large amounts), leek, onion (brown, white, Spanish, spring and onion powder), shallots, wheat (in large amounts), rye (in large amounts), barley (in large amounts), inulin, Fructo-oligosaccharides.

 

Polyols are a type of sugar alcohol that absorbs one third of what is consumed, and absorption is slow, fermenting in the intestinal tract. Common foods in this group are apples, apricots, cherries, pears, nectarines, peaches, plums, prunes, watermelon, avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas, and the artificial sweeteners sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, and xylitol.

 

Phase 1
The first phase of the Low FODMAP Diet generally involves the strict restriction of all high FODMAP foods for 4-6 weeks. Identify these foods and seek alternatives to ensure your diet is still nutritionally adequate, preferably with the supervision of a naturopath or nutritionist. The symptom response over this period should be noted, and a review appointment will then provide guidance on the second phase.

Phase 2
The second phase is where foods that were restricted in the first phase are reintroduced gradually and the diet is liberalised to suit the individual’s threshold. This is where the type and amount of FODMAPs that can be tolerated by the individual are identified so that their long-term diet can be established. It is very important to determine the level of FODMAPs that can be comfortably tolerated, so that the prebiotic effects of FODMAPs can be enjoyed and the diet is not overly restricted. The professional guidance during the reintroduction process can help to minimise symptoms and to ensure maximum variety is achieved in the diet.

Outcome

The result should be a long-term diet that is lower in the problematic FODMAPs for the individual than were originally consumed, but is not as FODMAP-restricted as the first phase of the diet. This easier to manage dietary plan is tailored to the individual’s tolerance and continually increasing research has shown this approach decreases the occurrence and severity of gas, abdominal discomfort, bloating, craping and diarrhoea in IBS patients
Note: This is a LOW FODMAP Diet, not a NO FODMAP Diet. Eliminating all FODMAP foods from the diet over the long term is not desirable or recommended. I strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional when making such changes to your diet

 

**Not a complete list of FODMAP containing foods

The So Called “Life Changing Bread” A review and a baking attempt

I first came across this recipe a few months ago, but it wasn’t until now that I had a chance to trial the recipe and see just how “Life Changing” it is. No idea what I’m on about? Let me start from the beginning

A quick google search of The Life-Changing Bread will give you the recipe from My New Roots, a qualified nutritionist in the US who coined the title. Why is it life-changing? She explains that taking steps to eating healthier led to a reduction in nutrition-less refined grains and consequently little to no bread. Enter: The Life Changing Bread. Made from nuts, seeds, some himalayan salt and the magical psyllium husks. Magical? Yes magical! It is one of those things that are kind of like food, kind of like a supplement and kinda like a medicine. A healthy poop needs enough water and enough binding agents as well as just the right amount of time in the intestines for it to eliminate toxins that are built up everyday. Anyone who hasn’t had a poop in a few days will tell you how awful it is and how important a healthy poop is to make you feel good.

With Fibre being the key to keeping your bowels in tip top shape, and aiding your body in getting rid of nasty toxins, it has been suggested that it could be the vitamin we are all missing out on. Spouting health benefits like lowering cholesterol, cleansing the intestines, binding stools together, picking up some of the detoxification process to give your liver a break and making you feel lighter, we could all do with more fibre. But how? Metamucil says take their sugar and chemical laden product, but it is essentially just made out of. You guessed it. Psyllium husks. See now how this bread can be so life changing!

So let’s get to it then

Life-Changing Bread


Ingredients:
1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
½ cup / 90g flax seeds
½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds – I used hazelnuts as my Mum’s name was Hazel 😉 
1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia) I didn’t have any maple syrup and swapped it for honey, works just as well but only use 1 tsp as it is sweeter
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Directions:
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. I don’t trust baking with those plastic things but a $5 loaf pan from Coles did just the trick Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

So the verdict? Unlike many other recipes I have tried and tested, my final resut looked remarkably like the recipe example above, even down to the perfectly in half hazelnuts. First I smeared beetroot dip all over 2 slices.

Soft on the inside, crusty on the outside. Solid to smudge hummus on, but not a solid brick that can’t be sliced into. I’m sold so far! Stand by to hear about my life-changing results, in the mean time, start throwing this gem together today

**some photos and recipe are courtesy of the owner’s