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A loaf called Nigel


1 kilo of Shipton Mill Ciabatta flour

An couple of extremely generous dollops of 100-year-old Italian Mother Monster starter (now fed exclusively on No.4)

A bit more than 720 ml water (but who's really counting?)

3 teaspoons of sea salt


Starter, water, flour, salt. I'm not convinced that it's necessary to autolyse without salt, I've tried both ways and we can't tell the difference.

Mixed it up, forgot about it. remembered, a couple of stretch-and-folds. And then a few more. Divided into two, shaped, put in bowls lined with waffle towels dusted with gluten-free flour because the texture makes the most beautiful patterns in the loaf. Then, because it's too warm in the kitchen and there's no room in the fridge, I stuck them in the cellar overnight.

In the morning I slashed them and baked them in a cast iron pot in a super-hot oven – around 35-40 minutes each.

I stuck a sign on one to warn the boys that they better not eat it because we were visiting our friends Anja and Nigel that evening and it was going with us. "This loaf is called Nigel. Please don’t eat him."