The Crusty Cob

Crusty Cob Loaf

Ingredients
500g strong white bread flour
7g dried yeast (1 sachets or 2 teaspoons)
7g salt (1 teaspoons)
320ml warm water (65% hydration)

Method
Mix flour, salt and yeast in a bowl.
Add the water and mix with one hand.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes (push, fold, turn).
When dough is soft and elastic make into a ball and put in a bowl, cover with a plastic shower cap or a tea towel.
Leave it to rise for one to four hours.
Knock back the dough. Knead out all the air in the dough.
Shape into a round loaf on a baking tray or put in a baking pan/loaf tin.
Sprinkle a little flour on top and cover with a tea towel.
Leave shaped dough to rise for an hour.
Put a roasting tray in the bottom of your oven to get hot.
Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife in a simple pattern (an ‘X’ or three in a line for example. This allows the loaf to expand in the oven and creates a very professional looking loaf).
Bake in a hot oven (220C/Gas 7) for 30 minutes.
If you want a crusty loaf, pour a cup of water into the tray at the bottom of the oven before closing the oven door. If you want a softer loaf do not add the water.

‘Our Daily Bread’ encourage people to make two loaves. One is kept for their own enjoyment and the second is for them to give away to someone together with information about ‘Our Daily Bread’. You might give your bread to a neighbour, friend or someone at work, school or college or perhaps to someone you do not know who you think might welcome a loaf of handmade bread.