Recipe 24 – White Cottage Loaf

15th January 2012

I actually started this recipe before the Viennese Fingers, but whilst the bread was proving, I had to bake something else!!

The third one of the bread recipes from Mary’s book.

‘A good everyday loaf’ – hope it turns out that way!!

Flour, yeast, butter, salt and warm water all put into the bowl.  Mary does say to use an electric mixer if you want, but after watching the GBBO tips with Mary and Paul Hollywood, I thought I would do it the Hollywood way – by hand.  There’s something about mixing dough together with your hands, it’s rather pleasant.

Dough mixed together and turned out onto a floured work surface.  This was a very sticky dough and I didn’t want to put too much flour on the worktop, but found that after kneading for a few minutes it started to become smoother.  After 10 minutes of kneading and the fact that my arms felt they were going to fall off, I put the dough into a large oiled bowl.  Now where to put it – it was freezing outside, but a lovely sunny day, so put it on the coffee table in the living room in the sunshine.

Leave for 1-1.5 hours.  That’s the reason why I went on to cook the Viennese Fingers.

After an hour I looked at the dough and it had more than doubled in size, it was enormous.  Tipped it out and knocked it back by hand until it was smooth.  Cut off a quarter of the dough and shaped this into a small ball.  Shaped the remaining dough into another ball and placed it on the baking tray (which was lined with parchment).  Put the small dough ball on top of the large ball.  The next bit I had never heard of before, but I assume it was to join the two balls together.  I had to insert a floured wooden spoon handle into the smaller ball, through the large ball through to the baking sheet and then remove carefully.

Placed the baking sheet and bread dough into a plastic bag, sealed it and left it to prove for another 45 minutes.  Once it had doubled in size I brushed the bread all over with a beaten egg and popped it into the oven – the oven already having been on for the Viennese Fingers.

After 25 minutes opened the oven door, the kitchen smelt lovely, there’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread and the loaf itself looked pretty impressive, although it did appear to be leaning back slightly.   It was a lovely golden brown and sounded hollow when you tapped the base of it.  Put it on a wire tray to cool.

It wasn’t long before the first slice was eaten and it was lovely.  



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