Mix the flour, salt and lard in a heatproof bowl; place in the oven on low heat to warm up.
Mix the sugar and yeast in a separate bowl; add 240ml (8 fl oz) warm water. Leave until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add 600ml (1 pint) warm water and yeast mixture to the warm flour mixture; mix well. Add additional water until you have a stiff dough. Knead on a floured board, adding additional flour, until the dough ceases to cling to your hands. Cover and leave the dough to rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220 C / Gas 7. Grease two large bread tins or a baking tray (for cobs).
Place dough in prepared tins and prick with a fork. Leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven until a tap on the loaf gives a hollow sound, about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.