The BBC Food Programme finished 2013 with a revisionist attempt to dethrone Elizabeth David. I don’t think it was wholly successful, but then, being one of her aspirant middle-class acolytes, I would say that, wouldn’t I. English Bread and Yeast Cookery is one of her best books, in my biassed opinion, so it was a great treat to hear David’s cut-glass tones telling the equally wonderful Derek Cooper how she makes bread. I’ve sliced it out for you:

I agree that longer fermentation definitely improves the taste, and possibly also the digestibility, of bread. That’s the approach I generally use, in contrast to Suzanne Dunaway, my guest on Eat This Podcast a couple of weeks ago. It’s also true, as Terence Conran told The Food Programme, that Elizabeth David’s books are possibly even better to read than to cook from, something I did a while ago for a bread baked under a cloche starting in a cold oven.

Re-reading that makes me want to try it again.

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