To make the Sponge
Disperse the pinch yeast in tepid milk (around 20°C)
In a bowl mix the milk and yeast with the flour until the dough comes together.
Cover the bowl with cling film & ferment in a warm place (18 to 20°C) for 16 to 20 hours
Soften the butter until very soft but not melted
Warm the milk until tepid then crumble the yeast into the milk & mix until dissolved – Place the milk/yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl
Add flour and the pre prepared sponge to the mixing bowl
Bring ingredients together & knead for around 3 minutes, then add the salt.
Knead for a further 5 minutes until gluten is well developed
Add butter & knead until incorporated then add the honey & knead again until incorporated.
Ferment the mixture in a warm place (around 24°C) for 2 hours. Fold the dough twqice throughout this period, leaving at least a 45 minute interval between each fold.
Once fermented divide the dough into 2x 500 gram pieces and shape each one into your desired shape
If you are baking a tin loaf, oil the tin lightly first before placing your dough in it
If you would prefer to make a boule (round) or batard (oblong) loaf, dust your banneton (proving basket) prior to placing your dough in it
Finally prove for a further 45 minutes or until ready in a warm place (24° C), ensuring your dough is covered to prevent skinning over.
When proved, brush an egg wash with a mixture of 1 egg to 2 egg yolks & a pinch of salt over the dough.
Slash the surface of the dough & bake on a baking tray at 230°C for 30 minutes or until a rich golden colour is achieved
Turn out of tin (if necessary) & cool on wire racks.