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Simple slow fermented crusty white loaf

Day 1, evening


  • 150g Shipton white bread flour
  • 5g Bioreal dried yeast (or fresh yeast equivalent, 10g)
  • 150g water

Cover the mixture (I put a plate on top of the bowl - easier than endless cling film) and leave to ferment slowly overnight in a cool place.

Day 2 morning or evening when you get home from work

Add to the mixture made on day 1:

  • 350g Shipton white bread flour
  • 170g water
  • 10g salt

Knead to an elastic dough, cover and leave to prove in a cool place (usually 2-4 hours depending on temperature) until doubled in size.

Knock back gently, form into a loaf and leave for the final rise (typically 1 hour, again depending on temperature). I usually make this loaf in a tall farmhouse loaf tin. I put it into a 10l plastic box with a lid to prove. The 10l box takes two tins side by side - my own two loaf proving cabinet, no more damp teatowels or cling film.

Cook in a hot oven - 10 minutes at the highest temperature you can get, then 25 minutes at 220 C. I usually take the loaf out of the tin for the last 5 minutes to colour the crust on the sides.

Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and keep your children away until it is cool. Then stand back and watch it disappear.

Start the sponge for the next loaf, a baking dad's work is never done.