Robert Mays French Bread from 1660

Robert Mays French Bread from 1660

“Take a gallon of fine flour, and a pint of good new ale barm or yeast, and put it to the flour, with the whites of six new laid eggs well beaten in a dish …”

Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook, 1685 (first published 1660)

The challenge for the Bread Baking Babes this month was to make Robert May’s ‘French Bread the best way’ from The Accomplisht Cook (1665-85). The adapted version is found in English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David.

I absolutely love bread history, and the thought of baking a bread recipe from 1660 was enough to get me going, but not so fast…


  • 500 g/ 1 lb 2 oz preferably a half-and-half mixture of unbleached white and whole wheat *
  • 6 grams (1 3/4 tsp.) instant yeast
  • 10g (1 3/4 tsp.) salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 100 grams (1/3 cup) milk, warm
  • 250 grams (~ 1 cup) water **
Read the whole recipe on Bread Experience