Nearly a year ago I planned to make this loaf and I made it at last two days back. I'm happy that atleast I made it after a year later. Cottage loaf is a traditional English style, I don't know why this name as Cottage loaf, but I like this name a lot. I always adore the old classical cottage style houses. In India you can hardly see these cottage style houses even in rural area but in most of the western countries, atleast in UK you can see this heritage is maintained. The uniform style of Victorian houses in the street, is really lovely. Actually there is a lot to talk about these Victorian and Cottage houses, but at the moment I feel very sleepy, so I better go to the recipe now.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes+ rising time
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Makes 1 large loaf
Bread flour- 450 g
Dried yeast- 2 tsp
Warm water- 300 ml
Honey- 2 tsp
Mixed dried herbs- 2 tsp( optional)
Olive oil- 1/2 tbsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Sift the flour in a large bowl, add the salt , dried herbs and yeast mix it well. Make a well in the center add the oil, honey and water little by little to make it into a smooth dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes to make it smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a clean and oiled bowl, cover with a cling film. Leave it in a warm place and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.
Take the dough, punch the air back, divide the dough in two, one larger than the other. Take a baking sheet, dust it with flour, place the larger dough at the bottom and the smaller one on the top. Cover loosely and leave it in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220 degree Celsius. Take the dough, with a sharp knife make 8 slashes on the top dough and 12 slashes on the bottom dough.
Oil a back of the wooden spatula and insert it right into the middle of loaf and take it out to create a whole in the middle. Mix 2 tsp of salt in 4 tbsp of water and brush it on top of the loaf. This will give you a nice crusty loaf.
Bake the loaf in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until it looks crusty brown colour on outside.
You can serve this bread sliced with cheese, cold meat and salad or with a warm bowl of soup.
This recipe goes to Yeastspotting, AWED- British hosted by Reva originally started by DK of Chef in You.