This recipe has stayed almost the same since Sid Price made it in 1943. Deborah Cook, Sid’s granddaughter says, “We’ve always made Real Bread! The only change, apart from converting from Imperial to metric measurements, is that we’ve reduced the salt level slightly.”
Fermenting dough slowly overnight with a very small amount of yeast allows time to develop maximum flavour, a great crust and a loaf that will keep longer.
Makes: 1 large loaf
From mixing to oven: overnight plus 2½ hours
Baking time: 45 minutes
500g/1lb 2oz/3½ cups white bread flour
8g/1½ tsp fine/table salt
2g/½ tsp lard
1.5g/¼ tsp fresh yeast
280g/10oz/1¼ cups minus 1 tbsp
butter or oil, for greasing
1. Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly, then knead quite firmly until you have a smooth and stretchy dough. As it is so tight (which means the ratio of water to flour is quite low), you might need to stop and leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes before continuing. Cover and leave to rise at room temperature overnight.
2. Grease a large loaf tin, shape the dough to fit and place it in the tin. Cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 2 hours.
3. Heat the oven to 240–250°C/220–230°C fan/475–500°F/gas 8–9, or as high as it will go. Dust the top of the dough with flour, if you like, slash down the middle of the loaf and bake for 45 minutes.
Taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, published by Nourish Books. Hardback, £20. Commissioned photography Victoria Harley.