Here is my first attempt at making a Cottage Loaf bread, as part of my bake along with the Great British Bake Off. It was a lot easier to make then I had envisaged, and tasted great too.
So it is week 3 of the Great British Bake Off, and that means Bread Week. I saw at the end of last weeks how that this weeks technical challenge was to bake a Cottage Loaf bread, and I thought I would have a go, seeing as though I rarely tackle the technical bakes.
I did contemplate making a show stopping bread sculpture, and did some research last week as to the type of one I would make. However, it would have involved a lot of time and I just did not have enough spare over the weekend. I was not sure what the signature bake was, I have since learnt it is teacakes which I adore, so I might make these soon anyway. Therefore, I figured that a simple, yet classic Cottage Loaf was something we could eat as a family and which would not take too long to bake.
In fact , it did take a bit longer to make then I imagined, due to the proofing processes involved! Still despite a later lunch than planned *ahem* , the cottage loaf, or loaves in my case (more about this further down) turned out very well, and we all enjoyed it with some butter, meats and cheeses.
The proofing was unusual as it meant placing the dough under a glass bowl! It looked like I was making a snow globe loaf! I don’t know if this is common for this bread, (I will find out soon by watching the GBBO show) but the recipe I mostly followed, did it this way.
I did make a mistake, as I cut off three pieces of dough instead of two, but all was not lost as I ended up taking the larger of the two smaller pieces of dough, and made a small cottage loaf alongside my large one. Having watched the show, my Cottage Loaf does not have slashes all around it! Oh well, mine is a Mummy Mishaps Cottage Loaf lol!
I have to admit I always enjoy bread week, because it makes me bake bread from scratch and I enjoy it and the bread does taste so much nicer than shop bought.
Here is the Cottage Loaf recipe
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 1 x 7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp soft butter
- Place the butter, flour, yeast and salt in a food processor
- Pulse the processor until the butter is rubbed in - I did mine for about 60 seconds
- Pour in approx 25ml - 300ml luke warm water, and then switch on your processor once again until the mixture leaves the sides and forms a dough
- Now gather up the dough and either place onto a clean and lightly floured work surface to knead for about 10 minutes OR if like me you have a free standing food mixer, place the mixture into the bowl and using the dough hook , knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky and smooth.
- Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface, and cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl.
- Leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy.
- Next, knock back the dough by gently kneading just 3-4 times. *THIS MUST BE DONE GENTLY SO AS TO AVOID LOOSING THE DOUGH'S RISE.
- Then you need to divide the dough: first of all cut a two-thirds piece and a one-third piece with a sharp knife and shape both sections into round balls.
- Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 10 mins.
- Place the larger ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then top with the smaller ball, by placing it in the centre of the larger one. Now press down through the centre of the smaller one right into larger one with your finger (dipped in flour so it doesn’t stick), to attach it.
- Sprinkle the top with a little flour and then cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 40-45 mins, or until about doubled in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 230C/210C fan 20 minutes prior to baking the bread, and place a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven.
- After 20 minutes, put the risen bread in the oven, and carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin, which will hiss and create a burst of steam, which is to give you a crisp crust. Then immediately lower the heat to 220C/200C fan. Bake for 30-35 mins or until golden, and the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it.
- Remove and cool on a wire rack.
(based on this recipe)
The #GBBOBloggers2017 Linky
You are welcome to bake along with me and some other long standing GBBOBloggers, the more the merrier in fact. You can read the rules here which are not strict really, but they just explains my twitter accounts and all that jazz! All I ask is that you please add my badge, a link to my blog and share the GBBO love by sharing or commenting on some of the bakes that link up.
The linky will open either Tuesday after the new episode, or Wednesday morning, depending on how organised I have been! I might not have time to cary out a full Star Baker round up as I have done in previous years. However, I will still devise a Star Baker Badge for each episode. Therefore, if this proves to be the case, and I don’t have time to write a separate post each week, then I will mention the Star Bakers in my new recipe post with the new linky. Of course, this might change …….. and therefore, we will see how it goes.
Thank you to everyone who linked up for week 2 – there were some amazing biscuits linked up. As you might have gathered, I am envious of anyone who can produce edible, pretty and tasty looking biscuits LOL! Here are the recipes submitted by the 12 bloggers who joined in last week for Biscuit Week
Peanut Butter was definitely a popular filling and flavour for homemade biscuits, as three of you featured it in your bakes! I was chuffed to see a biscuit board game and some fortune cookies among the linked up recipes. It is always hard choosing a Star Baker – I don’t know how the real GBBO judges do it week in, week out! So I am going to pick 2 Star Bakers this week and full credit to them for attempting the technical and showstopper bakes each
Congratulations ladies x
The themes for bread week are:
Signature Bake – Teacakes (enriched dough)
Technical bake -Cottage Loaf
Showstopper – Bread Sculpture