White Farl (using a poolish)

A Farl is a traditional English loaf. This recipe takes advantage of a poolish to elevate the flavour. It also has a lovely firm but light texture.

Makes: One large loaf

Time: Day 1 (poolish) 10 minutes. Day 2 About 25 minutes “hands-on” + 90 minutes rising time and 30 minutes baking.


  • 500g strong white bread flour (This includes 200g for the poolish)
  • 10g salt
  • 7g Sachet of quick yeast (1g for the poolish)
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 300ml water (This includes 200ml for the poolish)


Day 1

Make the poolish. Mix together 200g flour, 1g yeast and 200ml cold water. Place in a sealed container,or in a covered bowl, and leave overnight.

Day 2 (or next morning)

1. Put the poolish and all other ingredients in a bowl and mix for several minutes.

2. Tip out and knead by hand for at least 7 minutes. Or use stand mixer and dough hook on slow for about 5 minutes.

3. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in volume.

4. Line a baking tray. Tip dough out onto floured surface and shape into a ball then flatten slightly. Place back on the tray and put tray inside a plastic bag. Leave to rise again for about an hour.

5. After 40 minutes turn oven on to 220C/Fan200C/425F/Gas 7. Put a baking stone in if you have one. Also place a deep baking tray on a low shelf in the oven.

6. Cover top of dough with flour and starting from the middle, use a sharp knife to make slashes in a fan shaped pattern on the top surface. Put in the oven and drop a handful of ice cubes into the deep sided tray to create steam before baking for around 30 minutes.