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Rustic looking loaf with two slices cut off on a wooden chopping board. Tried & Tested

French country loaf

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This delicious country loaf is made using the overnight sponge method giving the bread an enhanced intense flavour, believe us making the sponge the night before will give a real difference to the taste.

Key Information

  • Prep:
    Bake:

    Total time:

  • Calories:
    Fat:
  • Large Loaf:1
  • Skill level:medium

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Ingredients

For the overnight sponge

  • 100g 3½ oz Very strong white bread flour (we like Allinson)
  • 1tsp 1tsp Honey
  • ½tsp ½tsp Easy bake yeast (we like Allinson)
  • 85ml 3 fl oz Warm water

For the loaf

  • 200ml 6⅞ fl oz Warm water
  • 2tsp 2tsp Salt
  • 400g 14⅛ oz Very strong white bread flour (we like Allinson)
  • ¾tsp ¾tsp Easy bake yeast (we like Allinson)

Change Units

The Method Enter Bake mode

  1. Classic mode Step 1

    Mix the overnight sponge ingredients together until you have a smooth dough, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to ferment for 2 hours.

    Ingredients for this step

    • 100g 3½ oz Very strong white bread flour (we like Allinson)
    • 1tsp 1tsp Honey
    • ½tsp ½tsp Easy bake yeast (we like Allinson)
    • 85ml 3 fl oz Warm water
  2. Classic mode Step 2

    Then cover with film and place in the fridge overnight.

  3. Classic mode Step 3

    Remove the bowl from the fridge the next morning 30 minutes before you want to start making your loaf.

  4. Classic mode Step 4

    Put the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and add the overnight sponge.

    Ingredients for this step

    • 400g 14⅛ oz Very strong white bread flour (we like Allinson)
    • ¾tsp ¾tsp Easy bake yeast (we like Allinson)
    • 2tsp 2tsp Salt
  5. Classic mode Step 5

    Mix to a soft dough with the water.

    Ingredients for this step

    • 200ml 6⅞ fl oz Warm water
  6. Classic mode Step 6

    Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.

  7. Classic mode Step 7

    Shape as desired and put into an appropriate greased tin.

  8. Classic mode Step 8

    Leave to prove until double in size.

  9. Classic mode Step 9

    Add your chosen topping or glaze, if using, and place in an oven preheated to 220°C (200°C fan, gas mark 7) and immediately turn the heat down to 200°C (180°C, gas mark 6).