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The Shackleton Recipe

The polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton went to school in Dulwich, in the same part of London where Fergus Jackson, the creator of this recipe, and his wife Sharmin ran their bakery, Brick House. This recipe includes black treacle/molasses as a nod to the tins of golden syrup taken by the explorer on his expeditions, and Fergus says, “I like to think of this as the loaf he slipped into his backpack before heading off to the South Pole.”


1 large loaf


For the soaker

For the dough


1. Mix the soaker ingredients together and leave for at least two hours.

2. Mix all of the ingredients including the soaker together until thoroughly combined, to make a sticky, shaggy dough. Transfer this to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 45 minutes.

3. Give the dough a single fold (i.e. stretch it out and fold over itself, turn 90 degrees and repeat), cover and leave to prove for a further 45 minutes.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, flatten it out and then shape it into a ball. Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

5. Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin, shape the dough to fit and place it in the tin, seam-side down. Using a wet hand, press the dough down gently to fill out the tin into the corners and flatten the loaf ’s shape. Cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 2–3 hours. This is a fairly dense loaf so the dough will not rise dramatically during the final proving but you should see an increase in size and a gentle doming of the surface.

6. Heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/450°F/gas 8. Slash a line down the middle of the dough, place in the oven and bake for 50–60 minutes. Remove from the tin as soon as possible and leave to cool completely, ideally for 12 hours or more, before cutting.

Recipe taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, Published by Nourish Books. Hardback, £20. Commissioned photography © Victoria Harley.

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