Mix the flours and salt in a warm bowl. Blend the yeast to a cream with a little of the water, then mix in the ale, honey, and 2 1/2 cups of the remaining water. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture and mix to a firm dough, adding more water if it does not cohere. On a board or work-top, knead the dough for about 8 minutes. Shape into a ball. Oil the inside of the bowl, add the dough, and cover it loosely with oiled greaseproof paper. Leave in a warm place to double in bulk.
Punch down the dough and cut it in half. Shape 1/2 into 2 equal sized round loaves and the other half into rolls. Make a cross-cut in the top of each loaf. Place on oiled baking sheets, well apart, cover loosely with oiled greaseproof paper and leave to proof in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Bake the rolls until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes and the loaves for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.
Recipe from The Medieval Cookbook, by Maggie Black, published by Thames and