This is probably the most unusual loaf of bread I’ve ever made. This recipe for Medieval York Mayne bread comes from Marguerite Patten’s 500 Recipes for Bread and Scones, an incredibly battered book that used to belong to my grandmother. The book is full of her comments and modifications next to recipes, with some obscured by cut-outs of what are presumably better versions she found elsewhere. There are no marks next to this recipe, so I don’t know if she ever made mayne bread.
As Marguerite explains, this recipe comes from the 16th century and there are indeed many mentions on the Internet of mayne bread from the middle ages. The term apparently derives from the French pain de mayne (“pain” being bread, “main” being hand) and was sometimes known as paynmayn. Mayne bread was considered the “bread of nobles”, made from wheat flour, as opposed to bread eaten by ordinary Medieval folk made from cheaper grains like rye.