Place 150ml warm water (1 part boiling water and 2 parts cold water) in a 600ml measuring jug. Sprinkle over the yeast and granulated sugar, whisk well and leave in a warm place until the yeast froths up.
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter (or stir in the oil). Stir in the yeast and a further 150ml of hand hot water. Mix together until a soft dough starts to form.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic for up to 10 minutes.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size. Ideally in a warm kitchen or airing cupboard, or near a warm oven.
Preheat your oven to 230°C, fan 210°C, gas mark 8). Lightly oil a 900g (2lb) bread tin.
Turn the dough on to the work surface again, punch back the dough and knead for 5-10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a loaf shape and place in the tin. Cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film and allow to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size and has come to the top of the tin.
Sprinkle the dough with a little flour to create a crisp, rustic coating on top of the bread. Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas mark 6 and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. The bread should be risen and golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Turn out the bread and cool on a wire rack.
Cook's tip: For rolls, bake for just 15-20 minutes at 230°C, fan 210°C, gas mark 8).
*All information included in this recipe has been provided by Allinson.