Cottage Loaf

Ingredients:

Create a culinary masterpiece from a few basic ingredients and experience the satisfaction of traditional baking. Serve with classic-shape loaf to accompany home-made soup.

675g/1 ½ / 6cups

Gluten-free plain flour

Or unbleached strong white bread flour

10ml/2 tsp salt

20g/1/4 oz fresh yeast

Method:

1.Lightly grease two baking sheets. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.

2.Mix the yeast in 150ml/1/4 pint/3/4 cup lukewarm water until dissolved. Pour into the centre of the flour and add a further 250ml/8fl oz/1 cup lukewarm water, then mix a firm dough.

3.knead the doughnuts a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled clear film (plastic wrap) and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knock back (punch down). Knead for 2-3 minuets, then divide into two-thirds and one third and shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with inverted bowls and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

5.Gently flatten the top of the larger round dough and cut a cross in the centre, about 4cm/1 ½ in across. Brush with little water and place the smaller round on top. Carefully press a hole through the middle of the top ball, down into the lower part, using your thumb and first two fingers. Cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 and place the bread on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a rich golden brown colour. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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